I'd heard so much about this story for years, mainly how it served as the inspiration for the X2 film, but I never realized it was a standalone, not-quite-in-contiuity graphic novel in four parts. So despite it coming out in '82, it was a LOT more hard hitting than I'd ever expected.
Claremont only cranks up the stakes from there, introducing the now-familiar plot of using a mind-controlled Xavier to destroy all mutantkind with Cerebro. Throughout we see the classic X-lineup of Cyclops, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Kitty Pryde (herein called Ariel) shockingly allied with Magneto (who had primarily just been a cackling supervillain up to this point in comics history) rise to the challenges posed by deranged televangelist William Stryker, the origins of whose hateful motivations are revealed in a few shocking panels.
Ultimately, though, what really struck me about this classic X-Men story reading it for the first time in 2017 was how sadly topical it's central metaphor about intolerance and media manipulation remains today, 35 years later.
Love is love, people are people, God is a personal choice. Back then as today as always.
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