X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (Marvel Graphic Novel #5) is a graphic novel published in 1982 by Marvel Comics, starring their popular superhero team the X-Men. It was written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by Brent Anderson.
David Hayter (who wrote the screenplay for the first X-Men film, and co-wrote the screenplay for the second X-Men film, on which aspects of the latter film were based) has commented that God Loves, Man Kills is one of his favorite X-Men stories.
According to artist Neal Adams, he was originally approached by Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter to illustrate an early version of X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (whose plot, according to Adams, was conceived of by Shooter). Since Adams insisted that his contract not be a standard-work-for-hire agreement, Marvel eventually chose Brent Anderson as the illustrator — despite the fact that Adams had already penciled some preliminary pages.
The story concerns a minister, the Reverend William Stryker, stirring up religious anti-mutant fervor and kidnapping Professor X in an attempt to eradicate all mutants. It is one of the most clear-cut examples of X-Men comics using mutant relations as a metaphor for real life race relations as well as being a general critic of prejudice and what was the growing political clout of televangelists.
Another notable feature is that the heroes do not fight any costumed super-villains in the story; although Magneto was featured in the Graphic Novel, he is not the X-Men's foe in this story, but rather forms an alliance with them against William Stryker. The X-Men members featured in this story are Professor X, Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Shadowcat, the team at the time the story was published. Other characters who appear are Colossus' sister, Illyana Rasputin (after she is aged by Belasco, but before she adopts the identity of Magik and/or joins the New Mutants) and the X-Men's civilian ally and friend, Stevie Hunter.
In other media
- The name of the villain, William Stryker
- The fact that the X-Men team-up with Magneto, their arch-rival
- The kidnapping of Professor X and some of his X-Men
- The use of Professor X and their own Cerebro to mentally kill all the mutants on earth
There are also differences in the storyline, however. Some of the main differences are:
- William Stryker in the movie is a military scientist rather than a minister. The comic's Stryker was involved in the military at one point in his life, but left that to become a preacher long before the events of the novel.
- Both versions of Stryker have a mutant child, though in the novel, the child had already died prior to the events of the novel. In the movie, his child is still alive.
- In the film, Stryker is responsible for Wolverine receiving his adamantium bones and claws; in the comic, they had never met prior to the events of the novel.
- In the novel, Stryker and his men are able to kidnap Professor X, Cyclops, and Storm. In the movie, only the first two are kidnapped.
- In the movie, Jean Grey is not only prominent, but the film foreshadows Dark Phoenix. In the comics, the Dark Phoenix Saga has already occurred.