Marvel Teams With Indie Cartoonist for Ambitious Retelling Of Mutant 'X-Men' History

The six-issue project will cover three decades' worth of material.
Courtesy of Ed Piskor/Marvel Entertainment

With almost 50 years worth of stories to deal with, even the idea of catching up on the comic book mythology of Marvel's X-Men sounds like an exhausting proposition — but not for long. This December, Marvel will launch X-Men: Grand Design, a new project intended to summarize the first 30 years of X-Men continuity.

The series is the creation of Ed Piskor, known for his critically acclaimed Hip-Hop Family Tree comic book series. Just as that project condenses and summarizes the origins of hip-hop, Grand Design is intended to distill more than 8,000 pages of comics — from the 1963 debut of the team all the way through departure of writer Chris Claremont in 1991 — into six 40-page issues to be published across three years.

"Ed Piskor is a singular talent," Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said in a statement from the publisher about the project. "And he is unleashing the same passion, craft and attention to detail that fuels his award-winning Hip-Hop Family Tree on decades' worth of X-Men stories."

The series will be released as three two-part miniseries: X-Men: Grand Design, X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis and X-Men: Gand Design – X-Tinction, with each of the minis subsequently collected into one oversized paperback along with an issue of the series Piskor was inspired by, recolored by Piskor himself.

"If it wasn't for X-Men comics, I may never have thought to ever pick up a pencil and start making them in the first place," Piskor told The Hollywood Reporter. "In my own way, this is a love letter to writer Chris Claremont and his team of industry-leading artists like John Byrne, Marc Silvestri, Arthur Adams and Jim Lee. This project is the culmination of my own 35 years of obsessing over this material. X-Men: Grand Design is a once-in-a-lifetime dream project for me."

The first issue of X-Men: Grand Design will be released Dec. 9, with the first paperback collection available April 17, 2018.