->''"Once more, genocide in the name of God. A story as old as the race."''
A GraphicNovel first published in 1982, ''God Loves, Man Kills'' is one of the most famous ''Comicbook/XMen'' stories from the Claremont period. Writing in the midst of the rise of televangelists of the 1980s, Creator/ChrisClaremont and artist Brent Anderson presented a story with a new foe for the X-Men who stood out from previous villains: the Reverend William Stryker, a SinisterMinister who believes mutants are demons from hell that must be completely eradicated.
Taking on issues such as prejudice, religion and the growing Christian fundamentalism of the time, the story proved to be a hit and was one of the primary influences for the second ''Film/XMen'' movie.
!!'''Tropes associated with ''God Loves, Man Kills'':'''
* AdultFear: The story opens with two young children being hunted down and murdered for an accident of birth. Their parents were unable to protect them, having been murdered themselves, possibly in an attempt at HeroicSacrifice.
** Happens early on in the novel, with Kitty punching out a fellow student for coming down on the side of Stryker's crusade. When [[CoolBigSis Stevie Hunter]], her African-American dance instructor, tells her his rhetoric was "just words," Kitty responds with an enraged:
--->'''Kitty''': What if he'd called me a '''nigger'''-lover, Stevie? Would you have been so damn tolerant '''then?!'''
** Colossus apologizes on Kitty's behalf, but Stevie admits to herself that Kitty was ''right'' - she ''wouldn't'' have been so tolerant if someone of ''her'' race was insulted.
* BadassBystander: In the book's climax, Stryker aims a gun at Kitty when they confront him at Madison Square Garden. A shot is fired. [[spoiler: But it turns out to be a random police officer working security. He shoots and arrests Stryker, believing the Reverend has gone too far if he's willing to kill an unarmed teenage girl]].
* BaitAndSwitchGunshot: Stryker is aiming a gun at Kitty Pryde, his words indicating he intends to kill her. A whole panel is filled with the sound effect "Bang!" [[spoiler: Next, we see a policeman holding a smoking gun, and a bystander yells: "That cop shot the reverend!" The scene currently provides the trope's page image.]]
* BigEntrance: Magneto makes one of these at Madison Square Garden, partly to provide a diversion for the X-Men's attempt to rescue Xavier.
* CategoryTraitor: Watching Purifiers consider Stevie Hunter a traitor to the human race, as "she treats those mutie scum like real human beings".
* ColdBloodedTorture: Magneto does... something to the Purifiers to make them tell the X-Men of Stryker's plans. (He appears to be using his powers to manipulate the Purifiers' armor to stretch them out, as if on a rack.) Only [[AllLovingHero Nightcrawler]] provides objection to it. Also a case of BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork. Nightcrawler averts this when he takes his own prisoner (Stryker's brainwashing expert), preferring instead to use threats and his own demonic looks to intimidate the man.
* DarkerAndEdgier: This story is pretty heavy stuff even by [[TheEighties '80s]] [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel comic]] standards, and it's definitely a bit darker than the regular ''COmicBook/XMen'' title was at the time.
* DeadGuyOnDisplay: The two children murdered by Anne in the opening are strung up on a child's swing, with boards that say "mutie" around their necks.
* DiesWideOpen: Mark. Magneto later closes Mark's eyes for him.
* TheDragon: Anne, to Stryker. It doesn't work out well for her.
* DueToTheDead: The Purifiers leave Mark and Jill's bodies suspended from a swing set, each one labelled "Mutie"; a deliberate display for the schoolchildren. Magneto, arriving on the scene, lowers their bodies to the ground, removes the signs (crushing one with his power), and gently closes Mark's eyes.
* EliteMook: Some Purifiers are equipped with metal armor that have some sort of wrist-mounted energy weapon. However, they're utterly useless against Magneto, who can deflect their bolts and take apart their suits.
* EnemyMine: William Stryker's crusade against Mutants provides the need for Magneto to team up with the X-Men to confront him. This was the first instance of an alliance between Magneto and the team, which would later lead to bigger repercussions down the road, including becoming a regular event on [[WesternAnimation/XMen X-Men: The Animated Series]] in the 1990s.
* FakingTheDead: The Purifiers' fraud fools the police, but doesn't hold up to Wolverine's enhanced senses.
* MomentOfWeakness: After all else is said and done, Magneto uses the fact that the media is ''already'' trying to [[DontShootTheMessage rehabilitate Stryker]] as proof to Professor Xavier that humans and mutants will never be able to know true peace as equals. Prof. X, badly shaken by his experiences, comes very close to agreeing. Only [[spoiler: a KirkSummation by Cyclops, who also reveals how much they all love and admire the professor]], pulls him back.
* MonumentalDamage: In a DreamSequence created by Stryker, Prof. X is crucified atop World Trade Center Tower 1. Madison Square Garden also gets its roof shattered by Magneto in his BigEntrance.
* NeverMyFault: Stryker says in his backstory that his son's mutation was a curse from god, not because of his own sin, but because of his wife's.
* OffModel: In the one critical panel where Stryker points at Nightcrawler and denounces his "inhumanity", Brent Anderson forgets to draw his tail - a point which he specifically mentions in the notes for the re-release.
* OffingTheOffspring: Long ago, this is how Stryker dealt with his newborn mutant son.
* PrecisionFStrike / NWordPrivileges: The above-mentioned ArmorPiercingQuestion was considered highly controversial for its time thanks to Kitty's language.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: The police watching over Stryker's rally comment on their disbelief over his message and later step in to help the X-Men. Another reasonable authority figure is the unnamed senator in the audience. [[spoiler: Said senator also turns out to be a mutant, unbeknownst to himself or others.]]
* SinisterMinister: Stryker is probably one of the best examples for this trope to come from Marvel: a fanatic who believes that God wants him to wipe out every Mutant in the world under the idea that Mutants are created by Satan.
* TomatoInTheMirror: Anne, Stryker's most loyal Purifier, [[spoiler: is a mutant herself (though we never find out what her powers are)]]. This revelation goes [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness about as well as one would expect with Stryker.]]
* TooDumbToLive: The X-Men want information from you. Magneto approaches, looking a little reluctant as he alludes to the possibility of torturing you. You address him by a racial epithet ("mutie," to be precise). ''How could you possibly expect that to end well?''
* TortureAlwaysWorks: Magneto's torture of the captive Purifiers elicits the information the X-Men need about Stryker's plans.
* UglyHeroGoodLookingVillain: After watching Xavier's debate with Stryker, Cyclops is disturbed by the fact that Xavier looks severe and almost scary, while Stryker is handsome and personable. Stryker actually banks on this, using Nightcrawler's demonic appearance to justify his crimes and hatred but Kitty [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech shoots him down]] with an [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming epic speech citing Kurt's kindness and nobility]], while Stryker is a murderous psychopath.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Stryker is a televangelist popular enough to fill Madison Square Garden, and his "crusade" has many supporters. He's also responsible for a number of mutants' murders.
* VillainousRescue: The X-Men are in the process of losing their first fight against the Purifiers, when all of a sudden the Purifiers' high-tech metal suits are shredded and turned into mummifying bonds. Enter the X-Men's then-foe, Magneto.
-->'''Magneto:''' Sheath your claws, Wolverine. Magneto is here as a friend...and, if you'll have me, an ally.
* VillainousValor: To escape Magneto and the X-Men, and report their doings to her mentor, Stryker's [[TheDragon dragon]] Anne pries open the doors of a runaway elevator and leaps a perilous distance down to a roof. Stryker himself displays a surprising amount of courage, charisma, and commitment to his cause.
* WeHaveWaysOfMakingYouTalk: Nightcrawler uses this (with the panel focusing on his teeth) to force Stryker's lead scientist to give up the location of Cyclops and Storm.
* WouldHurtAChild: In the very first scene, Purifiers murder two young children. Stryker admits to an entire audience listening to his sermons that he murdered his infant son for being born visibly mutated and at the climax attempts to shoot the then 13-year-old Kitty Pryde himself.