- Complete Monster: Reverend William Stryker, debuting here, hatefully persecutes mutantkind, having stabbed his own infant son for being born a mutant and killing his wife for birthing the boy. Founding the "Purifiers", Stryker has them kill any mutants they come across. Kidnapping Charles Xavier to Mind Rape him, Stryker plans to use the psychic mutant to wipe out every other mutant on Earth in the name of his fanatical quest. Temporarily stopping his genocidal crusade, Stryker resumes upon finding the mutant-killing machine, Nimrod, founding a new Purifier group and revealing it to the world through bombing a school bus full of de-powered mutants, killing dozens of innocent children. After manipulating and then killing a young mutant, Stryker launches an all-out assault on the X-Mansion in the hopes of killing all the children living there. Even after his own death, Stryker's brainwashing of his own son breaks the boy into becoming a fanatical, bigoted monster like his father.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Oh, yeah. While Stryker's appearance in X-Men history was always intended to be a one-off, but he's since become one of the most iconic and menacing villains in X-Men history, making appearances in four of the movies, thanks to him personifying with disturbingly realistic clarity the Fantastic Racism that truly defines the X-Men as characters.
- Fridge Logic: At times it seems as if Stryker & Co. are the only ones on the scene who remember that Magneto is actually a criminal. (His first HeelFace Turn was still in progress at the time the graphic novel was released.) It's true that during the scene in Madison Square Garden Stryker represents a greater concern than does Mags, who is downed relatively quickly. Still, after Stryker is dealt with, it's a little surprising that no one even considers arresting a man whose last public act involved sinking a Soviet submarine that threatened his attempt to take over the world.
- That might be an explanation in and of itself; just try arresting the guy who did that. Magneto is one of the most powerful men in the world; you'd have to be crazy to try and take him on without some serious firepower or resources.
- Another example, on a lighter note: why did Wolverine score so well in the Danger Room scenario? He didn't really do anything useful.
- Because he actually followed orders. Anyone who knows Wolverine can tell you how well that usually works out.
- Fridge Horror: As Storm is a claustrophobe, the small capsule she was imprisoned in by Stryker must have been terrifying to her.
- Moral Myopia: Doylist example. Claremont famously had Kitty Pryde use the n-word to compare the oppression of mutants to that of black people, though in a context that accuses Stevie Hunter of mild hypocrisy when due to her reaction confronted with another minority's oppression. Considering that this is comparing a fictional minority to an actual minority, one traditionally threatened by mob violence that most mutants could shrug off easily, the line loses a lot of its impact.
- Signature Scene: The panel where William Stryker points at Nightcrawler and rhetorically asks "Human? You dare call that—thing—human!?!" and Kitty chewing out Stryker right after that (although the former panel is more famous due to Memetic Mutation).
- Tearjerker: The deaths of young Mark and Jill, at the very beginning of the graphic novel. Magneto's reaction, when he comes on the scene, might qualify as another. One can tell this is not the first time he's seen children killed.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Of all the times for Claremont to forget he wrote Nightcrawler as a practicing Catholic... Kurt would have made a perfect counterpoint to Stryker's hysteria. With Stryker's twisting of Scripture to justify his genocidal intentions, Chris couldn't have found one point to have Kurt quote from Wisdom 11:23-26? note
- Values Resonance: You would not have to change much if you were to set this story in the present day.
- This is probably the reason Stryker was changed to a military general in the movies. Since the movies reach a larger audience, Fox probably didn't want to ruffle too many feathers with a conservative Christian minister as a villain.
YMMV / God Loves, Man Kills