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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

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LOLtron
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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby LOLtron » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:20 am

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

A review of the latest Marvel comic.




If you're expecting Guardians of the Galaxy to match the brilliance Brian Bendis is displaying in Uncanny X-Men and All New X-Men, prepare to be disappointed.  Bendis's new series, featuring art from Steve McNiven, seems to be a standard, run of the mill superhero story with no intriguing hook or writing that separates it from the dozens of other superhero books on the market today.

The premise of the series is a simple one: Peter Quill's father, the ruler of the Spartoi Empire, and a consortium of other intergalactic rulers have declared the Earth to be off-limits from alien contact in order to give it time to develop into a planet that can legitimately participate in galactic matters.  Of course, that means the Earth now has a giant target painted on it, forcing the Guardians of the Galaxy (and Iron Man!) to defend the planet from a Badoon attack.

Bendis's debut issue isn't bad by any means.  After a lengthy conversation between Peter Quill and his father, the book launches into action and steers away from the talking heads problem that has plagued much of Bendis's work.   The characterization isn't awful either, Bendis's Star-Lord is more serious than the much beloved DnA version, but still retains a little of his playful nature.  The supporting cast hasn't been changed signficantly either.  Drax still destroys, Gamora is still dangerous, and Groot and Rocket Racoon are still the most awesome partnership this side of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. 

However, while the comic isn't bad, I can't say it's a great one either.  Compared to some of the other Marvel NOW! debut issues, such as Hickman's Avengers and New Avengers or Fraction's FF, there's nothing that really stands out about this comic either.  Then again, I recall that All New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men both got off to slow starts under Bendis, and they quickly morphed into some of the best superhero comics on the stand.

Fans of the previous Guardians of the Galaxy series will probably dislike that the lingering questions leftover from The Thanos Imperative still haven't been answered. They'll also probably dislike the redesigns for many of the characters, which are pretty dull and uninspired compared to past iterations of the character.  However, Steve McNiven's art is pretty gorgeous throughout the issue and almost make up for the pretty dull designs inflicted upon the characters.

Guardians of the Galaxy could develop into a great comic book series in the mold of Bendis's work on his X-Men series.  Or it could quickly devolve into one of Bendis's Avengers books, a safe superhero book with broadcasted plot twists and uninspired writing.  After reading the first issue, the jury's still out.  However, I don't think that'll be good enough for a lot of readers.



Written or Contributed by ThanosCopter


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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby jeremy » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:27 pm



Yea, this comic was pretty bad.

The Bendis-speak wasn't working with these characters. For spidey, especially teenage ult. spidey, it works great, but not here where people have things to say instead of babble.

The costumes were horrible. And I know nothing of the early characters, so no nostalgia involved when I say that. Iron Man's armor is hideous and Starlord and Gamora's were like x-games in space, they were so generic.

The whole drama between father and son just isn't working for me, it doesn't feel right, feels more like its shoehorned into to make for tension. Same with the main fight scene is space, there was just no weight to it (no pun intended).

I may check out this first run, but if it doesn't improve greatly from here, I'm done. I hope to god the movie is better than this.


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RE: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby Jude Terrorr » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:16 pm

A less than stellar performance from "The Great One?" Say it ain't so!

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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby Grayson » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:36 pm

I agree with Xaraan. Bendis' Guardians of the Galaxy #1 just wasn't good. Just like Avengers Assemble, Bendis continues to demonstrate that he really doesn't know or understand these characters. It's a shame that Marvel seems so intent on undoing all the hard work that DnA put into the Marvel Cosmic line. The new costumes were completely unnecessary, the ones they have been wearing since Annihilation Conquest were great and really made them look like an actual team. All things considered, I think I will be dropping this book pretty quickly.
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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:49 pm

It's a weird industry where almost constant mediocre output can be tolerated by a top-tier writer just because the same people keep buying it anyway. In that case, why should Bendis or anyone else writing superhero comics really strive to excel? It's not about quality at all, it's merely about which characters you're given.

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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby Punchy » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:50 pm

Victorian Squid wrote:It's a weird industry where almost constant mediocre output can be tolerated by a top-tier writer just because the same people keep buying it anyway. In that case, why should Bendis or anyone else writing superhero comics really strive to excel? It's not about quality at all, it's merely about which characters you're given.


Man, you're in a bad mood!

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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:02 pm

Punchy wrote:
Man, you're in a bad mood!


Am not! :smt013

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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby fieldy snuts » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:19 am

i liked this.

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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby nietoperz » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:01 am

I haven't read this, but I thought the two GoG Infinite Comics were pretty good. I'm going to give it a chance. Besides, we've got Neil Gaiman co-writing #5...
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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby Punchy » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:03 am

My thoughts on this book, excerpted from my TWIP column:

Nova’s sister title, and one of Marvel’s next wave of movies, Guardians Of The Galaxy is a title with a lot of hype behind it, and so far, I think it’s delivers. You all know I’m a big fan of Bendis, and I really enjoyed seeing him write a story in a milieu that he hasn’t really touched before, outer space. Yes, he did a lot of stuff with Skrulls, but this is new ground for him. The Point One issue was an origin story for Star-Lord, which was actually quite welcome, even though I’ve been reading about his exploits regularly since 2006 in Annihilation, I didn’t know his origin. He just showed up to fight the Annihilation Wave and was a bad-ass. Now I know his story, and it’s a familiar one sure (he’s like a Space Aquaman, which is probably not the comparison Marvel want, but hey), but it’s good to know. The actual meat of the story doesn’t begin until #1, as Star-Lord comes into conflict with his father, and we see the rest of the team in action. This is a pared-down version of the roster DnA used, but it’s a strong one, with Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and interestingly, Iron Man. This issue is basically divided into one big talky bit, and one big action bit, so far, so Bendis, but I enjoyed it a lot. The artwork from Steve McNiven was fantastic, probably the best I’ve seen from him since Wolverine: Old Man Logan. This debut issue got thing started off with a bang, and hopefully managed to introduce a whole new audience to this awesome side of the Marvel Universe without confusing them.

It seems to me like there’s a bit of a, I don’t want to say hipster backlash, because people who read Marvel Cosmic aren’t really going to be considered hip, but the reaction to these new comics is like when a small indie band you love goes mainstream. People loved the Giffen and DnA cosmic stuff because it was self-contained and small and it felt like you knew about this great comic that the rest of the idiots didn’t. And now, big guys like Loeb and Bendis have come in and changed things. But to me, these books are still strong, and I’m actually excited to see this side of Marvel play a more central role. We should be happy that people now care about Star-Lord and Drax, not angry that they aren’t our little secret. And hey, all those DnA stories still happened, the Cancerverse is mentioned in #1 of GoTG, and it looks like Bendis is planning on filling-in the gaps. Marvel Cosmic is now A-List, this is a good thing, we won!

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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby fieldy snuts » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:19 pm

I agree regarding the anti-hipster backlash, if this was credited as written by DnA then it'd be getting mad love on here.

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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby Grayson » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:31 pm

fieldy snuts wrote:I agree regarding the anti-hipster backlash, if this was credited as written by DnA then it'd be getting mad love on here.


I disagree, if the only difference was that DnA was on the cover instead of Bendis, this issue still wouldn't have been good. The changes made would have been unnecessary and the characters still wouldn't have felt right. Bendis has earned a small amount of good faith from me because of his work on All-New and Uncanny X-Men. Hell, the .1 issue of this series was even intriguing enough to get me to give it a chance even though I hated Avengers Assemble but the fact of the matter is that unfortunately the actual first issue just wasn't good, as least in my opinion.

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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby fieldy snuts » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:34 pm

Considering the goodwill Realm of Kings, Thanos Imperative and Annihilators got based on their name alone I'd beg to differ.

Those were all mediocre books suddenly thought of as great and better than the mainstream.

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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby sdsichero » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:45 pm

Punchy wrote:
Man, you're in a bad mood!


Victorian Squid wrote:Am not! :smt013


Squid's right.

He's always like that.
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Re: Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Postby sdsichero » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:48 pm

fieldy snuts wrote:Considering the goodwill Realm of Kings, Thanos Imperative and Annihilators got based on their name alone I'd beg to differ.

Those were all mediocre books suddenly thought of as great and better than the mainstream.


I disagree. I haven't read the new GotG so I cannot comment on that, but Bendis' Avengers Assemble version of them was pretty bad. If DNA wrote that, I'd definitely say "WTH"?

You might have found DNA's later efforts to be lacking (surely they did not have the same impact as the earlier stuff), but I found them above average. And the characters spoke with a voice I appreciated (and they touched on some cosmic things I found interesting).
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