Review: Guardians 3000 #3
Between 2006 and 2010, Dan Abnett was one of the architects of the Renaissance in Marvel Cosmic, refurbishing (the real) Nova from a teen Spider-clone to a mature, bad-ass, powerful, leader of men and creating a Guardians of the Galaxy team concept that inspired the top-grossing movie of 2014.
In reward for his efforts, Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso, removed Abnett from the books he created, giving his GotG concept to Bendis to mangle into what many now call Garbage of the Galaxy or Guardians of the Galaxy in Name Only and handing the Nova concepts over to Loeb and Duggan who have distorted the Nova concepts with the dreadful series that many refer to as Nova in Name Only or NINO, for short.
Another brilliant call, Alonso. I never thought I’d be wistfully thinking of Quesada’s tenure as “The Good Old Days.”
I approached G3000 with a healthy dose of skepticism, but I have to say that Abnett has won me over. He clearly loves the characters, and he is intimately acquainted with and respectful of the rich lore underpinning the characters and concepts. While Bendis, Loeb/Duggan, Humphries, and Young are busy driving Marvel Cosmic into the ground with their campy and juvenile takes on the concepts, Abnett is busy giving cosmic back its wings. While GotGINO, NINO, SLINO, and RRINO falter and get worse with every issue, G3000 soars and gets better with every issue. The reason why is obvious. Abnett understands and respects the source material – and he is an accomplished science-fiction writer. In contrast, Bendis, Loeb/Duggan, Humphries, and Young have never understood or respected the source material, had no previous interest in cosmic science-fiction, and still would have no interest in cosmic if not for the GotG movie turning a huge profit and cosmic becoming all the profit-generating rage.
In this issue, Abnett introduces us to The Nova Prime of the year 3014, Rael Rider, as she interacts with The Xandarian Worldmind. It was great to see a real Nova sporting the surname of Rider, and it was great to see a real Nova helmet for a change with no Manga-style-uniformed NINO usurper in sight. It was also great for the Worldmind to be given page time again after a too long “hiatus” – a hiatus due to yet more spectacular mis-management by Brevoort and Alonso.
Abnett advances the story by further exploring how the Badoon have corrupted Stark tech and turned it into a force for evil. Abnett develops each character – giving each a distinctive voice and personality. He judiciously uses humor and weaves a tight tale of high-stakes peril and adventure for our protagonists. Contrast this with the bad sit-com humor and storylines, the total interchangeability of characters, and the outright ennui any adult reader feels after every issue of GotGINO, NINO, SLINO, and RRINO.
Sandoval is growing into the art for the G3000 concept. His renderings are somewhat less jarring and better proportioned for this outing with less emphasis on every character exposing their teeth in exaggerated facial expressions. Dentists must be in short supply in the 31st Century – as what dentition is portrayed is enough to give an Oral Surgeon bad dreams for life. Delgado’s colors help soften the exaggerated artistic style of Sandoval for a more satisfying artistic experience than the past two issues. I’m still hoping for a change to a more photo-realistic artist in the near future. It would sure be nice to have Brad Walker on this book.
The numbers are in, and issue #1 of G3000 sold pretty much as many issues as Bendys’ loathsome GotGINO. This reportedly surprised Brevoort and Alonso as they wrongly think the key to cosmic is intelligence-insulting, campy, child-oriented storylines as demonstrated by their doubling-down on the failed GotGINO and NINO concepts that are still in publication thanks to easily satisfied zombies still buying them. It goes to show you that there’s a market for quality cosmic storytelling, and if it is given the opportunity to be produced – it will sell. That fact seems to consistently bounce off Alonso’s shiny dome – and that’s an indication of bad leadership.
So leave GotGINO, NINO, SLINO, and RRINO on the shelf – and instead buy G3000 to send Marvel a clear message that there is a market for high-quality cosmic storytelling rather than the sub-par, low-quality foolishness pervading the rest of their so-called “cosmic” books.