Review: Guardians 3000 #4
Abnett understands cosmic. He also obviously likes cosmic. He’s not trying to turn cosmic into something that it isn’t. He takes the subject matter seriously, extrapolates the future from the current, writes fresh and plausible stories defying stale superhero tropes, makes the space setting both necessary and central to the storyline, and uses humor naturally as an incidental brief relief from the drama rather than the entire focus of each story.
In contrast, Bendis, Young, Duggan, Humphries, and everyone else Marvel has on the rest of their so-called “cosmic” books obviously don’t like or understand cosmic and just resort to writing silly, campy storylines that borrow heavily from superhero tropes, are played for laughs, and just happen to be set in space.
G3000 is written as good science-fiction. The rest are written as running jokes. That’s why I say G3000 is Marvel’s only truly cosmic book. The rest are pseudo-cosmic at their rare best – and intelligence insulting parodies of cosmic most commonly.
I was skeptical at first – doubting whether anyone could breathe new life into the original GotG characters. Abnett has risen to the challenge and exceeded it. In this issue, we learn the origin of A-Sentience, we get to spend some time with Vance Astro via flashbacks to better understand his motivations, we get to see part of the team work together as an effective and coordinated fighting force, we get to know the new Star-Lord, we learn more about the time crisis, we get another glimpse of Rael Rider, and Nikki joins the team.
As an aside, it was nice to see a real Nova in a real Nova uniform instead of the manga-inspired-NINO Marvel insists on inflicting upon us cosmic fans.
Abnett packs an enormous amount of story into only a few pages – but the story flows naturally and leaves the reader both intrigued and hungry for next month’s issue. Abnett respects the characters and their fans. The characters are addressing weighty issues and must take high-stakes risks to address these issues. This is a well-written story by cosmic standards in particular and comic book standards in general.
The art has long been the weak point of this book, but I have to say that Sandoval is growing into the art for the book with each passing issue. The art for this issue is the best yet, and if this trend continues, I’ll soon be cheering for Sandoval rather than longing for a new artist. Delgado’s coloring provides the perfect tone for the storyline and helps soften some of the harshness of Sandoval’s artistic style.
If this book isn’t on your pull list, call your local comic shop and add it today. This is the kind of book that needs to be rewarded with high sales. Leave the rest of what Marvel is calling “cosmic” on the shelf.