Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #17 (Bendis)
Writer, BMB, graciously consented to an interview with this independent reporter. He was met in his Soho apartment where he was found relaxing in a beanbag chair, smoking Kretek via hookah, and sipping a Dr. Pepper slushie apparently acquired from a local Taco Bell.
TL: I must say that I’m surprised you granted me an interview given my critiques of your work.
BMB: [offers TL a hit from the hookah] Peace pipe dude.
TL: No thanks. Allergic to cloves. But I do appreciate the gesture.
BMB: [Winks and makes the shooter gesture] No prob.
TL: You know, I just finished reading GotG #17 and I have to say that I just don’t resonate with the change in the tone of this series since you took over from DnA.
BMB: [takes a hit from the hookah and a sip of slushie] D-n-A, Shcmee-n-A.
TL: Excuse me?
BMB: Look. You cosmic fans clearly don’t understand the business of comic books. Brevoort has told you that over-and-over. Here’s the skinny. We just want to sell as many books as we can as fast as we can. Period. None of us Architects much cared about cosmic in the past, so we let DnA play by themselves, and they sold a few books. Nothing like the sales of one of our headliners like, say, Avengers or X-Men – but enough to keep a book going for a while. Small potatoes – you know.
TL: And then their material was used as the basis for a major motion picture that was expected to be a big hit.
BMB: [sips the slushie] Right. So us Architects decided we better get on board and ride that tidal wave of cash [mimes water skiing actions] coming from the movie hype. So, Schmee-n-A had to go. Like I said – small potatoes. And it paid off, didn’t it? The movie hype sent sales of the book up, and I got a payday.
TL: Sure – but that doesn’t explain the change in tone. Why un-necessarily deviate so far from the source material? I mean – your portrayal is not even that close to the movie portrayal – so what’s the point? For instance, in #17, Star-Lord gets rescued by an Avenger, is inexplicably worried that the Avengers will be mad at him, processes his daddy issues once again, and once again accomplishes very little in the big scheme of things. This is very different from past continuity when the Guardians didn’t take marching orders from Earth, weren’t overly concerned with Earth, and single-handedly dealt with the big issues.
BMB: [takes a hit from the hookah] Continuity, schmontinuity. Too much is made of continuity among you fans. Sales is what’s important. Sales. Get it? If I throw in as many Avengers as possible, write the book like these third-rate space jamokes are B-team Avengers, and ride that wave of cash from the movie hype (again mimes water skiing actions) – we all get another big payday.
It’s simple really – I just make up a few new curse words for Rocket and try to find him a catchphrase every issue. “Glarkgin” is the new curse word this issue. Brilliant, huh? He says it about 9 times over 4 panels. I thought of that one when I put some gin in my Dr. Pepper slushie while I was eating a Clark bar. Mouthful of gin and Clark bar at the same time equals Clarkgin, right? Then you just science-fiction it up by changing a letter and you get Glarkgin. If I can find a made-up curse word or a catchphrase that catches on; it’s gonna be all over t-shirts and bumper stickers – and there’s another payday. The rest is just a few contrived fights and a bunch of meaningless conversations about little issues. Gotta save the big issues for Avengers and X-Men, you know.
TL: Yeah. That’s what I thought you’d say.
BMB: [Takes hits from the hookah, blows smoke rings, stares into space]
TL: The editing has been lackluster on this book from the start, but with a few notable exceptions; the art has been pretty good. Until this issue, that is. The art was pretty bad this time out.
BMB: Art, schmart. Who cares about the art? We’ll sell thousands if for no other reason than the movie. Marvel Zombies are brand loyalists. They’ll buy anything with the brand on it – regardless of art, regardless of writing. Quality, shmality. Why pay for good art, when the zombies will buy it anyway? It’s all about sales, baby!
TL: Well – at least we agree on the brand loyal thing. What about the editing? I noticed quite a few grammatical errors – and you even spelled Rich Rider’s name wrong at the end.
BMB: Editing, schmediting.
TL: How did I know you’d say that? Seriously – Rider is spelled with an “i” and not a “y.”
BMB: [grins and sips the slushie] So I spelled Dick Rider’s name wrong. So what? He’s history. Loeb’s version is where it’s at, baby! Cha-ching! You know? Out with the old and in with the new. We’ve been busy shoehorning Loeb’s version into everything we possibly can. Hey – Loeb’s gotta eat too, ya know? Can’t have Dickie-boy around stealing attention away from Loeb’s version, right? Just wait till you see the number I do on old Dickie-boy next issue!
TL: And here I was going to apologize for calling you Minister of Hackery for the A-Holes. No apology will be forthcoming now.
BMB: [laughs] Yeah – we all got a laugh about that in the bullpen. The A-Holes, huh? Funny. After next issue, you’ll have to promote me to King of the A-Holes and demote Brevoort to Cardinal of Douche-Baggery.
TL: [winks, makes the shooter gesture] No prob. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the Cosmic fans before we close?
BMB: Well, I don’t normally concern myself with small, vocal minorities like the cosmic fans. That is, other than to just call them small, vocal minorities anytime anybody asks about why they’re so upset with how Loeb and I have treated them. Especially since there is no more “Marvel Cosmic.” I mean – cosmic, shmosmic. It’s all about the Marvel Universe, baby! And by Marvel Universe I mean Earth. Well, just New York City, really. And maybe a few of the boroughs around NYC. I mean, come on – we sell Earthcentric superheroic fantasy stories. Who needs cosmic anyway? Cosmic is just about giving some funny-looking characters some goofy things to do in space and making up a few new words along the way, right? As long as we make it read like Avengers and somehow tie it to NYC, we’re golden, right? Don’t believe me? Just ask Loeb.
(Editor's note: This continues our series of satirical parody reviews)