I admit that I had my doubts about this book after reading the preview of it in the GotGINO anniversary issue. I also had my doubts that the classic team could provide grist for interesting stories. I’m overjoyed to say that my doubts have been allayed with the publication of this issue.
Welcome to Marvel’s one and only truly cosmic comic book. It goes to show you what a writer with true science-fiction street cred can produce.
It’s simply gravy to know that Brevoort and Alonso (hereinafter referred to as “Bonso”) are surprised, puzzled, and/or annoyed by the success of this book. They seem invested in thinking that the key to cosmic success is silly, campy, jokey, juvenile tripe (like Duggan’s NINO and Bendys’* GotGINO) rather than the serious, para-military science-fiction of Volume IV of Nova, Volume II of GotG, and now, Guardians 3000. It makes me happy to see Bonso proved wrong – and I’m happy frequently as they are wrong so very often.
Abnett weaves a fascinating “timey-wimey” tale – breathing new life into the time-causality-loop story trope with introduction of new character, Geena, who can “sense time structure.” Abnett does what a good SF writer does best – extrapolates from the present to build a plausible future. In this case, he takes the present Marvel Universe and builds a future where Stark tech is apparently co-opted by the Badoon invaders and used for terribly wrong purposes.
Abnett also shines by giving each of the Guardians a distinct voice and characterization. Each Guardian has an important role to play, they work together as a fighting team, they face important problems, and they effectively solve said problems. They’re slang is made part of their natural communication and the situations they find themselves in aren’t played for cheap laughs. There’s plenty of action and adventure with high stakes consequences at the end of the day. And, best of all, they’re not obsessed with or beholden to The Avengers or any future iteration or remnant of The Avengers.
Contrast that with Bendys’* current absolutely dreadful Guardians of the Galaxy (in Name Only) Volume III – and you’ll see how Bendis comes up lacking. Like I said – it’s the difference between Abnett - a skilled writer with SF street cred - and Bendys, a frustrated sit-com writer wannabe.
The only downside to G3000 is the art. Sadly, while Sandoval is a good artist and his style would be appropriate for another type of book, it is not right for G3000. A more photo-realistic approach works better for SF comics – and unfortunately Sandoval’s depictions are often too abstract. His focus on using teeth and grimacing to convey emotion and action is jarring at times – not to mention a way over-used technique. The exaggerated body proportions are also both jarring and disappointingly unattractive. Delgado does his best to soften Sandoval’s extremes with color and shading, but at the end of the day many are going to be turned off by the art and sadly, this may affect sales negatively.
It literally doesn’t get any better for Marvel Cosmic than this – because this is Marvel’s one and only true cosmic book at present. I hope every cosmic fan will leave NINO, GotGINO, LSINO, and RRINO on the shelf and instead buy multiple copies of G3000 with the money they save as G3000 deserves our whole-hearted support and encouragement. And as an added bonus, we get to frustrate Bonso by making G3000 a success and their favored tripe the failure it deserves to be.
Next issue sees the premiere of the Worldmind-connected Nova Prime of the G3000 era, an apparent descendant of one of the Rider men and Irani Rael. If for no other reason, I call on all true Nova fans to support this book to spite Bonso.
*Bendis’ name will be deliberately randomly misspelled throughout this article in blatant mockery of his random misspelling of “Rider” in GotGINO #20.