Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #16 (Bendis)
For those just tuning in, this is the 16th episode of coverage of the Guardians of the Galaxy hostage crisis. To update new readers, 15 issues ago, the Guardians of the Galaxy were taken hostage by a band of Earthbound terrorists hostile to high quality cosmic storylines, continuity, and characterization. Referred to as the “MMS” (Marvel Mediocrity Squad) by opposition groups, their stated goals are to subvert cosmic’s underlying concepts, destroy cosmic’s uniqueness, and reduce cosmic to the generic, Earthbound-mediocrity of most super-hero-oriented comic books.
From documents leaked by undisclosed high-level sources, our reporters have learned that the NCSA (National Comic-book Security Agency) has produced a Wanted Poster featuring pictures of the terrorists and the until now secret name by which they refer to themselves when they hold clandestine meetings to plot how they will further subvert cosmic. “The A-Holes” – as they refer to themselves – are pictured in this poster soon to be released to all comic book fan sites. These men are considered dangerous to comic book fans as any contact with them may result in a decline in your Intelligence Quotient along with a commensurate reduction from the sterling taste in comic books you may now hold to the basest of pedestrian tastes. Should you encounter any of these men, the NCSA urges you to stop, point at them, and yell “A-Hole!” to alert everyone else in the vicinity. Then you should immediately run in the opposite direction. Under no circumstances should you purchase anything from any of these men.
New developments in the 16th episode of the hostage crisis look exactly like old developments. Deus ex machina is used repeatedly; Star-Lord AGAIN (unsuccessfully) tries to process his daddy issues; Avengers are shoe-horned into the storyline at every opportunity; the art/coloring remain the best part of the book; the great powers of the local group of galaxies act like drooling idiots, and the Guardians continue to be reduced to an ineffectual team that doesn’t accomplish much of anything. Ringleader of the hostage takers, Brian Michael Bendis, seems intent on using the hostages in such a manner as to produce an unbearable ennui among the most ardent of cosmic fans as a means of driving them away from cosmic fandom and accomplishing the stated goals of the A-Holes.
Brave resistance fighters have held the line against the A-Holes for 16 issues now and morale remains high as with each issue more fighters join the ranks of the resistance. However, the A-Holes are doubling-down on their attacks against quality cosmic and their collaborators in the comics community are acting to make the hostage crisis the new status quo for cosmic. The ultimate outcome remains in doubt – but never fear. What is done by the A-Holes can later be un-done by a good and truly talented creative team that actually likes and respects cosmic.