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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #2 (Bendis)

Posted By: Matt McGloin
Fri, 04/26/2013 - 10:34

So it’s official now – the Guardians are really just another superhero team protecting Earth from alien invasion. Didn’t we already read a story something like this a few years ago? Maybe we can call this storyline “The Not So Secret Invasion.” Apparently Bendis only knows how to write Avengers-like stories because that’s all this book is – a version of Avengers in low Earth orbit. Substitute any Avengers characters for any of the Guardians and this story would read exactly the same.

At least London is attacked for a change – giving NYC a break. That being said, I didn’t appreciate Stark’s insult to Captain Britain and Britain’s protectors. Hey – it’s just one more reason not to like the comic book version of Tony Stark.

What really mystifies me is the comparison some reviewers are drawing to Star Wars and Star Trek. Really? I don’t see it. Now – a comparison to Lost in Space works on several levels – silly, campy, child-oriented, and a great 3-word summary of Bendis’ lack of “street cred” in writing science-fiction as he so amply demonstrates with each issue of Volume III of GotG. Apparently, he thinks all SF involves is aliens with ray guns invading Earth. Hey Bendis – you’re stuck in 50’s era popular science-fantasy arising from all the “commie” paranoia. Give it a break already. Actually, pick up a novel from an established SF writer or two (like Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) and read something current.

The Guardians have gone from dealing with universal threats to barely repelling a five- ship attack on London with repeated calls to The Avengers for help? Sad. And of course, Iron Man saves the day. Who could’ve seen that one coming? Next he’ll be bagging Gamora. Whoops – I forgot that that’s already been recently revealed by BMB himself. Ah well – we all knew that was going to happen anyway. That cliché was just too tempting for him to pass up.

The Earth-centricity of this book really bothers me. I have to agree with the Supreme Intelligence’s assessment about over-estimating the abilities and importance of the “Earthlings” (eye-roll) even though his use of the term “Earthlings” (eye-roll) makes me cringe. And since when has Annihilus come to a negotiating table with ANYONE else? And what are the Asgardians doing parlaying with the great empires of the local group of galaxies? Seems to me that the movie version of Asgard is bleeding into the comic version a little too much in this instance.

“Blam – murdered you.” So now Rocket is reduced to cartoonish level with a catchphrase? Mind you – this catchphrase attempt is so obvious it might as well be labeled “Catchphrase.” It’s just one more instance of Bendis’ and Loeb’s re- characterization of the cosmic characters – removing their uniqueness and edginess as prickly misfits and turning them into generic superhero cliché personalities indistinguishable from any random member of an Avengers team all in the name of cutesy mass-market appeal. Appeal that doesn’t seem to be happening as sales aren’t all that great once you remove all the marketing hype.

The ending is yet another no-surprise yawning cliché. What’s next? A sham trial? A prison break? The Avengers stepping in to rescue the Guardians? Sad. The Guardians have declined in every way – characterization, power, resourcefulness. Another brilliant move by the Marvel architects.

At least the art and coloring are magnificent. That’s the only thing that makes this book noteworthy.

Save your money on this one guys. It’s nothing that you haven’t read before numerous times. And if you’re a true cosmic fan, it’ll just make you sad to see what Bendis and Loeb are doing to the characters.