This whole idea that The Avengers have to have one or more representatives on the team at all times is just annoying. What authority do The Avengers have over any other vigilante team – especially one that operates (in theory though not in practice under Bendis) far away from Earth? So now we have Venom on the team and apparently Captain Ms. Marvel will be joining soon. Despite the cover, she won’t be joining this issue. In fact, other than the cover, she makes no appearance – so if you’re buying this issue because of her, you’ll be disappointed.
I’m guessing she’ll be brought in to be the muscle on the team, and she’ll begin by rescuing (eye roll) everyone captured by the great powers of the local group of galaxies. I suppose she and Venom make more sense on the team than Iron Man – but that’s not saying much. Under Bendis, the Guardians (in Name Only) are portrayed as weak, and in his hands will always take a back seat to any Avenger. Never mind that they dealt with Universal threats in the past without the aid of any of Earth’s heroes. Now, they are so weak and incompetent, they have to be rescued by an Avenger who can’t keep sales on her own book above cancellation threshold. It’s sad what this title has become under Bendis.
This issue has its problems – but it is one of the better of the worst. I have a real problem with Rocket begging for his life. That REALLY annoyed me in a very bad way. It’s one of the more egregious out of character moments under Bendis’ typical mangling of the better characterizations of the past. On the other hand, I felt like Drax and Gamora were back in character for a few moments, and the action scenes for Gamora and Star-Lord weren’t bad at all. Though it’s not clear what Groot’s story actually is at this point – it does have potential if Bendis uses it to tell a good Brood tale.
Venom and his faux (Skrull imposter) Avengers team story was expected and predictable – existing purely to pull more Avenger-zombie dollars into this book. You could skip right over that part of the story, and the book would read the same. Bendis is clearly going to use Venom as the gateway character – as if anyone reading this book needs a gateway character. I predict Venom will be about as annoying on the team as Stark was. Really Bendis, the “duck out of water” angle isn’t necessary. We get it that the universe outside of Earth is different. We don’t need a character within the story constantly underlining that obvious point.
As always, the art and coloring are the best parts of this book. Bradshaw, Stewart, and Ponsor deliver on all fronts.
A major motion picture based on DnA’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy will be released in three months. It’s telling that in every interview about the movie, DnA’s version of GotG is mentioned and Bendis’ GotGINO is not mentioned at all – even though Bendis’ GotGINO will be in print at the time of the movie’s release. The MCU decision-makers seem to be deliberately distancing themselves from Bendis’ super-hero-ing up and dumbing-down of the characters and concepts – and who can blame them?