It is no secret that we here at One Of Us dig the hell out of the new Guardians Of The Galaxy movie. Even weeks after its release, our lord and master, the great and terrible Brain Salisbury, stills answers most questions these days with the words “I am Groot.” With this in mind, I hit up the comic shop with my niece and nephew in tow and scooped up some goodies for the kids and myself, including the latest issue of Guardians Of The Galaxy.
What struck me about this issue was just how much of a jumping on point this issue was. In fact, just like Teen Titans #1, which I reviewed for the site just a little while back, this is a character introduction issue. All our major players are given quick moments to show off who they are and what they can do. Unlike the TT relaunch, which for better or worse was consistent, Guardians Of The Galaxy #17 is uneven and scattershot.
Let’s start with the cover. Sure, it is designed well enough, but why in an issue where we are reintroducing our characters do they not all appear on the cover? Where the hell are Captain Marvel and Angela? Actually, I don’t give a damn about Angela and don’t feel she added much to the book, but not having Carol Danvers on the cover is a crime!
Our next problem is the two main artists on the book, Nick Bradshaw and Michael Oeming. Now I’m pretty forgiving when it comes books split up between a few artists, but Bradshaw and Oeming should not be paired together. Their styles are quite good on their own, but do not compliment each other. Each artist does a competent job, but it’s clear that neither one brought his “A” game. I think the whole thing would have been improved by bringing on even more artists, having each one take a section of the book. It would have worked well with the book, as it already feels like as series of vignettes.
Brian Bendis is on writing duties and it feels like a pretty standard story for him. The Guardians trade one-liners with each other but not very much is going on. We spend the entire issue watching big things happen around the Guardians rather than have the Guardians be a part of the action. What saves the issue is the sense of possibility. Right now, the Guardians are a big deal. Audiences around the world have embraced them, or at least the version they saw on the big screen. Marvel wisely seems to be pushing the characters to reflect their movie counterparts as much as possible and that is a book I am excited to read.
So in the end, Guardians Of The Galaxy #17 is passable at best. While it is severely flawed, it is saved only by a few good jokes and a heaping of goodwill brought on by the movie. I’m saddened that this will be my Nephew’s first Guardians comic, but on the flip side I’m excited that he wants to read it at all.