Another set-up...Or I guess just expanding the last one?
So everyone who knows me knows how I'm a big fan of Agent Venom and Captain Marvel. Well, last issue saw the mainstay Guardians' team members (Rocket, Groot, Star Lord, Gamora, and Drax) all in tight spots. They had been separated, beat down, and captured in various forms and methods in several parts of the universe. It seemed as though Flash and Carol were poised to make their presence known on the team and would be showing up with a bang, seemingly to save the day. I expected that to all start here. Well, not so much. Last issue was a set-up issue, purely setting the stage and not even so much the new story. This issue, while not a bad one, really does the exact same thing only in a little more detail. This issue, literally, bounces from one Guardian to another showing their various situations and what seems to be happening to them. It doesn't add much reason as to why except for vague reasons ("interesting and unique specimen" for Rocket, "atoning and paying for their crimes" for various others, Groot for just being Groot I guess?).
Flash doesn't get a chance to start making moves, and the reason for why things are going to happen to him aren't even explained much. It just starts happening, and is again vaguely hinted at. Flash has a bit of a cool showing of speed and acrobatics, but otherwise his story isn't expanded upon much. Plus, given Venom's showings of durability in his solo series and in Secret Avengers, I feel like he gets lowballed at a certain point here. Nitpicking, perhaps, but I enjoy consistency on a character even if it is different writers. Chalk it up to being weakened from the alien artillery barrage from last issue I guess.
The art is good, but I still don't like Venom's current look. He feels like a black Drax with a white spider. His fangs are black and part of his face, and he always has them. I wrote about this at length in my previous issue, but I hope it changes even though it probably won't.
The issue overall isn't bad, but the ending of last issue and the cover of this one teases so much more. Like, for example, teasing something that doesn't even happen! Honestly it's just that I expected more. The highlight of the issue is Rocket's dialogue. The little guy is funny as hell, what can I say? He's got great character and charisma, and if nothing else Bendis does consistently show that well with him. I may just be a disgruntled fan here, but I'm hoping Bendis does the same justice with Flash going forward. If you're a fan of the Guardians, you will not find anything seriously at fault with this issue, but waiting a month for another issue that is essentially a set-up that last issue was is severely disappointing.