Night Thrasher

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Why I can't support Guardians of the Galaxy!

Make no mistake I'm not talking about the move. I haven't seen a trailer for it and the only thing we know about the movie is the cast. So...I'm holding off judgment on the movie until I see more. I'm anticipating it and have high hopes for it.

With that being said, the new Guardians of the Galaxy comic is lackluster in my opinion. To me the only thing good about it is the art. Bendis, while a capable writer with a hit or miss record, hasn't delivered something that fans of the previous volume can grasp onto. Sure, new fans can and will enjoy the series; but fans of the second volume of Guardians of the Galaxy can't help but compare the two. And when you compare the two Bendis' run falls short.

1) Setting: Bendis started off his run with Earth being very prominent. That for me was an instant negative. I want more Galaxy and less "Space Avengers". The previous two volumes were truly cosmic books and didn't mention Earth hardly ever. Having a Space Avengers isn't necessarily a bad thing, but not with this group of characters. You have to remember that this group was spun out of the Annihilation conflict. The basic premise of the team was that Earth had protectors and the rest of the universe needed someone to look after them.

2) Characters: Aside from the overall theme of the book the characters seem out of whack. Rocket Raccoon seems like an anamorphic Deadpool. I'm waiting for Drax to Hulk out at any moment. Starlord seems too Steve Rogers-ish and Cosmo is nowhere to be found. There's no Moondragon, Phyla, Jack Flagg or Adam Warlock. The second volume of Guardians of the Galaxy was almost the anti-Avengers. Starlord was a man who was unsure of himself. The team was a mixed bag and it showed in the writing. They didn't trust each other but stuck together for the cause. It was interesting to see this team grow together and the friendships that actually grew on the pages, particularly between Rocket and Groot.

3) Cool Factor: The second volume had the coolest base of operations that I've ever seen in a comic. Their headquarters was a disembodied head of a "dead" Celestial. Read that part again; they were staying inside the head of a Celestial!!!! How awesome is that? Thing about that is; the Celestial was dead and kind of alive at the same time. So they knew the Celestial wasn't alive but it still had some sentience? And the "person" in charge of this base? Cosmo, a former cosmonaut who was lost in space and somehow gained telepathic powers. Oh yeah, he's a Golden Retriever. To me that in itself is interesting, wrapped in cool, coated in awesome! If the book were just the base and the telepathic dog I'd be picking it up for at least a couple of issues. Add in the truly mixed bag of supporting and central characters and you got the "you don't know what's going to happen next" vibe that keeps you hooked.

4) Comparison: In a vacuum Bendis' version of the Guardians is cool. I'd recommend it to someone with no prior experience with the characters. But for someone who knows the characters and read the previous installment it just falls flat. It's good to see the team finally get some push from Marvel but it's about 4 years overdue. Much like Bendis' run on Moon Knight the characterization of the series seems a little off. Mind you, I'm a fan of the Bendis' run on Moon Knight. So much so that I went and got back issues of the previous series. Particularly the one with David Finch and the Bill Sienkiwicz run. It's true that Bendis' version didn't match up characterization wise, but it was a fun read. For me his Guardians doesn't match up and that's what makes the read not fun for me. And also Iron Man. There's no good reason for Iron Man to either be on the team or even team up with this team. They aren't the Avengers, should have little to do with the Avengers, and should rarely if ever cross paths with Avengers.

I don't think the book is terrible; it’s just not for me. I love the Guardians of the Galaxy and want to like the book, but the issues just keep me from doing that. I had to go on this rant to get this off my chest and now I feel better. Now I can go back to reading back issues of Teen Titans, like a normal person!