Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Guardians of the Galaxy 16, originally released June 25th, 2014.
Patrick: I very vividly remember being first introduced to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – it was late in the summer of 2003, and I was visiting my buddy Scott at his parents’ house between our Freshman and Sophomore years of college. Scottie had been playing the game on a borrowed console and the whole thing felt like a kind of wish fulfillment: suddenly there was a whole galaxy of Star Wars characters, stories and locations to explore, and all without leaving the confines of a single video game. There’s a promise inherent in KotOR’s premise – the depths of your imagination are already on display here, you only need look hard enough. This immediately becomes overwhelming. Even when alien races and spaceship designs look the way you remember them, you realize that any emotional connection you make with the material must be generated in-game. Without my core band of plucky rebels to get my automatic-love, I was left without a rudder, and instead of sailing the high seas of Star Wars adventures, I was mired in meaningless ephemera. This is often how I feel about the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe. I may be able to recognize Broods and Spartax and Skrulls and Grand Inquisitors, but without someone to actually care about at the heart of it? Not a lot to hang a story on. Brian Michael Bendis addresses this issue head-on by spreading the Guardians of the Galaxy out among the cosmos. Suddenly, even the muddiest mythology has emotional resonance.
Today, Scott and Taylor are discussing Guardians of the Galaxy 15, originally released May 28th, 2014.
Tell my father that I’m in. I’ll be Star-Lord. If he lets the rest of the Guardians go free. I’ll be what he needs me to be. In return I promise the Guardians will disappear. They won’t give Spartax any more trouble. You have my word.
Scott: Not everyone is cut out for improvising. Believe me, as a twenty-something living in LA, I’ve been to enough improv shows to tell you it isn’t for everyone. Most people are better off sticking to a plan. I know I am. I have a writer’s mentality; my strength lies in my ability to think through a problem and come up with a creative solution. Put me on the spot in a room full of people, however, and I’m a bumbling mess. I’ll say just about anything to get through those awkward moments, whether I believe what I’m saying or not. When Quill says the passage above, it doesn’t ring true for a second. It’s one of those “say whatever you have to” moments, and no one within earshot is buying it. Quill can hardly make it through those words before moving onto an even more poorly though-out idea. In fact, all of the Guardians are operating without much of a plan in this issue, and they don’t seem to be cut out for improv.
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Guardians of the Galaxy 14, originally released April 23rd, 2014.
Drew: Anniversaries tend to be opportunities to look back. In comics, they seem to be opportunities to deconstruct. Detective Comics and Daredevil both had big anniversary issues this year, and both seized on the opportunity to ask what really defines these characters. The answers those issues posited were buoyed by the strength of their characters, but what about a team series — especially a team with a relatively smaller history? Guardians of the Galaxy 14 sets out to answer this question in the most unexpected ways, separating the characters (or even eliminating them altogether) to examine what makes theGuardians work as an abstract concept.
Today, Scott and Patrick are discussing Guardians of the Galaxy 11, originally released January 29th, 2014.
Scott: The call-and-response nature of crossover events can grow a bit tiresome. We all know it. Guardians of the Galaxy 11, the series’ entree into “The Trial of Jean Grey”, is only tasked with answering one question: why did the Shi’ar kidnap Jean Grey? While Brian Michael Bendis ably resolves that question, the rest of the issue winds up feeling rather pointless. Bendis handicaps himself by not allowing this issue to advance the story any further than that, insisting instead on keeping pace with the other half of the crossover, All-New X-Men. Guardians 11 is a necessary issue, to be sure, but also a very flat one. So while “The Trial of Jean Grey” isn’t the Lifetime movie its title suggests, it is off to a slow start. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Scott are discussing Guardians of the Galaxy 10, originally released December 31st, 2013.
Drew: We may lament the way crossover events tend to hijack otherwise enjoyable series, but it’s an unfortunate way of life for comics published by the big two. Once the crossover is over, the series can return to the conflicts and situations that defined the series up until that point. Usually. Guardians of the Galaxy 10 is committed to the fallout of it’s most recent events (still reverberating from Infinity, which saw the “living death” of Thanos, AND Age of Ultron, which saw the introduction of Angela to the Marvel Universe), which is great for legitimizing the stakes of those events, but may alienate fans who liked the series before all of that started. Continue reading →
Today, Ethan and Shelby are discussing Guardians of the Galaxy 5, originally released July 31st, 2013.
Ethan: I’ve always been envious of people who can consistently sleep through long flights. I’m not a tall person; airplane seats are not all that constrictive for me. Leg room is not really a big concern. Nevertheless, I haven’t mastered the skill of settling in and passing out. So on the one occasion in which I did get lucky enough to fall asleep during takeoff and wake up during the landing, I was freaking out a little. One minute, I’m freezing in the Great Plains; the next, I’m squinting at the Sierra Madre through bleary eyes and a tiny window. If our species ever gets around to inventing teleportation, I think it will feel a little bit like that. In Guardians of the Galaxy #5, a new character is undergoing her own, much more radical translocation – Angela, “Hunter of the Heavens,” has been ripped out of her home universe/reality, and she is NOT happy about it. Continue reading →