Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 1Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 1 by Dan Abnett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

***Green Theme Buddy Reads Book #2 – Again, Gamora and Drax ARE Green…as is Mantis, and a whole bunch of other alien characters…there’s my rationale***


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This is not your Chris Pratt Guardians. This is the 2008 version, not the Bendis. I enjoyed it a lot, in the first half, but then, like the characters, it got too cosmic. “I hate that cosmic shit” This version also includes Adam Warlock and Quasar…but not the Wendell Vaughn Quasar I’m familiar with (this one is half-Kree, and possibly daughter of Captain Marvel). Mantis, a green telepath, and Cosmo, the intelligent Rusian cosmonaut Dog from the 60s…yep.

The gang is thrown into missions to save the Galaxy, haphazardly of course. There’s humour thank God, and it’s one of the strong points. The art is impressive as well, and the vast interesting-ness of the characters. The covers are GORGEOUS. The second half of the book goes off in side missions and not as the whole team…plus we get some time travel, and space time continuum stuff. The seat of your pants leadership style of Peter/Star-Lord is there again, and this team doesn’t trust each other as much either. Rocket isn’t quite as badass here, but definitely funny and aggressive. Groom kicks much ass. Warlock is a cool addition, though I recall him being a bad guy in other incarnations…?

It’s very deep, got some cool stuff there, but perhaps this throws one off the deep end in terms of cosmicness…start with Bendis’ more recent reboot from Marvel Now.

This is a fun book, but slows down a bit in the second half and I feel like I am missing a ton of contextual info about everyone…still worth a read, and enjoyable.


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Review: The Trial of Jean Grey (GotG & All-New X-Men) by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen

Guardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean GreyGuardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


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***This is the first of the “Green Theme” Buddy Reads with the Shallow Readers, criteria being: Drax and Gamora are both green.***

I might be tempted to almost call this 4.5, but 4 seems like its not an insult.

I’ve been following the All-New X-Men, where the past in the present have to be smacked in the face with who they became, and what they did and are doing. It’s a great idea, especially since Bobby may be about the only one who doesn’t have serious drama to look forward to.
Kitty is the perfect leader of this group, because she was the young teen alongside grown up versions of most of these people, so it’s fair to say she can relate to them, and actually knows them as well.

The GOTG, well if I have to explain them, you’re obviously living under a Rock…in North Korea. (Don’t hack me Kim!)

They’ve added a new female ‘Angela’ to the team, and she seems to be a warrior and a half, who both Gamora and Rocket have crushes on.
Rocket Raccoon is by far the funniest thing to happen to Marvel in a long time. There’s one scene with Tony Stark recording a message to send to them, now that he’s back on Earth, and he decides to erase it and try again, only for Rocket to inform him it’s live. The expression on Tony’s face is priceless, as the Guardians were the one gang where Iron Man/Tony Stark wasn’t the cool guy or the funny one, he was the outsider trying hard to fit in and be loved. I LOVE that Bendis has the gumption to write a major character like Tony as kinda the “hey guys, I’m cool too!” character he is there.

Guardian, (Purple Mohawk Alien head of the Sh’iar Guard) decides that with Jean Grey now alive, she should be put to trial for genocide when the Dark Phoenix destroyed a solar system. To break it down, by the end of the book, that’s about the worst decision he could have made.

The GOTG discover that Jean Grey is alive, and go to investigate, but show up just in time to be too late…in Canada.

Gamora: What is a Canada?
Peter Quill/Star-Lord: It’s cold and distant; you’ll love it.

This leads to the X-Men/GOTG team up. Realize that the X-Men are from the past (1960s) where Neil Armstrong has yet to walk on the moon…and Beast is losing his shit about space travel and aliens. It’s fun to see.
The interactions are great, because Bendis writes both books usually, so he knows the characters very well.

The interplay between Bobby and Rocket is hilarious. Rocket getting mad for being called a raccoon, Bobby being excited to talk to a talking raccoon (like a Disney movie he says…funny and a plug for the parent company lol) and so forth.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be space and the Shi’ar if a certain band of space pirates didn’t show up…yes you know the ones…

This leads to a well done touching moment between a father and a son, only this time, the father gets the same son back for the second time.

So now we’ve got 3 teams all together going up against Guardian and the Shi’ar, which makes for an awesome throwdown, all the while with Jean in captivity, and being made to see what damage she caused as the Dark Phoenix.

Add to the mixture, J-Son, Peter’s father, showing up and pretending to be caring about Jean and the Phoenix, but having an ulterior motive of course…

So the 3 teams make their way to the Shi’ar homeworld, and shockingly, a battle ensues…

I won’t go into any more specifics, but we see some very new developments, and some major left turns.

But we get some perfect mixture of humour and serious throughout the book, and some gorgeous Stuart Immonen artwork. (I had been very upset when he left All New X-Men, so I’m very happy to see him here again).

There’s also some solid flirtation between Kitty and Peter, who make a decent connection, and of course, some great bits with Groot talking to trees, and making Rocket weirded out…especially back in Canada, when they run into real raccoons.

This is a fantastic, and sensible crossover (for one that involves time travellers stranded, space aliens, talking trees and raccoons, and a gigantic space cosmic entity made of energy…) and I highly recommend it, entertaining, funny, and a good story too, with definite future ramifications.


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