Guardians of the Galaxy #10
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 07/13/16
I think the Guardians of the Galaxy could be one the best books Marvel publishes if the powers that be would make one change: Find a writer who will do the team justice. This is a difficult one for me, I am so torn over this book. I absolutely love the characters in this comic, I just don’t love what Brian Michael Bendis has done with them. He has taken a group of misfits with incredible chemistry, who seem thrown together by fate (with far too little logical reasoning as to why they have banded together), and reduced them to a band of joyriding, spacefaring fools, who do little more than banter extensively while stumbling and bumbling their way through pointless adventures that serve little to no purpose. A writer who has the time to thoroughly plot out this comic, could conceivably make this team live up to the title and make them true Guardians of the Galaxy.
Having delivered my diatribe concerning this comic, Guardians of the Galaxy # 10 is one of the better issues I’ve read in a while – not great, but better.
What is good about this comic? Let’s start with what has been consistently fantastic about this book: the art. Valerio Schiti’s work on this title has been spectacular since he first took over. His action sequences leap off the pages. The flow from panel to panel is like capturing the best screen shots from a movie and laying them out side by side to create a visual story. And I would be remiss if I didn’t also praise Richard Isanove’s colors. His use of bold oranges, reds, purples, and greens are absolutely stunning.
Brian Michael Bendis is a master of brilliant banter. He takes what Peter David was able to do in the 1980’s and 1990’s and brought it to a whole new level. But a great comic by Bendis should be laced with banter, it shouldn’t be great banter laced with a story. It needs balance. Fortunately, this installment is more balanced than the majority of the previous issues in this title. Kitty Pryde is great in this issue, both in her banter with Peter Quill, and her battle with the Badoon. But the best scene in the book comes when Angela issues her ultimatum to the Badoon, leaving everyone cowering in fear, including her Guardian teammates.
Where this issue falls short is in believability. Aren’t the Badoon supposed to be these big, bad, bullies of the Galaxy? If so, why do they come across as a band of imbeciles? Is it because they are imbeciles or is it because Bendis just needed to wrap up the storyline and he wanted to keep it lighthearted and silly? If these characters weren’t so great together as a group, that kind of silliness would kill this title; in fact, if the Guardians of the Galaxy movie had not been so successful, this title probably would have been cancelled long ago. None of this would be the case if this book was in the hands of a writer dedicated to the title.
Marvel has a potential goldmine sitting in their hands, waiting to be exploited. I believe Guardians of the Galaxy could potentially replace X-Men and Avengers as the most popular team title they publish. Put the right writer on the title, one who will take the characters seriously; who will write relevant stories; someone who will inject the humor to offset and lighten the drama when needed; and Marvel will have one of the best titles on the market today. Otherwise we will continue to see irrelevant, silly stories put out by a writer who is obviously stretched too thin to put any real effort into a currently second-rate title that is by no means living up to its potential as a truly fantastic read.
Scale of Awesomeness: 5 out of 10