Sunday, 24 May 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3: Guardians Disassembled Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Bradshaw)


I’m always floored when I read a Brian Bendis comic, not because they’re so good (they’re usually always average at best) but because he’s able to string together book-length “stories” with almost nothing of importance happening to anyone or even going through the trouble of constructing a plot! 

The subtitle of this volume, Guardians Disassembled, IS the plot. The Guardians of the Galaxy are separated from one another and then they’re not. A lot of loud nonsense happens in between though so the Marvel faithful will be pleased with all the colourful lights and familiar faces popping up. 

Bendis’ Guardians series started off pretty well but at this point it’s become quite messy. This is technically Volume 3 but it’s the fourth book in the series (counting The Trial of Jean Grey) and this book in particular is a smorgasbord of random issues. Besides GotG #14-17, there’s the 2014 Free Comic Book Day issue, Groot’s Tale by Andy Lanning, a Guardians 3000 (I think) short by Dan Abnett, and, because they’re now part of the Guardians lineup for some reason and I suppose they need intros, Captain Marvel #1 and 8 pages from Amazing Spider-Man #654 featuring Flash Thompson’s first appearance as Agent Venom. Phewf! 

Despite that seeming like enough for a single volume, there’s not a whole lot to say about them all. Captain Marvel and Agent Venom are the latest Marvel characters to join the Guardians after Tony Stark left as suddenly as he appeared. Carol Danvers is in space because… still wondering about that one, while Flash has been sold the gig as a “tour of duty” by Stark, playing to Flash’s military side. Uh… ok? I suppose the symbiote is from space...

Star Lord and King J’Son continue bickering about how Star Lord doesn’t think much of his father abandoning him and his mother (boy, is this getting old) while Drax fights someone, Gamora fights someone, Groot’s thrown onto some planet to do nothing, and Rocket’s made a prisoner. There’s a lot of pointless chatter and a lot of arbitrary action, because those are two things Bendis does really well, but nothing I’d call a story, let alone a good story. 

Nick Bradshaw’s art is absolutely fantastic throughout, very detailed, very nice to look at. I loved his work on Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 2 which had Logan and Quentin Quire go into a space casino, so he’s definitely well-suited to the alien environs demanded of the Guardians series. Given the number of issues included, there are also a lot of artists drawing pages too like Cameron Stewart, Jason Masters, Michael Oeming, David Marquez, and Todd Nauk, though as a whole this is one great-looking book. 

I’d really like it if this Guardians series actually had a story but as long as Bendis is in the driving seat, that ain’t gonna happen. Going by his other Marvel titles, the guy is pleased as punch to tread water for YEARS so settle in for this volume to repeat itself many more times while he’s the writer. Guardians Disassembled - were they ever assembled to begin with?

Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3: Guardians Disassembled

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