Thursday, October 23, 2008

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #6 (Marvel Comics)

Months ago I posted derogatory remarks about the then newly-announced re-launch of Marvel Comics Guardians of the Galaxy series. Having read the original Guardians adventures that had been published in Marvel Presents during the 1970’s, I was a fan who (albeit sight unseen) vehemently objected to the use of the classic team name which was being pulled out of mothballs for use by the eclectic assortment of cosmic characters who were coming together as a unit in the wake of the Annihilation crossover events.

Then the first issue of the new Guardians was released and I was won over by the work of writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, and artists Paul Pelletier & Rick Magyar. Talk about having to eat your own words! This comic wasn’t too bad. At least I was having some fun reading it and I had liked most of these characters when they were introduced way back when. Drax, Mantis, Warlock, Star-Lord and Gamora had been kicking around the Marvel Universe since the 1970’s or earlier. Hell, even Richard "Nova" Rider was on scene for the first issue.

Well, issue #6 of the latest iteration of Guardians of the Galaxy is on the stands now and I have to spew vitriol yet again. The last three issues of Guardians have been co-opted by Marvels’ current company-wide ‘Secret Invasion’ mega-crossover event and for me it seems like all of the in-progress story lines from the first three issues have been summarily dropped like a hot potato. [Forget the Universal Church of Truths unfolding assault on the fledgling team. It ain’t important! It’s x-over time, and we can get back to the regular programming later …. Maybe …. Who knows?]

This is what’s wrong with the "big two" comics publishers (DC & Marvel) producing these endless event-oriented morasses, ad infinitum. Readers are left perpetually punch-drunk by developing plot lines in books that interest them, but which quickly fall by the wayside to satisfy editorial fiats that, in effect derail the audiences interest in what was going on in the first place, just so that more rack space can reflect a unified brand name. I do understand that lots of folks who still read comics have accepted this practice as par for the course, but despite the powers-that-be trotting out the usual requisite explanations for why this is done, it really boils down to a single elegantly appropriate term.


It’s all bullshit, and according to my late friend George Carlin, bullshit is bad for you. I heartily agree. So despite promising a review of Guardians of the Galaxy #6, this is more of a non-review, since Marvel Comics is operating under the "Que sera, sera-whatever-will be-will-be-principle". Something happens, come back next month for more of the same. Yada, yada, yada.

There is one thing of note to report. The ‘Secret Invasion’ crossover storyline, which supplanted the story arc from the first three issues, has left the Guardians team in disarray and now two-thirds of the group has walked away pissed off about the mental manipulation by another team-mate which brought them together in the first issue AND next issue the book features an all-new membership. This is exactly how I feel about what has gone on during the last six months, so Marvel - you had me at "Hello" – but here’s the finger for you. Like the fictional Guardians, I’m walking away.

1 comment:

The Groovy Agent said...

I totally agree. I gave Nova a chance, then Guardians of the Galaxy; both times the storylines were interrupted by the third issue. These constant "big events" and crossovers have driven me (and many others) away from mainstream superhero comics.

Thank goodness for back issues!