Thursday, 27 August 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Angela (Marvel NOW!) Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Angela (Marvel NOW!)
Look at all of these characters... That
are totally boring.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artists: Sara Pichelli and Francesco Francavilla

Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy #4-10

Background Information:

The Guardians of the Galaxy... is a group of heroes who defend... earth... not the galaxy. At the moment their big concern is earth and to hell with everything else!

Not really a big surprise; when a team called "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" consists of an American playboy, an American soldier, an American archer, an American scientist, the most American russian woman I have ever seen on film and a guy who is from an entirely fictional location it's no surprise that the Guardians are only concerned with earth because there is no way characters can be relatable unless the nationalities and locations are our own, right?

Right?

Right?

Review:

If there's evidence that Marvel will keep publishing any old shlock so long as there is a MCU franchise alongside it, it's Marvel NOW!'s Guardians of the Galaxy. Two volumes in and there is nothing particularly good about it. This is the same company that cancelled the rather enjoyable New Warriors and the at-least-coherent Fantastic Four because there are no MCU movies attached to the title. Angela is a bland, pointless book that fails to hold readers' attention.

It's okay; it's not like her universe was using her.
So, Angela, a woman from heaven has wound up in the Earth realm and is getting into fights. That'
s it- that's the whole story. If that sounds totally boring and pointless, it's becasue it is. Nobody in this book seems to know their reason for fighting- and to be honest, I couldn't remember if there was. Either way, these battles are anti-climatic and bland. There's no reason to care about the victor in these fights because Bendis fails to ramp up the tension in any meaningful way. Nothing hinges on anything in this volume and if you want to see an example of that; a battle with the forces of Thanos for the fate of Earth portrays no sense of urgency whatsoever.

The introduction of Angela also fails to be a significant as Bendis clearly pretends it is. Even though the entire book is based around her, her presence doesn't seem to pose a threat. She is there to see if Earth actually exists. Nobody is chasing her, her presence hasn't upset the natural order and she isn't out to kill anyone. Yet Bendis devotes five issues to this non-story.

I like Bendis, I really do, but I like him for his character development. He's not great at action books and Angela is living proof of that. All-New X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man; for all of the flaws of these books, they've got great character moments. I haven't seen any of that in Guardians of the Galaxy, and it's grating.

I could colour thins properly, buuuuut....
I will give Bendis this though, It's the one thing this book does right. I don't think it justifies the cost of the book. But Bendis gives us a Tony Stark that is totally out of his depth. On Earth, Tony gets too sweet a deal. His role as the face of the MCU means that everyone thinks he's a genius-supersoldier-immortal-stallion on Earth. In space, his intelligence is dwarfed by a talking racoon- which is not the least of the halariously awkward situations he finds himself in. As someone who HATES Tony Stark (I'm definitely team Steve for Civil War), it was a joy to behold. Unfortunately, these moments are few and far between and don't save this series from bombing hard.

Art here is a mixed bag of mediocre and mistaking-terrible-for-unique. There is one issue where the colourist seemed to be in the last thirty minutes of his friday shift and decided to colour each panel in one or two colours. It's not as interesting as I think the artist hoped it would be.

I never understood why people criticise Bendis until this Angela. Now? I think "oh, THAT'S why people think he can't write." This gets a one out of five minutes before the end of a friday shift.

*

+ Tony Stark looking like a fool.
- Dull story.
- Mediocre to awful art.

Alternate Option: All-New X-Men: Yesterday's X-Men

This is why Bendis still has a job with Marvel. Read it.