Comic Book Storytelling: Guardians of the Galaxy

Welcome to another Comic Book Storytelling review.  This time we will be looking at the new Guardians of the Galaxy series currently up to issue #5.

The series tells the story of the Guardians of the Galaxy led by Peter Quill, The Star Lord.  Also on the team are Drax the destroyer, Gamora, the deadliest woman in the galaxy, Groot a giant alien plant known for saying “I am Groot”, and Rocket Raccoon and alien raccoon with a rocket pack and guns.  Oh yeah and Tony Stark, Iron Man is also on the team for some reason.

GuardiansOfTheGalaxy_1_Cover

I have been a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy since I was a kid and although this series has a completely different lineup I was looking forward to it.  The series gets off to a decent start.  The initial plot in part deals with Star Lord and his dad the king of Spartax.  The big leaders of the various major alien races of the Marvel U get together to make a rule that no one is allowed to go to Earth anymore.  Earth is then invaded by the Badoon, a villainous race and enemies of a number of the Guardians.  The Guardians save the Earth and kick some ass and by the end of the third issue Star Lord takes some wonderfully dickish revenge on his deadbeat dad.  It is a pretty good start but over the next two issues the series is already falling into some particular tropes I have a problem with.

The biggest problem is with Gamora.  My first exposure to Gamora was in the Annihilation series a while back and she was great in that.  She was a confident, intelligent and competent warrior, even if her outfit was kind of ridiculous, and I could totally believe she was ‘the deadliest woman in the galaxy’.  It seems that sometime between the end of Annihilation and joining the Guardians she has lost all of her competence and self respect.  In the fourth issue she gets her butt kicked by some no name bounty hunter and has to be rescued by the guys.  In issue five they actually call her ‘the queen of daddy issues’ at one point.  Not long ago Gamora was leading her own team of lady space characters and I have to wonder why she is not still doing that instead of being subservient to Star Lord and having one night stands with Tony Stark.  Basically they are turning Gamora into ’emotionally damaged bad ass chick’ and I find that to be an incredibly lazy way to write the character.

Now on the subject of Gamora and Tony Stark’s one night stand, to be honest it is more like a less-than-one-hour-stand, it ends with Gamora leaving to go back to the bar apparently unsatisfied by her encounter with Iron Man.  It is kind of interesting to see Tony Stark on the receiving end of this for once.  But not long after Tony calls Pepper Potts up and they talk about why he is in outer space and all I could think was “did Tony just causally cheat on Pepper and then call her up and hour later to talk about his feelings?”.  Then I remembered that Tony and Pepper are not a couple in the comics, at least they weren’t the last time I read Iron Man.  Are Tony and Pepper still just friends in the comics?  I hope that’s all they are because otherwise Tony Stark just acted like the hugest irredeemable asshole ever.

GuardiansOfTheGalaxy_5_VariantManara

In issue five we see the much hyped first appearance of Angela in a regular Marvel title.  It is pretty brief and by the end of the issue Gamora and Angela are fighting in space, because of course they are.  I don’t really have anything else to say on that subject for now.

The best thing this title has going for it is Rocket Raccoon.  Rocket Raccoon makes everything better.  Every page he is on and every time he talks is awesome.

I think I will probably continue with this series a bit longer.  I hope they show Gamora more respect in the future and overall make the title feel less like the Star Lord and Tony Stark show.

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