I have to admit that I haven’t given Brian Michael Bendis enough credit. Until the last year, my exposure to Bendis has been through his early Image work (Goldfish, Powers) and his DareDevil run. None of that is bad, in fact I love his early Image stuff and his DD was the last time I really cared about DD. So why have I not given him the love? Marvel. It’s his association with Marvel. That isn’t fair to him and I am here to say “I am fucking sorry”. In fact he is the only reason I’m even slightly interested in what is going on at Marvel. His handling of the X-Men right now is unprecedented. (phenomenal) I’ve never seen X-Men continuity handled so well. It’s been over 15 years since I cared about reading an X-Men title. Bendis is one of the best in the business and is by far the best at Marvel. Thank you Brian Michael Bendis for making me care about Marvel again. Placing my faith Bendis, I’m trying out Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol #3 0.1 – 3Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Artist: Steve McNiven
Guardians of the Galaxy starts out with Star-Lord’s origin in zero dot one. (Marvel and issue numbers… whatever) Star-Lord’s father crash lands on earth, has an affair with the woman who saves him from the wreckage and then leaves her. (dick) Star-Lord is born and raised on Earth until his tween years where an alien race comes back to find and kill him. He survies the attack but his mother does not.
Moving onto the first issue of the series we get introduced to Star-Lord’s relationship with his father, which is not good. (his dad is a dick) Star-Lord’s father is the emperor of the Spartax and chairman of the Council of Galactic Empires. (and a dick) Star-Lord’s father seeks him out to let him know that Earth is off limits. Star-Lord is not allowed to set foot on Earth due to an edict of the Council of Galactic Empires. Star-Lord doesn’t believe the council has made the right move and feels that the decree will leave Earth vulnerable to attack. Against his dick father’s wishes, Star-Lord takes the Guradians and they make their way towards Earth.
In the meantime we are made privey to the Council’s decision to forbid interaction with Earth. The Council of Galactic Empires is made up of Star-Lord’s father J-Son of the Spartax, Freyja the All-Mother of the Asgardians, the Queen of the Brood, Gladiator of Shi’ar, the Supreme Intelligene of the Kree empire, young Annihilus of the Negative Zone and Y-Gaar of the Brotherhood of the Badoon. (interesting group) The council goes into detail about Earth, “a planet of madness”. They feel that Earth is just one generation from communal space flight and thus one generation away from joining the Council of Galactic Empires and this worries the council. They don’t like the excess of activity that surrounds the planet. They mention interactions with the Watcher, the Skrulls, Galactus and the Badoon. They feel that Earth will be immediately hostile and unreasonable when they are prepared to join the Council. Some of the council want to conquer Earth and tend to its growth. Others want to leave it alone and see what happens. Freyja of the Asgardians declares that “any attack on Earth is an attack on Asgard.” The Council forbids interaction with Earth.
Meanwhile the Guardians run into Iron Man who was enjoying not having to deal with the stress of being on Earth. No umt-teen Avengers teams, board meetings or Stark Enterprises decision making. Not necessarily to his surprise, he finds himself fending off an attacking alien spacecraft bound for Earth. Iron Man teams up with the Guradians and they take on an alien menace in outer space, the fight moves on Earth and they eventually save the day, only to get arrested by some Spartax soliders for breaking Council law for being on Earth. (remember? Star-Lord’s dad is a dick like that)
My Take: I’m finding myself enjoying this book on several levels. First I’m enjoying the sci-fi. (I love sci-fi) I don’t have enough sci-fi in my comics. Space lends itself to an infinite canvas for new alien races and planets. Next Brian Michael Bendis is awesome. His dialogue is great and he really has mastered dealing with dozens of characters all at once. He handles 14 bagillion X-Men really well (from multiple time lines even) and he handles a large cast here, just as well. After Bendis and Sci-fi, there’s the characters. I’m like 1990’s familiar with these characters. (well outside of Iron Man) Having little and outdated perceptions of the characters allows me to embrace Bendis‘ vision for the characters without my trivial fanboy tendencies getting in the way. I have no expectations. Now there is Iron Man. I was fairly turned off that he appeared in the book. Three issues in and he gets stripped of his armor by the Spartax. So now we have Tony Stark running around with a ray gun and I kind of like it. We aren’t getting Iron Man, we are getting Tony Stark. I dig it. I also like the idea of Stark taking off for space to escape the daily stress of Earth. This is inline with the character who turned to booze to escape those same stresses. All in all the book is good and I will stay on for as long as Bendis is driving the bus.
Until Next Time… Still looking for better Marvel reading. Guardians is pretty good and I’ve been enjoying Thanos Rising, but outside of that I’m having a hard time finding something new worth reading. I’ve added 5 books to my pull-list recently and I’m failing to make mine Marvel. Hit me up on twitter and/or our twitter, facebook or google+ page and let me know what Marvel books I should be reading.