Graphic Novel Review: Guardians of the Galaxy New Guard: Wanted

Guardians of the Galaxy New Guard: Wanted

Guardians of the Galaxy New Guard: Wanted - Credit: Archant

Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, returns to the fold! But what does that mean for Kitty Pryde, a.k.a. Star-Lord? Is the Marvel Universe big enough for two Star-Lords? Find out as the Guardians face a new Galactic order! The Thing might miss some things about Earth, but he does admit that space has its perks. Like riding alien horses into action as Ben Grimm: Space Barbarian! Venom and Groot get in way over their heads fighting Skrulls - and everyone knows that when Bendis writes Skrulls, it’s bad news! The galaxy’s two deadliest warriors, Gamora and Drax, take the fight to the Badoon! And Angela makes her dramatic return! They’re the galaxy’s most wanted, but they’ll still guard it all the same!

(Panini Books)

The Guardians divide their forces in order to free the captive slaves of the evil Badoon and bring down their empire. Yes, it’s really that simple, and if you’re expecting a lot of subtle nuances and plot twists along the way, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.

What this collection does offer is a lot of snappy dialogue. There are conversations about the fashion sense of Kitty Pryde, an insight into the mind of Gamora during an interrogation, a battlefield discussion about the need for soldiers to sometimes ally with their enemies against a greater foe, and even Ben Grimm’s translated flirtation with a big blue alien. If it’s banter you’re looking for, then it’s here in spades.

But by now nobody buying Brian Michael Bendis’ run on the Guardians of the Galaxy is going to expect anything other than what is contained in these pages. It’s remarkably similar to the previous seven or so volumes (can we count Guardians of Knowhere?), and yet judging by the success of the franchise, that seems to be exactly what the readers want.

It all looks very nice, thanks to art by Valerio Schiti, and there are plenty of big explosions, dramatic confrontations and awe-inspiring alien scenery, but nothing that transpires here is going to leave you breathless. In fact, it’s very sedentary as an ongoing narrative, lacking any obvious direction or development beyond the superficial, and is about as substantial as a mouthful of candy floss in comparison to other great works of graphic literature.

That’s not to say it’s a bad title, because it really isn’t, it’s just that it could be so much more, and it’s a tragedy that we’re left with Bendis running the show when Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s previous run, which introduced this incarnation of the team, was so beautifully sublime.