Graphic Novel Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians Disassembled

Guardians of the Galaxy: Disassembled

Guardians of the Galaxy: Disassembled - Credit: Archant

The Guardians are divided and defeated by a deadly alliance of their worst enemies...

(Panini Books)

The Guardians have upset a lot of different races and individuals across the cosmos in recent months, and now it’s payback time. Divided and captured by the likes of the Skrulls, the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, the Spartax Empire and the Brotherhood of the Badoon, even the recruitment of Flash Thompson, aka Venom, might not be enough to save the team from annihilation…

It’s a tried and tested storyline, and to be honest there’s little here that goes against the familiar tropes, with the reader’s expectations really built around the length of time it’s going to take our imprisoned heroes to be rescued/break free, reassemble and take revenge on their captors. The only really substantial plot development revolves around Peter (Star-Lord) Quill’s relationship with his Spartax father, and how that pays out in the future could be intriguing.

Having inherited the established Guardians team from creators Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, current writer Brian Bendis seems to be following a pattern he employed with the Avengers by adding random new members who have no real place with the team, and are uncomfortably dropped a couple of issues later. Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, was succeeded by Angela, who has now been replaced by Venom, and in turn by Captain Marvel, with none of these new members having much of an impact.

The book continues to suffer from a lack of any real direction, with the Guardians flitting around the galaxy getting caught up in minor skirmishes but never really achieving anything substantial. That format worked well enough while the writer was finding his feet with the team, but now it feels as though the book is treading water.

Even the recent crossover with the All-New X-Men failed to deliver the game-changing storyline one might have hoped, and with another meeting between the two teams set to take place in the not too-distant future, familiarity is in danger of breeding contempt.

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What Bendis needs to do is introduce a coherent direction for the team, ease off on the pointless guest stars in favour of a concentrated focus on the core Guardians, and work out exactly what he’s trying to achieve with this series.