In my Release Day Rundown video, it was said that I found this issue alright, and that I might enjoy it more on my second reading. I do – this issue is pretty good, but it could have been a bit better.
The bulk of this issue is one big action scene pitting the Guardians of the Galaxy against the Badoon. It’s a very entertaining scene where each team member (save for Groot) takes on an attack ship on their own. Rocket Racoon’s banter is entertaining throughout, and Gamora is simply hardcore. Each character’s traits show through the way they fight, and while I don’t know these characters enough to say if they’re in character, they’re likable enough for a new reader such as myself to enjoy.
In-between the fight scene is a discussion between a number of Imperial heads regarding Earth’s status. It’s nice to see the motivations behind the move to declare Earth as “off limits”, but it drags on too long for a scene that ends up revealing what we already knew from the first issue. By no means is this a bad scene, but it feels as though it would have worked better in the first issue.
This issue isn’t without other problems. Firstly, Iron Man flat out insults Captain Britain, declaring him as nothing special. Tony Stark should know how powerful Captain Britain can be – during AVX he took on the phoenix force head on and survived; he should easily handle a relatively small invasion force. This scene could have easily been improved with Iron Man simply bragging that they don’t need UK’s heroes because he’s there. It would still be Tony’s snarky self, but it wouldn’t have been insulting to Captain Britain fans. There’s also the moment where Drax is stuck on a cruiser. Sure, it’s implied that he’s somehow weaker than usual, but then again he has rocket boots. What exactly was stopping him from escaping without Gamora’s help?
The art is very good here. London is easily recognizable through its unique building structure and the large river in the middle of the city. Even without Big Ben, it’s recognizable as England’s capital. Each character is detailed very well, and their facial expressions help convey their differences in characterization. It’s also nice to see that Gamora is never drawn in silly cheesecake poses. The meeting scenes are drawn by a different art team and while it looks different, it isn’t the least bit jarring. It has a cleaner, shiner look when compared to the slightly grittier fight scene, and the different styles actually complement each other.
Despite its problems, this was an enjoyable comic. The story is interesting, the action is a lot of fun and the art is very good. I’m not sure what most Guardians fans think of the characterization, but if you’re interested in checking them out, this is at least worth reading once. I’m not yet sure if I’ll stick with this series, but the first two issues are enjoyable enough for me to read a few more.