Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #11
We are two issues into “The Trial of Jean Grey,” and we haven’t moved that far. The crossover looks like a lot of fun; I just wish that Guardians of the Galaxy #11 could have moved the plot forward.
I’ve been a big champion of the #1 branding that Marvel has been doing with ongoing series. It’s a great way to keep a run going but let new fans know that this is a great way to jump on. Guardians of the Galaxy #11 is not a #1. It is the second issue in a crossover. The checklist in the back even says that.
#11 is another talking head issue for our galactic heroes. We see various members chatting and throwing quips around like they were being paid per letter. It’s entertaining stuff by and by, but it doesn’t move the overall plot far. Brian Michael Bendis, often criticized for his decompression, stretches the little plot development until it almost snaps. There wasn’t a real need to have the Guardians match up with All-New X-Men #22. Have a little development with the council, show the Guardians quipping and pick up the news about Jean Grey, then go to Earth and move the plot along a tad. If this is how Bendis is going to write “The Trial of Jean Grey,” I’m already a tad disappointed. The dialogue could have used some editing, as the Guardians end up repeating things the Council said only a few pages before. Angela certainly doesn’t know, but a few word recap could have sufficed. Her lack of knowledge would have brought up opportunities to explain things in future issues, thus picking up lapsed readers in an organic way.
Guardians of the Galaxy #11 is a good issue despite the faults in the writing. The various shenanigans that the team partakes in had me laughing. Tony Stark’s goodbye was written sweetly, and even reminded me that he was on the team. It’s been around four months since he helped the Guardians with anything. Pichelli adds just a hint of sadness to Rocket Racoon’s eyes on that page. It made me stop for a minute and just admire the panel. Angela gains some vital characterization, as she’s been quite one dimensional since her appearance in Age of Ultron. Bendis doesn’t run her outsider nature into the ground with jokes, but uses it as a way to reflect on the jaded nature of the team. She’s a warrior herself, but has a slight sense of optimism for this new world.
Sara Pichelli is an absolute powerhouse on Guardians of the Galaxy. Never has a group of aliens, trees, and raccoons looked so real. The facial reactions are oozing with personality and feel full of life. The panels flow with ease, and often perfect comedic timing. Tony’s speech is a great example of seeing the comic flow like a movie. That in combination with Tony’s wide grinned smile gave me a chuckle. Pichelli’s pencils also reminded me how stupid Gamora’s old costume was. Pichelli’s new design is much better. The most dangerous woman in the galaxy doesn’t seem dangerous when you can hit her navel in a matter of seconds.
Side note: I’ve started to notice recently that Marvel has been giving free collections of titles with the complimentary digital copy. I haven’t taken advantage of this (as I’ve had A LOT of troubles inputting the codes), but it’s an inspired idea. Keep it up Marvel.
Guardians of the Galaxy #11 gets 3.5/5.