Goodreads Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Avengers

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Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis

I borrowed Guardians from my local library because of the movie due out next month. I also like Brian Michael Bendis’ writing. I am a fan of his Ultimate Spider-Man comics. Guardians of the Galaxy starts out with a familiar Bendis style drama. A woman is having an argument over the phone with her mother. Having just been dumped by her boyfriend, she is experiencing a moment of weakness that is exacerbated by her mother’s lack of support. The humor is subtle and familiar. We’ve all been caught off guard by a loved ones lack of support when we’ve anticipated a sympathetic ear. The situation is funny in hindsight, something to make light of at future get togethers.

As she whines to her mother about the lack of support and her heartache, J’Son from the planet Spartax crashes his spaceship into her backyard. She seems to readily accept that J’Son is from another planet and, despite knowing she is pregnant with his child, does not beg him to stay when he eventually returns to his home world. He promises to return but Peter, his son, grows up without him. Circumstances force Peter to confront his alien roots (which up until his mother’s death he knows nothing about) and seek out his father. Needless to say, father and son do not have a good relationship.

Because the movie was the reason I picked up the book, I struggled to give the book a life of its own, outside of the shadow of the promising trailers I’ve seen for the movie. The inclusion of Iron Man in the story did not help remove the shadow. In one scene, as they fight together against the Badoon, Star Lord (Peter) asks Iron Man to call his friends (the Avengers) for assistance. No one arrives before the end of the fight — but this doesn’t mean no one will and that there isn’t a crossover being set up in the comics and on screen.

I’m afraid that though the dialogue and interaction between the characters was good, the overall story in “Cosmic Avengers” was too familiar and benign. I felt that the origin stories the conclude this book were more interesting. I also liked the different illustration styles used to tell the different stories. Particularly interesting were Groot’s and Rocket’s stories. I was also intrigued by what caused Gamora’s rebellion against her father, Thanos, and the cause of Drax’s rage.

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