Guardians of the Galaxy has been the subject of renewed interest since it was announced last year that it would be part of ‘Phase 2’ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (to be released in August of next year). Guardians of the Galaxy #2 is probably not as good as Guardians of the Galaxy #1 in introducing us to the team, but it’s pretty easy (and also very fun) to jump in to. The Guardians of the Galaxy are all introduced quickly – Star-Lord (or Peter Quill), Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon and Groot.
They’ll be covered later on in the book, but we arrive in London, where an alien species called the Badoon are attacking. We switch between the action on Earth and, on a more cosmic scale, the Negative Zone (six weeks ago).
What is so important about the Earth all of a sudden?
This is the question that is posed to the royal ambassadors of the Galactic Empires six weeks before the assault in London. According to the Science Council of Spartax, Earth is only one generation away from communal space flight, joining the larger universal community. That’s exciting news for Earth, but less for the Galactic Empires. Earthlings are irrational, chaotic and surprisingly powerful, continually rebuffing attempts to destroy and/or conquer them.
Back to the present, Iron Man has a bit of a dig at Captain Britain, Rocket Raccoon (yes, he is a talking, fighting raccoon) has fun murdering Badoon soldiers, and Gamora, Drax and Star-Lord take on various ships, and Groot? Well Groot’s just growing back. He’s kind of a tree, by the way.
Anyway, six weeks ago in the Negative Zone, it is decided that none of the Galactic Empires can attempt to crush or take over Earth, even though it poses a threat to their way of life. (Cheers, All-Mother, for facing down the King of Spartax on that.)
Brian Michael Bendis and pencillers Steve McNiven and Sara Pichelli dive straight into the action, letting various sequences spotlight different characters. It pays off: we get both action and little insights into the characters, some which aren’t as well known as others.
Even though Guardians of the Galaxy is a cosmic title, it isn’t all grand scale epic. We get some brilliant, precise action sequences that are delightfully real, and the scenes that are greater than Earth are awesome, with beautiful colouring from Justin Ponsor. All in all, it’s a great read, and one to take a chance on if you don’t usually go for the cosmic titles.
Note: The Damaged Goods Lucky Dip reviews are made up of various comic books that arrive damaged at All Star Comics. Without their generosity, this column wouldn’t exist.