Yes. Yes I am stalling on reviewing Metal.
Not only because I’m stalling on reading it, but because I don’t want to oversaturate the site with Metal reviews. Alas, January just didn’t have too much to offer movie-wise and Pinkie and I are still busy working on the other projects still, so I wanted to find something else to do for today.
Luckily, Pinkie was able to find me something! And something new, at that!
I know many of you out there are probably fans of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. They are indeed sweet, but from what Pinkie has told me, and based on that one issue of Bendis’ that I read during the holidays, the films aren’t entirely representative of what the team is like in the comics. Especially now!
The newest issue of Guardians of the Galaxy, released on January 23rd, has introduced the world to a new team! And after reading this issue, despite knowing next to nothing about the Guardians or their history in the comics, I am so hyped for more!
Without further ado, let’s get on with it!
- If this matters to the story, does it account for the stories happening around it, or that have happened before it?
- Is it realistic? Does it get across its intended purpose? Does it flow? Is it consistent to the character speaking? Does it serve a purpose beyond just exposition?
- Does it make sense? Is it easy to follow the sequence of events? Were events properly foreshadowed?
- If there’s a point, is it made and is it made well?
- Is there depth? If not, is there at least some level of intrigue?
- Linework (and Inking)
- How does it look? For inking, is it noticeable? Does it get the job done?
- Do the text bubbles clutter the page, or do they organically work with the art to help tell the story?
- Is it well implemented? Does it fit the tone of the work? Is basic colour theory used? If something experimental is being done, does it work?
- Forms, Proportions, and Perspective
- Do things look the way they should? If not, is this because of a stylistic decision or because of ineptitude?
- Does the artist have a specific style that they like to use, and is it aesthetically pleasing within the context of the work? Is the artist’s style distracting or obnoxious? Dull and bland?
Thanos is dead!
But yeah, apparently in the comics right now Thanos is dead! Gamora finally killed him, and while you’d think this would be a good thing, it’s actually really bad cos Gamora went crazy and is now a villain…yeah.
Also Drax is dead…
And we don’t speak of Rocket…
So, basically, the team is down to two: Peter Quill, aka. Starlord, and Groot, who is very spiky, can say more than ‘I am Groot’, and is kind of a pain in the ass.
We’ll come back to this later.
The meat and potatoes of this story actually takes place on Thanos’ ship out in deep space, where his ‘funeral’ is being held.
Brought together by Thanos’ brother, Eros aka. Starfox, a large group of intergalactic heroes and higher-ups have been gathered to hear Thanos’ last will and testament. Starfox plays the recording, and Thanos lets everyone know that he’s not really dead. Not yet. He’s been planning for his death as a ‘Just In Case’ kind of thing, as he only wants to die on his own terms.
So, apparently, Thanos has planned to upload his consciousness into someone’s body out in the universe, and will live on in that body. Thanos basically wishes the heroes luck on their hunt for him and throws up two middle fingers before the transmission ends. I mean…not literally, but he might as well have.
Anyway, the reason Starfox gathered so many people together is to let them all know that they have to kill anyone who is likely to be the candidate for the new body. Starfox purposefully didn’t invite the Avengers because he knew they’d have an issue with this plan, but people like Beta Ray Bill (the yellow horse Thor guy), Silver Surfer and Frank Castle (who is now also a Ghost Rider…cool) would have no issue with this.
Despite gathering together a group of morally flexible people, some have issues with Starfox’s plan. Since they have no way of knowing whose body will become Thanos’ vessel, it would seem like they’d just be playing into some last sick joke of his. No one knows how this mind-transfer thing should work, or if it even exists, not to mention that the people Starfox chose as likely candidates didn’t include anyone at the funeral and Castle points out that it would be very much like Thanos to attend his own funeral and watch everyone squirm.
As everyone on Thanos’ ship squabbles, we see Starlord and Groot heading off to Knowhere. Starlord is drunk and yelling at Groot for getting sawdust everywhere, and Groot says, “Fuck you”. Their squabble is ended pretty quickly when they see that Knowhere is nowhere to be found.
That would be because it’s been hijacked by the Black Order, Thanos’ personal guard, and flown to Thanos’ ship where they proceed to attack and board the ship to get Thanos’ body back.
The heroes on the ship try their best to fight them off, but half were blown away into space when the ship was boarded, and the rest were kind of caught with their pants down. The Black Order opens a wormhole to escape through, and the surviving heroes get sucked into it as well.
Back to where Knowhere should be, Starlord has called in the Nova Corps to ask about what happened. The cop that shows up basically says that it’s flown off ‘towards that big meeting that’s happening on Thanos’ ship that we’re supposed to pretend isn’t happening’. Starlord, having only heard of this for the first time, freaks out a little and Groot tells him that they were invited to go too but he thought it sounded boring so ignored the invite.
Not too long after this, a wormhole opens and Beta Ray Bill, dragging along Frank Castle, Moondragon and Phyla-Vell (the latter two being an adorable and kickass lesbian couple as well as two of Pinkie’s favourite Marvel characters who’ve been gone from comics for a long time) fall into Starlord’s ship.
Beta Ray Bill tells Starlord that he failed and that Thanos’ body is gone and everyone else is dead, and before he can explain what’s happening, the Nova Corps show up to try and apprehend the heroes. Starlord sticks up for them and says they can’t board his ship without a warrant, and the Corps informs him that they can take whoever they want from his ship because they aren’t part of the crew.
Starlord then says that they’re his new crew.
Frank Castle tries to say no, he doesn’t wanna join a team, but he’s cut off as we follow the Black Order to their destination with Thanos’ body. Turns out someone wants the body to bring him back to life, and is disappointed to learn his head is missing. The Black Order tries to talk their boss out of bringing Thanos back, asking if it wouldn’t be better to just leave him with the love of his life, Death, and that prying him from her hands is just asking for trouble.
However this villain doesn’t give a fuck about Death, for she too is Death.
It’s Thanos’ ex, Hela! And she wants her baby back.
Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuun…
This issue was awesome!
I am truly fascinated by the story, I’m excited to see the new Guardians in action together, and I dig Hela being the big bad this time around. I’m also really happy to see Beta Ray Bill getting some more spotlight! I’ve been fascinated by him since I first saw him for the first time in Ultimate Alliance. I had no idea who he was, or why Thor all of a sudden looked like a yellow dinosaur, but I thought he was cool.
I know Pinkie is overjoyed that his favourite couple has made a return to Marvel comics. I guess he was sad when they kinda died a few years back, so he’s beyond happy that they’re back again. I gotta say, despite not knowing who Moondragon or Phyla-Vell are, I’m excited to see them in action too. Especially Phyla-Vell. Her galaxy skin is so cool!
I’m also happy to say that it’s newcomer friendly! I mean, there is continuity in it, what with Thanos being dead and the Guardians team being totally fucked up, but despite not knowing anything going into this story, I was able to follow along what was happening and why just fine. I will say that the ending reveal of Hela really only makes sense if you know about Thanos’ obsession with Death and how, at one point, he tried getting over her by dating the next-best-thing but things just didn’t work out cos he’ll always love another and stuff…but I’m assuming that the following issues will probably mention this or address it, so hopefully new readers aren’t kept in the dark for long.
Or they could always do research. That works too.
The only thing that was kind of a let down was the art. Don’t get me wrong, the art is impressive and looks fantastic most of the time! But one character’s design kind of threw me off a bit. After Metal, though, if THAT’S my only complaint art-wise then as far as I’m concerned the art was phenomenal.
The structure and pacing kept the plot interesting and fun to read. This comic honestly just flew by for me. It took me no time at all to get through.
I also found the premise of the upcoming plot thread incredibly engaging. I didn’t like the film adaptation of Thanos much in Infinity War, but I do like his character in the comics. I love his weird Overly-Obsessed-Girlfriend nature with Death, and how she’s fucking sick of him and wants nothing to do with him cos he’s a creep. I love how brutal and cruel he is, going and killing every lover and child he’s ever had in a vain attempt to appease his mistress. I love how, in this comic, he’s so cocky and just gloats with the biggest shit eating grin on his face.
As a hologram, knowing he’s deceased and decapitated, he’s infinitely more intimidating and threatening than Barbatos. I’m sorry to bring Metal up here, but I think this is a good example of what I was talking about last time with regards to villains being threatening because of non-communication.
Here we have a villain who can talk, but can’t be bargained with, can’t be convinced to stop, and is also dead but still actively fucking over people in the galaxy. He’s not trying to convince you he’s terrifying because, “HAHA, you can never kill Thanos!”, he just states with confidence that they were fools for thinking they were safe when they should have known that he preps for all scenarios, even ones he finds unlikely. He’s overpowered, but it’s because he’s intelligent and scheming. You never know what he’s going to do next, unlike Barbatos who just sits there and has his minions do everything for him…
Anyways, back to the story.
I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see any of Starfox’s usual charms, but it made sense in context. Kind of hard to mack when you’re heading a funeral for your psycho, genocidal brother as well as forming a highly-coordinated team of killers to hunt down and kill whoever said brother wants to possess.
I thought the little injections of humour here and there were excellently timed, like when Phyla-Vell asks where the Guardians of the Galaxy are and you flip the page to see a very drunk Peter Quill yelling at Groot who tells him to fuck off. Excellent. Also any time Frank opened his mouth was pretty amusing as well.
Another thing I liked about the writing was, again, how friendly it was to me as a new reader. I did have a very small amount of knowledge going in, like the fact that Thanos and Hela were a thing for a bit, but for the most part I’m very much in the dark here. This issue organically included me in the story without being condescending or feeling the need to over-explain to me.
It’s also left lots of wiggle room for future adventures. It left some things open, like how Silver Surfer and everyone else died, yet those four are still alive. There are a lot of different ways the story can split from here and I think that’s exciting.
I’m very impressed with the writer on this one. His name is Donny Cates, and I think I’ll probably be asking Pinkie to show me some of this guy’s other works as well.
Continuity – A
Dialogue – A
Coherence – A
Conciseness – A
Development – A
The art is great! I love the excellent use of shadow and colour in this issue. It suits the story so well – dark yet zany.
The only problem I had with the art was Starfox’s design.
I don’t know too much about Eros as a character beyond “he’s sexy”. In fact, the whole reason he’s called “Starfox” is because he’s foxy and from the stars. So, seeing him in this comic, and knowing that is usual charm-out-the-butt personality really wouldn’t shine through, I was kind of sad to see that he wasn’t really all that attractive.
I mean, I got more “weasel” than “fox” from his facial features, which is a pity because he’s been drawn attractively in the past. He’s also been drawn hideously as well so…you win some you lose some.
Honestly, beyond that one very very tiny thing, I really enjoyed the art. Everything looked right – especially Thanos! He looked perfect.
I hope the artist stays on the project for a while. I’ve heard that Marvel has this habit of putting their best artists on the first issue or two, and then fill in the rest of the stories with people who are mediocre or below-average (I guess to save money, or something), but like…don’t do it with this one. Pleeeeeeaaaaaaaasssseeeeee!
Linework (and Inking) – A
Lettering – A+
Colour – A+
Forms, Proportions, and Perspective – A+
Style – A
I’ll have to ask Pinkie when the next issue is coming out. This might actually be the first Big Two story I’ll follow issue-by-issue as it’s released. I’m seriously hooked. I do have some more indie stories that I’m waiting on, but this will be my first Marvel story that I follow as it comes out.
I was thinking that this was going to be a one-off review, just a filler kind of thing, but I might actually keep up with it and review the rest of the story as it appears now!
I’m actually really excited to see more and I hope the issues don’t get pushed back or anything. I need more, like, yesterday!
Final Grade: A+
Coming up next will be more comic shite. I know, I know, we’ve been doing a lot of comics lately. I promise, more varied and diverse reviews and rants are coming up soon. I just like being thorough with my research, so I’m a little slow.
Dark Nights: Metal issue #4 will be next, and coming up in February will be lots of new movies! We’ll even be checking out our first horror movie of the year, and we all know what February horror movies are like… I just have to keep telling myself it’ll never be worse than Replicas…
Until next time!
- Exciting Story
- Fantastic Art
- Thanos is a great villain
- Starfox isn't exactly "sexy"
- I want more now...Why isn't there more now?