Artist: Steve McNiven
I was sceptical about this series at first, and I had not much prior knowledge of the series, but the point one issue was brilliant, and I've became real excited for this series, and am glad to be getting it.
Star-Lord (Peter Quill) gets a visit from his father, J'son of Spartax, and the Guardians of the Galaxy join up with Iron Man to face the Badoon.
After a brilliant origin story for Peter in the point one issue I was expecting a lot from this one, and although it wasn't quite as good, it was still brilliant, and the perfect introduction to the series, especially for someone like me who knows very little about the Guardians of the Galaxy. Brian Michael Bendis did an overall brilliant job on this issue, and I loved that he used the elements from the point one issue, whilst still introducing the series as a whole nicely, meaning that you don't need to have read the point one issue to enjoy this one, although I'd still recommend it as it was brilliant. Bendis has been doing brilliant overall since the start of Marvel NOW!, and although Age of Ultron (not really a part of Marvel NOW!) hasn't been as good as I'd hoped he has been doing a brilliant job on All-New X-Men, and has brought that level of quality to this series. I loved how Bendis managed to make this a very interesting issue, that was exciting, and fun, and although it was slightly slow I'd expect that from the first issue, as although this is technically the second issue in the series, it's really the opening one, and the one that needs to do the most introductions to not just the characters, but the style of story this is, and the path it will be taking.
The art from Steve McNiven was once again brilliant, and I'm really happy that he's working on this series. I really enjoyed McNiven's art on Civil War, and other stuff since then including Old Man Logan, and Captain America, and it was the addition of him as artist that finally made me decide to get this series. McNiven's art is simply magnificent, and really marvellous to look at, and there isn't anything I can really fault about it. The detail throughout is phenomenal, as everything is highly detailed with next to no imperfections, if there is any at all. He also draws all the characters perfectly, making them look fantastic, but the character that I like his artwork on the most is Rocket Raccoon, as with all that fur it isn't easy to make him look perfect, but McNiven manages to do that. The layouts are also brilliant, adding a more dramatic feel to the issue, and there are panels, and pages that look nothing short of epic. The facial expressions are also brilliant, and you can really feel the emotion throughout the story.
This issue starts with Peter chatting up a alien woman in a bar, only to get interrupted by his father, who warns him to stay away from Earth. This was a brilliant sequence as it continues the events from the point one issue nicely, but in a way that new readers can enjoy also. I just loved that you could feel the hatred that Peter has for his father, and even if his father said something that was important, I still think Peter would disagree. If you've read the point one issue you can understand why Peter feels the way he does, but if you haven't Bendis gives a brief summary in the dialogue, plus the feelings from Peter are pretty obvious. Although an interesting sequence with some real emotion, this is what slows the issue down a bit, affecting the overall rating, but I can easily live with it as it's needed to kick start the series.
The Guardians of the Galaxy as a team. As I said I know very little about the characters prior to this, apart from who they are, and that they were a team, and the only real character that I've seen in anything is Rocket Raccoon. That doesn't matter though as the team is introduced nicely in this issue, and you can already get a feeling towards the characteristics of each member. Drax the Destroyer is the heavy hitter of the team, and you get the feeling straight away that he loves a good fight, and I feel that he will be an interesting character in this series. Then you have The Assassin Gamora who appears to be a heavily trained warrior, who like Drax loves a fight, and also seems a heavy team player, attempting to help Peter near the start of the issue. Then we have my personal favourite Rocket Raccoon, who is a barrel of laughs, and I just find everything he does to be fun, and I like how there's a little bit of mischief evil behind what he does. There is also Groot, a tree looking alien, but we don't really get to see much of him, and finally we have Peter, who is obviously the leader, and just as passionate about what the Guardians do as the rest are. Overall this seems like a brilliant mix of characters, and I really look forward to seeing more of them.
Iron Man once again made an appearance in this series, but this appears to be before the end of the point one issue. The point one issue featured the origin of Peter, but at the end you saw the Guardians talking to Iron Man, and apparently accepting him as a member, but he doesn't appear to be a member in this issue, so this must have happened earlier. I always knew that Iron Man would feature in this series ever sine it was promoted, and I wasn't too sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, and to be honest I'm still not sure. The reason I'm not sure is that the Guardians appear to be a unique set of characters, who are very independent in what they do, and with the addition of Iron Man will that continue. At the same time I do see how it's good marketing for Marvel, as the Iron Man 3 film apparently has a ending that leads into the Guardians of the Galaxyy film (only rumors), and that would tie that in nicely, but it'd also help for sales of the series, and get the Guardians new fans. I did however like Iron Man's appearance in this issue, and although he didn't really do much it was still interesting. I also liked how he still has his new A.I. unit in P.E.P.P.E.R., as it was one of the better things about the new Iron Man series (I dropped it after issue 5).
The fight between the Guardians and the Badoon was also brilliant, and although it didn't last too long it added enough excitement to liven up the issue. To be honest I'm kind of happy that this issue wasn't jam packed with action, as it wouldn't allow a new reader to the Guardians of the Galaxy universe, like myself a chance to get to know the characters, or the type of series that it is. The fight was however very interesting and I liked that you got to see more of the characteristics of the Guardians in this fight. I also found it interesting to see them fighting along side Iron Man, as although I knew it was going to happen it was still interesting.
This was a very good first issue of the series, and although it's not quite as good as the point one issue it's still very good, and a nice way to ease newer readers into the series. The issue did how have fun and exciting moment, and I really look forward to reading more of the series. I would easily recommend this issue as well as the point one issue, as it's something that's very unique and fun, and overall interesting.