Artists: Steve McNiven & Sara Pichelli
I never was a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy prior to this series, having only read a couple of issues from Dan Abnett's run, and a couple of issues of the series that preceded that, and although the Abnett issues were good they didn't quite get me hooked. This series however has done that, and with the brilliant start, and it continuing in that fashion I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie next year.
The Guardians of the Galaxy, and Iron Man try and save the Earth from the Badoon invasion on their own, as with no communication available they can't call for help. Also Star-Lord's (Peter Quill) dad J'son of Spartax gathers a group to discuss the future of the Earth, and whether they'll be a threat to the Universe.
Although still not quite as good as the point one issue, this was still better than the last, and shows great promise for the remainder of this story, as well as the series as a whole. Brian Michael Bendis really has been producing big with his Marvel NOW! series, as although I don't read Uncanny X-Men, I've heard good things about it, and he's also doing a wonderful job on All-New X-Men, which although not the best Marvel NOW! series', it is one of my favourites. This was a very exciting, and action packed issue, that also had a lot of development. Although the development was interesting, it did however slow down the story a bit, and that's what makes this not quite to the level of the point one issue, as the point one issue also had more emotion in it. Don't get me wrong this issue still has plenty of emotion, and in the right way, but I just feel that the more innocent emotion that was shown in the point one issue was much stronger. Bendis has also been doing a great job of showing how the Guardians work as a team, as he makes it obvious that they've been working together for a long time, but also takes the time to show newer readers like me just how they work together, and that they are still learning. Bendis has also done an amazing job of the background work on this story, and has my interest held for future developments.
The art from Steve McNiven, this time having a bit of help from Ultimate Comics Spider-Man artist Sara Pichelli was once again amazing. Now I'm not entirely sure where Pichelli's art fell into this issue, as although I've seen and enjoyed her art in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man the art in this issue looks similar, which is a good thing. There was however slight differences in the artwork from the London fight sequence, which I believe McNiven drew, and J'son's meeting which I believe Pichelli drew, but the overall similarities made this for a very natural tone, as having completely different style usually changes the tone. The detail from Pichelli was brilliant, but there was times when McNiven's felt a bit rushed, and although the overall rough artwork suited certain sequences there was times were it looked rushed. I also loved the layout from both artists, and more so McNiven, as it really helped to add drama, excitement, and suspense to the story. The only reason however that McNiven did a better job of this is that Pichelli's art was mostly still, and although it was dramatic, the layout of the action by McNiven was more dramatic. The facial emotions from both artists was also expertly handled, and although Pichelli's looked a little stiff at times, overall it was very good, and the art from both artists was an overall joy, working perfectly together.
The main part of this issue sees the Guardians, and Iron Man trying to save London from the attacking Badoon. This was a very exciting, and entertaining battle, that had emotion, and impact throughout. The added fact that the Guardians couldn't ask for help also made this battle more exciting, as it was an army against five (Groot was still out of action from last issue). I loved how we also got to see not just individual characteristics show during this, but how the Guardians work as a team, as although we saw them fight together last issue it was pretty one-sided, whereas this time it's not as easy. I also loved that you could feel the passion that certain characters like Drax the Destroyer, and Rocket Raccoon has for battle, and it really gave more depth, and excitement, to the fight, as well as the odd bit of fun.
Iron Man continues to work with the Guardians, and I start to question his necessity in this series. To be honest so far he's not really been needed, and although he's pulled his own during fights I've not seen a reason why he need's to be in the series. There is however still the obvious fact that having him involved with the team will help boost sales, giving incentive for new readers to join, but is that really a good enough reason. I however ain't complaining, as having dropped the current Iron Man series due to it's poor quality it's nice to have him involved in a series where he can have a biggish impact. At the same time I'm happy that he's not controlling the series, and the overall feel is Guardians, and Iron Man, not Iron Man, and Guardians. Having someone like Iron Man join the Guardians also shows how they can handle working with a new type of character, and also makes the possibility of an team-up with the Avengers more likely, as well as making it easier to set-up.
My favourite Guardian so far has been Rocket Raccoon, as the witty banter that comes from this loveable creature is brilliant, and the fact that he's also mischievous, and dangerous makes him all the more entertaining. I also like that it's obvious that Rocket's smart, as well as funny, as he appears to know exactly what he's doing. Besides all the joking, and laughs it's also apparent that Rocket is a very loyal character, as he has concern for his fellow team mates, not wanting harm to befall them, which is brilliant, as it shows more to his character. There was also a particular line ("Blam! Murdered You!") during this issue that I found amusing, and the fact that he repeated it made it all the more amusing.
The other half of this issue had Peter's father, J'son arrange a meeting with the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree Empire, Gladiator of the Shi'ar, Annihilus of The Negative Zone, the Brood Queen, The All-Mother Freya of Asgard, Y-Gaaar of the Badoon, and himself to discuss the future of the Earth, and the possibility of them being a threat in the future. Although this slowed the issue down a bit, it did add a lot of background to the story, and was very interesting. I particularly found it interesting how people had different opinions, and found Freya who's the ruler of the nine realms, which include Earth opinon most interesting. I also liked that this showed not just background, but possible future developments for the series, as with all these different races involved it has the potential for so much to happen in the future, and I look forward to seeing where Bendis decides to take this.
This was an amazing issue, and although not quite as good as the point one issue it's still better than the last, and shows so much promise for the future of the series. This issue was both entertaining, and exciting, as well as interesting, and although it was slow in certain parts it was needed to help the development of the story, as otherwise it'd be an even more exciting story with no structure. I would highly recommend both this issue, and the series so far, and am really looking forward to the next issue, and the future of this series.