Comic Reviews: Guardians Of The Galaxy, Aquaman, and The Rocketeer!
COMIC BOOK REVIEWS!!!!
A prologue to the Guardians Of The Galaxy series starting next month, this “o.1” issue sheds some background on Star-Lord, the leader of the Guardians. I had never known the character’s history up until this point, but it’s presented in a great way here and issue leads into the upcoming series perfectly. Brian Michael Bendis and artist Steve McNiven’s upcoming series was already high up on my radar, but after reading this issue, I’m eagerly anticipating the official start of this series.
Presenting us with the origin of Peter Quill, the half-human, half-alien who will eventually become Star-Lord, the issue isn’t quite the action packed thrill ride that people will probably be expecting. However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t an excellent book. On the contrary. This look into the character crafts a very interesting and tragic spin on Quill, and presents us with an intriguing mystery that will carry over into the series. It seems like the character’s origin has been rebooted a little bit here (probably to tie in with the upcoming movie), but there’s a lot to enjoy.
Bendis displays his usual knack for dialogue with this issue, and his take on the relationship between Quill’s mother and father is very cool. In fact, I have to admit that I was surprised that this issue opened with these two characters. In many of the previews I read, it came of like it was the actual Peter Quill in the beginning, and not his father. In regards to Quill, Bendis does a fantastic job presenting us with who he is and what type of person he will eventually become, a feat that’s even more impressive when you realize that Quill is only ten years old in this book. There’s a great sense of the “hero’s journey” in this issue, but at no time does it feel like we’ve seen this story before. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Star Wars, where we have a young hero being thrust into a larger conflict.
Steve McNiven, what can I say about your art that people don’t already know? Even though there’s not a lot of action for you to show off your skills with here, your work is still tops. The brief panels we get of Peter Quill’s mother and father enjoying their time together on Earth are phenomenal, and truly showcase just how good your facial expressions and figure work can be. These dialogue free moments convey more than anything Bendis could’ve typed, and really make you connect with these two characters on an emotional level. Of course, the final splash page drawn by McNiven teasing where our series will go (and who will be joining the Guardians) only makes the wait for next month that much harder.
Whether you read the previous run of Guardians Of The Galaxy or want to see what’s coming to theaters next summer, Guardians of the Galaxy #o.1 is a worthy purchase. Brian Michael Bendis has worked wonders for the X-Men universe recently, and all signs point to him doing the same with the Guardians. Grab this now, so you can say you knew about them before everyone sees the movie.
“Throne Of Atlantis” is over, and now Arthur Curry must take his rightful place as the King Of Atlantis, even if his people don’t want him. After the action heavy crossover with Justice League, this issue serves as a breather to set up the new status quo for Aquaman, and it’s looking like we’re in for some pretty cool stuff in the near future.
While not in the issue, the relationship between Arthur and his brother Orm is the catalyst for everything that happens, so if you were thinking this would be a good jumping on point, it’s not. However, for those of you following the series since the beginning, you get even more of Aquaman being the badass we all knew he could be. Writer Geoff Johns continues his winning streak with the character, and the conflicts between himself and his people are already starting to show, even when they team up to stop some whale hunters.
Paul Pelletier handles the art duties now that the great Ivan Reis has departed for Justice League, and thankfully his art is similar enough to Reis’ that it’s not too jarring of a change. He draws Curry with a regal-ness that’s required for him not to be laughed at, and really sells home what could’ve been a goofy moment if handled otherwise (and should really be made into a poster). At this point I’d hope that comic readers have seen that Aquaman is one of DC’s best titles, and that there IS a lot of potential for this character, much of which is being realized now.
Oh Rocketeer, it’s so good to have you back. IDW brings us the latest in their line of limited series starring Cliff Secord, The Rocketeer, and just like last year’s story by Mark Waid, this one holds up the legacy to the character beautifully. Probably more so than any other Rocketeer story that IDW has released, Hollywood Horror has a definite “all ages” vibe, and is the perfect book to give to a younger comic book fan who’s just seen the movie (it’s out on blu ray, and it holds up amazingly well).
Writers Roger Langridge and artist J Bone are weaving an interesting mystery around a missing scientist, and it pulls in the various members of Secord’s life. Nearly every character is affected by this mystery in some way, and it’s really interesting to see how they all will fit into this story. If there’s any negative about the issue, it’s that Langridge’s narration can be a little too “old timey” at points, but at the same time, The Rocketeer takes place in Hollywood in the 30’s, so it does fit. For fans of Cliff Secord who want to insure that The Rocketeer stays around for another generation, pick up two issues and give one to a son/daughter or niece/nephew. They’ll be glad you did.