Comic Reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy and Batman, INC.!
Angela has officially entered the Marvel Universe, and the results are…okay so far. Those expecting to see the Neil Gaiman owned Spawn character throw down with the Guardians of the Galaxy will get to see some of that here, although they’ll have to wait a while until they get to see it.
Guardians of the Galaxy’s fifth issue serves as more of a “breather” issue than what it’s been hyped as. While the argument can be made that a majority of Bendis’ GOTG has been “breather issues”, this one most definitely is, giving us very few plot reveals regarding the Badoon’s attack on Earth back in the second issue. Peter Quill has just experienced a strange mental attack (thanks to the ending of Age of Ultron), and turns to his old friend Mantis for answers. At the same time, Rocket Raccoon helps Tony Stark rebuild his Iron Man armor, and while doing so, the two are alerted to an attack on Earth in the form of Angela. Gamorra heads into space to bring the fight to Angela, and that’s the issue.
Look, I’ve really enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy. I really have, but this issue was one of the most overhyped I’ve read in a while. Even the initial hype that Neil Gaiman would be co-writing this issue isn’t delivered on, with the legendary author receiving a “story consultant” credit in the book’s opening. Despite this, there are plenty of great moments here, with Rocket and Iron Man’s interactions being the high point.
Sarah Pichelli continues her stellar run on art from last issue. For my money, no one can do facial expressions quite like Pichelli, and this issue is a prime example of this. Between this and her work on Ultimate Spider-Man, Pichelli continues to pull out all the stops and show us why she’s one of the best in the business.
It’s unfortunate that this issue of Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t quite live up to the hype that was built up for it. Those who have been reading the series since its relaunch will probably have no problems with it, but if anyone’s snagging this expecting some Earth shattering revelations about Angela’s involvement (or the return of Gaiman to comics), they’re going to be disappointed. At the very least, they’ll see the beginning of the Guardians’ conflict with Angela and get a really great cliffhanger ending, but they’ll have to wait until the sixth issue is released in September to get any answers.
Ladies and gentlemen, Grant Morrison has left the building. Well, the realm of superhero comics, to be more exact. In a recent interview with Newsarama, Morrison said that many would be “angry” with Batman, Inc. #13, which is the culmination of a historic 6-year run on Batman for the writer. Now that I’ve read the issue, I’m not angry. I’m indifferent.
Now I’ve made my problems with the New 52 version of Batman, INC. well known before, so I won’t go into it here. I will say that the final issue of Morrison’s grand Batman opus feels very rushed, and doesn’t feel nearly as grand of a conclusion that fans were hoping for back when Morrison started his run. After discovering he has a son, dying, travelling through time, being resurrected, and watching the death of his son, Batman’s battle with Talia Al Ghul is over just as quickly as it begins. Add to this an extremely out of left field appearance by a character I had forgotten about who disappears just as soon as she reappears, and I’m left scratching my head and saying “that’s it?”
While I may not have loved Morrison’s script, Batman, INC. #13 features some of artist Chris Burnham’s finest work. Batman definitely gets his fair share of cuts and bruises, and Burnham makes every cut, welt, and black eye look extremely painful. The final moments of the issue are extremely dynamic, and at least make the book a worthy purchase.
So there you have it:Batman, INC. is done, and Morrison is leaving the Batman behind. Of course the writer can’t end Batman, so allowing Bruce to continue fighting crime as the Batman is the only way Morrison can end this tale. The legacy of the Batman has been the most important theme of Morrison’s tenure on the title, and if anything, this conclusion shows that truly, the Batman can never die. I just wish the final moments of Morrison’s tale were more worthy of what came before it.