After giving up on the series a good while ago I make my re-entry into the world of the Guardians of The Galaxy with #11.NOW, Marvel’s suggested jumping on point. Even more incentive to buy this issue is that it’s the second part of a crossover with the flagship X-Men title All-New X-Men. I will be looking at this issue a little differently, assessing how good of an introduction it is, rather than solely what effective qualities it displayed. Nonetheless, I must ask the question, is it good?
Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW! (Marvel Comics)
Before I discuss the issue itself, let’s just take a look at that disappointing cover. It may not seem quite so bad at a glance, but once you look at each character individually it’s just… not as attractive as it could have been. First of all, blah. There is nothing enticing about this cover, especially when it’s trying to attract as many new readers as possible. There have been so many covers showing the team’s members that this just seems like a repeat. Also, it seems like Groot and Drax see something no one else can because they are screaming at seemingly nothing. Jean’s face is wonked, Scott looks like he is made out of model magic and Rocket Racoon isn’t carrying any guns. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a fan of the Guardians and the kick-ass artist, Sara Pichelli — I’m just let down because this cover is not a fair demonstration of what she can do, nor is it indicative how bad-ass the Guardians are to new readers.
Like I said in my intro, I was really assessing this issue to judge how strong of an introduction it is to new readers. It seems like it covers everything well; the whole team is introduced and characterized and even the Galactic Council gets some time to make themselves known to the audience. It also explains the premise of the Trial of Jean Grey while also providing insight to those who were confused about some character motives in All-New X-Men #22.NOW. You could probably just read this half of the crossover and be just fine, but I would recommend reading it all.
And although this story has to be part of a larger picture, it tells a great tale on it’s own. After being reunited with one another the GoG decide to do good, pure and simple. They understand that the Shi’ar is in the wrong and an innocent girl might die if they don’t step in. All plot points are sound and it is not too far-fetched in terms of how they came into the fray of this conflict. This strong storytelling is even better reinforced with the charming character moments GoG is known for.
Like the All-New X-Men sister issue, the two teams don’t run into each other until the very end, which is a nice touch because the two comics read very well together and play off of each other. I also want to applaud Bendis for getting out this issue only 7 days after the first chapter of the crossover. It makes it exciting and not easy to forget where the plot stands.
And although I was harsh in my criticisms of the cover, Sara Pichelli lights up this issue with very sharp and recognizable art and total cosmic beauty. Really striking stuff. Justin Posnor also plays his part in giving this issue so many vibrant colors it seems to glow in your hands as you read it. Really clear definition in the art makes new readers feel right at home in this comic.
Is It Good?
I’d say my first issue back with the Guardians was a fun one, and a productive one story wise. I’ll be sticking around, in part because I want to see how the crossover plays out, but also because I like this books direction.