What rhymes with Guardian or Galaxy?

Brian Michael Bendis (W), Valerio Schiti (A), Ricahard Isanove (CA)

Cover by Arthur Adams and Jason Keith

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $3.99

          I intended to review the first issue of the “Grounded” story arc of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Then, well, Daredevil #14 came out that week, I read that, and it was so good I had to review it. That issue of Guardians was good too, but it just had nothing on Daredevil that month.

In the end, it kind of works out, because this issue of Guardians is a pretty out of the ordinary comic. The “Grounded” storyline has, thus far, been focusing on each member of the team individually for their own story. The first issue was about Ole Blue Eyes, Benjamin J. Grimm.

For those who don’t know, I’ll give you a refresher on what has led to this story. The Guardians of the Galaxy answered Captain Marvel’s call for assistance during Civil War II. During the ensuing fight outside the Triskellion, the Guardians’ ship was shot out of the sky. As a result, they have been stranded on Earth, much to Rocket’s chagrin. To make matters worse, the team has split up due to Peter Quill keeping the presence of Thanos on Earth from the rest of the team. Last issue, we saw the Thing joining up with S.H.I.E.L.D to help figure out what Doctor Doom aka the Infamous Iron Man is up to.

One thing that is a little odd about this story is that this is the Marvel Universe and no one can give the Guardians of the Galaxy a ride off the planet. The difference between Marvel and DC is that Marvel has so many super-genius super-scientists that society has always existed in a world where the technology is pretty far advanced compared to our own or even DC’s to a capacity. To prove a point, I’m going to give a list of people and organizations that could easily, in theory, help the Guardians off the Earth. This is also being done for some self-aggrandizement, because it’s fun: S.H.I.E.L.D, S.W.O.R.D, Alpha Flight, Amadeus Cho, Black Panther, leftover Banner, Stark, or Richards technology, Parker Industries, Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange, the Inhumans (Lockjaw alone), Thor, Nova, and the list goes onwards. There are so many people who could solve this scenario that it seems a tad ridiculous.

I understand the idea of the story: wanting to show the Guardians of the Galaxy dealing with mundane parts of Earth life. I’m not sure how I would go about making this story “make sense.” I’m not sure there is a means of doing so in the Marvel Universe. That aside, this story has been fairly enjoyable thus far.

This issue picks up with Groot and Rocket sitting in Central Park, with Rocket looking pretty destitute and Groot enjoying the sunshine.

I’m going to go ahead and discuss the means through which this story is being told. Bendis is trying to channel Dr. Seuss with a parable-like rhyme scheme. This could make or break the comic for many people. For me, ehh, it was alright. It was cute. I enjoyed it well enough, but I’m not dying to see a comic like this again. As a writing student, let me tell you, some of these rhymes are very much a stretch.

Rocket leaves to presumably go on his own adventure that will probably involve Howard the Duck if I had to guess. We see something of a brief history of Groot with the Guardians, and he gets back to enjoying the sunshine.

The Thunderbolts, they could help the Guardians get off Earth too probably. I wouldn’t be surprised if Red Skull and Baron Zemo have a ship lying around too. Definitely A.I.M. Sorry, back to the story.

Groot sees Armadillo attempting a bank robbery nearby, and he decides to give chase. Groot is mocked and assaulted by on-lookers, but he still punches the perp in the face. He pins the mammalian on the ground. However, soon the cops surround. A child stands up for the wood-god in the face of the police. Others soon join to demand Groot’s release.

Suddenly, Armadillo awakes and attacks. Naturally, Groot stirs to fight back. The Guardian wins the fight and protects the boy. Next, the two leave with Groot looking quite coy. He cheers up the child by showing him the other heroes. The comic then ends with Rocket returning and behaving like a zero.

So yeah, as I said, this comic is pretty good. It’s very light-hearted, and the story is pretty cute. I mean let’s be fair, who doesn’t like Groot. I’m sorry, it’s like an addiction. Once you start, it’s hard to stop.

I do honestly like the character of Groot quite a bit. If I had to guess his true personality, yeah, I’d probably guess at the gentle giant archetype. This comic confirms it with its portrait of the tree-man. That being said, it does pair with the snarky comments we have been made privy to in the past by other character’s reactions by his statements. This paints a picture of a hero who is soft-hearted, but likes to agitate others for fun at times. He likes to have fun.

The art is gorgeous in this comic. Each page has a full spread, and Schiti and Isanove prove themselves to be up to the challenge. I love the new design on Groot, and they show him off excellently in this issue.

The story, as I said is quite sweet. It’s optimistic, altruistic, and cute. It’s the messenger I would never shoot. Crap.

It’s pretty fun. It’s not shockingly good or anything, but it gets the job done. It’s there to remind you of the positivity which comics are all about. It’s a bit of fun made with the pen.

Final Score: 7/10


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