Guardians of the Galaxy #5 Review

Guardians of the Galaxy #5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Valerio Schiti
Colors: Richard Isanove
Letters: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel

Everyones favorite rag tag group of misfit heroes continue their journey to protect the galaxy in the All New All Different Marvel Universe.  This series is a continuation of Bendis’ previous run during the Marvel NOW imprint.

In the previous 4 issues of this story arc, the last of the Kree Accusers, Hala, ransacked through the Guardians to get to Peter Quill(Star Lord) in her quest for revenge.  As she blames him for the destruction of her home planet and wants to lay waste to both Spartax and Earth.  After a grueling struggle, the Guardians are able to defeat her but as soon as all seems well they were attacked from another threat named Yotat, “Destroyer of Destroyers” which had been the underlying plot through out this story arc.  And that is were this issue starts off.

One of the strengths that Bendis has done in this series so far is using characters who weren’t present for previous events, as tools for explaining exposition.  Using new comer Ben Grimm, “The Thing”, in previous issues and Peter Quill in this issue as point of view characters.  Its used in this new volume of the franchise excusable for new readers, as it does use events and story elements from Bendis’ previous run.  Which is a criticism to point out in the whole “All New All Different Marvel”, as it is not all new and all different.  Marvel has seemed to have taken the approach of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality.  Which by no means is a bad philosophy, its just a big of false advertisement.

As said previously, the book is trying to be new reader friendly and a great read for those that were fans of the 2014 live action feature film.  Bendis has done a solid job of the characterization of this team and the interactions between them feel genuine.  However, while new comers can get an idea of the personality of Guardian rookie Ben Grimm, those who haven’t been reading comics as of late will be wondering why  Venom is on the team and why is he a good guy now.  The character is given very little panel time and limited dialogue.  For those of you who don’t know, the Venom symbiote is now in the possession and control of Flash Thompson.

Another problem is with the character Kitty Pryde(Shadowcat).  Similar to Flash, new comers will be wondering why this X-Men character is up in space, is a member of the Guardians, and when her and Star Lord begin dating.  I know because I’ve been reading these comics but those who haven’t will be lost.  I’m not saying every comic should be written so that anyone can read it and follow it, but the way that Marvel has been marketing the All New All Different Marvel as this great starting off point for new readers is very flawed.  At least form this series perspective.

However with that criticism out of the way, the issue is still a fun read.  Bendis is a solid story teller with quippy dialogue, similar to Joss Whedon in tone.  The characterization is on point as well and the Guardians do feel like the Guardians.  Schiti’s pencils and Isanove’s colors give the clean expressive look to the book that fit the tone that Bendis has set.  I’d give this series a recommendation but a note that it’ll take some back-reading to really understand whats going on.

Score: 3 out of 5

Review by Eric Bradach

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