Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Guardians of the Galaxy #3 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Huh.  OK, it's not that I didn't like this issue.  It's not quite as fun and witty as the first few issues of the series, but it definitely has its moments.  (I particularly liked Peter telling Gamora that the squad of Spartax elite guards that they faced was her birthday present.)  But, I feel like Bendis is writing a story that might just be a little too complicated for him to pull off successfully.  He's not really the sort of writer who does well juggling shadowy actors and subtle intrigue.  He's much better at more direct stories (although still capable of some emotional nuances, as we've seen in "All-New X-Men").  But, he's for some reason decided to veer a little to the Morrison side and make this opening arc all about the mysterious intentions of Peter's father, J'Son.

We were more or less initially led to believe that J'Son had orchestrated the pact with the other members of the galactic council to leave Earth alone in order to make a move on it himself.  We've since learned that the Badoon were the ones that made such a move, although it's clear that his focus on protecting Earth isn't entirely benign.  J'Son gets all snippy during a council meeting, but even the other members wonder what game he's playing.  The problem is that I'm not sure that the answer is all that interesting.  For a while, Bendis led us to believe that he might be acting simply to maneuver his son into returning to the fold and taking his place by his side ("to rule the galaxy as father and son!"), but it seems pretty clear that he's dropped that gambit.  (Or, his plan for doing so involves provoking his son to overthrow him in a coup, which seems a little...extreme when it comes to planning for a generational shift.)  As such, he just sort of seems like a villain.  Sure, we're not sure what his motivations are, but they pretty clearly involve him gaining more power.  It doesn't really seem any more interesting than that.  I mean, we still don't know what he'd want to do with that power, but, again, I'm not sure that that answer is all that interesting.  Conqueror Earth?  Conqueror the galaxy?  Meh.   Plus, still villain stuff.  It just seems unlikely that he's got more complicated motivations.

As such, I'm hoping that Bendis spends less time on this sort of plot and more time on the reasons why most of us are reading this title, namely the witty repartee and action sequences.  This title is the equivalent of a summer action-movie and, although I want Bendis to give us strong plots that make it into more of a "Dark Knight" than a "Batman and Robin," I also want him to remember that it's not Shakespeare in the Park.

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