Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Guardians of the Galaxy #11
I know I’m bias as fuck on this blog in that I can only review so many comics a week and most of those comics involve X-men. Blame God for not making another day dedicated solely to reviewing new comics. But believe this jaded drunk when he says he would love to review a whole bunch of books every week. I just don’t have the time or the liver capacity to make it happen. Every now and then I do try to review something different. But sometimes it’s out of necessary and essentially a cop-out. That’s basically what my review of Guardians of the Galaxy #11 is going to be. I love this series. Brian Michael Bendis reminded me of why raccoons with machine guns are awesome and why deadly women with green skin are sexy. But I never really made it a priority to review an issue. Now that it’s part of an ongoing crossover with All New X-men, I have no choice but to review it. Like a court order for my third DUI, it’s something I kind of have to acknowledge. Otherwise, my future reviews will make even less sense than usual. And since I’m not willing to take fewer bong hits when doing reviews, I’m proud to make Guardians of the Galaxy #11 my first review of this amazing series that is about to get the Hollywood treatment. I imagine everyone with a fetish for stuffed animals and trees will be cumming in their pants. And if they can help make The Trial of Jean Grey awesome, I’ll gladly sacrifice some perfectly good pants for that cause.
But the Guardians of the Galaxy have been dealing with a lot of shit that has nothing to do with the X-men, Jean Grey, the Phoenix Force, or the Shi’ar. So just how and why the fuck do they get involved? Well to be fair, some of the shit they’ve been dealing with involves assholes like Thanos and that’s not the kind of shit that can be set aside to catch up on the affairs of a bunch of time displaced teenagers. And even after that’s over, what does Starlord do? He goes out to an alien bar, gets drunk, and tries to pick up hot alien women. Okay, I would do the exact same thing, which is why I fucking love Starlord. It may not sound like a logical place for the crossover to begin, an alien bar with a guy trying to nail hot alien chicks. But…actually, I take that back. It’s always logical for a story to begin in a bar with hot alien chicks. I don’t care what the premise is. It still works.
Sadly for Starlord’s penis, Gamora show’s up and cock-block’s him before he can get some kinky pink alien with a squid face to see if their parts fit. She offers no apologies, but she’s dressed like a stripper version of She-Hulk so I guess that makes Starlord slightly less upset. She doesn’t even tell him something is horribly wrong. She reminds him that he’s still a fugitive and his royal asshole of a father, the King of Spartax, still has a bounty on his head. Anyone who has been following Guardians of the Galaxy since it started knows that Starlord has given his father a lot of reasons to make that bounty pretty high, but the recent events with Thanos have made it so he can’t focus all his attention on messing with his son.
Starlord seems perfectly content with this. Gamora doesn’t seem to have a problem with it either. Except there’s still this part about the bounty still being valid. There’s also this part about Gamora actually not being Gamora. Starlord has apparently been around enough beautiful alien women to notice when something is more fucked up and not just with respect to his penis. And he realizes even while drinking that this isn’t the real Gamora. There’s something about a man who can still outsmart others while drunk that just makes them more awesome.
However, as any drunk knows, there’s only so much outsmarting that’s possible when alcohol is involved. Even though Starlord figures out that Gamora isn’t who she says she is, he didn’t figure out that she spiked his drink in a way that Channing Tatum fans only fantasize about. He’s only coherent enough to figure out that she’s a Skrull bounty hunter. It seems Starlord’s father did exactly what software companies do and outsourced the task of hunting down his deviant son to bounty hunters. So now his father is both an asshole and Republican. I don’t see how he could possibly be worse without being related to James Dobson. Maybe the next time Starlord sees him he should just tell him he’s gay to piss him off even more. That assumes he’ll have the strength left because he passes out after that spiked drink. This is usually the most disturbing part of an illegal porno and there’s nothing to indicate that the Skrull didn’t do anything extra before she left to collect her bounty.
While his son is being exploited in was usually reserved for indebted college girls, Starlord’s father, King J-Son of Spartax, is busy doing a little alien diplomacy with some of the major alien figures in the galaxy. It’s not like an alien UN or the Galactic Republic from Star Wars. It’s basically just a few representatives from various alien empires getting together to bitch about their problems. I guess in some sense it is like the UN.
But the topic of conversation is not about Thanos or anal probes for once. Gladiator of the Shi’ar reveals that they have found out that Jean Grey is alive again. Granted, she was plucked from the past, but that’s close enough for her. He then gives his alien buddies a few spoilers to the Phoenix Saga, showing how Dark Phoenix destroyed a star and killed billions of innocent aliens. It’s a story that has a significant place in the X-men mythos. But now that O5 Jean Grey is back, the want to put her on trial for this crime. Why they didn’t do that when Jean Grey was alive for years beforehand is not explained. I guess alien politics is an inefficient as human politics. He reveals the Shi’ar’s secret mission to abduct O5 Jean from Earth. He even invites them to attend the trial. I guess they don’t have an alien version of C-Span. And despite some pointing out that this is a past version of Jean Grey who hasn’t committed these crimes yet, they don’t do jack shit to stop the Shi’ar’s plan. Again, alien politics are as inefficient as human politics.
Back with the rest of the Guardians that are less interested in boning hot alien women, they get a brief message from Iron Man back on Earth. He’s basically just thanking them for letting him join their team for a while. But the shit storm caused by Thanos means he has to stay on Earth for the foreseeable future. There’s even some nice humor thrown in where Iron Man doesn’t realize that this shit is broadcasting live. So he’s basically like a news anchor who thinks the cameras aren’t rolling when he decides to sexually harass his co-anchor. Ron Burgundy may be able to get away with that kind of shit, but Iron Man can’t.
This really doesn’t add much to the underlying story surrounding the Trail of Jean Grey, but it does address the aftermath of other recent events that have transpired in this series. So while this is part of a crossover, it still makes an effort to follow the events that preceded it. That may make the story feel a little disjointed, but it ensures the series as a whole remains cohesive. Plus, watching Tony Stark make a fool of himself never gets old.
In addition, watching beautiful alien women kick ass also never gets old. And while Starlord was off getting drunk and nailing other alien women, the real Gamora was doing a little weapons shopping with Angela. I want to make a joke about women shopping here. But for women that dress like Angela and Gamora, there’s just no way to make that funny. My penis simply will not let it.
Their shopping spree ends as soon as the Skrull bounty hunter emerges from the bar carrying an unconscious Starlord. It’s still not clear if she did anything that would become feminist version of a made-for-TV drama on the Lifetime Channel. And if she did, she fucking paid for it because Angela cuts her fucking head off. That’s another reason why I can’t make a joke about women shopping. My penis and my will to live won’t let me. They save Starlord, but not his dignity. And while this may not contribute jack shit to the story involving the trial of Jean Grey, it’s still awesome in its own right.
The Guardians of the Galaxy only learn about the shit going on with Jean Grey when Rocket Raccoon picks up on some chatter from an alien race called the Badoon. They’re as goofy as they sound, but they are also enemies that the Guardians have been dealing with in recent issues. The Badoon essentially relay the Shi’ar’s plan to put O5 Jean Grey on trial for the future crimes she would commit as Dark Phoenix. The Badoon don’t have much interest in it other than watching the Shi’ar make themselves look like assholes to the whole galaxy. But it involves Earth so it catches their attention.
Now it’s not the most contrived way to get the Guardians involved in this story. Using the Badoon to relay the message does provide some decent transition material since they have been a big player in the series. It still comes off as a bit overly convenient. It doesn’t exactly feel like a natural method for instigating this crossover. It feels more like imitation crab meat, which still tastes good. But it’s still fake as fuck.
Their decision to get involved, thereby sealing the crossover, comes when they detect the Shi’ar attack on Earth. That’s usually all the incentive that Starlord needs to take a trip back to his home planet. I’m sure that also means he wants an excuse to hit on regular Earth women, but I have a hard time believing that a man who bangs hot alien women could ever go back to ordinary women. That’s just me. But by the time the make it to Earth, they find out that the Shi’ar have already outsmarted them. They cloaked their attack and now they have to play catch-up. They manage to pin down the location of the attack, which is the site of the New Xavier School. And there are no unsavory bars around this area to distract Starlord so he has no excuse.
The result of their attack should come as no surprise to anyone who read the final page of All New X-men #22. They’re too late, plain and simple. The Shi’ar already have O5 Jean Grey. And now they’re facing a bunch of shell-shocked X-men. It’s actually a perfect mirror of the final page in All New X-men #22, giving it the feel of a perfect area of convergence for these two series. It may feel that way, but the details surrounding it hardly fit. Part of it still comes off as overly convenient, but it still works and gives the sense that this is the start of a true crossover. It’s like a fake tit. Not every part of it may be real, but it’s still awesome.
The convergence between All New X-men and Guardians of the Galaxy is now complete. It didn’t happen all at once. It didn’t happen too suddenly either. It actually is possible to read this issue, skip All New X-men #22, and not miss a damn thing. Usually, when it’s possible to skip an issue in a big event, that’s a bad thing because it means the story is messy and disjointed. Well that’s not the case here. The plot involving the Shi’ar abducting O5 Jean Grey for a trial that would be unfair everywhere except North Korea is further refined and nicely integrated into Guardians of the Galaxy. It just isn’t integrated that seamlessly. This plot with the Shi’ar seems a bit too sudden given the recent events in this series. It still works though in that it still feels like a Guardians of the Galaxy comic more than an X-men comic. It’s like pouring chocolate inside the milk without mixing it that much. It still tastes awesome, just not as awesome as it could be. I give Guardians of the Galaxy #11 a 7 out of 10. Now the crossover can officially begin and we can finally see what happens when time displaced mutants have to fight alongside a machine-gun toting raccoon. And anyone who doesn’t find that appealing needs to stop mixing valium with vodka. Nuff said!