Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Guardians Disassembled (Review)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Guardians Disassembled
Collection: Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians of the Galaxy), Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #14-17, Captain Marvel (2012) #1 and Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #654
Publisher: Marvel Comics © 2015

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians of the Galaxy) #1
Penciler: Nick Bradshaw
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Morry Hollowell
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art: Sara Pichelli & Justin Ponsor
Editors: Stephen Wacker & Ellie Pyle
Issue #14
Artists: Nick Bradshaw with Jason Masters & Todd Nauck
Inkers: Nick Bradshaw, Walden Wong, Jason Masters & Todd Nauck
Colorists: Justin Ponsor with Jason Keith
Cover Art: Nick Bradshaw & Justin Ponsor
Groot’s Tale
Writer: Andy Lanning
Penciler: Phil Jimenez
Inker: Livesay
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Fight for the Future
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Gerardo Sandoval
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Issue #15
Pencilers: Nick Bradshaw & Cameron Stewart
Inkers: Nick Bradshaw, Cameron Stewart & Walden Wong
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Cover Art: Nick Bradshaw & Justin Ponsor
Issue #16
Artists: Nick Bradshaw, David Marquez & Jason Masters
Colorists: Justin Ponsor, Edgar Delgado & Jose Villarrubia
Cover Art: Nick Bradshaw & Justin Ponsor
Issue #17
Pencilers: Nick Bradshaw & Michael Oeming
Inkers: Nick Bradshaw, Michael Oeming & Walden Wong
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Cover Art: Ed McGuinness, Mark Farmer & Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Assistant Editor: Xander Jarowey
Editor: Mike Marts

Captain Marvel #1 (2012)
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Dexter Soy
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines & Javier Rodriguez
Assistant Editor: Ellie Pyle
Editor: Sana Amanat
Senior Editor: Stephen Wacker

Rebirth from Amazing Spider-Man #654 (1999)
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencilers: Paulo Siqueira & Ronan Cliquet de Oliveira
Inkers: Paulo Siqueira, Roland Paris & Greg Adams
Colorist: Fabio D’Auria
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Assistant Editor: Ellie Pyle
Senior Editor: Stephen Wacker

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In this volume of Guardians Bendis breaks the team apart under the plotting and trying of King J-Son to finally have the better hand over his son, Peter the Star-Lord. On top of this Tony Stark decides to assign Agent Venom to the team as he feels the team needs a representative of Earth, but deep down I think he just misses the team. The more I continue with this series the less faith I have in it. Just now King J-Son gets a hold of the team? It is hard to tell within the narrative if this was ever priority or just a case of opportunity for him and his Empire. When the team is broken up they are spread across the galaxy to other Empires we have dealt with through the series so far, which are now starting to overstay their welcome a bit. It feels as if Bendis is painting these empires as the top-down status quo wanting to maintain order and views themselves as heroes, whereas the Guardians of the Galaxy are brash revolutionaries out to accomplish true good and justice. Not a bad idea, but not the greatest execution, if anything it came as an afterthought to Bendis. Meanwhile, Agent Venom does not bring much to the table, just a shameless addition really, same with Captain Marvel. This hardly helps as we still do not know much of who or why Angela is here. However, I will applaud Bendis for the resolution between Star-Lord and his father. He could have gone the traditional, dueling, over-dramatic route. But instead, he aims for a less cliché’ approach and ends up making Star-Lord appear as somewhat calculating.

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This book finally caters more to the film as we get the Star-Lord design from Chris Pratt’s character with the coat and mask. Other than that the new artist of Nick Bradshaw is hardly flattering. With the likes of Peter Quill and Flash Thompson you get these 30 something year old steroid muscle physiques with 18 year old jockish and almost oversized heads on top. It almost looks like King J-Son was de-aged to roughly a 30 year old man as well. His facial close-ups aren’t half bad, plus he can draw a really good mean and feral raccoon. But with the ever changing supporting pool or pencilers, some of these aspects change for the better or the worse from issue to issue. Though come issue #17 and during the rescue mission it seems Bradshaw stepped off completely with Oeming taking charge. His style caters back in single issues found in other volumes, like the end of Volume 1. Personally, I grow tired of this cooler, dressed-down style only popping up once in a while. Do it for a whole arc or don’t do it at all. It adds nothing to the story, but just creates tension as into why adopt this style now for just one bit?

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It was nice of this book to feature old back-up origin stories of Agent Venom and Captain Marvel to familiarize readers new to them but not to the Guardians. The art style for the Captain Marvel issue is great, but story wise we don’t get a huge concept and feel for her, if anything the art is complete, but the narrative and character come out as underdeveloped. We also get a sort of tacked on Groot origin story and some oddly placed Guardians of the Galaxy 3000 story. It is warming to have Abnett & Lanning drop by, but their stories only supplement current, new readers. Their two tales provide nothing new or original to readers of the 2008 material or anything before the Bendis run here. This makes the book along with the two other tacked on origin stories feel over-stuffed and lacking in direction. The more I read into Bendis’ run the more I feel this property is not for him and find myself clamoring for the old 2008 run.

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