by Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Nick Bradshaw, Todd Nauck & Jason Masters (pencils), Justin Ponsor & Justin Keith (Colorists)

The Story: Peter and J’son Quill have a long overdue talk about the birds, the bees and interstellar domination.

The Review: The Brian Michael Bendis volume of Gaurdians of the Galaxy has been something of a slow burner since it launched, which as any avid fan of Bendis’ book knows should come as nothing of a surprise. Throughout the course of this series we’ve been witness to J’son’s machinations and in this issue we finally see him strike against his son and the rest of the Guardians.

In a series of scenes the Guardians are taken out either individually or in pairings by bounty hunters, the Badoon and Shiar. The range of adversaries to the team seem to indicate that there is a deeper game afoot which hopefully will add a deeper layer of mystery to this storyline. What slightly irks about this issue is how easily the members of the team get taken out, when you have two members who’s monikers are “The Destroyer” and “The Universe’s Deadliest Woman” you’d expect them to put up more of a fight.

Where this issue really does shine is in the interplay between Peter and his father, the writing is extremely crisp with both characters having a defined point of view and attitude. Both characters believe that they are right despite being diametrically opposed which makes for a great showing for Bendis’s flair for naturalistic dialogue. Peter easily flips from childish petulance to righteous anger whereas every word that escapes J’son’s lips seems calculated and suspect, it is a treat to read and where the writing excels.

The new additions to the book are great fun; Venom is almost childlike in his glee at being in far space for the first time, it’s interesting to see as so many characters seem to take alien culture in their stride and serves to remind readers how relatively new to the world of super heroics Flash Thompson is. There is also a bit of mystery set up with the tease of the symbiote’s
origins dangled, it doesn’t get too much play but it makes Flash an interesting viewpoint character moving forward.

The other new addition is that of Penciler Nick Bradshaw who does some great work here designing some fantastic settings and detailed alien life forms. The look of his work is very reminiscent of Arthur Adams; the story telling is clear, the action is dynamic and the pages are gorgeously detailed, I hope that he stays on the book for a good long time to come.

Captain Marvel’s inclusion in this book is something of a question mark for now, as is Angela’s curious absence (I assume she was left out to create a bit of space for the new characters introduced), Bendis has a good track record with the character so it will be interesting to see how she fits into the team dynamic moving ahead.

A solid issue of Gaurdians, nothing earth shattering enough to warrant an anniversary Spectacular tag but a decent read all of the same.

Grade: C

-Liam Kelleher

Stray Thoughts: The backup story Groot’s Tale was actually pretty touching, it’s hard to make people care about a humanoid tree that only says the same three words over and over but this story did it pretty well.