Seriously, who says 'fisticuffs' anymore?
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Please welcome to the fold, new regular penciler: Kevin West! Let’s watch over the course of the rest of this book as West transforms from a fairly good, fairly realistic penciler, to another shitty Liefeld clone. I have a feeling this had more to do with Marvel requesting that West adhere more to their house style in the 90s (which happened to be crap) than with him actually doing this on his own.
We open this issue on a heated argument between Vance and Charlie as the original mission of destroying the Badoon has resurfaced now that the whole doppelganger bullshit has finished. As they fight, Starhawk jumps in to stop them, meaning that he somehow got control of his body back from Aleta last issue (which would explain her scream I suppose). While Vance stays behind, the rest of the Guardians head to their spaceship and make out for the Badoon homeworld.
Let’s make a quick stop under the dome, where Rancor and the mutants are being held. Rancor is pissed, scratching and clawing at stuff like an angry cat, until Dr. Doom shows up.
That’s it for that, back to Vance, who is actually thinking of betraying his teammates and warning the Badoon of their impending arrival, even though it means that he’ll most likely be condemning his friends to death. Not only is he thinking about it, he actually sends the transmission, tattling on his teammates (which picks up a strange entity along the way). Vance Astro is a douche. I know that he is saving the Badoon from extermination, but this move still makes him a douche.
On the Guardians’ ship, Starhawk is struggling with Aleta trying to overtake his body. It is apparently emitting so much energy that Charlie banishes him from the ship, lest he destroy it completely.
Talon, the only member of the team left that was not personally touched by the Badoon tries to reason with Charlie and Nikki, stating that their preemptive strike might not be a great idea. Nikki reassures him be regaling us all with her history and then crying about it. I understand that she is probably quite emotional about this, but what I don’t understand is how someone that has such a high body temperature is even able to cry without the tears immediately evaporating. Those tears seem to convince Talon of the validity of their quest though.
On the Badoon homeworld, Vance’s transmission has come through, but so has the stowaway. An energy surge hits the Badoon manning the controls, momentarily knocks him out then brings him back full of power.
On Earth, Vance terminates the signal, having a change of heart about tattling on his friends. Little does he know that the damage is done.
On Earth in the thirty-first century, the Punishers are slowly but surely being defeated by the Commandeers. Unfortunately, the Commandeers have bigger fish to fry as Retox, a gang based around the Realiteevee that the Guardians destroyed many issues ago, are looking to get their fix and make things miserable for everyone.
Back in the present day, Charlie loads a nuke to destroy the Badoon and Vance continues to brood about his decision, until he gets stopped by Captain America.
Next issue: It’s a bro-tastic adventure as Cap and Vance go all Thelma and Louise…just kidding. It’s Guardian vs. Guardian as the slow demise of Kevin West’s talent continues.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Please note, the names in italics are the movie/comic/cartoon/game that the villain appears.
Ganon Legend of Zelda (2) vs.
Joker Batman (2) –
Matt- Somehow, out of nowhere, Ganon took out Darth Vader last round, and what we are left with is this stunning matchup between two heavyweights in their respective genres (two heavyweights that still were not able to garner a number one seed surprisingly). What we get is Ganon, the holder of the Triforce of Power and the scourge of Hyrule versus the Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime and Batman’s arch-nemesis. Like we did last year, Nik and I will each espouse the merits of one particular combatant and let you be the judge.
I know how much Nik loves Ganon, so I’ll let him take that position, while I’ll paint the picture why the Joker should win. My argument here is much the same as my argument for why Joker should have beat Shredder in the last round. He is a cross-platform, multimedia villain. Portrayals of the Joker, from movies, cartoons and video games have been highlights in the careers of the actors that have brought him to life. This is not only a testament to their skill as actors but also to the source material. This is pretty impressive for someone that is probably one of the most unlikable villains in history, to have him become the gold-standard when it comes to villainy. There is no ulterior, save all the people by enslaving them motive when it comes to the Joker. He’s nuts, he loves death and destruction and getting under Batman’s skin, and he will do anything to those ends, regardless of who it hurts. Joker is truly the most evil villain in the entire bracket.
Beat that, Ganon.
Nik- Oh. Snap. I’m sure that everyone can imagine my utmost glee that Ganon actually made it here.
Now’s his time to shine.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Legend of Zelda lore, each new game brings a brand new Hero of Time, and a new descendent (or ancestor) of Zelda. The same cannot be said for Ganon. The Ganon we fight every single time is always the same Ganon. Whether he’s that nasty Gerudo, or in his monster pig form as Ganondorf, he always breaks free of his bonds to cast Hyrule into darkness.
Ganon is the stuff that nightmares are made of. He is the wretched tales told by grandparents who lived through his reign of chaos. He is an evil that spans generations. He is never killed, he is only contained, if only for a few hundred years.
Yes, the Joker is BA, I totally give you that. But he is merely mortal. Ganon is much more than that, hell-bent on casting the world into darkness for all of eternity, so that he may sit at the throne and watch it all.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014
So what’s better than a comic involving a bunch of characters that aren’t that appealing to begin with? Doubling those characters of course! It’s doppelgangers galore!
Jim Valentino’s final issue on the book (he would go on to be one of the Image Comics founders shortly after this, with his book Darkhawk) starts out pretty crappily. Now, he only offers the plot on this issue, leaving the scripting to new writer Michael Gallagher, while JJ Birch takes over the art duties for this issue. Birch is not as bad as Trimpe, but he’s not that good, as evidenced by the opening shot of Charlie’s face.
The battle between the Guardians and the bad guys (Doctor Octopus, Gargantua, Puff Adder and Shocker) begins and is as underwhelming as you might expect when the villains are Gargantua and Puff Adder (two guys I had never heard of before this series). As that battle rages, another one is going on as well, as Starhawk is fighting his doppelganger. No matter how many times he defeats it though, it keeps coming back. Aleta, who is still inside Starhawk in case you forgot, suggests that Starhawk let her take over the body, therefore not giving the doppelganger anything to absorb (since that’s the whole reason the doppelganger is there, to absorb his “double”). Starhawk doesn’t want this to happen because he knows Aleta will never relinquish control of the body back to him.
Back to the Guardians, and we have an incoming of doppelgangers, of both the heroes and villains. Of course, that doesn’t matter as Vance is fighting Puff Adder and utters the single greatest line in comics: “The name is Major Victory….Remember it when they’re filling out your report in the emergency room!”
Okay, are you done laughing? Let’s break down that statement real quick.
A. Why would Puff Adder go to the emergency room? Something tells me that’s not a place frequented by super-powered villains.
B. Even if Puff Adder went to the emergency room (on the off-chance that he wanted to take that risk) what does Major Victory’s name have to do with anything? When would that come up in conversation? Would a doctor, who is treating a dude dressed up like a snake, really ask him who it was that beat him up?
C. If Vance Astro hit Puff Adder with a psychokinetic blast, how would that be treated medically at all, much less in an emergency room?
Anyway, the rest of the heroes and villains are fighting their own doppelgangers, but that’s nothing compared to the struggle within Starhawk. Aleta is finally taking control, and not a moment too soon as Starhawk is about to lose to the doppelganger. Aleta wins but not without apparently sustaining some damage from a mysterious source.
Back to the Guardians, who have now teamed up with the villains they were just fighting to stop the bigger threat of the doppelgangers…which they do. Just like that, the status quo is restored. As the dust settles, Doctor Octopus wants the villains to attack the Guardians, even though they are outnumbered, but because the Guardians just helped those villains survive an attack on their lives, they turn on Doc Ock instead.
To top things off, Jarvis shows up with brooms so that everyone can help clean up.
Next issue: They all get jobs as janitors, or something.