By Brian Michael Bendis, Art Adams, Paul Mounts
The Guardians movie was a monster hit. That’s probably an understatement. As a result, Marvel is giving fans plenty of Guardians comics to get their hands on every month. We have the core series, plus Rocket and Star-Lord have their own solo titles. None of these books will blow you away with quality, but they sure are fun to read. Now, we have Guardians Team-Up, a series dedicated to the Guardians having adventures with different characters. It sounds like fun, but the execution of the first issue leaves a lot to be desired.
Right from the start, this issue presents a glaring problem: it doesn’t know what it wants to be. Is it a book for new readers/movie fans? Hardcore fans? Both? Whatever they were going for, they fell flat on their faces. Some recent and confusing canon is kept, but some is thrown right out the window. There’s characters thrown in to appeal to the movie fans, but there are numerous members of the current Avengers roster that will confuse the heck out of anyone not reading Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers epic. Why would your typical movie fan care about Starbrand or Manifold? Those are great characters, but if your angle is trying to hook in the noobs, there are probably other directions to go. Marvel also displays this problem in their poorly written OGN series, so this isn’t an isolated incident.
Unfortunately, the plot can’t even save this issue. Bendis offers the bare minimum just to move things along and introduce the title’s gimmick. Things are kept lighthearted, but a few of the jokes fail to be even remotely funny. This is not a great example of Bendis at his best.
At least the art has something to offer. Art Adams is a constant pro and it’s always a treat to see his work. Paul Mounts (colorist) adds a little flair to Adams’ pencils in order to make a style that’s a tad unique to the series. Every page is brightly colored and fun, which is something a lot of superhero comics have lost.
Guardians Team-Up is a title that cannot be recommended. We live in a time of high quality comics and there are simply too many great books out there to waste your time with this one. Unless you’re a die-hard Guardians or Marvel fan and you buy just about every title (like me), you can skip out on this one.