Author name: timelord

CBN’s “Timelord” is our expert on all things science-fiction and cosmic. Timelords reviews Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy. His reviews have been quoted by Marvel Comics for cover blurbs, in press releases and solicits. Timelord’s reviews have also been directly sent to Marvel Comics Editorial, and Timelord has provided Marvel Comics Editorial notes for their various cosmic comics including Nova.

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Comic Book News Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy #4 Review (2019)

A Review Of Guardians of the Galaxy #4 (of 6) Writer: Cates Artist: Shaw Colorist: Curiel Cover Artists: Marquez & White   Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed herein are purely the opinions of the author of this article and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of CosmicBookNews. Timelord regularly reviewed the 2007 “Nova” and […]

Comic Book News Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy #3 Review (2019)

A Review Of Guardians of the Galaxy #3 of 6 Writer: Cates Artist: Shaw Colorist: Gracia Cover Artists: Marquez & White   Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed herein are purely the opinions of the author of this article and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of CosmicBookNews. Timelord regularly reviewed the 2007 “Nova” and

Comic Book News Marvel

Black Order #5 Review

A Review Of  The Black Order #5 of 5 by Timelord Writer:  Derek Landy Penciler:  Carlos Magno Inker:  Scott Hanna Colorist:  Jay David Ramos & Dono Sanchez-Almara Cover Artist: Inyuk Lee   Editor’s Note:  The opinions expressed herein are purely the opinions of the author of this article and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of

Comic Book News Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy #2 Review (2019)

A Review Of Guardians of the Galaxy #2 Writer:  Donny Cates Artist:  Geoff Shaw Colorist:  Marte Gracia Cover Artists:  David Marquez & Dean White   Editor’s Note:  The opinions expressed herein are purely the opinions of the author of this article and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of CosmicBookNews.  Timelord regularly reviewed the

Comic Book News Marvel

Black Order #4 Review

A Review Of The Black Order #4 of 5 Writer: Derek Landy Penciler: Philip Tan Inker: Marc Deering with Scott Hanna, Guillermo Ortego & Le Beau Underwood Colorist: Jay David Ramos Cover Artist: Inhyuk Lee   Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed herein are purely the opinions of the author of this article and do not

Comic Book News Marvel

Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy 2019: An Opinion

The Cosmic Triune An Opinion Editorial Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy 2019 By Timelord (Editor’s note: The opinions expressed herein are purely the opinions of the author of this article and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CosmicBookNews. Timelord regularly reviewed the 2007 ‘Nova’ and 2008 ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ series with his

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Review: Invincible #120

Tired of Marvel disrespecting cosmic and talking down to cosmic fans?  Tired of the terrible writing and art in the books Marvel is calling “cosmic” these days?  I’ve got a simple answer for you.  Invincible.

This book just keeps re-inventing itself.  And I mean that in a good way.  The characters change, grow, and mature just as they would in real life.  They are faced with situations every day – both fantastic and mundane – but nevertheless the story is written in such a way as to keep the reader riveted if only because the characters are so appealing.

Sadly, a great warrior and fan favorite character is lost in this issue.  I will miss this character.  But it sets things up nicely for Mark to face the biggest and baddest of the the big bads – King Thragg – in future issues.  Especially since King Thragg is building an army of Viltrumite hybrids.  I think the Invinciverse is going to be in for a rough ride in the near future.

Ottley’s distinctive artistic style is the perfect complement to Kirkman’s outstanding writing.  This book would simply not read the same if not for this team-up of creators, and I hope this team stays together for the next 100 issues of this fine book.

If you’re a cosmic fan, rush out and buy this book.  Reward great quality with high sales.

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Guardians 3000 #8

Today we bid a sad farewell to Marvel’s only true Cosmic book, Guardians 3000.

It’s sad, really, that Marvel wouldn’t commit to this true example of Cosmic, but will commit to all the truly terrible pseudo-cosmic books like GotGINO, NINO, etc.

This issue wraps the series and paves the way for a re-telling of The Korvac Saga during Marvel’s upcoming Secret Wars event.  The quality of the writing and storyline is light years ahead of everything else Marvel is calling “cosmic” these days.

Abnett weaves a complicated and riveting ending to what would now be called a “limited series” with the G3K crew playing a pivotal role in using Korvac to try to correct the damage being done to the universe by Dr. Doom at the start of the Secret Wars event.

The art is much improved from the first several issues of this series and should be much more palatable to most readers.

I am truly sad to see this book ending.  I hope that Abnett’s retelling of The Korvac Saga continues the fine quality represented by this, Marvel’s only truly cosmic book.  Reward this quality by buying this book and leaving the pseudo-cosmic trash like NINO and GotGINO on the shelf.  That will send Marvel a message that there is a market for good quality cosmic

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: NINO #31

Happy Day!  This trash book is finally over!  It can now be relegated to the dust bin where it and other bad memories belong.  Hopefully, Brevoort and Alonso will join it there when their Secret Wars event flops.

The art is particularly bad this issue.  I have always hated this Manga-ized version of the Nova uniform, but NINO looks particularly stupid in it this issue.  In some panels, his neck is the size of a pencil.  When his helmet is off, he has Dumbo-sized ears.  I guess that’s the source of his flight powers.

The story is just as dumb as always with NINO improbably beating a much more powerful and experienced fighter after his actions place Earth in danger.  I, as always, was rooting for the villain.  The perfect ending to this story would’ve been NINO’s death.  Sadly, he survives.  And his unfit parents look to be letting him continue to wear the helmet.  Hey Marvel, this isn’t entertainment.  It’s a tragic example of why kids shouldn’t have super-powers and shouldn’t be soldiers/cops – and why unfit parents shouldn’t have kids.  Not to mention an example of why Duggan shouldn’t be allowed to write cosmic.

Rocket Racoon and Beta Ray Bill have cameos in this issue – showing up just in time to keep NINO’s screw-up from laying waste to Earth.  Yet literally thousands of fairly large asteroids are shown left circling Earth – with no indication that NINO actually cleaned any of them up.  Irresponsible?  I guess anyone can be made an Avenger these days.   At least NINO’s upcoming Avenger book will have a short life span.  Maybe after that, Marvel will give up on this failed experiment.

NINO’s gone, and good riddance to him and his fans.  It’s been too long in coming and he won’t be missed.  Leave this one on the shelf.  Nothing to see here.  And the last issue needs to go out selling less than 18K to ice the NINO failure cake and send Marvel a clear message:  No more NINO’s!

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #27 (Bendys)

The cover teases “The End?”  Oh – please let it be so.  The end of Bendis’ run on this book, at least.  He’s done everything he possibly could to run it into the ground.  It deserves to be put out of its misery.

This absolutely terrible storyline is finally brought to its inevitably stupid end.  Thank God.  I don’t think I could’ve handled any more of the sit-com type banter between Star-Lord and Kitty.  It was groan and eyeball-roll time every time they interacted.  This has to be the most stupid comic book marriage of all time.

And of course, Bendys couldn’t resist throwing in a bunch of “Blam!  Murdered You’s” any time he could squeeze one into Rocket’s dialogue box.  He obviously hasn’t given up on that catchphrase and no doubt dreams of the cash to be made having it emblazoned on millions of tee shirts sporting Rocket’s image.

Hey Bendys – did you never come to the simple realization that the comic didn’t have to be an even more ridiculous version of the movie?  Alternatively, the comic could actually be written as the GOOD source material that the movie writers then have to water down to make palatable to the great unwashed masses.  You know – just like what Gunn did to the original well-written DnA source material and is doing again using the good DnA source material for the sequel.  He’s staying away from your stuff because it’s so bad.  Probably no one else will tell you this simple truth out of politeness.  I’m not polite.  But – take it to heart anyway.  Do the right thing and leave this book to a more talented writer.  Cosmic isn’t your thing.  Follow your dream and go write TV sit-coms and rom-coms.

The art this time out is variable – at times impressive and at times jarringly bad.  It doesn’t save this book.  It’s just par for the course.  Bad writing and commensurate art.

Let’s all join hands and pray that Bendis moves on to something else after this Secret Wars atrocity stumbles to its end.  I guess it would be too much to hope for to have Bendis, Loeb, Brevoort, and Alonso all gone after this event.  But we can always dream of a time when they are just bad memories.

Review: Secret Wars: Infinity Gauntlet (In Name Only) #1
Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Secret Wars: Infinity Gauntlet (In Name Only) #1



An Opinion-Editorially Oriented Review


First off, don’t believe the hype for this book being shoveled high and deep by Marvel shill websites like CBR and IGN.  This book is really just another showcase for Duggan’s un-originality and an opportunity for Marvel to answer all the media criticism about females and racial minorities being in short supply in their universe with yet another replacement of an established superhero with someone with politically correct demographics.

Duggan freely admits that he blatantly re-packaged teen Spiderman tropes for his excruciatingly bad NINO series which thankfully and mercifully ended this week.  For Infinity Gauntlet in Name Only (hereinafter referred to as IGINO), he simply begins with the tired old “Lone Ranger” cliché that has too often been applied to the Nova concepts, adds a Good Times-like family with all the desired PC demographics as the protagonists of the story, inferiorly re-packages the Annihilation Prologue storyline, and throws all this into a War of the Worlds type setting with a raggedy-looking Thanos skulking around in the background looking for Infinity Stone fragments as the only real tie to the namesake of this storyline – Marvel’s best pre-Annihilation cosmic story, Starlin’s original The Infinity Gauntlet.  Given all that, I’d have to conclude that Duggan has replaced Bendys as the King of Hackery.  He’s obviously poorly versed in Science-Fiction and it shows.  He simply re-packages concepts from popular SF-oriented comic books, TV, and movies – and produces something vastly inferior to the original.

Frankly, I’m tired of all the PC nonsense.  All this howling in the mainstream media is mainly directed toward the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is primarily coming from critics who don’t buy and read comic books.   If there really is a comic book market of buyers eager to buy books about female and racial minority heroes, it isn’t evident if sales history is used as a measure.  She-Hulk, Spider-Girl, Spiderwoman, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Falcon, etc. have all had multiple re-launched books and have never really been able to stay above cancellation threshold for very long.  Sure – some of them were kept on life-support for a while.  But none of them have had real staying power.  I give credit to Marvel for trying.  But if the buyers aren’t there, they aren’t there.

What annoys me is when Marvel cheats and takes the lazy (and racist and/or sexist in its own way) path out.  Instead of taking the risk and creating new characters with PC demographics from scratch and trying to make them compelling enough to catch on with the general population of comic buyers, they, in a form of reverse racism/sexism, replace beloved white male superheroes who already have a large following with female and/or racial minority characters knowing that the buyers will continue to buy the books they habitually buy for a while – all the while knowing in the back of their minds that the originals will return.  Does anyone really believe that Thor Odinson and Steve Rogers won’t return to their respective roles of Thor and Captain America once the PC characters now filling their shoes wear out their welcome?  Of course not.   Marvel doesn’t want to lose those habitual buyers.  The exception to this rule appears to be Richard Rider’s Nova.  For some reason, Marvel doesn’t care about alienating his fan base, and Marvel Writers and Editors go out of their way to insult and denigrate his fan base.

First we’ve had Loeb’s truly pathetically bad half-Xandarian-half-Hispanic teen idiot, Sam Alexander, as Rich’s permanent replacement.  Now comes Black Female teenage Xandarian, Anwen Bakian, and her family – including a salty old grandpa and a dog.  Could you get more PC than this?  I think not.  And the zombies and the small minority of PC-lovers are standing in line to drink this Guyana Kool-Aid.  Of course, I fully expect to be viciously attacked by the PC-Police with their Ferguson-Missouri-Police tactics merely for expressing these views.

Let’s talk about how clichéd and dumb this IGINO concept and storyline are in the first place.  How many times have you seen this kind of chase and narrow escape scenario?  In just about every monster movie you’ve ever seen, right?  How many times on how many TV shows have you seen a grandpa and son-in-law argument such as presented in this book?  On how many dumb child-oriented TV shows are the teenagers and children portrayed as wiser, smarter, and braver than the adults?  And how stupid is that anyway?  I’ve got no problem with there being dark-skinned Xandarians.  I do have a problem with there being a dog on Xandar.  Why is there a German Shepherd dog on Xandar?  I have no problem with a dark-skinned adult female Nova Corpsman.  I have a problem with the entire family getting Nova powers.  Once again, Marvel is going down the immoral child soldier pathway.  And I have a huge problem with Anwen being the next in line as Rich’s replacement.  I suppose the dog will also get powers – or more likely, since Duggan can’t resist a good cliché, the dog will die a tragic, heroic death since none of the principals except maybe dad or grandpa will get killed.  Why is Thanos skulking around in the background?  He’s not that kind of guy.  He’s a lot more powerful than the bugs and Anwen’s mom.  Why doesn’t he just stride in and take the stones he’s looking for?  Also, why do we need another NINO type book aimed at children?  Wasn’t the original NINO experiment a big enough failure? This book is hardly original or of high quality – unless you have the deficient mentality of a CBR/IGN reviewer or a CBR forum regular or one of the chronic complainers who show up on Facebook to take issue with me.  In that case, you probably think it’s wonderful as you wash it down with the rest of your Pablum.

Weaver’s art is decent for most of the book.  At times – such as the underground scene and some of the chase scenes – it’s muddled and confusing.  But for the most part, it’s well done.  It’s not enough to save this book – but it keeps the book from being a total waste of paper.

So, my advice, particularly if you’re a Rich Rider Nova fan, is to vote with your dollars and boycott this Politically Correct NINO-ette (hereinafter referred to as PC-NINO-ette).  Marvel needs to be slapped down for disrespecting the Rider Nova fans once again, for disrespecting the Annihilation and The Infinity Gauntlet source material, and for producing this PC-NINO-ette disgusting, hackneyed trash.  Making this book a sales failure is a good way to do it.

Comic Book News Marvel

NINO #30 Review & PC Op-ed

An Opinion-Editorial Oriented Review Decrying Political Correctness in Comic Books


Duggan, like Bendis, has no real understanding of science-fiction.   They both just rip-off plot and action elements from popular cinema and televised science-fiction and science-fantasy.  This issue, Duggan copies some elements from Babylon 5 and Deep Impact to make yet another thoroughly insipid and totally implausible NINO storyline.

Duggan admits he copies teen Spiderman plot elements from the past, and he likes to take to twitter to talk about what a brave, filled-to-the-brim with integrity kind of guy he is because he resists the harsh criticism leveled at him about NINO and keeps churning out NINO trash.  Hey Duggan, that doesn’t make you brave or full of integrity.   Re-packaging well-worn tropes from comics, cinema, and TV just makes you a hack.

The eye-rolling and stomach-churning moments go hand-in-hand in this issue with Duggan having NINO take on an ultra-powerful and ultra-experienced trained warrior – and of course, totally implausibly winning.  Stupid.  Unbelievable (in a bad way).

Of course, NINO predictably continues to screw up and his screw-ups result in Earth being put in incredible danger from multiple sources including a storm of asteroids heading straight for Earth.  Also, predictably, NINO (just like all the other current cosmic characters) has the Avengers on speed dial to call to save the day because cosmic characters are such buffoons under Bendys, Duggan, Loeb, Brevoort, and Alonso – that all cosmic characters can do is screw-up and place Earth in danger.  They can’t save Earth (or anything else).  Cosmic characters can no longer effectively single-handedly deal with cosmic threats.  They just trigger cosmic threats.  Then they’ve got to call The Avengers or The X-Men for help.  How dumb is that?  Pretty dumb.  But what else do you expect from Bendys, Duggan, Loeb, Brevoort, and Alonso?  They wanted to reduce cosmic to bathroom humor level buffoonery and they succeeded.

The art continues to decline on this deplorable book.  NINO continues to look thoroughly stupid in a poorly designed manga-ish military uniform he never earned in the first place.   It’s actually painful to look at the little idiot.

With sales under 20K despite all the marketing hype, a regular cartoon appearance, and shoehorning the little idiot into every major event, Marvel needs to wake up and declare this trash the failure that it so obviously is.  But that would make too much sense.  Instead, they decided to double-down on the failed formula and do an even more politically correct version of NINO, a PC-NINO-ette as it were.  Out with the half-alien/half-Hispanic male kid and in with the black female kid.  I guess the reasoning was, “If it worked for Ms. Marvel, maybe it’ll work for NINO.”

If you’re a true fan of the original Nova concepts and you’d like to see Rich Rider back in his rightful place, its past time to take action.  Boycott, NINO and PC-NINO-ette.  Send Marvel a clear message that they need to stop replacing beloved classic characters just for the sake of appealing to political correctness in the general population.  The general population could care less about comic books. 

That being said, despite all evidence to the contrary, if Marvel thinks that there really is an enormous demographic of buyers out there just dying to buy books about female, racial minority, religious minority, and sexual orientation-minority characters – then by all means please create such NEW characters from scratch and give them a book.  Let’s have a book about a super-powered, bi-sexual, female, half-Gypsy/half-Pygmy, wheelchair-bound, Shinto priestess who’s seriously considering sex change surgery.   Sounds hilarious.   I might even buy the first issue.  This ultimately PC character would certainly please the “small but vocal” PC crowd (and their PC police force who frequently shoot the rest of us in the back as we try to flee this PC nonsense).  But please, don’t use that ultimate PC character as a replacement for Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Nova, etc.   Live up to your name as the “House of Ideas,” do the courageous/non-lazy thing, and create a brand new character with the demographics you want to capture.  

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #26

As far as silly situation-comedy-ish cliché goes, I will say that this issue is among the best of the worst.  Faint praise, but really that’s all it deserves.

On the up side, the well-worn clichés of someone being unwillingly elected to office, the duck-out-of-water scenarios, the enjoyment of the good life that the group falls backward into, etc. are not over-played to the point of being offensive.  But make no mistake – if you read this, you’ll be wading through clichés so familiar that you’ll know what’s going to happen before you turn each page.

On the down side, Bendys just can’t seem to get the character’s voices right.  He inexplicably has Drax yelling Shakespearean English such as, “Have at thee!” as if he suddenly channeled Thor.  He portrays Drax as completely unfamiliar with Earth culture even though Drax began life as a human.  This isn’t the historical Drax from Marvel Comics or even the Drax from Gunn’s movie.  This is some inferior, newly created Drax – born of Bendys’ unfamiliarity with the character. 

Bendis has never gotten Quill right, either.  Quill is no longer a leader capable of single-handedly taking on a Herald and winning.  He’s just a goofball screw-up who falls bass-ackward into situations and either has others rescue him from his stupidity or his srew-ups just luckily turn out right.

This incredibly stupid storyline of Quill getting married to Kitty is unspeakably asinine.  I weep for what cosmic has become under Bendys, Brevoort, Loeb, and Alonso.   This relationship is like every other one you see on any number of clichéd network situation comedies where the woman is the wise voice of reason and the guy is an idiot screw-up who couldn’t tie his own shoes without her.   I wish Bendis would just give this comic up and take a job writing one of those television rom-coms.  I’d call it good riddance.

The art and coloring has its ups-and-downs, too.  Some panels are impressively rendered and colored.  Others have Quill and Kitty with distorted facial expressions right out of a Looney-Tunes cartoon.

I suppose the Looney-Tunes comparison is fitting, though.  Because, after-all, Bendys is just writing farce.  That is the ultimate disappointment of what Marvel is now calling cosmic.  It isn’t serious anymore.  It is just second-rate farce to their serious Earth-bound superhero stories.  

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Guardians 3000 #7

Sadly this is the next to last issue of G3K, and with Marvel’s hostility toward this, their only true cosmic comic book, it will likely not return from hiatus after the silliness of the “Secret Wars” event has reached it’s no doubt too long in coming and astoundingly annoying conclusion.

Interestingly, the apparent cause of the Secret Wars event debuts in this book – but since the zombies aren’t buying this book, I guess they’ll have to wait and read it in whatever generic Avengers title they’re buying en masse these days.

One of the highlights of this book is how it indirectly points out how small and petty Quill’s GotGINO team has become under Bendis and Gunn.  Star-Lord is pointed out as lacking in leadership skills and proves that point repeatedly over the course of the storyline.  This is not the leader of men that Peter Quill was in times past – a guy who could take out a Herald of Galactus single-handedly.  It is Bendis’ and Gunn’s twenty-something goofball who is repeatedly outclassed by the original GotG team.

And, of course, when the situation takes a turn for the worse, what does this weak, pitiful, farcical, buffoon-ish, Bendis-fied version of Quill do?  Hits the speed-dial button to call in the Avengers, as always.  Vance rightfully points out that the GotG are better qualified to handle the situation.  And Quill disagrees!  Jeez!  This buffoon version of Star-Lord has drunk the kool-aid and bought into Bendis’ propaganda.

I’ll go on record as not being that big a fan of the Korvac Saga, but Abnett is able to weave an interesting tale from that source material.  

Leon’s art and Delgado’s colors are vast improvements from the first five issues.  The teams look more like themselves and less like some abstract art version of the team.

Rush out and buy this book, and its TPB.  Quality needs to be rewarded, and very little of what Marvel is now calling “cosmic” has any quality to be rewarded.  Guardians 3000 is the shining antithesis of Bendis.  Rush out and buy this book!

Comic Book News

Review: Invincible #118

Now here’s a true cosmic comic book.

This issue marks a major change in direction for the Invincible storyline with Mark and Even immigrating to Telescria to begin a new life with their new baby.  This story chronicles their first day on the planet and their catching up with old friends and relatives.  Oliver, now grown, makes a surprise visit and it’s always good to see Alan.

Their new life is not without peril and heartache, though, as you’ll see with Mark’s PTSD symptoms in dealing with his recent rape and with the totally unexpected final page cliffhanger.

Kirkman and Ottley are a writer-artist dream team.  Mark’s story remains as compelling today after 118 issues as it was in Issue #1.  It just goes to show you that Kirkman can break the mold and allow a character to grow, change, and mature over time – and still keep readers interested.  Kirkman can also tell a true cosmic story aimed at adults where the space setting is central.  There is humor, but he doesn’t make his cosmic stories into a farce.  The humor flows naturally.  Marvel could learn a lot by emulating him.

Ottley’s art remains as amazing as ever.  I look forward to his work and can’t wait to see what he renders every issue.

This issue is priced at only .25 cents as it’s aimed at bringing new readers aboard for this new phase of Mark’s life.  So check it out.  Good cosmic comics need to be rewarded and trust me, you’ll be hooked by this one.

Comic Book News

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #25 (Bendys)

This one is slightly less horrible than usual. 

That’s not meant as a compliment.  Every once in a while, Bendys screws up and writes something halfway decent.  At least this time, he doesn’t make the team seem like guest stars in their own book and he’s able to balance their appearances and contribution to the mission with those of the X-Men, the character’s he’s vastly more comfortable writing and appears to vastly prefer to write.

And I wish Bendis would go back to writing more traditional characters and leave cosmic alone.

It’s still a bad story, made all the worse by the appearance of NINO with all his typical screw ups.  He’s even referred to multiple times by multiple characters as a child.  Why would these supposed “Guardians of the Galaxy” put a child into combat?  Stupid.  Typical Bendis.  Typical Bonso.  Typical Marvel Pseudo-Cosmic.  They’ve just turned what they’re calling “cosmic” into a farce – a running joke – that only zombies could love.

The annoying hot-potato game with The Black Vortex continues in this chapter of this increasingly annoying and overly long story about absolute power corrupting absolutely.  This excruciatingly hackneyed story could’ve been told in one issue and is not deserving of an “event.”  Or in this case, a disappointing “non-event” would be the better descriptor.

At least the art is not bad this time out.  Schiti appears to be growing into the role of depicting pseudo-cosmic characters.

Frankly, I’ll be glad when this comic goes on hiatus for the upcoming silliness of the totally un-necessary sales gimmicky Marvel reboot.  Maybe Bendys won’t come back to it when the hiatus is over.  That would be something worth celebrating.

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Best Story Ever

Normally, I’m a Tim Seely admirer.  I’m a huge Hack-Slash fan and think his work on said comic was absolutely brilliant in that it breathed fresh air into a pretty stale concept.

That’s why it so pains me to have to say that “Best Story Ever” is a terrible misnomer for this comic.  It’s certainly not the worst story ever.  Bendis writes those.  But “best story ever” is quite a stretch.  The best stories for this team were written by DnA.  It’s all been downhill since they were fired.

The problem with this story is that it tries too hard to mimic the movie.  And it fails.

I’ll cut the movie some slack because in order to recoup the rather large monetary investment to produce it, it had to be written to appeal to the lowest common denominator of movie goer.  Fine.  I don’t like it that the concepts were watered-down, and it was played too much as a farce for cheap laughs, but I’ll tolerate it for the above given reason.

Comics don’t have the same up-front investment as movies.  They can afford to concentrate on quality and even be written for a niche audience.  So Marvel doesn’t have to try to mimic the movie.  Trying to mimic the movie will always just result in what this comic ultimately is – a juvenile farce played for way too many cheap laughs – most of which are duds.

I mean, come on.  The entire mission is about stealing a toilet because Rocket broke the only toilet on the ship?  Really?  Doesn’t this take bathroom humor to an all new low?  Murdering dozens of sentients at a warehouse just to steal a toilet?  Is the team that amoral?

The art is certainly an improvement over the regular fare on Bendys’ book, but it just can’t make up for the weak story. 

Sorry, Seely, but I hope you direct your talents to something else in the future, because this effort is a fail.  Only a zombie could love this – another episode of Marvel Cosmic gone horribly wrong – again thanks to Brevoort and Alonso.

Comic Book News

Review: Guardians 3000 #6

Finally, a good cosmic comic book from Marvel!

And, of course, they’ve cancelled it.  They’ll keep NINO on life support and double-down on the bad NINO formula with PC-NINO-ette, but they’ll not keep a good and true cosmic comic like G3K going even though it sells better than NINO.  Go figure.  Typical Brevoort and Alonso “leadership.”

Abnett winds a fantastic tale of cosmic adventure and time travel – in the first good story featuring both the original team and the movie-influenced team.  The pace is rapid, the dialogue is snappy, the humor isn’t forced or overbearing, it’s not played as a farce, the space-time aspects are central to the story.  In other words, we have an actual true cosmic comic aimed at adults on our hands!  Hooray!  It’s about time (no pun intended). 

To top it off, we have better art this time out.  It’s more photo-realistic with cleaner lines and non-exaggerated features – avoiding the jarring out-of-proportion depictions of the team and toothy facial expressions that plagued the first 5 issues.

In short, this is what cosmic fans have been asking for over the past several years.  Brevoort hated it before it ever got out of the gate, and Marvel has given it absolutely no promotion.  Yet is sells better than NINO – who has been given every chance in the world.  Of course, NINO will be back, but G3K will probably not get such a reprieve.  Brilliant leadership, Bonso, absolutely brilliant.

Go out and buy multiple copies of this book.  Let it at least go out on a high note.  That will send Bonso a clear message.  Down with NINO.  Give us more G3K!!!

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: NINO #28

What is wrong with Marvel?

They actually think this “story” about playing “hot potato” with “The Black Vortex” is entertaining?

Silly, yes.  Entertaining, no.  Unless, of course, you’re an easily satisfied zombie who will buy anything and take to the internet to defend it to the end.

It’s just typical Duggan in a typical NINO story.  Screw-up after screw-up that somehow works itself out in the end mostly due to NINO’s dumb luck or another NINO screw-up that fortuitously ends well.  Of course, the requisite cardboard villains written as if they belong in an episode of Scooby-Doo are prominently on display as always.

Of course, Duggan, not satisfied with his appearances on forums to insult Rider fans, has to throw in an insult to Rider fans in the body of the story.  Seriously, if there are any Rider fans still buying this trash, this has to be the final straw for you.  Join the rest of us in the boycott.

This is just another episode of Marvel Cosmic gone horribly wrong.  It isn’t even cosmic, really, as the space setting is just incidental.  It’s just puerile, juvenile trash aimed at 8-year-olds and played as a farce for cheap laughs for chronologically older persons with the mentality of 8-year-olds (aka Marvel Zombies).

The art continues to decline.  Thane’s “googly eyes” turn what is supposed to be the only serious dramatic scene in this ultimately stupid story into yet another Scooby-Doo moment of farce.

Cancellation of this garbage can’t come too soon.  Marvel needs to man up and admit that this experiment has been a total failure.  Unfortunately, Brevoort and Alonso are in charge, so that will never happen.  Like NINO, you can only count on them to do the most stupid thing possible and double-down on the failed formula.  Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for Bonso’s Double-Down:  “Politically Correct NINO-ette (PC-NINO-ette).”   Join us in boycotting her, too.

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: NINO Annual #1

Silly, juvenile, disrespectful of Nova mythos and fans, and un-heroic – this book is everything you’ve come to expect of NINO.

At least NINO admits at various times in the book that he’s stupid and doesn’t know what he’s doing.  That places him in the company of the 19K of zombies still buying this trash.

Of course, Duggan either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that Xandar hasn’t existed as a planet for a long time now.  He blithely sends NINO and the Hulk on a selfish quest to repair NINO’s helmet.  Upon arriving at the somehow re-constituted planet of Xandar, they find a powerful alien who has enslaved the “remaining Xandarians” and is forcing them to perform heavy labor.  Again, Duggan either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that Xandarians are nearly identical to humans as he portrays the Xandarians as very alien.

Do you think NINO and Hulk do the heroic thing and free the Xandarians from slavery or make some attempt to resurrect Xandar?  No.  Hulk temporarily disables the alien slave lord, finds some parts to fix NINO’s helmet, then he and NINO selfishly and un-heroically leave the remaining Xandarians to be re-enslaved.  What a nice thank you to the culture who provided the loser duo of NINO and his dad their powers.  Pathetic.  Immoral.  But that’s why this trash is and ever will be “Nova In Name Only” – because no other being worthy of the uniform would ever behave so selfishly, un-heroically, and utterly disgracefully.

The art and coloring are mediocre with NINO continuing to look ridiculous in his manga-ized version of a Nova uniform.  The art used to at least distract readers from the atrocious writing, but even the art is slipping as this book comes ever closer to its recently announced cancellation date.  Given that NINO is a Loeb vanity project, it’s probably too much to hope that we’ve seen the last of NINO.  I’m not too worried about the upcoming politically correct NINO-ette – as she’ll be DOA.

So good riddance to NINO (and a hoped for quick riddance to PC NINO-ette).  Your final issue can’t come too soon and you won’t be missed.

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: NINO #27

Why doesn’t Marvel just re-name this book Pseudo-Spider-Man Redux or Pseudo-Spider-Man Lite?  Drop NINO, change a couple of supporting characters, substitute a teenage Spidey, and this story would read the same.

Seriously, this tussle with Carnage is the most blatant copycat of a Spidey story yet.  This isn’t Cosmic in any way, shape, or form.  It’s just teen Spider-Man re-told for the umpteenth time.  I realize that that’s the point of this failed experiment – to try to capture Spider-Magic once again.  It’s just a shame that a true Cosmic book with a true, mature, Cosmic hero was replaced by this hackneyed, puerile, juvenile-mentality-oriented nonsense that really belongs in an “all-ages” Spidey book.

I lost interest in Spider-Man in the early 1990’s and have never re-gained a real interest in the character or his rogue’s gallery of villains.   I can’t say I have any particular feelings for the Carnage character – but I like him better than NINO, so I was rooting for him.  Predictably, unfortunately, and un-realistically he fails in his attempt to kill NINO.  Too bad.  I’d like to see NINO 6-feet-under where he belongs.  The story is just a prolonged and predictable fight with a symbiote, pulling out all the predictable moves and tactics for fighting a symbiote.  And it even ends with a predictable Spider-Mannish dropping of the defeated and wrapped-up villain off at Riker’s Island.  Seen that story before?  Yeah, me too.  Yawn.

Since Marvel insists on keeping this book on life support for some as yet unknown reason, they at least need to stop calling it Cosmic.  Cosmic is incidental at best in this book and always has been.  Loeb just lazily usurped the look, powers, and concepts of a better-conceived true Cosmic hero – watered them down for juvenile consumption, and gave them to a Parker-ish teen screw-up.  How many times have you seen that formula?  Too many?  Yeah, me too.

Duggan has ignored the Cosmic elements for the most part, vainly trying to appeal to a non-existent demographic of pre-teen Spider-Fans.  Just as well.  Duggan is clearly not a Cosmic writer or fan – and his forays into Cosmic have been deplorably bad.  He just needs to stick to copy-catting old Spidey stories and finish driving this book well into the teens in sales so Marvel has no choice but to cancel it.  Never fear, though, NINO-zombies – because Duggan won’t take that sound advice and instead has a NINO-ette coming down the pike for you in a totally un-necessary (and doubtlessly frightfully bad) redux of Infinity Gauntlet.  Yeah, since NINO isn’t working, the thing to do is double-down on the failed concept and validate the previously un-true comparisons with GL by creating a Red NINO-ette.  Tell me Duggan, do you have any original ideas?  First you copy-cat original Spidey.  Now you’re going to try to copy-cat Starlin and GL?  And do a Miles Morales treatment of NINO in the process?  I swear, it’s almost funny that Marvel just keeps making bad things worse.

This issue’s cover art is particularly bad.  I’ve always deplored the Manga-fying of the Nova uniform to make NINO, and this cover looks like an image from a cheap video game magnifying all the Kamen Riders and Mega-Man meets Power Rangers rip-offs that are part and parcel of the NINO uniform.  The interior art ranges from sub-average to average at best.  Curiel does a fine job with the colors, but he admittedly has little with which to work and his talents would be better spent on a better book.

If you’re a true Cosmic fan, vote with your dollars and leave this title on the shelf.  Boycott Duggan’s upcoming IG redux, too.  And especially boycott this Black Vortex trash with its hackneyed “absolute power corrupts absolutely” simplistic message that could have been told in one issue and isn’t deserving of an “event.”  Seriously, compare this current fare to Annihilation, Annihilation: Conquest, War of Kings, Realm of Kings, Nova Volume IV, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume II, and Guardians 3000 – books that actually respected the Cosmic concepts and the fans of the Cosmic conceptsThe current “lowest-common-denominator of comics buyer fare” (i.e.  NINO, GotGINO, LSLINO, RRINO) will come up sorely lacking every time.  It’s time we sent Marvel a message that their current “turn Cosmic into a juvenile farce to appeal to the lowest-common-denominator of comic buyer” strategy is a failure.

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #24 (Bendys)

Yeah, I know this is a crossover book in an event – but to me it’s just more of Bendis focusing on the characters he really wants to write, Avengers and X-Men, and continuing to write the Guardians as guest-stars in their own book.

Poor DraxBendis just can’t get his characterization right.  In this issue, he’s raves about the vortex being a “tool of the devil” as if he’s one of the psychotic people you see living on the streets of any large city.  Does that sound like Starlin’s Drax?  Or Giffen’s/DnA’s Drax?  Or even the imitation of Gunn’s Drax that Bendys is apparently shooting for, but like a bad marksman, just keeps missing?  Nope.  This is definitely Bendys’ Drax – no defined personality and just around to make random stupid comments and to occasionally punch something.

Did anyone else find the “lover’s quarrel” between Starlord and Kitty just flat out annoying?  Again, something out of a bad sitcom where the guy wants to do something stupid and the oh-so-much-wiser girl tries to talk him out of it but he does it anyway and, of course, he’s wrong.  Seen that anywhere before?  How many times?  And Bendis zombies criticize me for calling Bendis’ writing hackneyed.

I will say that I liked Gamora’s upgrade – but only because it restored her to the bad-girl/bad-ass characterization of Giffen/Dna along with a version of her sexy Annihilation-era costume.  The rest of the upgrades were real yawners.  And horror-of-horrors, NINO makes an appearance at the end and gets upgraded into – you guessed it – and even more manga-ish uniform!  Seriously, let’s just make the little idiot the Power Ranger that he is and sweep him into the dustbin of comicdom where he belongs.

It’s fitting that G3K and GotGINO were released in the same week so we could perform a direct compare-and-contrast between the two books bearing the Guardians name.   G3K remains an awesome read that treats the Cosmic concepts, characters, and fans with seriousness and respectGotGINO continues to be a parody of Cosmic.  To make a cinematic comparison, G3K is to GotGINO, as 2001: A Space Odyssey is to Spaceballs.  Sorry, Mel Brooks fans, I don’t mean that as a compliment.

I’m not a big fan of Schiti’s art in general, but I will say it was a fine grade of average this time out.  Keith’s colors were quite well done.

In sum, with Bendys at the helm, GotGINO remains a waste of color glossy paper.  If you’re a true Cosmic fan, the best thing you could do is leave this on the shelf along with NINO, LSLINO, and RRINO –  and instead buy multiple copies of G3K.   In other words, use your money to support true Cosmic – and leave the parodies of cosmic to die deaths of cash starvation.

Comic Book News

Review: Guardians 3000 #5

Now THIS is Marvel Cosmic!

While Bendis, Humphries, Duggan, and Young have been busy turning Cosmic into a bad situation comedy, Abnett, in five fantastic issues of G3K, has single-handedly taught a master class as to how Cosmic should be done.

Abnett’s G3K is the superior antithesis to rest of what Marvel is calling Cosmic these days.  In contrast to Bendis, Humphries, Duggan, and Young, Abnett respects the subject matter and the characters – using the situation and the special abilities of each character as a source of drama in approaching the problems to be addressed rather than an excuse for buffoonery aimed at getting some cheap laughs.  That alone places G3K light years above the paltry efforts of Bendis, Humphires, Duggan, and Young – but there’s more.

Abnett weaves a complex, exciting, and fast-paced tale with high-stakes consequences not only for each of the protagonists, but also for the entire known universe.  The pressure is on for this small group of heroes as their actions will have consequences for everyone and everything.

Abnett has nailed the portrayal of the Starlord of the future.  While everyone else is busy vainly trying to imitate Gunn’s portrayal of Starlord from the GotG movie, Abnett gets Starlord back to his roots – both in terms of uniform and characterization.  It is a refreshing change for the better.

In another refreshing change for the better, in the scant few pages given Rael Rider, she outshines the entire run of Loeb’s/Duggan’s deplorable NINO.  It is very satisfying to see a bright, tough, mature, effective Nova for a change.  We haven’t seen that since Marvel dumped Rich Rider and replaced him with the idiotic NINO.  At least we know there’s a better future for Xandar that doesn’t include NINO but does include some descendants of Earth’s true Nova, Rich Rider.

Each of the original Guardians team has their own voice and their own unique part to play in the grand scheme of the story.   Contrast that with Bendis’ lazy storytelling on his Garbage of the Galaxy book where the characterization is so bad that nearly any character could easily be replaced by any other character.

The art has been the weakest link on this book from the start with very mixed feelings being expressed by many of the fans of this series.  Some find it tolerable while others are really turned off.  I have to say that the artist’s style has grown on me, and I find it much more tolerable than I found it in issue #1.  That being said, I would like to see another artist’s take on Abnett’s concepts.  Delgado’s colors once again serve to soften the extremes of Sandoval’s artistic portrayals of our iconic Guardians.  Ross’ cover art is simply outstanding.

In sum, Abnett in five issue has managed to outshine the entirety of the efforts of Bendis, Duggan, Humphries, and Young.  Sadly, the zombies prefer pablum over true quality – so this book is probably doomed.  I urge all true Cosmic fans to get behind this book and do all you can to promote it to your friends, since Marvel is pretty much ignoring it and pouring all their marketing efforts into the pablum.  This book is Marvel’s only true Cosmic book.  Enjoy it while you can.

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #23 (Bendys)

Bendis has an uncanny ability to take the awe, majesty, mystery, and wonder of the cosmos and turn it into something petty, pedestrian, hackneyed and mundane.  Such has been his tenure on GotG (in name only).

He also has the uncanny ability to treat the GotGINO cast like guest-stars in their own book.  He clearly wants to be writing Avengers stories and working with Avengers characters.  We’re consistently having Avengers shoe-horned onto this team (when there are better cosmic characters going unused – Bug, Mantis, Moondragon, to name but a few), and the storylines are consistently built around the Avengers characters.  This dreadful and seemingly endless Venom storyline is one example.  I’m sure we have some Captain Ms. Marvel storylines to look forward to with dread as well.

On the other hand, since he’s made the GotGINO team into cardboard cut-outs of their former selves, one has to ask oneself if it really matters if they’re given short shrift in their own book – particularly since the zombies keep buying this tripe no matter how poor the quality.

Bendis accomplishes what he really wants to accomplish, though.  He rebuilds Venom into a real powerhouse – just in time for Marvel’s reboot.  In getting there, we have to suffer through an absolutely non-thrilling pseudo-adventure on the planet of the Symbiotes including an implausible and ponderous soliloquy from the Symbiotes explaining their entire back story and motivations.

The GotG team of characters developed by DnA have obvious proven potential for greatness.  I point to the greatness of the Volume II concepts which inspired the top earning movie of 2014.  The sad thing is, instead of expanding on the greatness of Volume II, Bendis has now produced 23 issues of squandered opportunities to build on the greatness of Volume II and has instead focused on tearing down everything that made Volume II great.  Rumor is that Gunn is using more DnA-written material as the inspiration for his GotG movie sequel.  What does that tell you, Bendis defenders?  It should be telling you that Bendis‘ attempt to create an “Avengers-Lite” situation-comedy-oriented team in space has been a miserable creative failure that has wisely been deemed unworthy of use by the Marvel Cinematic Universe decision makers.  Steadily falling sales should also be telling you that at least a portion of the zombies are waking up and rightfully dropping this book.

Once again in this issue, Bendis‘ characterization is completely off kilter – especially for Drax.  He just can’t seem to write Drax properly.  Maybe if he was not so threatened by the better characterizations of Giffen and DnA, he could get Drax right simply by embracing the superior characterization of the past.  Of course, the same could be said of his characterizations of Rocket, Groot, Gamora, and Star-Lord.

I must say that the cover art featuring Rocket is magnificent.  The interior art and coloring are mediocre at best.  In the long shots, the characters are poorly formed – and in some of the close-ups, it’s nearly impossible to tell Star-Lord and Flash Thompson apart.

Next issue begins a new arc.  You guessed it if you guessed that Bendis is doubling-down on madcap for the next arc.  He’s going to tell the story of how Star-Lord got elected to office as President of Spartax without ever running for office.  Were you looking forward to that one?  No – I wasn’t either. Sigh.  

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: NINO #26

It’s funny that this book was created to capture a desperately desired but near non-existent demographic of buyers aged 12 and under, but has instead really just captured about 20,000 adult-aged comic book buyers who have the mentality of age 12 or under and are slap-happy to be treated to sub-par retellings of tired old comic book tropes.

Duggan is simply not up to the task of telling a truly cosmic story. Instead, he admittedly and shamelessly simply copies teen Spider-Man storylines from days gone by. In this issue, he explores the consequences of NINO unwisely revealing his secret identity to the super-villain, Carnage. The predictable consequences and fight outcome ensue. Yawn.

As usual, I was rooting for the villain. Carnage murdering NINO would have been the optimal (and realistic) outcome, but alas, Marvel has to recoup their excessive and unwise investment in NINO, so he implausibly survives. You’d think this would be the final straw for his mother, whose life is threatened by Carnage. Yet, she implausibly continues to demonstrate that she is in no way fit to raise children as she continues to encourage NINO to risk his life, her life, and the life of NINO’s sister. As I said, it would take a 12 or under mentality to ignore all the implausibility.

When I think of all the truly innovative books that sold about the same as or better than NINO that Marvel could have kept on life-support – such as Incredible Hercules, Young Allies, Nova Volume IV, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume II, Agents of Atlas, to name a few – I just shake my head in disgust that Marvel would continue to pour resources into this unworthy tripe in their thus far vain attempt to force it to be successful. Seriously, only a ComicBookResources reviewer (aka Marvel Shill) could love this book.

We get a brief update on NINO’s unfit father, Jesse, as well. It seems the poor sap is lost in space along with a crew of equally mentally challenged idiots. It seems the idiot apple, NINO, didn’t fall too far from the tree. 

The art has typically been the only saving grace of this book, but as the sales of this book have rightly fallen off the cliff – so has the art. The cover art is amateurish and the interior art is poorly constructed as well. NINO looks less like an annoying 15-year-old character and more like a 20-something-year-old character. Curiel does his typical fine job with colors, but his talents are wasted on this book.

So join most of the rest of the comic book world and leave this book on the shelf. Let’s make 2015 the year NINO bites the dust.

Comic Book News

Review: Guardians 3000 #4

Abnett understands cosmic.  He also obviously likes cosmic.  He’s not trying to turn cosmic into something that it isn’t.  He takes the subject matter seriously, extrapolates the future from the current, writes fresh and plausible stories defying stale superhero tropes, makes the space setting both necessary and central to the storyline, and uses humor naturally as an incidental brief relief from the drama rather than the entire focus of each story.

In contrast, Bendis, Young, Duggan, Humphries, and everyone else Marvel has on the rest of their so-called “cosmic” books obviously don’t like or understand cosmic and just resort to writing silly, campy storylines that borrow heavily from superhero tropes, are played for laughs, and just happen to be set in space.

G3000 is written as good science-fiction.  The rest are written as running jokes.  That’s why I say G3000 is Marvel’s only truly cosmic book.  The rest are pseudo-cosmic at their rare best – and intelligence insulting parodies of cosmic most commonly.

I was skeptical at first – doubting whether anyone could breathe new life into the original GotG characters.  Abnett has risen to the challenge and exceeded it.  In this issue, we learn the origin of A-Sentience, we get to spend some time with Vance Astro via flashbacks to better understand his motivations, we get to see part of the team work together as an effective and coordinated fighting force, we get to know the new Star-Lord, we learn more about the time crisis, we get another glimpse of Rael Rider, and Nikki joins the team.

As an aside, it was nice to see a real Nova in a real Nova uniform instead of the manga-inspired-NINO Marvel insists on inflicting upon us cosmic fans.

Abnett packs an enormous amount of story into only a few pages – but the story flows naturally and leaves the reader both intrigued and hungry for next month’s issue.  Abnett respects the characters and their fans.  The characters are addressing weighty issues and must take high-stakes risks to address these issues.  This is a well-written story by cosmic standards in particular and comic book standards in general.

The art has long been the weak point of this book, but I have to say that Sandoval is growing into the art for the book with each passing issue.  The art for this issue is the best yet, and if this trend continues, I’ll soon be cheering for Sandoval rather than longing for a new artist.  Delgado’s coloring provides the perfect tone for the storyline and helps soften some of the harshness of Sandoval’s artistic style.

If this book isn’t on your pull list, call your local comic shop and add it today.  This is the kind of book that needs to be rewarded with high sales.  Leave the rest of what Marvel is calling “cosmic” on the shelf. 

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #22 (Bendys)

For another lump of coal in your Christmas Stocking, check out GotGINO* #22.  Actually, it’s more like a hot potato than a lump of coal as Bendys spends the entire issue playing hot potato with Venom’s symbiote.

I know Bendys and his easily pleased fanboys think it’s just madcap fun to have the symbiote jump from Guardian to Guardian.  Actually, it’s just tiresome and silly.  Bendis has reduced the Guardians to a bunch of bumbling buffoons, stumbling their way through every relatively minor situation they encounter and making some implausibly bad decisions along the way.  I blame Marvel for pulling good writers from this book and putting Bendys on it – but we are getting exactly what we expected from Bendis – a bad Seinfeldification of the once great concepts.  Literally, a comic book about nothing.  The real culprits here are the fanboys who keep buying this lame attempt at a space-based situation comedy – and its sister books, LSINO and RRINO, books that have also have adopted the bad sit-com formula and in the case of RRINO, mixed in some Looney Tunes concepts.

At least Seinfeld took the mundane aspects of everyday life and made them interesting and funny.  Bendis has taken the once great GotG team who single-handedly faced and overcame universal threats – and turned them into inexplicably Earth-obsessed Avengers-Lite who, for some stupid reason, take their marching orders from The Avengers and always have to have an Avenger or two on the team.  How dumb is all that?  Pretty dumb.

And the Avengers chosen?  CMINO, Carol Danvers, who came across as a weepy, whiny, and inexplicably homesick female cliché in this month’s utterly forgettable Bendys-written GotGINO annual.  Really?  She’s homesick?  Like she’s never before been to space?  Like she’s really that desperate for a hug?  Like she’s not a high-ranking military officer and seasoned warrior?  Seriously Bendys, that’s not only bad writing – it’s an insult to women.  In this issue she’s inexplicably doing security duty on Knowhere?  Isn’t that Cosmo’s job?  Bendis’ lack of familiarity with the cosmic characters always manages to rear its ugly, shiny head. 

Venom on the team?  It’s time to start questioning SLINO’s leadership.  Why would “Starlord” allow The Avengers to make Venom The Guardians’ problem?  That’s not the true Starlord of old.  It’s not even James Gunn’s watered down “sociopath with a heart of gold SL.”  That’s just the bumbling idiot into which Bendys has morphed SL – essentially, Starlord in Name Only.

Bendis’ new storyline has Spartax trying to replace the deposed J’Son (aka, “Mr. Knife,” the most ridiculously named pseudo-villain in quite some time) with SLINO.  Hold on to your seats and grab some Pepto-Bismol!  I predict more “madcap fun” is in the offing – no doubt replete with enough misunderstandings and slapstick to bring a nostalgic tear to the eye of all the now retired writers of the old sit-com, Three’s Company.

Bendys just can’t seem to get the characterization right for any of this cast.  Drax is unrecognizable.  Bendis just kind of uses him as a punching bag and has dropped the bad-ass belligerent attitude that Giffen created and honed to perfection.   Rocket is no longer a tactician, and Groot is no longer brilliant or powerful.  They’re just around for comic relief.  Gamora is less “The Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe” and more a damsel in distress.  Congratulations, Bendys!  You’ve done what you do best and totally demolished all the concepts that once made GotG a great read by taking the cliché-breaking characters of the past and reducing them to comic book clichés.

At least the art and coloring are easy on the eyes.  Schiti has grown into producing decent quality cosmic art, and Keith’s colors are spot-on.

So do cosmic fandom a favor and leave this one on the shelf.  Marvel needs to be sent a clear message that cosmic is not a code-word for bad situation comedy.

*Guardians of the Galaxy In Name Only

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: NINO Nova #25

With the release of NINO #25 on Christmas Eve, Marvel has essentially dropped a lump of coal into everyone’s Christmas stocking.

The entire run of this series has been characterized by insipid, implausible, intelligence-insulting stories aimed at the pre-pubescent mentality combined with absolute contempt for the Nova mythos, legacy, and long-term fans – but this issue takes all of those deplorable characteristics to new levels.

Apparently (the real) Captain America has become demented with the loss of his powers as he actually inducts the little “idiot” (Loeb’s own description of the character he created) into The Avengers.  Really?  Bad enough that NINO’s parents are unfit – but are The Avengers now a deliberate, official accessory to child endangerment?  Apparently so.  Maybe government regulation of The Avengers wasn’t such a bad idea after all – as Child Protective Services sure needs to investigate this decision.

Of course, Duggan continues to demonstrate his lack of awareness of and/or his contempt for Nova continuity by completely ignoring the healing factor inherent in possessing Nova powers – as NINO is (unconvincingly) portrayed as suffering from numerous contusions, abrasions, fractures, and cognitive deficits – injuries that should be long healed by a Nova’s healing factor.  But then again, NINO isn’t a true Nova – so maybe there’s hope for a rapid and (hopefully) fatal decline in his condition.

This double-sized issue does little more than double-down on the whopping case of stupid that surrounds and pervades the NINO concept.  For some unknown reason, Marvel seems intent on shoehorning the little idiot into everything they possibly can – and despite their unprecedented marketing efforts and sales gimmicks – NINO still is unable to crack the top 100 in sales.  That spells “failure of concept,” Mr. Brevoort.

Duggan’s story plods along with the thoroughly un-interesting minutiae of NINO’s everyday life and thoroughly implausible Avengers induction until the end when NINO saves the day in an utterly contrived plane crash situation clearly added to provide some kind of action to this otherwise utter waste of color glossy paper.

Baldeon’s cartoonish art is the perfect choice for a book aimed at the Archie Comics crowd of buyers.  Baldeon’s portrayal of NINO in his manga-uniform makes NINO appear exactly what he is – an annoying kid playing “dress-up as a Power Ranger.”  Curiel’s colors are perfect as usual – but this book is a waste of his talents.

This issue begins with NINO asking himself how he stacks up against his predecessors.  I have the answer to that question, NINO (and Duggan).  You don’t stack up.  You’re a bad concept made for all the wrong reasons and you’re written poorly.  You’re an insult to the Nova legacy, mythos, and long-term fans.  In every way, you’re a Nova In Name Only.

So take this lump of coal in your Christmas stocking and do what you’d normally do with a lump of coal.  Burn it.  Better yet – leave it on the shelf to send Marvel a clear message that NINO is unacceptable.  Let’s make 2015 the year that we end NINO once and for all.