An Opinion-Editorial-Oriented Review of
Guardians of the Galaxy – Cosmic Rewind
Writer: Kevin Shinick
Artist: Gerardo Sandoval
Cover Artists: Paco Medina and Aburtov
Solicit: The Worldmind is collecting data for the new Xandar pavilion on Terra and who knows Earth better than Peter Quill? (Probably…a lot of people…but definitely not the other Guardians!) What Star-Lord doesn’t know, is that a Celestial has been watching and waiting for the Guardians of the Galaxy to be distracted to begin his plan to wipe humanity from existence.
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 2008 “Guardians of the Galaxy” series with his reviews directly sent to the books’ editors and creators. Timelord’s reviews have been quoted by Marvel in cover blurbs, press reviews, and solicits.
Warning: Contains some spoilers.
So, it’s been a year since we’ve seen a Guardians of the Galaxy comic book and if this is an example of what Marvel has in mind for re-booting the franchise post-Ewing and leading into the upcoming MCU Guardians of the Galaxy movie, comic book fans are going to be very disappointed as, to no one’s real surprise, the decision-makers have decided to go with the Bendis/Gunn approach to the franchise and abandon the respectable work Ewing did to move the franchise back closer to the fan-favorite DnA iteration.
Moving forward, I suggest they formally abandon the failed and cringe-worthy Bendis-era attempt to brand Rocket with the Bendis catch-phrase, “Blam! Murdered you!” and instead brand him with the much more accurate and truthful catch-phrase, “Screw the fans and continuity be damned!”
Several words and phrases came to me during and after I read this issue: sad, bleak, child-oriented, silly, amateurish, clumsily self-parodying, no knowledge of or respect for the rich history of Marvel Cosmic in general and the cosmic characters in particular, and not a thought was given to what the Marvel Cosmic comic book fans really want.
I was initially surprised this “story” made it past the editors at Marvel, then immediately realized that I wasn’t thinking cynically enough because this issue is purely about making a quick buck with a shameless promotion for the upcoming movie portrayals of the characters and the Disney World attraction.
Marvel still hasn’t learned that very few movie ticket buyers and Disney World ride ticket buyers are going to become new comic book buyers. They’re still chasing those unicorns and alienating the actual comic book buyers who keep the comic book business in business. It is not a wise business strategy to sacrifice the quality of the MU comic book source material on the MCU/Disney altar.
Enough editorializing for a moment. Let’s get to the few things I liked about the issue. The Worldmind is suddenly back. I’ve always been a Worldmind fan, so I was happy to see the concept revived. The art and coloring were certainly competently delivered. That’s pretty much it for likes.
Though happy to see the Worldmind back, the portrayal of the character was off as it has apparently lost thousands of IQ points and comes across as child-like. Why would it try to conduct a trivial interview during the course of combat? Why would it need to interview the MCU versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy crew to learn more about Earth?
The MCU version of Peter Quill left Earth as a child and never went back. The MCU version of Drax does not have Arthur Douglas’ memories as he is not Arthur Douglas. The MCU version of Gamora never intimately interacted with many of Earth’s superheroes. If the MU comic book versions of Quill, Drax (Arthur Douglas), and even Gamora were being interviewed in the context of MU comic book continuity, it might make sense to get their input. But this story had everything to do with MCU continuity and practically nothing to do with MU comic book continuity.
Besides, the Worldmind has complete access to Richard Rider’s knowledge of Earth which would be superior to any of the MCU versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy crew, and for that matter, any of the MU continuity Guardians of the Galaxy crew. The Worldmind would also have the knowledge of Earth from all of the Terrans it conscripted into the Nova Corps during DnA’s run. In other words, no interviews are really needed with anybody as the Worldmind should already know about Earth from the point of view of native Terrans.
The entire story concept reflects the writer’s lack of familiarity with Marvel Cosmic history and concepts. I’ve read and written substantially better fan fiction.
Gone is Ewing’s resurrected super-powered and intelligent Arthur Douglas Drax and in his place is substituted idiot MCU version Drax. Thoroughly disappointing.
Gone are the Guardians of the Galaxy with an important, self-less, and deliberate heroic mission for the betterment of the sentient beings of the universe and back are the silly, self-serving, pseudo- mercenary/pseudo-criminal Guardians of the Galaxy who fall bass ackwards into pseudo-heroism. Thoroughly disappointing.
This story is reminiscent of a cringe-worthy and immoral story from the Bendis era where the crew murdered sentient beings for no other reason than to steal a working toilet.
This current storyline where the Guardians of the Galaxy attempt to steal power by force from a less advanced alien race is equally morally reprehensible.
It gets worse. There’s also a thoroughly stupefying story element about a “mad Celestial” bent on destroying Earth just as soon as the almighty Guardians of the Galaxy are looking the other way. Seriously? A Celestial? A Celestial. A Celestial talking like and plotting like one of the villains from the 1960’s Batman TV show?
After this and the truly reprehensible MCU treatment (and follow-up comic book treatment) of The Eternals, Kirby must be spinning in his grave fast enough to generate several terawatts of electricity. If a Celestial, any Celestial, wanted Earth gone, it would be gone. And since when do Celestials talk at all, much less in campy super-villain style? And since when would a Celestial be afraid of the Guardians of the Galaxy? And what, pray tell, is the “Xandarian Cosmic Generator” and why would a CELESTIAL need to steal technology from a race that it almost certainly created – technology far more primitive than its own? And since when do Celestials fail to police their own even if one could go “mad” and want to destroy Earth for some stupid reason?
As I said, stupefying – and not to mention, disrespectful to Kirby’s vision.
Marvel clearly thinks that the key to comic book success is to mimic the MCU. Wrong. The comic book material stood in greatness on its own long before it was translated into movies. It was that very greatness that made it worthy to become movie entertainment appealing to the mass audience of movie ticket buyers.
The best MCU movies have been the ones that stuck closest to the source material including source characterizations. The fans want to see their favorite characters portrayed accurately in accordance with the source material. It doesn’t matter that a few idiot loudmouths on Twitter are offended that most of the heroes have been white men. The fact that most of them have been white men hasn’t hurt the box office at all because the general movie ticket-buying public, much like the general comic book-buying public, just wants a good entertaining story about generally accepted “good” beating generally accepted “evil” without embroilment in whatever political or cultural fad or agenda holds sway in the present.
Comic books have been in the vanguard of diversity. The Marvel Comic Universe has portrayed superheroes coming from every nation on Earth in the diversity of races, genders, and sexual orientations long before anyone ever heard the term, “woke.”
In a sense, comic books have been “woke” for a very long time – just not the pushy, virtue-signaling, sanctimonious version of woke that we are faced with at present and which most reasonable people of all political persuasions find objectionable.
Demographics don’t matter when they are an organic part of the character or story. What fans object to is the race, gender, and/or sexual orientation swapping from the source material. If you want to tell a story about a character with certain demographics, find existing or create new source material with characters meeting those demographics and put it up for sale.
Don’t change John Wick to Jane Wick. If you want a female lead instead of a male lead for an action flick, just do what film producers have already done with the Atomic Blonde film adaptation. Both the John Wick and the Atomic Blonde films were roughly similar concepts, the adaptations were well done, there was no need to demographic swap the leads, the fans were mostly pleased, and the box office was good for both. If there is a market for it, people will buy it.
So please, MCU, stay faithful to the original concepts and quit doing things like portraying the Ancient One as a bald British female instead of an old Tibetan man. The race/gender/sexual-orientation swapping may please a few misguided, over-sensitive idiots on Twitter and a few snobbish Hollywood critics who won’t like comic books or comic book movies no matter what you do and will always find something to pick apart, but it pisses off the rest of us.
Steve Rogers is Captain America, Sam Wilson is Falcon, T’Challa is Black Panther, Richard Rider is Nova, Peter Parker is Spiderman, Thor Odinson is Thor, Tony Stark is Iron Man, Bruce Banner is The Hulk, the X-Men are the X-Men, Stephen Strange is Dr. Strange, etc. – all with the demographics with which they were originally created.
No matter how many times you try to swap these characters for someone with the same name but different demographics, sales suffer and you just keep going back to the originals because, like it or not, the originals were great for a reason, the swapped versions are inferior to the originals, and the fans want to read stories about THE ORIGINALS. That’s what sells – in the comics, in the movies, and in the television shows.
The MU comic book universe should stand on its own apart from the MCU and focus on telling good stories of good vs. evil respecting MU comic book continuity.
The MCU can take that source material and change it or water it down if it likes. The movie ticket buyers have voted and will vote with their dollars in regard to whether they like or dislike the translated material.
It appears that the streaming service subscribers and movie ticket buyers like the more source-accurate material and dislike the source-inaccurate material. The comic book buyers will vote with their dollars too – and my prediction is that they will reject this MCU-oriented Guardians of the Galaxy reboot.
Article author: Timelord