Guardians of the Galaxy #2

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by Bendis, and McNiven & Pichelli

When last we saw our heroes, they had just been attacked by a fleet of Badoon warships, who then proceeded to launch an attack on Earth. We pick up immediately after, in London. Communications have been shut off, making it impossible for the Guardians to reach out to the Avengers, Fantastic Four, the Defenders or anyone else for help. With Groot nothing more than a sliver of wood (see issue #1), the remaining Guardians (plus Iron Man) decide to split up and take out the Badoon ships.

We flash back to the Negative Zone, six weeks ago. J-son of Spartax, has called a meeting of ambassadors for each of the galactic empires.

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Flash forward to London. The Guardians have each taken a ship and are doing their best to stop the Badoon attack.

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Rocket manages to fight his way to the cockpit of his ship. He sets the ships self-destruct sequence going and aims the ship at another of the Badoon ships. Unfortunately, Drax is onboard that one, and is a little worse for wear. Gamora makes an attempt to grab him before the collision, but Tony Stark manages to swoop in at the last second and save both of them.

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Flash back to the Negative Zone. Freyja of Asgard, the All-Mother of the Nine Realms, isn’t too happy about J-son’s suggestion to destroy the Earth, as it belongs to her kingdom.

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Back on Earth, the Guardians have defeated the Badoon. They are still unsure as to whether or not more will be coming, since communication is still down. Suddenly, they are greeted by some Spartax space cops…

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Well, no good deed goes unpunished. I must say this issue was a really great, well-balanced issue. The Guardians were more or less there for the big action set pieces, fighting, explosions, etc. which is where they thrive, so no complaints there. How ’bout that attitude from Rocket, though? (“Blam! Murdered you!”). If there’s one thing I thought was unnecessary, it’s the constant shots of Groot, still a little sliver in a pot of dirt. I mean, I thought after the third time, he’d show up to save the day somehow, but even I know it takes more than a few minutes for him to grow back to full size. So I’m not really sure what the point of that was.

And then we had this whole other perspective in the Negative Zone flashbacks. Of course, Earth being a threat to the rest of the universe is a familiar storyline, but what I enjoyed about these particular scenes was the more or less agreement that Earth is insignificant to the rest of the universe. Not only does J-son seem alone in his opinion of Earth, but the freaking All-Mother of the Nine Realms goes out of her way to defend it. I have to say I wanted to cheer a little bit when she put him in his place.

Now, all of this happened six weeks before the Badoon attack on Earth, so obviously, the Badoon break the agreement to leave Earth alone, but why? Why would the Badoon attack the Earth at J-son’s command when J-son has his own people who could do it? Whatever the case may be, I’m sure Freyja’s gonna be pissed and hopefully we’ll get to see some of our favorite Asgardians. How cool would it be to see Thor and Sif in a Guardians of the Galaxy book?

Side note: Poor Captain Britain.

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Round-Up

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This week, we got two new pieces of casting news!

Ophelia Lovibond Will Play an Unknown Role

Ophelia+Lovibond+Long+Hairstyles+Long+Wavy+hG5U2u1fX4UlYeah, I don’t know who she is, either. Lovibond, a British actress has appeared in 2011’s No Strings Attached and Mr. Popper’s Penguins, as well as the TV mini-series, Titanic: Blood and Steel. Since I haven’t seen any of her work, I can’t speak to her quality as an actress.

As far as what role she might play, the only speculation I’ve got is that maybe she’ll play Phyla-vell, but so far, no one’s really got any solid ideas. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Lee Pace Will Also Play an Unknown Role

Lee-lee-pace-2885691-667-800I can’t say I’m familiar with this guy either, though he’s got some solid credits in his filmography: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Lincoln and A Single Man, though there is some crap (Marmaduke, When in Rome), but most people will probably know him from the short-lived TV series Pushing Daisies.

Previously, he was one of the seemingly endless list of candidates being considered for Star-Lord. Now, lot of people seem to think he’ll be playing the villain of the movie (possibly The Controller), but everything is pretty much up in the air at this point, especially with Michael Rooker potentially playing Yondu.

Kevin Feige Says ‘Guardians’ doesn’t “feel like Green Lantern”

In an interview with io9, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige addressed concerns dealing with all of the CG that will be needed to make Guardians of the Galaxy, and tried to put some distance between it and the catastrophe that was Green Lantern:

“Well the same way, Iron Man 3 has as much CG as any movie we’ve ever made, and I hope it doesn’t feel like Green Lantern. And it’s all about the aesthetic you go for and already we have an art department as impressive as any art department I’ve ever seen in London on Guardians. And it’s, you know, designing things and believing that they’re real when part of the team’s made up of a raccoon and a tree.”

Guardians of the Galaxy #11 (Vol. 2)

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“Welcome to Oblivion” by Abnett & Lanning, and Craig

When we last saw Drax and Phyla-vell, they had traveled to the planet Titan, looking for Moondragon, Phyla’s lover and Drax’s daughter. Upon their arrival, Mentor, Moondragon’s step-father, killed them.

Here, start with Phyla waking up in some sort of celestial netherworld.

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Immediately, her quantum bands, the source of her power, fall off and are lost in the sand beneath her. Behind her, she hears a familiar voice, the voice of her father, Captain Mar-vell…

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Ohmygod, it’s EVIL ZOMBIE CAPTAIN MAR-VELL! He and his army of evil zombie creatures pounce on the vulnerable Phyla-vell. Right on cue, Drax leaps into the fray and kicks their asses. He explains to Phyla that what she saw were ghosts, representative of all of her doubts and fears, and her regrets. Drax does not seem to have have any fears or regrets himself.

As they make their way through the weird in-between world, Drax explains that it is not the realm of death, or limbo, but one of the “half-way” places that exist on the fringes of reality. Everything about them is symbolic, to help give itself meaning and structure.

In the middle of all his existential mumbo jumbo, he notices Phyla’s quantum bands are gone. Not a good sign. Because they aren’t alone.

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Maelstrom is, for all intents and purposes, Drax’s opposite. While Drax was created to “limit Death by destroying its champion” (Thanos), Maelstrom was created as an “instrument of cosmic finality” (basically, the Loki to Drax’s Thor) and he has lured Drax and Phyla to him in order to get out of Oblivion (it turns out he was the one responsible for the trail of clues about Moondragon).

He assures Drax and Phyla that Moondragon does, in fact, exist and offers to take them to her.

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Turns out the Moondragon they knew was just a conduit for this “Dragon of the Moon.” She ultimately would have changed into draconian form, had Ultron not killed her when he did. Maelstrom explains that when it reawakens, in another million years, it will search for another Heather Douglas and try again, and potentially “wreak cosmic Armageddon.”

As if that weren’t bad enough, Maelstrom discovers the quantum bands…

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Okay, I think this might be my least favorite book in the series so far. Not because it focuses entirely on Drax and Quasar and none of the rest, but because the entire story deals with threads leftover from (I’m guessing) Annihilation: Conquest. Abnett and Lanning don’t do much in this series to catch new readers up to speed, so I’m left wondering who some of these people are. I wasn’t sure why Drax and Quasar decided to postpone their search for Cammi to find this other girl named Heather (aka Moondragon). I learned from the summary at the beginning of the book that Heather (Moondragon) was Phyla’s lover and Drax’s daughter. I still don’t have a very good idea of who she was, even through context clues.

While I get that this book was spawned from the Annihilation: Conquest event, and it’s going to have some residual elements, it relies too heavily on that. I’m sure when this series was first published, there were people like me who picked it up, not having read the Annihilation: Conquest books and were just as confused as I am. I hope this arc doesn’t last long. This series needs to establish itself a little more. I mean, I’ve read almost a year’s worth of comics and they’re still hanging on to the past.

On the plus side, I enjoyed the change in the artwork. Wes Craig brings a new, sorta sleek, sorta glossy look to the characters, which I like. It works well with all the spacey content. I know he does the pencilling for the next issue, and then we’re back to Brad Walker, who I like, but I’d like to see more from Craig at some point.

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy Casting!

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On Friday, Uni-versal Extras posted some suspicious-looking casting calls:

– The Core: For the new Marvel super hero film we are looking for males and females who are seasoned professional SAs to be a core group of people who will be used for a variety of different roles throughout the whole of filming. 
– Being on an Alien planet: For new Marvel Super hero film about a team of super heroes who protect the Galaxy in the future of a different dimension, we are looking for males and females who are amputees. 
– Doubling for the Super hero: For new Marvel Super hero film about a team of super heroes who protect the Galaxy in the future of a different dimension, we are looking for males to double for one of the main actors. 
– Albino males and females: For new Marvel Super hero film about a team of super heroes who protect the Galaxy in the future of a different dimension, we are looking for males and females who are Albinos. 
– Tall Aliens: For new Marvel Super hero film about a team of super heroes who protect the Galaxy in the future of a different dimension, we are looking for tall males to play aliens. 
– The Dark Monks: For a new super hero feature film we are looking for males and females to pretend to be monks. 
– Mutant soldiers: For new Super hero film about a team of super heroes who protect the Galaxy in the future of a different dimension, we are looking for males with Stunt or SPAK experience to play mutant soldiers. 
– Getting around with no hair: For new Super hero film about a team of super heroes who protect the Galaxy in the future of a different dimension, we are looking for bald males and females. 
– The Big Man: For a new Superhero movie we are looking for a very muscular male to double for one for the main actors. 
– Identical twins: For a new Superhero movie we are looking for male and female identical twins.

They all sound pretty vague, but I wonder who some of these could be referring to…

Guardian Art by Luke Mandie

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Artist Luke Mandie recently uploaded some unofficial concept art for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie on his DeviantArt page and, I gotta say, it’s gorgeous. He’s only published Rocket Raccoon and Groot, but hopefully, he’ll get to the rest as well. Man, I really wish prints were available for purchase because I’d buy them in a heartbeat.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Round-Up

Michael Rooker Will Play Yondu! [UPDATED]

Michael RookerEarlier this week, Deadline announced that Michael Rooker will be playing Yondu in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Even if you don’t know the name, you know his work. Michael Rooker has gained a lot of popularity due to his recent run on AMC’s The Walking Dead, but check out his IMDb page. The man’s been in a TON of stuff. It’s staggering. Even more importantly, he’s a friend and frequent collaborator with writer/director James Gunn, so it’s no surprise (at least, to me) that he’s been given a role in the movie.

As far as his character, I don’t know much. Yondu is a character who lived on Centauri IV when Vance Astro (Major Victory) arrived and was one of the founding members of the original Guardians. Also, he looks like this:

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I mean, okay. It does explain Michael Rooker’s new haircut which he tweeted earlier this week:

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Personally, I was really pulling for him to get cast as the voice for Rocket Raccoon, but that ain’t happening now. I’m happy to see that he’s in the movie, though, despite how odd the choice is. He’s a strong actor and I have yet to see him do something I don’t enjoy. I’m also really glad to see that the original Guardians will be included in this new movie, in some capacity. James Gunn should garner a lot of respect from long-time fans for including the old-school characters.

[UPDATE] In an interview with HeyUGuys.co.uk, James Gunn denied the report that Michael Rooker would be playing Yondu, but did not outright deny Rooker’s involvement:

“Well, I didn’t say that. Michael Rooker is my very good friend, he was here visiting me in England and we were hanging out. He was here playing with my dog and having a good time. He’s got a new, little Mohawk that looks ridiculous on him, but yeah, he’s here and hopefully we’ll get something going. Michael’s been in two of my movies, we’ve done two movies together, two reality shows, a short film, so I don’t think it would be crazy to think he would be involved in Guardians in some way.”

Well, that certainly leaves open the possibility that he could play Rocket Raccoon, though Brian Michael Bendis supposedly wants Jason Statham for the role.

Among other things, James Gunn went on to say that Guardians will look less like Star Wars than the concept art would lead you to believe, and that Robert Downey Jr. will not be involved in any way.