This week the Guardians of the Galaxy get mixed up in Civil War 2, and Tokyo Ghost reaches the finish line!
Guardians of the Galaxy #11 (Marvel Comics)
Guardians of the Galaxy has been an interesting book. While the team has had a huge impact on pop culture thanks to their movie, the Brian Michael Bendis written comic hasn’t had the best track record. Sure, there have been some great moments, but by and large it’s been one of the lesser works of Bendis’ large bibliography. However, The latest issue of Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti’s Guardians saga is certainly more focused than the previous storyline, and actually seems to be setting up some cool interplay for the Guardians in the Civil War 2 event.
After receiving a distress signal from Captain Marvel, the Guardians vote on whether or not they should return to Earth to help her deal with the events happening during Civil War 2. This leads to a pretty fun exchange between the members of the team as the non-human members try to figure out why they should go back and help out at all. Eventually the “pro-helping out” side wins, and the team meets up with Captain Marvel, where they get the run down on Ulyssess and the events that have occurred in Civil War 2 so far. But, secretly Star-Lord learns of Thanos’ capture by Captain Marvel, and knowing that Gamorra and Drax are on a mission to kill him, he wonders if he should tell them that Thanos is close to them, or risk their wrath by not telling them at all.
Bendis’ plots for Guardians since the All-New All-Different Marvel relaunch have been…lacking, but the script for this issue is actually pretty fun. It’s light on plot, sure, but the real strength of this issue is in the interplay between the Guardians and Alpha Flight characters, especially Rocket and Puck. While this character time would seem frustrating in any other series, when it comes to the recent issues of Guardians this is actually pretty great. There’s been so little interaction between the team members that getting the chance to have them actually talk to one another was a welcome change of pace.
Valerio Schiti handles the art duties here, and like a majority of the issues of Guardians that he’s worked on, his art ranges from “great” to “okay”. His Groot still looks like a weird Swamp Thing monster, but his facial work for Star-Lord, Kitty Pryde, and the other humanoid members is pretty great. For an action-light issue like this one, Schiti is a good fit.
Of all of the Civil War 2 tie-ins, it’s weird that Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the stronger ones. While it’s a little strange that the Guardians would even consider taking part in this kind of thing, Bendis makes it work by reminding us that the Guardians are a team, and they stick up for each other. Previous issues of Guardians have been a little shaky under Bendis’ watch, but it looks like Civil War 2 might be just what the team needed.
Tokyo Ghost #10 (Image Comics)
It’s over. Tokyo Ghost #10 is the final chapter of Rick Remender and Sean Murphy’s futuristic dystopian mega tale. Set in a future that we’re scarily not too far off from, Tokyo Ghost has been a blistering take down of our addiction to technology, and the art from Sean Murphy only makes the takedown look even sweeter.
Debbie Decay has become the Tokyo Ghost, and is ready to take revenge on Davey Trauma for the death of her boyfriend. Rick Remender’s script has some incredibly heartbreaking moments, and really cuts to the core of the decision that lays in front of her: does she give in to Trauma’s fantasy world where the love of her life is still alive? Or does she save the world from the technology that has corrupted it?
Obviously I’m not going to spoil the finale, but I will say that Remender’s script takes a hard look at how technology has affected our world, and he amazingly is able to make it not sound preachy at all. He’s able to present his views on how the world should be, but does it in an entertaining way without making you feel like you’re being lectured.
While the script is great, this issue really belongs to Sean Murphy. Murphy has delivered some jaw-dropping work with this series, but he really outdoes himself here. From the harsh and menacing wires and cable work of Trauma’s lair to the gorgeous nature visuals of the alternate world for Debbie, there isn’t a bad panel here. Tokyo Ghost has been a tour-de-force for Murphy, and proof positive that he’s one of the best artists out there today.
It’s sad to see Tokyo Ghost go, but I would much rather Remender and Murphy end the story naturally than try to find someone to keep the story going when it didn’t need it. As it stands right now, Tokyo Ghost is one of the best recent titles Image put out, and could become a modern classic. Seek this out. You won’t regret it.