This week Star-Lord meets up with Spider-Man in Guardians Team-Up, and we hit the road with the rockers in This Damned Band!
Guardians Team-Up #9 (Marvel Comics)
The latest issue of Guardians Team-Up finds the Marvel Universe’s two Peters (Quill and Parker) meeting up and solving a crime. Naturally, the fact that this issue contains two of my favorite Marvel characters definitely caught my eye, but the Javier Pulido written and drawn issue doesn’t really live up to the potential of having Spider-Man and Star-Lord team up.
Team-Up #9 finds Star-Lord on Earth, searching for Spidey, who he believes stole his father’s gun from his ship after watching security camera footage of Spidey stealing. After the prerequisite Marvel battle between the two heroes, Spidey explains that there’s no way that he could’ve been the one to steal from Star-Lord, and the two set off to find out who set Spidey up. Spidey has a hunch that it was Black Cat, and guess what? It ends up being correct.
I’m always leery of artists writing their own comics, and unfortunately Guardians Team-Up #9 didn’t soothe my fears. Javier Pulido’s set up for this issue is great, but there are tons of gaps in logic and weird pacing throughout the issue. After a relatively quick start, the issue slows down as Star-Lord searches through Black Cat’s nightclub. It’s a great scene artistically, but it slows the book down to a crawl. Not to mention the fact that Star-Lord and Spidey barely interact in the book. Aside from the opening fight and ending, Spider-Man is virtually non-existent. He shows Star-Lord Black Cat’s night club, and then disappears, only to show up out of nowhere in the fight with Black Cat and her goons. Pulido also tries to work in a gag about Hydra agents and Spiders that falls flat hard. It’s hard not to think that maybe a co-writer could’ve helped punch the script up a little more.
While Pulido’s script isn’t great, at least his art is dynamic. I’ve already mentioned the scenes in Black Cat’s nightclub, but there are plenty of other great examples of Pulido’s art in Guardians Team-Up. The opening battle, while short, is really fun, and Pulido shows off the two different hero’s fighting styles perfectly. But even that can only do so much.
I’m really bummed out with this issue of Guardians Team-Up. With a book that thrives on getting the Guardians to go on continuity free adventures with heroes they wouldn’t necessarily meet up with, there’s bound to be a few misfires. It’s just a shame that this is the issue that’s the dud. Spider-Man and Star-Lord meeting up has a lot of potential, but unfortunately this is a comic that leaves us wondering what could’ve been instead of being in awe over it.
This Damned Band #1 (of 6) (Dark Horse Comics)
Like a lot of people, I have great fondness for the This is…Spinal Tap, so when I heard the pitch for Paul Cornell’s This Damned Band, which is a cross between Spinal Tap and Ghostbusters, I was curious. The book, which features art by Tony Parker, follows the band Motherfather, who are the biggest act of 1974. They’re selling out shows, hanging with gorgeous women, and, like many rock acts of the 70’s, accused of worshipping the devil. However, while these guys play up the Devil Worshipping aspect of their personas, they have no idea that they are, in fact, worshipping the devil. It’s a great premise that unfortunately doesn’t take off in the first issue, but there’s still plenty to like.
Paul Cornell’s script for the series is done in a documentary style, and we follow each member of the band as they fill us in on their crazy lifestyle. We see them interact with their fans, trip out on drugs on stage, and essentially re-enact every single crazy story you’ve heard on Behind the Music. Cornell’s character work really shines here, as he takes the time to introduce each member of the band and explain how they work within the group but in doing so he also give some other supporting characters the short stick, like the band’s manager. I’m sure Cornell will give us more information on them in a future issue, but here it’s a quick introduction before moving on to the next piece of the story.
On the art side of things, Tony Parker does a great job of getting the 70’s rock feel. The members of Motherfather are a weird mishmash of members from The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and even The Jam, and every member is completely unique. Parker’s art really gets going when the crew starts to trip out on shrooms during a show, and it creates a really fun and pretty hilarious adventure.
Really the only thing I can find at fault with This Damned Band #1 is the fact the devil worshipping twist doesn’t happen until the last page. There’s a lot of set up in this issue, and while it’s completely necessary, I can’t help but wonder if maybe the twist could’ve been revealed a little earlier without hurting the flow of the book. As it stands right now, TDB is a fun ride, but it comes to a screeching halt too fast. Despite this, I’m definitely checking out the next issue. There’s too much here to not see where it goes.