GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Aquaman #44 CoverAQUAMAN #44/ Written by KELLY SUE DECONNICK/ Pencils by ROBSON ROCHA/ Inks by DANIEL HENRIQUES/ Colors by SUNNY GHO/ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

As Queen Mera prepares to seek a new consort, the amnesiac “Andy” seeks a way to recover his memories. But is he prepared to take the quest required and face the sea that terrifies him?

It’s somewhat surreal returning to this series after seeing the Aquaman movie, but Kelly Sue DeConnick keeps the mysteries enticing. I find myself somewhat skeptical that Mera would be as passive as she seems here regarding the possibility of marrying given her fire under Dan Abnett but I can’t fault the logic, even if it does seem like she’s barely mourned Arthur at all. The artwork by Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques and Sunny Gho is still gorgeous, but the pretty paint job does little to hide that not much happens in this book until its final pages. Despite being a bit slow, this issue is still skillfully done on every front.

4-5

 

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2 CoverFRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #2/ Written by TOM TAYLOR/ Art by JUANN CABAL/ Colors by NOLAN WOODARD/ Letters by VC’s TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Left with two alien children to watch and their missing mother to rescue, Peter Parker has his hands full even without a super-strong hired goon casing his apartment. Can Spidey save the day without blowing his cover? Can he keep Johnny Storm from blowing his cover with his special idea of “subtlety?” And most importantly, will Peter’s super-villain roommate finally put on some pants?

I wonder why Marvel Comics didn’t think to put Tom Taylor on a Spider-Man book before now, but I am glad they did so.  Taylor’s humor is a perfect match for the Wall-Crawler and the series also suits his talents for penning thrilling action sequences. Juann Cabal brings the script to life perfectly and Nolan Woodard and Travis Lanham offer up the perfect finishes to the art. This is, quite simply, everything a Spider-Man comic should be – funny, touching and simply heroic.

5-5

 

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 CoverGUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1/ Written by DONNY CATES/ Art by GEOFF SHAW/ Colors by MARTE GARCIA/ Letters by VC’s CORY PETIT/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Thanos is dead but he’s still causing chaos, as the threat of his resurrection scares a number of the great galactic powers even before The Black Order show up looking for their lord’s body. Only The Guardians of the Galaxy may be able to save everyone now.  Too bad Drax is dead, Gamora is evil, Groot is indifferent and Quill is a bigger mess than usual. And as for Rocket… well, nobody wants to talk about Rocket.

Donny Cates does a fine job of running down the status quo of the usual suspects. Shame he doesn’t do much to explain who any of the other dozens of characters in this book are. It may not matter in the greater scheme of the story but it says a lot about the attitude going into this book that they assume nobody will be picking up a new Guardians of the Galaxy series unless they can quote chapter and verse from The Book of Starlin. Presumably the people who have been reading the latest Infinity War mini-series may find this engaging but the rest of us will be horribly confused and the artwork isn’t good enough to make it worth muddling through the story.

 

Shazam #2 CoverSHAZAM #2/ Written by GEOFF JOHNS/ Art by MARCO SANTUCCI/ Colors by MIKE ATIYEH/ Letters by ROB LEIGH/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The discovery of a magical train station leading to other lands leads Billy Batson and his foster siblings on a magical journey to The Funlands. Little do they know that their parents have discovered their absence and that Billy’s biological father seems to have come looking for him!

Storywise, not much happens in this issue but it’s still a lot of fun watching The Shazam Family argue with each other and discover a magical realm that puts Disneyland to shame. The fun spirit of Johns’ script makes up for a lot. It doesn’t quite forgive, however, his presumption that everyone reading this issue will be familiar with the 2013 Shazam! story and will remember what Dr. Sivana was doing when we last saw him in the comics five years ago.

Still, the artwork for the issue is gorgeous, with Marco Santucci proving a capable substitute for Dale Eaglesham. Mike Atiyeh is still at the height of his powers and there’s several poster-worthy splash pages throughout the issue. Bottom line? Shazam! is a magical book and a must-read.

4-5

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

2 comments on “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

  1. The fact that you think the artwork “isn’t good enough” in Guardians makes me question your taste and validity as a reviewer.

    1. That’s my opinion. If you like it, that’s fine. I like people questioning my opinions. It means people are thinking for themselves, which I think is a good thing in general. If you don’t like my taste, consider this – a critic you disagree with can be useful because you can take their advice and do the opposite.

      Here are some titles from this past year I hated which you might enjoy: Action Comics, Heroes in Crisis, and pretty much every X-Men book that wasn’t X-Men: Red.

      Thanks for reading!

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