Comic Picks By The Glick

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2: Angela

October 25, 2014

I can appreciate Neil Gaiman obtaining ownership of Angela, a character he created for “Spawn,” and then subsequently selling that ownership to Marvel as a means of trolling Todd McFarlane.  But what about her actual merit as a character?  That remains to be seen here as Bendis, with Gaiman on board as a consultant, does his best to try and sell the dimension-lost angel as a worthwhile addition to the Marvel Universe.  He doesn’t really succeed here as her character is mostly defined by fighting -- first against the title characters, then against Thanos’ death cult, and then with the title characters.  All through this Angela is shown to be a female warrior who is very good at fighting, of relatively few words, and all the personality of a well-polished rock.  I know she’s getting her own series at the end of the year co-written by Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett and based on what I’m seeing of the character here they face an uphill battle in making her interesting.

Meanwhile, the rest of the action continues on as an outer-space romp with Peter, Tony, Rocket, Drax, Gamora, and Groot celebrate sticking it to Peter’s dad, dealing with the fallout of “Age of Ultron,” and tying into “Infinity” as well.  Most of the good parts in this volume come in little bits, such as Tony hooking up with Gamora (and having it go badly), Drax wanting to know what a captured Badoon looks like when it’s telling the truth, Peter having a heart-to-heart with Thanos, and Gamora showing up at the right time with a rocket launcher.  The proceedings hum along well enough even though the focus on Angela for most of it doesn’t do much to enhance things.  Sarah Pichelli contributes some very appealing art in the volume’s first half with Francesco Francavilla bringing his moody style to a sci-fi action setting in part of the second half.  That should’ve resulted in a garish mess, but the whole “Halloween in Space!” look to things wound up growing on me due to its uniqueness.  The high point, however, is the final issue which is illustrated by Kevin Maguire and the expressiveness of his art goes really well with Bendis’ verbosity as the Guardians work to break up a Badoon slave camp.  It’s great fun as well as an example of the potential of this series finally being fully realized.  Let’s hope for more instances like this in the next volume.

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