GOTG# 5 Review and Some Thoughts

I haven’t written anything for this blog in a while, and so I thought I’d chime in- about the aftermath of the Nova run, the future and my recent thoughts on the new GOTG (including a review of # 5) series, which relates to Nova in that many folks thought Duggan’s new GOTG could be some silver lining outlet for Nova concepts to reappear and Richard Rider or Sam Alexander to pop in.

On a whim, I picked up Duggan’s GOTG # 5 to check on the progress, it should be said I’ve only read the other # 0 issue prior, and I made the call to pass on buying the book based on my disappointment.

With Richard Rider reestablished in the Marvel U, you’d think he’d pop up quick enough- especially in a book that keeps using the Nova Corps, a book where his best friend was involved (who shared an epic faux-death), former lover and loyal buddies….nope. Issue # 5 (6 with the zero FCBD issue) and still no sign of Rider. No Quill Rider reunion…nada.

What we do get is some generic and bland Nova Corps. I have no problem with showing a new take on the Corps, even a “down and out” corps who use tech and weapons in lieu of Nova force…but this is just silly, goofy stuff.

Once more, Gerry Duggan’s status as a “white knight” to cosmic has been a huge let down again. I had some promise after his solid AMA on Reddit that he actually was an old-school Marvel fan who got the issues about some of the old characters and fan bases, but apparently that has been lip service.

It’s bad.

Duggan’s a decent goof writer. He does kitschy banter and witty millennial-friendly narrated action scenes, he’s not as good of a fit on quasi-serious books, or even books where characters aren’t Deadpool. As of now, he’s not that popular, and despite helming the Deadpool name and Avengers, he’s struggled to stay on books or uplift sales on many of the properties he’s been tasked to helm.

Problem is, goofy comics don’t sell that well. GOTG # 5 represents all the same mistakes; rehashed movie themes. A few of the jokes (such as the line about Rocket “messing with him” to fetch an item he wasn’t sure about) are lifted right from the movie. The humor is stale, and the radio-themed plot of the story only serves to make Quill silly and a joke. This is not even the first tale in modern takes where the team or a character has gone all out for a trite goal. The device has been done like three times already.

Even worse, Duggan’s not good with continuity, nor world building in a serial universe. As usual, he (seemingly) dismisses concepts he’s already created and forgets what he’s already done. (see his Nova run) He seems in desperate need of an editor. His prose is so-so. Example; issue 5 starts right off with a bad sentence:

“I think back to that time back on Earth….”

*Groan*

How does a professionally edited Marvel comic get a bad sentence with its first line?

Comics are a horrid entertainment value. The question remains “why should I buy this?”

The big crime here is Duggan is continuing to portray Peter Quill as this vapid, superficial and trite character more concerned with goofing around and making mix tapes than any substrative characterization. Giffen and DnA introduced this incarnation of Quill, and he was a complex man of mysterious origins and motivations, a dark haunted noir hero not averse to well-timed humor-he was sculpted and shaped with poignant characterization- not this generic wax-mold we have now. I’ve spoken about this before here and nothing’s changed. Duggan continues to make the same mistakes writers like Bendis, Humphries, and Zdarsky have.

This isn’t even a great representation of the MCU Pratt-driven model. Instead, it feels like a generic “space scoundrel” devoid of Pratt’s charisma or the swarthy mystery and pulpy homage of the Star Lord of old. Again, the sources for inspiration are pastiches of Han Solo and other clichés-the same character direction that has already failed for years now.

We get another Nova nod here…as Rich and a generic old (the blue, bug-eyed look) costumed Star-Lord are shown fighting in some flashback panel ascribed to a specific mix tape. What? That never happened and just shows how Duggan, the artist or editor Jordan White had stuff wrong or never even read the old material.

Let’s talk about the call to do “one off” solo stories when the GOTG comic is already dropping in sales, not to mention nearly all the characters have solo books that can’t stay afloat. We needed an epic and poignant yarn right off the back- the book needed to establish importance right out of the gate, not arrogantly flop off “one and dones”. Perhaps this kind of tale would have been more palatable as a back-up tale in an annual or something-but even that’s pushing it.

This is recycling movie stuff. We’re getting a bad effort to reproduce the goofy Pratt Stat-Lord, we’re getting a goofy bumbling take on the Nova Corps, also ready-made to fit the movie motif. Even this new “Adsit” character is clearly an attempt to bring a John Reily-type figure to the fold.

I’ll mention the art briefly, because it reminds me of the lines you’d find in an old Archie book. It’s good stuff, solid and all, but not a fit for cosmic. I generally disliked it as a model for GOTG.

The future looks bleak for Marvel and the “house of ideas”. Mark these words; this take on GOTG is not going to work, the book will bleed readers and someone like Jeff Lemire can’t take over this book fast enough. I’m convinced more than ever this administration, and creators are incapable of turning around this ship and a total changeover needs to take place.

I’m tired of all this folks. Honestly – there’s an issue of steam here. (for me) Marvel is stubborn. Epic Omega level stubborn. I’ve never seen a company run like this, hell-bent on forcing the square peg of their failed ideas down the circular craw of the collective fandom. I’ve only got so much in me to follow the stuff and give my opinion. I do like checking in now and then and seeing if the tides of bad comics at Marvel have turned around- but GOTG # 5 is proof it hasn’t, and the solicits for well-nigh the end of the year show that Richard Rider and Nova have little place in the Marvel Universe.

I doubt a new Nova book is on the way with them being clearly extracted from the event. Silly too, as Sales of Nova issue # 1 were awesome and they alone show there is interest in a Nova comic done right. Legacy looks like a disaster. It speaks more to me that Marvel is just unequivocally sticking with these bad “legacy” characters and plot directions rather than shifting back to older styles, listening to fans who’ve left, or going with witty new and fresh directions. Looks like Rich Rider and even mostly Sam were written out of this one. But really we don’t need the “old”.

Instead, we are accused of living in the past, of demanding something that will never return. Frankly, I’m flexible – but what I want is Richard Rider and good comics. I want a cool Star Lord, not an annoying one. If Marvel does those things we don’t have to rehash Englehart, Wolfman, Giffen, DnA or Starlin. But like Jack Kirby himself, I think we should always…always feel echoes of those creators in the pages of Marvel books.

Whatever GOTG # 5 and this new run is supposed to be- I don’t feel any of those influences within.