7 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Guardians of The Galaxy Review


It’s time to take a look at another recent Marvel cartoon. This one actually made it to 3 seasons which is pretty impressive. Whenever a show ends up with more than 50 episodes I’d count that as a win for the title and this one had over 70. It’s pretty by the books and the main characters aren’t quite as engaging as the Avengers of course, but it’s nonetheless a solid action/adventure show you could recommend for all ages. It also did get a fair share of guest stars and such which is always nice to have.

The first season mainly deals with the team being on a wild goose chase to find the Cosmic Seed before an onslaught of villains can grab it and use the seed to destroy worlds. Among the powerful villains who want this seed is Thanos and Ronan. Get used to most of the Guardian villains because you’ll be seeing them a lot. This season has less of a focused plot than the next two, but it does serve to introduce us to the main characters and since the seed’s signal is always hiding it does give a good reason for the Guardians landing on every planet they can.

The next season brought in Adam Warlock which was a lot of fun and Star Lord’s father shows up to try and cause trouble again. This time he plans on using the Nova’s power to conquer the world and he also tricks the cult with Mantis and the others into trying to stop the Guardians. Since their abilities run on belief that makes them very difficult to defeat since it’s just hard to shake them. As long as their faith holds true they are effectively invincible. The Guardians definitely have their hands full here. I’d say that this season did beat the first one. While there was no noticeable uptick in animation compared to Assemble’s upgrade, it did give us more fights and a fun plot.

Finally we had the third season. This time the Guardians are framed and have to travel the cosmos to clear their name. Along the way they meet up with Spider-Man and also have to team up with the Mad Titan Thanos to stop the latest enemy. This new enemy is called the Serpent and his abilities are so powerful that he is even able to overwhelm powerful foes like Thor. The episodes with the Asgard plot and the Darkhawks is definitely solid. The episodes where the Guardians are split up and have to re-unite are more hit or miss since Starlord typically carries the show and he doesn’t always appear there.

First lets get the technicals out of the way. The animation is pretty solid. It’s nothing amazing and gets shredded by any 90’s-2000s comic book show, but it’s still not bad or anything. The screen is always clear and we do get some pretty reasonable fight scenes. The hits just don’t pack the same punch as they would have in an older show and that could be due in part to the lack of sound effects. I think a big part of a good fight scene is having solid effects to back it up and that’s something that Guardians is definitely missing. Still, it’s not as if this show is all that focused on power levels anyway. At the end of the day it’s fairly loose so just enjoy the action scenes and don’t think too hard about who should win the battle.

In terms of writing the show isn’t bad. Just keep in mind that this show is a comedy first and foremost, the action and adventure are back-up genres. It’s a mix of all 3 of course but the show always throws in the one liners during the serious moments as well as in the fights. As a result it’s naturally not going to be in the same league as some of the big hitters from back in the day, but it also means that you’ll be looking at the writing a little differently. It’s entertaining which is the important part.

A good amount of this is due to Star Lord who is handled perfectly here. He’s easily the most fun character in the series. It helps that he got Ron’s voice actor from Kim Possible which was a brilliant casting choice. I can’t stress enough what a good move that was since it fits his character perfectly. Nobody on the team respects Star Lord and that is amped up to 10 in this TV show. Everytime he talks one of the other members is quick to jump in and insult Star Lord. I think one of the most powerful parts of his character personality is that he just lets the insults roll away. Star Lord does care but he knows that deep down the team is still on his side. He may not have won their respect, but a good leader can still adapt. At least 90% of the funny moments are thanks to him.

Gamora is definitely the next best member of the group. She’s always up for a good fight, but knows her limits better than Drax. She’s the most professional member of the group and saves the team quite often. Even when she is not familiar with the rules of battle in a specific setting like the video game episode, she is quick to learn how to win. She’s just a natural and that’s why she’s known as the deadliest woman in the universe even if the title is hyperbole. Groot is still the worst member of course and basically just slows everyone down. He’s always complaining about something or other even if we can’t actually understand him. You can just tell because Rocket has to tell him to quiet down.

Drax is not very smart as always so he falls for all of the traps and such. There’s one episode with the Hulk where he is completely unreasonable the whole time and even Hulk has to point out how sad it is that he is the smartest guy in the room. Rocket is always talking back to everyone so he can be fun, but he definitely can’t hold his own episode the way that some of the others can. He needs someone to banter off of in order to succeed and that’s where Howard comes in. Howard is handled extremely well in this show and tends to steal the show whenever he appears. He’s a solid rival to Rocket and part of why it works is because he’s shown to be around as good as Rocket. I would give the raccoon the slight edge overall, but it’s actually pretty close throughout.

Thanos gets a big role here so it’s always fun to see how he is portrayed compared to his movie self. While they go for a similar vibe, he is naturally less “heroic” here compared to in the movies. He has no delusions about being the savior of the universe here and is more of your classic villain type. It was cool to see him take on the Serpent near the end of the series. Obtaining the Carnage symbiote was definitely a fun idea even if he would become way too OP at that point. The guy’s already well above the Guardians weight class so whenever he shows up they usually need some kind of plot hax to defeat him. Nonetheless, he’s one of the highlights in the show.

I also did like the Serpent and he worked really well as a final boss. The guy did a lot of damage throughout and was a great villain. While the tree did a lot of the work he also showed that he could fight up close with the the other power hitters. Another solid villain was Star Lord’s father J’son. J’son shows up quite a lot and the show does a good job of showing how manipulative he is. No matter how many times he turns out to be evil the guy does a good job of suckering everyone. Just about every planet he goes to ends up buying into his act. He’s also a sharp thinker and does tend to plan for things well in advance. You always want a mastermind villain like that to back up the other more aggressive villains so you get a nice balance.

On the Nova side, Rhomann Dey gets a pretty big role. He’s definitely had enough of the Guardians’ antics by the end of the show, but it’s not like there is a whole lot he can do about it either. He doesn’t have any powers and the Nova Corp is so easily corrupted that he gets demoted every time the heroes get away. Still, you gotta love the guy’s determination I suppose and his voice actor also does a good job since Dey always sounds irritated and a little defeated on the inside. It’s like he knows that things are not going to end well right from the start and for the most part he’s actually right about that.

It was also nice to see Nova show up a few times. Yes, it’s the kid nova and not the classic Richard Rider, but he’s still a solid hero in his own right. He gets a decent amount of development and screen time here as he learns to use his powers more effectively. There are a bunch of other guest stars here like the Avengers and Inhumans as well. The show does a good job of bringing them in while also focusing on the main cast quite a lot. Towards the end you may start to wish that the show would expand a little more by bringing in different guest stars though. It’s hard to explain but even though the show has a lot of guest stars it has a tendency to always bring back the same ones. Take the final episodes with the Serpent, it’s the big gathering of Earth’s mightiest heroes and yet it’s the same guys we’ve been seeing throughout the series. That would have been a perfect time to bring in other characters like Wolverine, Human Torch, etc. I don’t imagine it saves time on animation either since this isn’t CGI so there’s no real reason not to bring in different fighters. Maybe it’s a voice actor thing or the show felt like it would be a better payoff to see the characters you’re familiar with. I guess that’s reasonable.

If the show has any real weaknesses beyond just being rather standard the whole time, it is in how much Star Lord carries the show. There are multiple episodes that focus on the other members or just other characters in general and they are never even close to as fun as the Peter centered episodes. He brings all of the humor and fun with him. The others try to be funny in their own ways, but can’t really pull it off. Fortunately it is very rare that Peter isn’t with the group so it’s not a big deal. Beyond that I wouldn’t say that the show makes any real mistakes. It serves its purpose and by the end of the show you will be very familiar with the team as well as their general lore. (Most popular enemies and such)

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun show. The team isn’t quite as popular as the Avengers even with the big films so you’ll possibly get to see some characters you didn’t know about before like Drax’s final living relative or that cosmic cult. It’s a very easy show to just pick up if you see an episode on TV. At the same time there are some multi part sagas which is always fun to have because you can really develop a story a lot more if it’s 3 episodes as opposed to always being a stand alone adventure. I’d definitely recommend this show if you just want to have a good time experiencing some comic book adventures. I also think you’ll end up enjoying Star Lord quite a lot since he just ends up being a real blast.

Overall 7/10

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Battles, Drax The Destroyer Battles, Guyver Battles

Drax The Destroyer vs Guyver




Suggested by Anonymous Guyver has returned once more and this will be yet another win for him. Drax is a powerful opponent, but he isn’t nearly as fast as Guyver. Guyver will be able to deal some heavy duty damage throughout their encounter and the hits will certainly add up. Drax will eventually have to go down for the count. Guyver wins.

Game Records

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Stats and Records

Stats time! Well, here are my choices for each episode. For spoiler reasons, I will list each choice as #1, #2, etc instead of the name but you can tell what they are from the chapter results at the end of each episode. I’ll use key words next to how many agreed. Naturally I got the Platinum Trophy for beating the game so that goes without saying.

Episode 1
#1 5.5% Doubt revenge
#2 24.5% Leave alone
#3 79.3% Gave to Nova
#4 83.9% made promise
#5 85.3% Bring to Hala

Episode 2
#1 62.3% prioritized over Nebula
#2 84.8% denied Lylla
#3 84.5% Gamora
#4 87.6% hold on to wrist
#5 17.2% keep imprisoned

Episode 3
#1 20% Used fists
#2 45.9% defeated foe
#3 6% didn’t convince
#4 6.2% should leave
#5 61.1% Destroy

Episode 4
#1 79.9% Go camping
#2 71.4% go with two Gs
#3 65.7% exit the back
#4 25% no help
#5 86% extra friend

Episode 5
#1 69.9% Drax
#2 13.3% Mixed feelings
#3 63.9% let be consumed
#4 32.8% No final moment

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Review


Telltale has always churned out a lot of pretty cool titles. The idea of having your choices affect the ending has always been really cool. It brings me back to the “How to Choose Your Own Endings” books from back in the day. I’d die in most of them, but I’d always enjoy the experience. Well, this is what they do for video games and it’s certainly fun. As a result, there’s not really much gameplay so it’s more of an interactive movie where you get to put your own influence on the characters. I got the physical edition when it first came out so then each chapter of the game would come out gradually. It helped extend the game and make you wonder what would happen next. Some games certainly do a better job of making the decisions count than others. An infamous example is X-Men Destiny where the choices that you make really don’t matter.

The basic plot is that the Guardians have destroyed Thanos once and for all. They now have a mysterious artifact that looks like a cup and it may be all powerful. The team has to decide if they want to keep it or not while Starlord just uses it for beer. It turns out that this artifact may have the power to bring back the dead so naturally the whole team wants it for themselves while Hala wants it for her own purposes. Can the team get it together in time to stop this madness or will the Guardians finally end up disbanding? The ball is in their court now.

You play as Star Lord for the most part although occasionally the others have a choice to make as well. When you’re not making decisions you can walk around a bit to inspect things. Sometimes you get to fly around and investigate other layers as well. I actually got mildly lost with that during one of the earlier episodes but just keep inspecting everything. Eventually you will find the clues. The gameplay isn’t the smoothest, but that’s because the main focus is on the choices. It’s not as if the gameplay is all that extensive anyway. The main parts are handled through quick time events which I’m always game for. No matter how many different games use them, they are always just as awesome as the first time they popped up. I’m certainly convinced that quick time events are a good thing and should basically be in every game to be honest.

The graphics are good. The Telltale games always have a very distinct look to them. Everyone is a little more rugged and battle tired. It may not look shiny but it gets the general atmosphere across. It’s definitely good enough. Unfortunately, the soundtrack isn’t quite as good. When booting up the game you always have to hear this annoying song that pops up and I am absolutely not a fan. You’ll want to put the main menu on mute. Beyond that, the rest of the tunes are pretty good and we do get a better insert song for the end. The game did a good job of giving us a pretty climactic battle as well. Every member got to get their shots in with a lot of teamwork throughout.

There isn’t any replay value though but that comes with the territory. You automatically get the Platinum trophy for completing the game and there are no collectibles or anything. I suppose you could replay each episode to go for different paths and all, but part of the fun is sticking with the route you’ve taken. The only exceptions to that are when you unlock a true ending or something, but otherwise you don’t really want to go back. I’d say that the game is around 8-9 hours long as each of the 6 chapters at least an hour. The final one is certainly longer than that and some of the others were likely a bit longer as well which is why I rounded it up. I believe the game started out at 40 as opposed to 60 which helps, but either way it’s a reasonable length. Not quite the 10 hours but close enough.

For the choices I had fun making Starlord as mean and unlikable as possible. I didn’t become a villain or anything, but I kept it real with the team. I reminded them that I’m the one who took down Thanos and constantly call them out when they’re being dramatic. When threatened I quickly take the opponent down. Peaceful negotiations could wait for later after all. It’s definitely satisfying and there would almost always be a good option to pick. If you don’t like any then you can go with silence, but that’s just usually not my style. I want to say something, whether it be a quick burn or a declaration of war.

It’s hard to say how much my choices impacted the ending without seeing other people play through the game, but I’m satisfied with how it feels like I made a decent enough difference. It can’t get too drastic either since they’d have to program in a bunch of completely separate events otherwise. As long as it does make a tangible difference, then I’m set. It’s also a nice change of pace to essentially be watching the game unfold as opposed to blasting everyone myself. It does remind me that a 3D Guardians action game would be quite awesome though. There’s definitely a lot of potential there.

Overall, This was a fun game. Due to the nature of the Telltale series you can’t call it great because it’s basically a movie game and as such won’t have the thrill of fighting a good boss or platforming through a difficult section, but it’s still enjoyable. It’s basically like watching a Guardians movie. The plot is pretty solid throughout and while I’m not always the biggest fan of the Guardians because Groot and Drax hold them back, Starlord makes for a really good main character. It’s great to take the wheel and just make the characters as intense as you want them to be. If you’ve never played a Telltale game before then I definitely recommend it so you can see what it’s like. If you have, I still recommend it since it’s just fun to make the decisions. Hopefully it does get a season 2 so I can keep the decisions rolling. In case you’re wondering, Yes, I did disagree with the majority on a bunch of decisions. That’s just to be expected though.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

FCBD 2017 Guardians of The Galaxy Review


With the film currently out, it definitely makes sense to have a Guardians comic. The marketing guys were definitely ready. It’s also clearly movie inspired at this point with the roster being identical. Surprisingly the comic seems to have gotten the D rank artists. The art looks terrible and I’m just wondering what happened to the series. The previous comics that I had read of it looked quite good so this is a big drop in quality. In particular, Rocket and Drax look very off. Still, you can’t say that Gamora or Star Lord look much better either.

In the plot, the team has gotten captured by the Nova Core. The Nova are finally back in biz after apparently being out of commission for a while, but now their members are all expendable green aliens who are picked on by the Shiar. The Guardians escape of course and steal a ship as well. The problem is that everyone is after them as per usual so the team is going to have to stay sharp and stick to the shadows. It’s a decent story, but the art is just a real drawback. The comic also got surprisingly brutal in one scene as someone’s eye is taken. That scene was pretty unnecessary and you can probably guess which member of the group brought this to the table. Meanwhile the “Drax is a pacifist” plot will definitely be intriguing. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Luckily, the backup story is a lot better. This time, the Defenders are getting some hype since the show is almost here. With the Kingpin out of the way, Diamondback wants to bring Hell’s Kitchen to its knees once more. The problem is that Daredevil and his friends are always getting in the way. To fix this, he heads to Jessica Jones’ office and shoots her. He also sends a message to the other members via attacks from his cronies and declares the neighborhoods to be his. If the heroes attack him…he’ll attack back!

This story was good because the art was very solid. The shading effects were great and all of the characters seemed well rounded. The writing was solid and this is a good way to hook in a new audience of comic readers. The cliff hanger was good and even if these gangsters seem a little outmatched, it could still make for a pretty good story arc. I’m not sure about Jessica losing so easily but maybe she doesn’t have any real abilities in the current comics. That or this Diamondback fellow is just that fast. Regardless, it brings some nice stakes to the table.

Overall, this was a good issue. Defenders really brought its A game and it’ll be nice to see the team get some recognition again. It’s been a long time since they were talked about in the same sentence as the Avengers or Fantastic Four so if the series gets big, then that problem will go away. Guardians didn’t really go anything for me. I suppose the Shiar vs Nova corp subplot could be good, but only if there are some actual characters on the Nova side and they’re not just all nameless aliens. Bring back the X-Men as well, those crossovers always looked pretty fun.

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Review


Well, it’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally time for the sequel to the original Guardians to see if it can live up to the reputation of the first one. Unfortunately, it definitely could not. The film’s own premise hurts it quite a lot as the main characters succeed at all being very unlikable jerks for the most part. That seems to be the point so to the film…You’re welcome! Unfortunately, this just isn’t an angle that they should have pursued. Still, thanks to a key scene and some nice action scenes along the way, the film was able to avoid an unfortunate fate.

Peter and the Guardians start the film out by getting into trouble as per usual. They decide to steal from their employers and are quickly found out. Fortunately, they have the help of Star Lord’s Dad who destroys most of the attacking ships and helps the heroes escape. He wants Peter to come to his planet to hang out so Gamora and Drax go along with him. Rocket and Groot stay behind to watch Nebula, the villain that the heroes picked up so they could get the bounty on her head. Unfortunately, they have a run in with Yondu. Meanwhile, Peter’s Dad may not be what he seems!

This is a pretty big movie so there’s certainly a lot to talk about. Lets start with the worst character in the film, Groot. I don’t know how this guy got to be such a fan favorite character. He was bad in the first film and he’s extraordinarily terrible in this film. He’s nothing but a big bully and he gives the film an extremely rocky start from which I don’t think it ever truly recovered. It can’t really be totally blamed on the opening since the film never really tried to get away from this, but it was a sign of things to come. Groot picks on a pair of creatures for no reason and then tries to eat a poor butterfly. It’s supposed to be a funny scene which shows just how twisted the humor is nowadays.

Now, Groot’s appeal is supposed to be that he’s cute because of how dumb and mean he is. Groot only cares about himself and never moves an inch to help his friends. Any scene with him is incredibly hard to sit through. One scene in particular which drags on a lot has him try to find something during a prison escape scene. He keeps on bringing the wrong things including a severed toe which was just gross and completely unnecessary. We get it, Groot is brainless. We knew that during the first film…why did the film have to shove it in our face the whole time? Groot was just terrible and I agree with critics that he was a scene stealer…just in the absolute worst possible way.

Next is Drax…who somehow found a way to be even worse and more unlikable than in the first film. One running gag as per usual is that he takes everything literally. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also grown even more grotesque and barbaric with his mannerisms. He talks about how his people are proud of talking about rather vile stuff and calls Mantis ugly multiple times. It’s fortunate that she is extremely naive so the insults went over her head. He’s just a very mean person which is why he fits in with the gang quite well. It’s just a shame that he’s such a terrible character. When you have Drax and Groot on the same team…you know that something’s wrong.

Next up is Rocket. Finally, we’ve got a step up from the other two. He’s the same Rocket that you’ll remember from the first film only he’s a lot meaner. Gee…what a surprise Rocket gets the gang into a lot of trouble but the team wouldn’t last long without his gadgets anyway so I suppose it’s a fair tradeoff. He’s surprisingly not very smart at times as Rocket can’t pick up on sarcasm or recognize insults when he hears them. I feel like he’s less intelligent than he was in the first film. Still, that’s fine since he still has his personality fully in tact. Rocket knows how to use his guns and does a good job of annoying Peter. We fortunately don’t dive too far into his origin story either as I got worried for a minute when Yondu started talking. Crisis averted. The winking subplot probably has Rocket’s best moments.

Gamora is my favorite character in this film. She’s still the only member who really knows what she’s doing. Gamora is actually trying to make the world a better place and she also knows all of the members well enough to know when something is wrong. She gives Peter a pep talk, helps Groot most of the time even when he doesn’t deserve it and she comes close to figuring out the sinister planet’s secret. She also does a good job of handling the situation with Nebula. It was a little hard to take Nebula seriously the whole time as a villain since she wasn’t very powerful but the film helps to fix that as well.

Finally, there’s Peter. After watching the TV show for so long, it took a little bit to get used to this version of the character again. At least he is trying to get away from his old flirting tendencies. If he can keep this up, this will really help him as a character. Peter is certainly a much better character than he used to be now that he is just focusing on one person. He does get a little unsympathetic though when he is tricked so easily. Thinking that Gamora is just jealous was pretty silly and I don’t think he was being mentally influenced at the time so it was all him. His reaction after learning a certain plot twist was also on point as well. Instantly blasting away and hitting all of the vitals was the optimal response. No questions like “But why!”, stuttering, going into shock, or any of the other terrible responses. Peter should never have been sucked in so easily prior to this, but at least he rectified the mistake.

There were also a few supporting characters. Yondu gets a fairly large role along with a lot of character development. I’m still not a fan of the character, but I do like his arrow. It’s certainly a potent weapon. Similar to Quicksilver getting a larger version of his scene in Apocalypse compared to Days of Future Past, Yondu gets a larger scale scene to use his arrow in this time. It’s a very good trick and if he was going all out he could likely do well against the cinematic Avengers. I highly doubt it would have an effect on the Hulk and Thor/Vision would be able to endure it as well. The others would be in a pickle and I’d include Iron-Man in that since his suit hasn’t been the most durable as of late. Now, why wasn’t Yondu the character convincing for me? Well, he did just kind of sit there when all of his men were being executed. He was also taken in pretty easily considering he had the really cool arrow and should have done something the instant a mutiny was starting. Take no chances when you’re the Captain! The transporting kids part didn’t do him any wonders either.

The Sovereign people weren’t bad either. I liked their video games and the idea of a virtual army is like something out of World Trigger. You actually feel bad for them to an extent since they held up their end of the bargain while the Guardians broke theirs. Still, we’re supposed to side with the Guardians since they’re the protagonists. I just couldn’t blame the Sovereign for wanting revenge. They just gotta work on their 3D Galaga skills and they’ll be all right for the re match. Their new secret weapon should help as well.

Nebula has probably improved the most since the first film. Her transition into being more of a rival went pretty smoothly. I think there was a little forced emotion when she was reminding the audience of her backstory since I don’t think Nebula cries easy. The whole film was maybe trying a little too hard in that end, but I guess as long as we get the “almost” death of the main character each time than it’s a good tradeoff. They always come so close, but don’t end up kicking the bucket because someone else is there to save them.

Mantis is an alien being who doesn’t know much about anything. She was raised by Ego in exchange for her assistance in getting him to rest every day. Unfortunately, the Guardians are the ones who help her expand her horizons so the lessons that she learns aren’t the greatest ones. She’s a decent character. Mantis’ character tropes aren’t really my style but I guess you can say that she did all that she could with them.

Finally, we have Ego. There’s nothing really likable about him and I can definitely say that the character fell flat. He didn’t do anything for me even if he did have cool abilities. The problem is that he’s way too overpowered. You know ahead of time that the heroes will need some plot hax if they want to come out on top. It delivers as it always comes through in the clutch, but they should have made him a little weaker. At least what wasn’t plot hax was the brief Man of Steel homage fight scene. That was pretty neat as you can instantly see where it took notes on the Zod vs Superman battle. If strength correlated with likability than Ego would be at the top, but it’s just not the case. He works well enough as a villain, but don’t expect to root for him.

As far as the soundtrack goes, the tunes are pretty good again. Most of them aren’t all that memorable, but it’s always nice to hear songs from the 80s. They’re just very catchy and it will remind you of the good ole days. The themes stand out and the best part is that you know the film had a soundtrack. There are a bunch of films that you’ll finish and wonder if they actually had any music to begin with. This film just didn’t have that problem.

The visuals are also pretty sharp for this film. Marvel is still a few years behind DC when it comes to the effects, but they’re getting closer. The brief fight with Peter and Ego was a lot of fun and I liked the Mass Effect Ego design. Peter’s element gun looked a little weaker this time as the blasts were quite small, but as long as it’s a blast I’ll take it anyway. You’ll go into the film expecting the graphics to be good since this is a space film and all so it’s good that you will not be disappointed.

One thing that the film definitely did right was its references. It was fun to be reminded of what we all loved about the 80’s. There’s a certain reference/guest star appearance in particular that worked really well. This iconic figure reminded me that I definitely couldn’t give the film a negative score. It had its issues, but the film reminded me that it could be classy. Moreover, you’ll probably gain some respect for the character who uses this guest star. It was a really exciting moment and the only thing that could have made it even better would have been an extended fight scene where Ego fights the Sm4sh version of this icon.

That was an example of humor done right. Unfortunately, as a whole the film did have an issue with the humor. The problem is that Guardians just isn’t a very funny film. Airplane probably had more laughs in 10 minutes than this film had in its whole generation. I blame it partially on the terrible writing, but it’s also because the film really televises all of its jokes ahead of time. For example, when a guy with a scarred face calls the gold villains. You instantly know what the joke will be and how it will be handled. That’s a bit of a problem because it’s not going to be as funny if you see it coming right? That’s how the film handled most of its jokes. It could have learned a thing or two from the Plane film.

One thing that made that film so funny was how sudden the jokes would occur. When the main character was asked if he wants a smoking or no smoking ticket you didn’t expect a good joke, but then they pull out a ticket that has smoke coming out of it. That was an excellently handled joke. Granted, the film had some bad jokes as well, but the ratio was in its favor and the good jokes wee really good. The best joke in Guardians would have trouble breaking even in Airplane. In this case, I don’t even think we can blame it on the characters all that much since they should still be good at humor.

Also, I’m not saying that the humor is terrible or anything like that. The film still did have a few moments here and there and you can definitely tell that it tried. It’s probably just a writing limitation. Unfortunately, the writing is fairly weak. There’s a lot of language throughout and edgy lines that serve no purpose being here. Some of the dialogues between the characters will make you wince or try to tune them out. Rocket threatening to place something vile on Peter’s bed was just sad and Ego talking about how he built his body was unnecessary. It’s little scenes like that coupled with everything else that begin to add up through the long haul.

Despite all of this, you should be satisfied with the action and explosions here. The film gives you everything you could want in a summer blockbuster. There’s a lot of banter and excitement around most corners. There are points in the film where not much happens, but I still wouldn’t really call these parts boring as the setting and characters are interesting enough. There are two kinds of films. Those that are fun to watch regardless of their quality and those that are not. I can safely say that this one is still enjoyable enough where you can try to overlook the negatives until the film ends. Your opinion of it will then start to deteriorate, but that’s an after effect. I’d also see this any day of the week over many other films.

One thing I’ll hope for in the third film is a longer fight. We had a brief fight with Peter and Quill, but that was the only real fight in the movie. The rest of the action scenes were just general action scenes against giant monsters or massacre fight scenes with the heroes wrecking a lot of flunkies. I’m hoping for more actual fights since the first film had quite a few of those. The Nebula vs Gamora fights here would be a highlight in that regard although again…they were pretty short. I always place fights above action scenes, but naturally having both of them is always a good thing.

There are quite a few post credit scenes 80’s style. They’re filmed like bloopers in a sense, but take place after the film. Some are important and others aren’t. One of them teases a new character who may show up in the 3rd film. Honestly, I wish he had shown up here since a fight with Ego probably would have been a lot of fun. Also, this guy is a personal favorite of mine so I have no doubt that he would have elevated the film. Another scene showed a group of classic characters. I can’t say that I’m super hyped for the group, but I did think that the rocky actor stole the show so it’d be pretty fun to see him return. A certain teenager who appears in one of the scenes is someone that I hope to never see show up. Luckily this wish will likely be granted. It was fun to see various cameos during the film as well. Referencing the rest of the Marvel cosmic mythos is always a good idea. Sadly Thanos didn’t show up this time, but Infinity War is finally getting closer so that’s good.

Overall, Volume 2 had quite a lot of problems. It started out really rough, had a bumpy ride during the middle, and then had a reasonably good climax. It’s still a fairly engaging film, but it tries way too hard to be funny. It’s an unsuccessful attempt. The characters are unlikable which takes you out of the film at times especially in Groot’s case. This is one of those films that I wouldn’t want to watch again at least not for a very, very long while, but for a one time viewing it wasn’t bad. At the very least you can’t say that the film isn’t engaging. There’s a good amount of action and excitement all around with witty dialogue in between all of the “witty” dialogue. I’d make a parallel to films like Suicide Squad, Lucy, Batman vs Robin, and other such films. They’re pretty entertaining while you watch them, but afterwards you still can’t give them a positive It’ll be fun to see the team show up in Infinity War, but beyond that, the Guardians don’t need another film. That or we just need a fresh new take on the Guardians. Get some new writers and we’ll see what they can do. In the meantime, I’m cautiously optimistic about Thor: Ragnarok (Gladiator scenarios don’t have the greatest track record and I can totally imagine some animal violence there, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt) and Spider-Man. (Worst Peter Parker…ever!) With the summer just starting, we’ll see how the rest of the films stack up. King Kong and Guardians may not have led it off to the strongest of starts, but the year is young.

Overall 5/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus Review

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The Infinity Gauntlet is definitely a famous Marvel arc at this point and some would say that it could be the greatest of all time. Marvel has quite a few big events though like Secret Wars and Civil War so there’s always a lot of competition, but the Infinity Gauntlet is a story that has aged well and is certainly one of Marvel’s best events.

This isn’t just your average trade paperback though. An Omnibus is even longer than an Essential collection and this one is longer than the average Omnibus as they tried to cram in all of the tie ins. This means that the Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus ended up being longer than 2 Essential Collections placed on top of each other. It was around 1200-1400 pages if I recall correctly. Usually that would have taken me forever to finish, but it was a blast reading the classic comics so I read about 400-500 pages in my first batch and then finished it off soon after. Once you start reading, you just won’t want to stop.

The collection is essentially divided into 3 parts. The set up to the Infinity Gauntlet, The Infinity Gauntlet, and the Tie ins that take place during the Infinity Gauntlet as well as afterwards. This way, you can say that you’ve truly read the Infinity Gauntlet since you will have seen what came before it and what came afterwards. This must have the record for the most tie in adventures in the shortest span of canon time. What I mean by that is that the tie ins will turn the gap between 2 panels from seconds into minutes as a character will blink and in that blink, have a big adventure. A good example of that is when Silver Surfer misses the Gauntlet when he charged at Thanos in the final part of the Gauntlet adventure and a whole tie in occurred as he raced back.

As you would expect, the art switches numerous times as we get issues from the Hulk, Spider Man, Infinity Gauntlet, Silver Surfer, and more. Luckily, the art holds up well for just about all of the issues. I can’t think of any issues where I didn’t like the art. The Hulk series was probably a little bigger and bolder than the others which could take some getting used too, but it was still fun and made for some good action scenes. (When the Hulk issues actually had action)

All right, let’s start off with the Infinity Gauntlet plot. I read the first issue a while back so I was familiar with that one, but it’s good to say that I’ve now read the entire epic. The first half is really about the natural disasters that are affecting the planet because of Thanos and then half of the multiverse’s inhabitants are destroyed with a thought. The Avengers realize that they need to do something about this so the heroes who are left decide to attack Thanos once and for all. The big fight is certainly the best part of the arc as everyone runs to Thanos for the big clash.
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Without the Gauntlet, Thanos has already proved to be stronger than most, if not all of Marvel’s heroes so this isn’t even a challenge for him. To present the heroes (and readers) with a bit of a fight, Thanos decides not to use the Gauntlet’s full powers against them for a little while. While you know that the heroes are doomed, it is nice to see the action and the heroes do get a few good shots in. They just don’t really deal any damage.

The arc takes a bit of a spin when Nebula grabs the Gauntlet as the whole plot shifts since the heroes have to stop her before she does something that they’ll regret. The cool part of this comic is definitely the part where the cosmic fighters show up to challenge her. Thanos states that he would have been able to defeat them, but they do a pretty good job against her as they attack her on all planes of existence at once so that she will not have enough time to think about what is going on.

It’s easy to root for Nebula here though since she got a really raw deal for most of the event since she was trapped in a death like state where she was forced to live. Once she grabbed Infinite power, you could hardly blame her for wanting to stretch her new muscles. The Living Tribunal claims that it is not his place to meddle in the affairs of the heroes and villains so he doesn’t make a move here. It’s implied that he could probably end the whole situation if he wanted too, but such things are beneath him and he only interferes when he is angered.

Adam Warlock and the Silver Surfer easily have the biggest role in the Gauntlet from the heroes. Adam Warlock essentially has infinite knowledge now that he is back from being virtually dead in the mind gem so he proves to be an ace in the hole for the heroes and Silver Surfer has a lot of experience in dealing with Thanos from his past exploits so he is naturally critical at this point in time. The rest of the heroes are really just there to be a distraction, which Warlock even admits during the latter part of the story.

I’m a fairly big Adam Warlock fan so seeing him take a starring role is always fun. After his death, Warlock is a little more subdued in this arc. He treats most of the fight as a game because he believes that if he took it seriously for a second, he would fall into despair. He’s still a critical factor here and he also gets a little mini arc after the Infinity Gauntlet, which I thought was a lot of fun. the power went to his head for sure and started to get into some epic abstract territory before the cosmic entities decided to weigh in. Sadly, it ended right before the court trial could start. (The trial is incredibly awesome and I wonder which trade paperback it’s included in)

One of the reasons why the Warlock getting unlimited power was so fun was the heroes reaction to this. They had just finished a fairly grueling battle and were exhausted so they were clearly not pleased with having to fight another battle. They half heartedly rushed at Warlock, but he just warped them away. It was a cool twist ending as fans likely didn’t expect something like that to happen. Warlock’s so powerful that the Avengers basically just decided to give up after that.

Mephisto is a major player in this adventure, but I’ve never been a fan of his. He’s not very strong so he relies on trickery, but it typically backfires. Even when Thanos was getting used to being omnipotent, Mephisto couldn’t gather his courage fast enough to grab the Gauntlet. It was a huge missed opportunity for the demon. He’s always around and Mephisto actually helps the heroes out on quite a few occasions so that he could dethrone Thanos, but things never go his way and he spends the whole arc getting pummeled.

Death is a prominent figure here as well, but I definitely don’t care for the character. She never talks and only speaks through her lackey. The lackey talked tough to Thanos so he naturally got the most violent death in the whole collection as Thanos had enough of the guy. The minion was extremely annoying so I wasn’t sad to see him gone. It was unexpectedly intense, but I suppose it was too convey how upset Thanos was. The rest of the collection is fairly tame so it was pretty surprising. If Death could only talk, then I would definitely like her much more, but as it stands, she just looks really arrogant and it doesn’t work since Thanos became much stronger than her. At least Thanos has enough self dignity and honor to not try and control her. He does make a female Thanos who actually defeats Spider Man, which was interesting. I think Spider Man should have won though.

Now let’s look at some of the tie in issues. The Sleepwalker got one and I’m not too familiar with the character, but he seems like a decent fighter. For some reason, he’s treated as a trump card at times, but his strength isn’t incredible. He’s roughly a Daredevil-Spider Man level opponent. He helps out a lot on Earth when Thanos starts to wreck the place and his issue is mostly about him keeping the peace while the other heroes are busy. It’s not a bad tie in even if it sounds a little uneventful. Sometimes it’s nice to see what’s happening while the heroes are gone.
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Spider Man gets an issue where..he actually dies. He successfully helped a kid, but it cost him everything. Once he dies, Thanos decides to mess with Spiderman’s soul and tries to give him despair. Spiderman fights back and he has to question what he has been fighting for and if he should continue to live. It’s a very interesting issue and seeing someone cope with their death and wonder what comes next is always cool. In the end, Spider Man didn’t give up hope and managed to reclaim his life. This is yet another example of how Spider Man was written so well back in the day. I shudder to think about how Peter Parker would have acted if this was in the modern days with Slott writing the issue.

Cloak and Dagger got their own tie in issue as well. I’m not sure if you realize this blog readers, but I’ve never been a fan of this team. Dagger’s all right, but I feel like she doesn’t have a whole lot of personality and doesn’t use her abilities to their fullest potential. Cloak is constantly going off the deep end and putting everyone in danger when Dagger is gone for any reason. They’re not terrible, but I probably like Punisher more than them…and I’m not the biggest Punisher fan out there. Ghost Rider and Spider Man got to appear in the issue as well so it was definitely packed with heroes!

Dr Strange gets quite a few stories. They take place during the Infinity Gauntlet at first and then move on to the after effects. The first issue mainly deals with Dr Strange helping Silver Surfer get back to reality after his mind retreats when he crashed into Dr Strange’s room in the first issue of the Gauntlet. It’s exactly what I’m talking about when I mentioned earlier how a tie in could occur at any time. In the span of a page, a whole issue managed to come forth due to this twist of Surfer not ready to come back to reality! It was a fun fight between the two.

After that, Dr Strange got involved with some time travel and fights against other magicians like the Silver Sagger. When Thanos warped all of the heroes away during the first climax of the Infinity Gauntlet, Dr Strange was sent away with Thor and Scarlet Witch to Asgard where they had more adventures. In the final issue, Dr Strange decided to try and defeat Adam Warlock since the infinite power was getting to the wanderer’s head. Dr Strange was incredibly powerful back in the day, but not even he could hope to overpower a wielder of that gauntlet. Still, the attempt was fun and he helped Adam Warlock see reason.

Dr Strange is certainly a fun hero and he’s a character who can be underrated at times. He doesn’t always look it, but his abilities are very potent and he knows thousands of different spells. At this point in time, he could actually fight with the likes of the Silver Surfer and Pre Gauntlet Warlock. Those aren’t weak fighters by any means and Dr Strange could really hold his own with any of them. Strange is also a very wise fighter and never begins a brawl without a plan. The large array of cosmic fighters is yet another reason why the Gauntlet was so fun.

Quasar got some issues as well, but they were apparently forgettable enough that Comicvine didn’t even list them! It’s too bad since they were fun. Quasar got to fight the previous title holders so these other Universe protectors were very tough, but Quasar uses his ingenuity and raw power to take them down. He gets a little bold and heads for Thanos next, but he’s severely outmatched. While Quasar does have the Power Cosmic, he’s never been quite as powerful as the other Cosmic fighters. Still, you should only underestimate him at your own risk as he’s still quite tough. Picture Green Lantern’s energy projection with Cyborg’s strength + Superman’s flight. It’s a very deadly combo.

Quasar was a likable guy and he’s very down to Earth. He has a comfy life on Earth while still keeping up with his cosmic duties. That’s definitely tricky and most cosmic heroes wish they could do something like that. Quasar may not help as much as some of the other big heroes, but he still contributes against Thanos and that’s what counts. He probably makes more of an impact in the fight than most of the Avengers!

The Hulk gets three issues and they show why he was so upset at being called in during the Infinity Gauntlet story. The events slightly blurred together, but things happened in roughly this order. The Abomination had kidnapped his wife and was sad at how everyone looked at him like a monster. Hulk followed him into the sewers and they naturally had a brawl. One thing led to another and Abomination was able to get away thanks to Dr Strange’s untimely summons. Hulk was able to get back and was turned small so he used this opportunity to act as the Abomination’s conscience and convinced the guy to stop what he was doing. The Abomination let his wife go and went back to the shadows, sad at how his fate had treated him.

Hulk then went on to help a town that had been overcome with rage. This is the Hulk who is basically taken over by Bruce Banner and essentially speaks perfect English. He’s not quite as strong of course, but he gets the job done. I can’t say that he looked very good in the Infinity Gauntlet, but that’s mainly because he’s simply outmatched by the other big villains at this point. He may have complained, but he still helped out when it counted.

The Thanos Quest is easily one of the best extras to be included here. It shows how Thanos defeated all of the Infinity Gem guardians and gained the Gauntlet’s power. Each member of the group was extremely powerful so Thanos had to use his wits to win. When physically outmatched, you have to be very cunning to claim victory. These issues would have likely gotten a 9 on their own. In particular, I loved the fights against the speedster who could move at speeds much greater than light and the physical powerhouse who could likely give the Hulk a run for his money. That being said, the fight in the computer game against the game member was a lot of fun as well.
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Those issues really captured the intelligence of Thanos. It’s not something that’s played up too often and I don’t expect to see a whole lot of that in the films or TV shows, but it’s one of the reasons why Thanos is so deadly. He essentially has the combat expertise of Batman with the strength of Superman. That’s not even counting his many energy attacks and how well he can use the Gauntlet. While Nebula was overwhelmed on the 3-6 planes of existence, Thanos explains that he could have been able to fight on all of them at once. He simply can’t be stopped and will forever be one of Marvel’s heavy hitters.

Finally, we had the onslaught of Silver Surfer issues. To put them into perspective, just adding all of them together would have been enough to fill 6 of the average trade paperbacks. They cover a whole lot of content and most of them deal with the Thanos plot which is cool. The majority of the issues take place before the Infinity Gauntlet and technically, the Silver Surfer is the first person to learn just how dangerous Thanos is. He follows the Titan across solar systems and many planets, but it’s actually a very depressing journey for the cosmic speedster. Even when he does catch up to Thanos, he is quickly crushed each and every time. He cannot even hope to beat avatars of Thanos.

That being said, the prophecy states that the Silver Surfer is the only threat to Thanos so the Titan is always very cautious with him. In a way, you could say that the Silver Surfer is the main character of the arc and I would completely agree. Almost half of the collection is comprised of Silver Surfer comics and he naturally appears a lot in the main series as well. His plot also connects with Drax’s as they meet up and are forced to team up on many occasions.

They even have a lengthy battle in one of the issues. Silver Surfer is clearly stronger, but Drax is almost possible to destroy so it’s effectively a stalemate. This was back when Silver Surfer was a complete powerhouse and I don’t really see how Thor or Hulk could compete with him at this point in time since Thor was going through one of those phases were it wasn’t the real Thor and the Hulk lost most of his power. The Silver Surfer nearly ended the whole Gauntlet arc on his own if he had not missed the Gauntlet. Thanos didn’t dodge, the Surfer just missed because he was going way too fast. If only he had time to practice before the big play. Still, he kept it close.

As with Warlock, I enjoy the Silver Surfer’s character a lot. He never really wants to fight, but when pushed he can really deliver some spectacular action. It’s admirable that he always tries to find the peaceful way out of a situation, but things just don’t work out that way for him. He doesn’t get to appear very often in the current comics, which is too bad. Hopefully he will get popular again once he starts to appear in the Fantastic Four sequels.

Drax got a really big role, but it just served to remind me that I don’t like Drax in any incarnation. I really don’t like the new Gladiator form of the character, but I am not a huge fan of the old form either. It’s a big improvement of course and he means well, but he’s typically pretty clueless about what’s happening and while he was made to destroy Thanos, he’s severely outmatched the during the entire collection.

As for some of the other characters who appeared, Thor was one who was really hurt by the time at which the comic was written. This was still the era of the fake Thor so he wasn’t very cool or regal like the real thing and his power levels weren’t as impressive as the should have been. Even in his weakened state, the heroes mentioned him as a trump card so I would have really liked to have seen the real deal fight a little. Likewise, this wasn’t the Hulk that we were used to seeing. Cyclops and Scarlet Witch launch a nice two pronged attack on Thanos, which is completely ineffective, but it was fun to see them try. The X-Men were really a total nonfactor here. Vision also tried his best to stop Thanos, but this was during his ghost days so it didn’t go too well. Captain America had his famous moment where he walks up to Thanos and it is a cool scene, but it’s too bad that the fight couldn’t be longer. I suppose that it would have been a lose-lose situation though since I may have had to talk about plot hax a little.

There is plot hax here of course, but that goes without saying so I didn’t even mention it. The only good explanation is that Thanos wanted to lose, which I still find a little iffy since Nebula should have won in that case, but we’ll let it go there. The plot hax is self evident enough that I don’t really need to talk about it much. It was funny to see Thanos just retire on a farm after destroying half of existence. He certainly got off easy eh?

Naturally, all of the cosmic entities minus the Living Tribunal also get a big role. Thanos manages to take down each and every one of them. The Celestials, Galactus,The Elders of the Universe, and many more. Finally, Eternity showed himself since he’s apparently much stronger than all of those (But significantly weaker than the Living Tribunal) but Thanos also takes him down without too much effort as well. It’s a stunning battle with great feats and scenes of action. The cosmic fights alone would be enough to justify this arc as a living legend.

This Omnibus also exposes one of the areas where I actually believe that Marvel surpasses DC. How can this be possible right DC fans!? Well, DC’s never had much of a cosmic scene. We’ve got the Anti Monitor and the Source…but that’s about it. There’s an argument to be made for the Green Lanterns, Darkseid and his armies, as well as the New Gods, but I’m not sure if I really buy it. They just feel more like aliens and other heroes as opposed to cosmic fighters. Take Orion for example. I don’t see any difference between him and a regular hero while fighters like Adam Warlock and Silver Surfer have that dignified cosmic air about them. So, while I do still think that DC has the overall better characters, Marvel has a much better cosmic scene so they can have events like this. DC’s a little more limited when you leave Earth.

That being said, the Marvel cosmic part has weakened a little in recent years. Not literally, but the cosmic events start to be a little more underwhelming when everyone has infinite power. Now we’ve got kids and horned creatures who can rewrite whatever laws they want. When everyone is a cosmic being who can do anything, the whole concept starts to lose its shine. Luckily, most of the cosmic beings who are too overpowered weren’t in Infinity so that one still sounds like it should be a fun remake/reboot of the Infinity Gauntlet. I doubt it can beat the original, but it would still be a lot of fun to see how the new version is. Meanwhile, DC needs to bring back the Angel from the JLA series as he’s one of the only cosmic beings that they’ve got. Putting him and the other Angels up against the Justice League would be a fun arc to read.
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Overall, This was a powerful volume from the classic days of Marvel. It’s easy to see how Thanos got so popular after this arc. He was written well and the arc was a blast. Seeing the complete version (Prequels, Sequels, Tie ins, etc) also helps you appreciate the true scope of the story. The actual arc was a little light on action for most of the opening issues, but we got some big brawls as the story went on and you need set up for a large scale arc like this one. The art and writing are consistently good as you would expect and there’s not much in the way of negatives to say about this one. I will say that Nebula’s fate was really sad the whole time as she experienced living death and I could have done without that, but it’s still not as bad as it could have been and one small element won’t really hurt this comic. This could have easily gotten a perfect 10 star rating, but Superman Unbound’s already snagged that one. Still, this is a must read not only for Marvel fans, but DC readers as well. This arc stands as a good model for future arcs to follow or be inspired from so they make the mistakes of other arcs. (Like Fear Itself)

Overall 9/10

Battles, Drax The Destroyer Battles, Silver Surfer Battles

Drax The Destroyer vs Silver Surfer


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Another close battle for Drax that will ultimately end with his loss. Drax The Destroyer lives up to his name to be sure, but the Silver Surfer is one of the strongest cosmic beings in Marvel. I don’t think he would do very well without his surfboard, but he does have it and it allows him to move at incredibly high speeds. His cosmic bolts would deal a lot of damage to Drax and either fighter would be able to land massive damage the longer that the fight continued. If Drax could make this a close hand to hand fight he would easily take the win, but the Surfer is great at striking from a distance. Play to your strengths and you will often find victory. Silver Surfer wins.

Battles, Captain Marvel Battles, Drax The Destroyer Battles

Drax The Destroyer vs Captain Marvel


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This is definitely a tricky match. I do think that Captain Marvel is one of the stronger fighters in the Marvel Universe and he can match all of Drax’s abilities. That basically means that it will be down to can out muscle the other guy. Either physically or with their energy blasts. I think I’m leaning towards Captain Marvel here thanks to his speed, but it’s definitely a very close bout. Captain Marvel wins.

Battles, Drax The Destroyer Battles, Hulk Battles

Drax The Destroyer vs Hulk


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This is a pretty close fight and both of these guys are immensely powerful. One factor that tips the scales in Drax’s favor is his experience with flight and super speed. That should definitely come in handy here and the Hulk’s slight edge in physical strength won’t be able to overcome this. The Hulk may be the strongest there is..but he wasn’t strong enough. Drax The Destroyer wins.