Guardians of The Galaxy/All New X Men The Trial of Jean Grey Review

DIG021524_1
It’s time to look at the recent crossover between these two series. It has always been a smart decision to have two series collaborate on their own mini arc. Marvel and DC have been doing this for decades at this point and the formula continues to work. You also don’t have to wait quite as long to finish an event since it is essentially getting double speed until it finishes. I recently finished a volume in the All New X Men series so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle this galactic mission!

The title is actually pretty self explanatory to the plot though. The Shiar has found out about the original X Men arriving on the present. Gladiator realizes that this is his chance to make his people look good so he decides to attack Earth and kidnap Jean Grey. Realizing that a frontal assault against the strongest planet in the multiverse would be a bad idea, he attacks during the night and kidnaps her. The X Men are dazed and confused, but luckily the Guardians of The Galaxy show up. The X Men decide to hitch a ride with them and head off to stop Gladiator before they can execute the telepath. Will they make it in time!

The X Men felt out of their depth in their own series and that is also the case here. Gone are the days where the X Men were a force to be reckoned with. Skism and AVX really changed things for them. If Wolverine and Storm were around that would help, but Shadowcat is really the only adult member at the moment. This means that the classic members have to do a lot of the heavy lifting as well and they simply aren’t cut out for this. It’s safe to say that they would have been doomed if the Guardians hadn’t shown up and I don’t even think that the Guardians are that tough. They are certainly not as imposing as they think they are.

Cyclops tries to act as the commanding leader for the team, but only once in a while. He does make threats to the villains on how he will destroy them, but considering his current level of power…I don’t really see him going very far. Still, he is still a good ally to have and he sticks by his friends. Jean Grey certainly hasn’t made it easy for him. That being said, Cyclop’s final decision isn’t the best one, how can he protect his team if he’s on another planet? At least he won’t have to worry about the Avengers messing with him anymore.

The Beast, Angel, and Iceman are really just around for levity. They certainly don’t do well during the fights and they don’t have much of a role in this arc. Angel already got his development though so we’re just waiting on the other two. Jean Grey naturally gets a large focus here and I’m glad that she made the right call in not surrendering. Just saying that she was guilty and waiting to be executed would have been a pretty lousy decision. Instead, she harnessed her powers and managed to take on Gladiator. Her new abilities will certainly come in handy for the upcoming battles and maybe she’ll get even stronger. She really needs to put a handle on her telepathy though. Constantly reading everyone’s minds is a sure way to destroy the trust between teammates.

X 23 is a part of the X Men roster this time, but her role is very small. The characters even joke about it as one of them forgot that she was on the journey. I consider her to be one of the stronger members of this X Men roster so hopefully she will get more action next time. From the Guardians Roster, Angela, Gamora, and Drax would be considered as the heavy hitters. The thing is..they simply aren’t very strong.

For Drax, he has been unimpressive ever since his latest retcon/design. Gone are the days where he could go toe to toe against powerhouses like the Hulk and Thor. I really miss those days as I also preferred his design back then. He’s all talk in the current comics. It’s hard to gauge Angela and Gamora’s strength as they mostly just fight minions. I’m inclined to say that they could probably take out most of the current X Men members,m but they’re still not ready to go up against Gladiator. Still, they’re good characters. As per usual, I’m not a fan of Groot. His gimmick gets old very quickly and he is rarely helpful in a fight. Rocket’s always cool though as he constantly insults allies and enemies alike.

As for Jean Grey’s execution, it may be obvious by now, but I would naturally say that she is innocent.
You certainly can’t be found guilty of something that your future self did. Especially considering that you now know about it and can likely avoid it happening. (Moot point here thanks to the time travel element of course) It’s always an interesting debate of whether you should arrest or destroy someone if you know that they will eventually commit a large crime. I’m not entirely opposed to the idea of an arrest, but that’s a deeper talk than this review requires. Needless to say, the Shiar would essentially be murdering an innocent person in their mistaken quest for justice and that’s why they have never been considered as heroes.

There are certainly a lot of sub plots here that hint at things to come. Thanos is missing so naturally his next plan will be coming soon. Star Lord’s dad seems to want to stir up as much trouble as possible and the Badoon are also getting ready. Meanwhile, I wonder how the Supreme Intelligence will handle the situation. He was against the trial as he seems to be the most intelligent member of the group. Since the Shiar broke the truce not to go to Earth, I expect him to hopefully retaliate in some way. The Kree don’t simply back away when there is a fight!

The art is good for the comic. It’s at about the same level as the other All New X Men graphic novel. This means that the art typically looks good and it’s certainly very clear, but there will be moments when the characters just look off model. It’s not too distracting, but it still keeps me from calling the art very good. The important thing is that it will keep you engaged in the comic though.

As this is Bendis, the writing isn’t exactly spectacular. That being said, we’re certainly not at Dan Slott level and the comic maintains a fun atmosphere throughout. The slang and comic relief can get to be a bit much at times, but we do have to accept the fact that Bendis is working with two teams who are comprised of comedy characters. Iceman, Angel, Beast, Star Lord, Rocket, etc. Put them all in the same room and things are bound to get dicey!

The collection is slightly longer than the average one, but still makes for a short and sweet read. If I had to name a negative, it would be that the All New X Men are too easily impressed. I already went into it in my earlier All New X Men review, but they seem a little too naive, young, and easily impressed. They are still X Men so I expect them to cope with these kinds of situations a little easier. Is it really strange to see a talking tree and raccoon? I don’t think that they should really be shocked about this. When the Shiar attacked with their foot soldiers, I also think that the X Men should have won. How can you lose to foot soldiers?

Also, is it just me or did the comic have a lot of fun bashing Earth? Apparently, we have geniuses like Bruce Banner, The Wizard, Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Peter Parker, but we can’t make spaceships that can move nearly as fast as just about any other race. If not for the Guardians arriving, we apparently don’t have the tech necessary to reach their solar system in time. I find that a little hard to buy as our tech should certainly be able to stand up to theirs. Considering how many alien ships we’ve claimed after failed inventions, we could have reverse engineered all of the necessary parts to make an even better ship. Hopefully we’re just holding back!

Overall, This was a fun team up between the two teams. The heroes are lucky that Jean Grey is a powerhouse now because they definitely are lacking in strength. Ordinarily, I’d assume that Gladiator could essentially take on both teams by himself. We’ll see how long the cosmic interlopers can keep their hands off of Earth. Hopefully the Guardians can protect it, but I really don’t see how. They have sensors that warn them whenever someone attacks Earth, but it’s not like they can just outrace every space vehicle. They need better defenses or this is going to happen again. I recommend checking out this collection as it is a fun action story. There are quite a few references to Jean Grey’s original days as the Phoenix for old fans and you will get to decide if you think Jean Grey is innocent or guilty. Hint, she is innocent!

Overall 7/10

Advertisements

The Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Review


The Avengers are one of the most well known superhero teams in comics. They had a film that broke the box office a few years back and they have now had 3 shows to date. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was the best of the three and it is one that ranks very high up in the comic ranks. I definitely say that it is Marvel’s top show and it isn’t likely going to be surpassed anytime soon.

Season 1’s main plot is about the Avengers forming so that they can bring back a large group of super villains who escaped from Shield prisons all across the planet. It’s technically the plot of the show, but it’s mostly used as a backdrop. The season is pretty episodic, but it does begin a lot of plotlines that are explored in those episodes so it’s definitely better than the average pre arc. Ultron, Kang, and Loki all get multiparters as well as the Leader. There may not be much of an overreaching story arc, but most of the episodes have a cliffhanger scene at the very end so the transition from episode to episode is actually pretty great. Season 1 is a lot of fun and you can count on many excellent battles.

Season 2 decided to go for a big plot and one that featured the Skrulls deciding to invade the planet. They have taken many people in powerful positions so they are all set for their bid to conquer the human race. The Avengers have to get past several obstacles and the lack of trust in their teammates to even have a shot at taking down the Skrulls. Other highlights of the series includes the return of Ultron and Kang. It should be noted that the Kree also get a multi parter as they finally make their big move. This season can get a little dicey since we have to miss out on Hulk, Captain America, and Thor for various parts of the season, which makes for a limited roster. The Guardians of the Galaxy do get to appear though, which is pretty intense.

I will admit that I was one of the many Marvel fans who was not a huge fan of the designs for the show when they first popped up. The characters just looked a little off. Thor was actually one of the biggest offenders for me. His build just didn’t seem right and his arms were huge. The hammer looked so small when Thor was holding it and the handle should have been longer. That being said, you get used to it as you watch the show. I wasn’t a huge fan of Captain America’s design compared to United They Stand, but it is still a very good design in its own right. The Abomination was one of the characters who drew the short straw in terms of design.

I don’t know whether this is a result of the character designs or whether it was the overall animation, but the fight scenes were pretty over the top in a great way. Some of the energy blasts looked like they came out of an anime. The action scenes definitely shine in this series and they put most of the other Marvel shows to shame. The first few episodes tried some unique things with the animation, particularly Iron Man’s view from inside the suit. I think that the animation took a bit if a dip after the beginning, but it still looked pretty good overall. Season 2 certainly looks sharp and it was definitely an improvement. I wasn’t sure about this at first, but I definitely am now.

How does it stack up against the Justice League? I am afraid that it is not even remotely close. Justice League wins in all areas, but it should be noted that the show’s roster was comprised of heroes who were far cooler than the Avengers. The Avengers are cool of course, but they are no Justice League. Considering that the Justice League show also happens to be my favorite non anime tv show of all time, this isn’t bad for Avengers. It’s safe to say that no western Marvel show will ever be able to top Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Now, let’s look at the show’s portrayal of the characters.

Iron Man is one of the main characters and he is a pretty good hero. He acts just like what you would expect from him. He is always ready with a witty comeback and his armors are fairly powerful. The show essentially takes all of Stark’s good qualities without bringing in his bad ones. He does a pretty good job of being team leader until he decides to give up the role. His fans should be pretty pleased with this incarnation of him. His battles against Kang and Dr Doom are matches that we have longed for and we finally get to see them play out here.

Captain America is our courageous leader once more. The writers really seem to like him so Cap gets quite a few wins under his belt. Even the mighty Terrax and the Super Skrull are powerless against him. Unfortunately, he misses the first few episodes of the series and a big chunk of them in the second half. This is sad for his fans of course, but he still gets a lot of screen time and he tends to look very good. It is basically a spot on incarnation of the legendary hero.

Thor looks better than he has ever looked in this series. He is portrayed as an intelligent warrior while still keeping his incredible strength and skill. He isn’t crazy about technology, but he is never obnoxious about it. His banter with Tony Stark on the subject can be pretty fun to watch. As with Superman in various DC shows, Thor does lose to an opponent who is weaker than him at times. Luckily this only happens a reasonably few times and he typically looks as strong as he should. He looks like the Thor of the 60’s and that’s a good thing.
The-Avengers-Earth-s-Mightiest-Heroes-Season-2-Episode-7-Who-Do-You-Trust-
Bruce Banner is pretty much a non factor here because the Hulk is in control for the whole series. Bruce only gets a cameo once in a while. As for the Hulk, his portrayal is pretty good here. He is decently smart and a very loyal friend to have. He gets a raw deal in season 2 since he is tricked by the Skrulls and forced to miss a lot of it. He looks pretty strong and he is portrayed as the strongest Avenger in physical strength. He is definitely a likable character.

The Wasp is a lot more cheerful than usual and it works for her character. She isn’t the strongest Avenger, but she can fight when necessary. This is easily the best portrayal of her that I have seen and it will be tough to too this version. Wasp never backs down from a fight and she even takes on the Vision. Even if her chances of victory are slim. Wasp will jump into battle anyway and it is why she is one of the better Avengers.

Antman had a big role in the original Avengers show, but then he began to fade into obscurity. The new Marvel film aims to change that..more for the superhero than for Pym. Pym actually doesn’t end up looking quite as good in EMH. It is to be expected since he isn’t the fearless leader anymore, but he is still an Avenger. He wants to rehabilitate the villains and he puts a lot of effort into this goal. Unfortunately, most of the villains don’t plan on changing sides anytime soon. He starts to think that the Avengers have lost sight of this and coupled with the Ultron incident causes him to leave the team. This causes his character to undergo a radical change as he becomes more of a hot head who tends to act overconfident. While I typically like this kind of character a lot, it comes off as a little forced and it is also hard to take him seriously. Antman was a good character in the show, but he was definitely outshined by the others.

Hawkeye had a tough road since it would be nearly impossible to pass his original animated version. That being said, he’s typically a likable character. It can be sad to see him get tricked and one upped by Black Widow for most of season 1, but he does manage to capture her on occasion. His skill with a bow is as excellent as ever and Hawkeye is always brimming with confidence. He couldn’t pass the original version, but this is still the Hawkeye that I remember. Black Widow is also pretty true to form as no side can really tell if she is working for them or if she has an ulterior motive. Her accent is at its strongest here and she rarely gets to operate with the Avengers since she’s a solo act from start to finish. She’s a pretty good agent, but Hawkeye is actually able to best her when they fight. Black Widow’s never been my favorite character, but she still looked decent here.

Black Panther joins the team pretty early on in the series, but he was never my favorite character. He’s a little too confident and he has no problem hacking into the Avengers mansion when he feels like it. He’s the definition of a “hype” character who constantly insults everyone and belittles them. He may only be human, but he always gets his hits in and he puts his kingdom before the Avengers. A noble gesture I’m sure, but he’s really just a copy of Captain America, but without the leader’s character development.

Ms. Marvel arrives in season 2 and she cannot be trusted as much as the other members since she also works for the government. She was quick to turn on the heroes when the government duties created a conflict. She is just trying to help her country of course, but the whole scene didn’t look very good. Ms. Marvel is a capable heroine who can still fight at the Hulk’s level so that’s pretty good and she is a solid character despite having her flaws. She does get a lot more screen time than the Vision, who is basically thrown in at the last minute. The Vision looks pretty good and very tough when he first appears. He gradually gets weaker, but it never goes too far as he still helps out a lot in the final battles. I didn’t really care for Vision’s big moment where he betrayed the Avengers, but he’s a good hero to have. I just wish that he had turned good in a different scene.

Graviton is the first major villain in the show and it’s why the series started out on a high note. His abilities are very impressive and it’s no stretch to say that he is the strongest villain in the entire series. There are many other powerful opponents who do make this very debatable. He’s a very likable villain and this show made me a fan of him. Seeing him take on the combined might of Thor, Hulk, and the other Avengers is incredible and it’s not something that I shall forget anytime soon. It’s too bad that he never got to appear again, but maybe next time.

Ultron is the villain that everyone was hyped for and he did not disappoint. He got a pretty great two parter when he first appeared and then his return was also pretty great. Naturally, his demise in both appearances is loaded with plot hax, but that’s just because the show did a good job of adapting his character. He looked about as strong as he should and he was thoroughly annihilating the Avengers. He has definitely been a great villain in all incarnations and I believe that Age of Ultron should be able to keep up this tradition.

Kang The Conqueror is probably my third favorite villain in the show so I definitely wanted to put him next to Ultron and Graviton. He may seem like a much weaker villain on the surface, but his tech definitely brings him up to their level. His array of barriers and energy attacks make him a very tough opponent to deal with and you can even say that it is impossible to beat him. He only loses when he lets his guard down and forgets to block or fight back. It’s the fate of being an overwhelmingly powerful villain in the midst of heroes who are strong, but not strong enough to legitimately defeat him.

Red Skull is certainly not as impressive as the first few villains and it’s surprising that it took so many episodes for him to finally appear in the present. He’s fairly generic and he’s definitely not a threat no matter how many inventions he gets a hold of. He does give us one of the better episodes in the series when he assembles his own crew, but it still doesn’t make him a good villain. He wants revenge on Captain America and that sums up his character arc.
Graviton's_gravity_pushing
Skull’s team consists of quite a few members. Dr. Sampson is one of them and he was not my favorite supporting character anyway. I did appreciate the fact that he didn’t blame the Hulk for what went down at the Cube and he actually dealt with his new powers pretty well. That being said, he’s just not a interesting character. The Falcon’s one shot role is probably disappointing for his fans. He actually had potential to be a good character and he was much better than the Falcon in Avengers Assemble. His appearance was just too short to really get a good grasp of how he was.

One of the final two members was the Winter Soldier. After Bucky vanished when Captain America fell into the ice, he was forced to work for Skull for decades. It’s easily the saddest sub plot in the series and he really didn’t have a choice since he was on his own and they effectively brainwashed him. He tries to atone for this once he gains his freedom back and this is probably the best incarnation of Bucky that we’ve seen so far. He’s pretty noble and you can tell that he is trying to be a better person.

Finally, we have Red Hulk. He gets a few appearances although his role is still not very large. He does get to fight Thor and the Hulk, which shows how powerful he is. I like him as an enemy although he’s not very interesting. Watching him sucker the Avengers into allowing him to join is pretty wince worthy, but a plot twist at the end definitely helps to negate those scenes.

The New Avengers are introduced to the scene in Kang’s big return. The villain managed to destroy the Avengers so an automated protocol quickly gathered up the new heroes. One of them was Luke Cage. He seems to know what he’s doing and his street manner of dealing with his obstacles is a nice change of pace from the politically correct superheroes who help him against the villains. He doesn’t get much of a role and he doubts himself pretty quickly, but Cage still has what it takes to be an Avenger. He’s a step up over Iron Fist, who is still cool, but really has no character development. He appears for a very short period of time and he’s pretty ineffective against Kang. His hand to hand skills are great and they would do well against most opponents, but it was simply a bad mach up against someone like Kang. We also got to see War Machine and I was not impressed. His weapons still look terrible compared to Iron Man’s and he was way too serious when the other heroes were just trying to have a good time. He arguably has more experience in the art of being a super hero than the first two fighters so he needs to lead by example.

Spider Man was also selected for the team and he also got an episode to himself before that so he’s all set on the character development area. He was adapted pretty faithfully as he tells a lot of jokes, but never manages to get hit. He’s the only member of the team who was able to dodge every single one of Kang’s attacks. His spider sense is his weapon and he just uses his jokes to keep the enemy off guard. This is the Spiderman that fans will remember from the good ole days and it’s good to see him getting the respect that he deserves. I was more than satisfied with his portrayal here.

Wolverine also gets to join the team and he’s definitely in character. Unfortunately, this means that he gets animal violence in his scene as he destroys a few dinosaurs. It’s the worst scene in the entire show and you can bet that it hurts his character. It’s hard to root for him after such a scene and he also doesn’t really help a lot when the team is fighting Kang. That just makes it worse since he wasn’t needed in the episode and the heroes still would have gotten the job done.

The Fantastic Four are recurring characters in the background of the show. The Thing gets more of a role than the others since he does join the New Avengers, but he doesn’t look particularly impressive when it comes down to strength. He’s pretty likable and you’ll be satisfied with his portrayal even if he looks like a second rate fighter. Reed Richards looks pretty great as he belittles everyone and puts up a brave front when Galactus appears. Human Torch and Sue Storm don’t get to do a whole lot, but they look pretty decent when they get to appear.

Nick Fury changes a lot as the show goes on. He fights on the front lines more in season 1 and then he turns into the MCU version of Fury in season 2. He’s pretty corrupt as you would expect from a Shield agent, but he has his moments where he can actually be likable. He was a capable leader for Shield (Not going to bother using the periods everywhere) while he was around. Maria Hill steps in for him once the Skrull invasion occurs. She is notably less tolerant with heroes than Fury was and she can definitely be a thorn in the side of the heroes. Hill does mean well and she is definitely a likable Shield agent, but her policy towards the heroes can definitely hold her back.

The Guardians of the Galaxy get to appear and this was before their film so the roster is much different. It’s vastly superior to the normal crowd as we have someone with Green Lantern’s abilities. Groot, Star Lord, and Rocket Raccoon are still around. I’m still not the biggest Rocket fan, but it is always good to see him jump into the action. Groot is simply Groot and still the worst member on the team. Star Lord was pretty reasonable and it was a very fun episode as we saw them match up against the Avengers before fighting Korvac. The Guardians are lucky that Thor was not there since the episode had the potential to be a stomp for the Avengers. Their portrayals all seemed pretty good.

Baron Zemo is another big Cap villain and he gets to team up with the Masters of Evil for a while. He never gets any super powers, but the Norn Stone makes him more of a threat in his final appearance. He’s still not my kind of villain though and he mostly just lives on by backstabbing all of the other villains. The series could do without him.

The Enchantress looks much more formidable than you would expect and she goes toe to toe with the Hulk and Thor in the series. Her magical abilities seem to be very well suited for offense and her speed is impressive. As a character, I’m still not a fan of hers as she always lets romance cloud her better judgment. Getting defeated by Zemo at the end is pretty bad for her and her loss in round 1 was bad as well. She lets her guard down a little too easily considering how powerful she is. Just wiping out her enemies would save her a lot of grief.
detail
The Leader gets a multi part episode towards the beginning of the series, but then he vanishes. This is definitely one of his better portrayals, but he’s still not a great villain. His lack of attack power is just hard to get around. It’s actually why I am not a big fan of the Abomination in this show. He’s constantly portrayed as being much weaker than the Hulk and it undermines the notion that he could actually be a rival to the green Avenger. He never looks good, not even once as the series goes on and this very well could be the worst portrayal of him.

Wonder Man looks a lot different from his counterpart in the first Avenger show. He is always in his energy form and the villains basically have a hold of his life so it’s tough for him to go back to the Avengers. He has his hero moment and he ends on a high note, but he should have kept an open mind about Stark before. (Not that Tony was pretty polite when they met) He may have had a better fate.

Dr Doom gets a brief role in the Skrull arc, but it’s a critical one that really helps the heroes out. He is a political enemy so he still wants the Earth to be in one piece. His armor looks impressive as it can keep up with Tony’s and likewise with his intellect. It was definitely a good portrayal of the villain. He certainly looks better than Loki. Loki’s big two part episode to end season 1 wasn’t very interesting and I can’t say that I cared for any of his appearances. He is a difficult opponent to handle because of his trickery. His design is pretty unique and I’m not sure what the writers were going for, but I suppose that it works.

Galactus finally joins the fray in the final episode and it’s good to see him. He doesn’t actually have a mind this time, which does undermine him as a villain, but he is still pretty strong. It may be his worst portrayal to date, but he’s a decent villain. I just wish that he could have fought back against the heroes instead of just staying there and taking everything that they had to give. His heralds are also pretty souless and weak as small groups of Avengers are able to take them down with ease. It’s the price of filling an episode with so many villains and fights. Power levels have to go out of the window and there can be no form of character development.

Ronan appears for the Kree and he looks pretty good against the Avengers. Thor may not have been there, but he was still keeping the Hulk and Iron Man at bay for a while until Ms. Marvel finally took him down. He looked much better than he did in the FF cartoon. He’s certainly not one of my favorite villains, but he makes for a nice opponent for the heroes. The other notable Kree agent would be Captain Marvell and I really didn’t like that guy. He never knew when to pick a side and he only jumped in at the end once the battle with the Supreme Intelligence was over. His abilities seem pretty interesting, but he’s just not a good character.

Naturally, there are many more villains to be found in the show. We got a healthy amount of them and the only big one that the show missed was probably Count Nefaria. Some of the villains that I didn’t mention include: Purple Man, Whirlwind, The Absorbing Man, the FF villain who looks like an insect, but with a name that’s hard to spell, Bi Beast, and many more. The series is definitely a complete one and it’s one of the few shows with 50+ episodes that I’ve seen in its entirety more than once.

For some reason, the show really loves to throw in the Serpent Society for when they need a throwaway action scene. These guys are constantly breaking out of jail and I’m always sad to see them. They really don’t make for interesting action scenes and they’re extremely weak. It’s hard to picture them ever holding their own against the Avengers and they feel outclassed from start to finish. Their leader gets a bit of a role during the Captain America Escape episode, but I can’t say that I’m a fan of Viper either. She’s just a little too generic for me and she is interchangeable with just about any other villain.

Naturally, the show’s power levels are more than a little wonky. This is certainly a weakness that superhero shows tend to have. Anime spend more time on the power levels or at least manga based ones do. Here, you can go from having the Vision beating up on the Avengers without effort to being crushed by Thor. Iron Man’s durability also comes into question a whole lot as the scenes don’t always make a lot of sense. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s something that you’ll definitely think about as you watch the episodes. A little more speed would definitely come in handy for the Avengers and their enemies.

Unfortunately, the show does end with some loose ends. The main one is definitely the Surtur plot that the show had been hyping up in the background for quite a while. It got a whole episode devoted to the future arc with Beta Ray Bill and Odin. All of it was for naught unfortunately as the series ended. It definitely had a lot of potential so it’s too bad that the series ended when it did.

The show definitely deserves some props for having cliffhangers and new subplots in just about every episode. It’s one of the reasons why the show is able to separate itself from the average show. Including all of the classic plots and new characters, the show was definitely ambitious. It’s epic to think of how many things may have happened if it had reached 4-5 seasons. This really could have been a true rival for Justice League. It’s doubtful that it could have surpassed it, but more episodes would have cemented the show as the ultimate Marvel experience.

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ soundtrack is pretty amazing. It has the greatest theme song for any superhero show and that includes Justice League. It’s by far the greatest western theme song that I’ve heard and it can even match up against anime openings. That’s some great praise for the show and the themes in the episodes also sound good. A lot of western shows seem to believe that a soundtrack is not necessary, but it certainly augments any scene. Whether for better or worse, taking the plunge and adding a lot of good tunes is definitely the right move for a show and Avengers pulled it off.
H08WNckvt-g
Overall, Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is a pretty incredible show. It surpassed all of my expectations and it has a lot of replay value. It’s the kind of show that you can easily find yourself re watching since the battles are so much fun. It’s really too bad that this show was cancelled in place of Assemble since it’s many times better. This show had heart, solid animation, a good soundtrack, and the writing was very well done. This is one of those shows that you can possibly consider once in a life time since I have my doubts on whether superhero shows will be able to reach the level of greatness that they once had. Well, we’ll keep our hopes high I suppose. I recommend this to all comic book fans and to anyone that wants to start a good action show. This is definitely the cartoon to watch!

Overall 9/10

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

guardians_of_the_galaxy_29132
Well, Guardians of The Galaxy is definitely a film that everyone has been looking forward to for a very long time. The MCU could finally continue and this installment was going to give us a lot of data for the series. Of course, all of the characters are essentially new to the franchise so it was still a little risky. Guardians of the Galaxy ended up being another solid entry into the MCU and I’m ready for a sequel, but let’s take a more in depth look at it. I aim to keep spoilers to a minimum and will do my best to avoid them entirely, but I recommend watching the film before you read my review…just in case.

The film starts off with a scene on Earth as Star Lord is abducted by aliens when his mother passes away. Years pass and he is now a wanted man by many individuals. He finds a mysterious artifact in a tomb and now he is in a lot of danger. Ronan sends Gamora out to go take the orb from Star Lord while Rocket and Groot want to get the main character for his large bounty. After they bond and fight, the heroes realize that they’re going to have to team up if they want to have any hope of stopping Ronan. Can these individuals team up to face the enemies that no single hero could face alone? Let’s hope so!

Star Lord is the main character of our tale. His character seems to be based off of Captain Kirk’s to an extent. He shares traits with many of the classic heroes, which is likely intentional. He was definitely one of the more interesting characters, but every time he would have a really cool scene that would almost make you a fan, he would do something to negate it. As I mentioned earlier, he shares some traits with Kirk. One of these traits is unfortunately the fact that he flirts a whole lot. His first scene has a rather anticlimatic moment where we realize that he isn’t the only person aboard his ship. The scene really didn’t have a point and it was just so we could see how far Star Lord had fallen.

When he’s not flirting, Star Lord can be a pretty cool character. His mask is pretty epic and he’s a surprisingly good fighter. His plans aren’t bad and he was able to hold his own against Gamora and the others. The fact that he went after his MP3 player at one point was also a pretty cool scene. He typically made sure to do the right thing and he was a solid character for the most part. I just couldn’t like him by the end because the flirting was a little overdone, but he’s still a charismatic lead.

Gamora is an interesting case as well. Her character personality was all right, but I felt that her reputation was undeserved. Everyone seems to know her because of how skilled she is. The problem is that she never looks that tough on screen. Sure, she beats up a few prison guards at one point, but she typically loses the big battles. While she had the upper hand against Drax the first time they met, she never really had any other impressive moments. Her battle against Nebula was good of course, but I don’t see how she fell for the classic thunder rope trick. She also seemed pretty worried the whole time she was in prison. Those were some pretty tough odds, but they mentioned how she had been genetically altered so I figured that the extra power and speed would serve her well.

Personality wise, she’s definitely more heroic than I had figured. I definitely didn’t mind that since it was unexpected in a good way, but it did seem rather sudden. I guess Ronan has never tried to do something this large before or she may have defected sooner. As long as she doesn’t let Star Lord get to her in the sequel, she should stay as a decently good character. I do expect her to look more impressive combat wise in the sequel though. For “the world’s deadliest woman” she only appeared to be slightly stronger than Black Widow. We can expect her DC counterpart (Wonder Woman) to be a little more impressive so Gamora’s going to have to play catch up.

Rocket is a character that Marvel has worked hard to promote. He has a pretty solid fanbase so his portrayal in this film was definitely going to be looked at in detail by his fans. I like Rocket, although I wouldn’t call myself one of his bigger fans. I can see the appeal of the character and I’m always up for another Sgt. Rock. Rocket is shown to be the smartest member of the group and he has a lot of experience. He has broken out of many prisons before and he knows how to take them over from the inside by using Groot.

His drunk scene seemed pretty out of place though and it was a way of expanding his backstory a bit. I could have taken a pass on that part. His backstory is definitely pretty grim, but it should hopefully not appear on screen as the reference is probably all that we need to know about it. It’s definitely hard not to like Rocket from the start. His thunder zap against Star Lord was pretty good and he’s always confident. He’s a little weak physically compared to the others, but he’s always got Groot at his side so he does well in fights. It’s no stretch to say that he’s definitely the best member on the team.
Ronan-the-Accuser-in-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy (1)
Drax is probably my least favorite member of the group. It’s close, but I just never cared for this depiction of Drax. Remember the good ole days where he had a cape and his abilities were more on the level of the Hulk or Vision? I don’t know exactly when he changed, but ever since the reboot of his character began…they never looked back. This Drax is more of a generic warrior who likes to fight. You can say that he’s the power member of the group.

The problem is that he’s pretty weak. You can’t compare him to other fighters like Thor or the Hulk. He’s probably around Captain America level in physical power and I would easily take the Avenger to win a fight between them. Drax spends the entire film getting crushed by the opponents. Gamora nearly ends him, Ronan is on a different level, and Korath also throws him around for a while. This is because Drax doesn’t really have any technique to his fighting and he just relies on brute strength. He seems a little out of place in a comic book film.

Power aside, I also don’t really care for his personality. He doesn’t really know a lot about Earth and traditional customs, but we already have Gamora for that angle. (At least music wise) He’s not very smart, but Groot already serves that purpose. Drax really doesn’t add anything to the team and that’s probably another reason why I don’t care for him. I would have preferred Adam Warlock or Captain Marvel to replace this fighter. It helps that he cheered (Rocket is guilty of this too) when the animal got eaten. He could get better in the sequel..but we shall see.

Groot is the final member of the Guardians of The Galaxy and I’m likely not as much of a fan as most of the viewers. Personality-wise, he’s pretty decent. He seems to only partially understand the others or he just doesn’t think about it all that much. At the very least, he has no problem with disrupting the plan and doing things his way. He is pretty heroic for the most part though and he makes the tough calls. I can’t say that I was a big fan of his scene in the prison though. There were other ways in which he could have taken out the tough guy. I just never liked the branches through the nose technique before as I find it rather gruesome.

The main reason why I didn’t care all that much for Groot is the whole “I am Groot” part. It’s essentially like Chewie’s roar in Star Wars. Characters can just understand it somehow and then they put the pieces together. It may be okay once in a while, but the more that it occurs, the more that I don’t really enjoy it. I’d prefer to at least have some subs in this case. Groot is definitely a lot more durable than the other Guardians though and he would likely win in a fist fight.

Thanos finally gets to show himself in this film. Viewers of the Avengers series who prefer not to watch any of the other installments will likely be upset since they are expecting him to get a big role in Avengers II. This wasn’t to be and we can only hope that Thanos does join us for Avengers III. All signs point to it at the moment at least, but you could almost think that Thanos would be the big villain for Guardians 2.

His design seems to be a little different from the Avengers film, but it’s a little hard to tell since the lighting is pretty dark. His outfit is modeled after the comics, but all of the color has been drained from it. It reminds me of Wonder Woman’s new costume in the Batman vs Superman film coming out. (Color scheme wise) The outfit is bronze/gold and there isn’t any color to it. It definitely looks menacing though and Thanos essentially looks like a purple Hulk with armor. I don’t really have any complaints about the armor’s design. I definitely would have preferred the classic gold and blue, but this works.

Character wise, Thanos and Ronan have some banter as threats are implied and spoken outright. Nebula tells Ronan that Thanos is stronger than him, which is a solid continuation of the hype train for Thanos. I’m all aboard of course, but making Thanos stronger than Ronan isn’t very impressive. It’s a start of course, but this is why we’re waiting for his first actual fight. He reminds me of Darkseid and his throne is pretty good. Whether he has his first fight in a Guardians or Avengers film, it should be pretty epic.

Ronan is the main villain of the Guardians film. He’s a decent villain, although I would say that he’s not quite as tough as he could have been thanks to the film’s main characters. Since none of the heroes are very strong, they had to be careful about him. I would say that Ronan’s strength could be comparable to Iron Man’s armor if not a little stronger than that. Due to some circumstances in the film, his abilities do get better at one point and his weapon becomes truly devastating. It reminded me of Malekith in Thor: The Dark World. Once amped up, he could probably give Thor or the Hulk a pretty good run for their money.
j53TYmgGuardians-of-the-Galaxy-Rocket-Raccoon
Character wise, I found him to be very similar to Malekith. Ronan’s main goal is to destroy various civilizations and one in particular because he doesn’t believe in the peace treaty. He’s not with the Kree in this continuity as he commands a rebel force and he works with Thanos. He could be a little generic and executing defenseless civilians is a little petty. I’d say that he didn’t leave much of a lasting impression and he was a decent villain by the end. That’s still an improvement over most of the MCU villains though. I would have liked to see him go up against Thanos, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Nebula doesn’t get much of a role in this film, but she is regarded as a tough fighter. She has a brief fight with Gamora and we don’t really know much else about her. Her design is good and I’m always open to cyborgs. She seems to comprehend Thanos’ power more than the others and she naturally resents him. What she will do next will likely impact the plot of the sequel a lot. She makes for a good rival to Gamora and I don’t have much else to say about her just yet.

Yondu is pretty different from the comics, but it works for the film. He’s a lot older than you may have guessed and unlike Hawkeye, he only uses one arrow. It’s the whole quantity vs quality debate and his arrow is definitely well built. It’s like a laser and it’s sound based, which is pretty good. Yondu is definitely a threat and he could likely take out the Guardians of The Galaxy with decent ease. He would likely have some trouble against opponents with sound abilities or quick reflexes, but his arrow is quite fast so the reflexes would have to be on a high level. He’s not a very interesting villain though and his power is his saving grace. I don’t mind all that much if he appears in the sequel, but they have to be careful about how he fights. This ability leaves a lot of room for plot convenience and we don’t want that. Having someone give him an accurate fight will be a challenge, but a fun one to see on screen.

Korath gets a minor role in this film as well and he only gets one real fight scene against Drax. He looks a little stronger than you may have guessed, but the film did hint at it when he recovered from Star Lord’s thunder blast so quickly. He’s really just a nameless minion in the end in terms of plot importance. His design isn’t very interesting and he’s basically a throwaway character. I can’t say that I mind him all that much, but he’s definitely not going to be the next big threat.

I can’t say that I like the Collector anymore here than I did in Thor: The Dark World. He’s still a complete villain and I don’t understand why the Asgardians trust him. He’s useful for information, but the heroes should have shut down his base of operations a long time ago. You feel bad for his minions and things definitely get a little dicey for them. Hopefully this will be his last appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s really no need for him to appear any further anyway.

The Other makes his glorious return into the Marvel universe with this film. I have to say that I had only been mildly been expecting him to get a decent role here so that was pretty cool. Once again, he talks pretty tough to Ronan and I like how he’s always on top of things. The Other fears no being! (Not even Thanos…..) Apparently, he knew about some plans and schemes, but neglected to tell Ronan because The Other is a Boss. We don’t get to see any of his super speed in this film though so I have to wonder if it was forgotten or if the Other just couldn’t be bothered to use it. I’m hoping that he gets another solid role in the future where he can show off his abilities to their fullest.

Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely a very important film for the MCU. We learn a lot of things about the cosmic order in this continuity and Thanos appearing is certainly important as well. Everything is a lot more casual in the film to the point where you feel bad for S.H.I.E.L.D. Nobody on Earth even knows about Thanos, but it’s casual knowledge in this film. We get to see his domain and many planets fear him. It’s hard to describe, but it definitely makes the Guardians appear to be on a different level from the Avengers knowledge wise even if they can’t compete in power.

We even learned about the Celestials and we get a really cool action scene involving a planet blowing up. I’ve always wanted to see a planet blow up on screen and this film got to show us this. That’s a visual that I expect to see in future DBZ films and I guess this film beat it to the punch. Skipping this film isn’t a wise move if you want to stay in touch with what is happening in the world.

The fight scenes in the film are definitely some of the better ones in the MCU. We’re not looking at anything like Thor vs Kurse or Captain America vs Winter Soldier yet, but the space fights are really fun. Star Lord’s blaster is pretty effective and we haven’t gotten a lot of gun fights in the series prior to this film. Definitely no space blasters and I was glad to see them appear. I wouldn’t have minded if everyone used guns in the film since the effects made the blaster fights really stand out.

A welcome positive for this film is the light tone that is similar to the Avengers. The film typically has a scene intended to make you laugh every few minutes and the humor is pretty well done. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and that’s a good thing. It helped to minimize the damage in a negative that is coming up and it also gives the film a lot more replay value than other films that came out this year. (TMNT, Godzilla, Dawn of the Planet of The Apes, Xmen, etc.) It would certainly be a lot easier to watch this film again than any of those.

The light tone is really what helped the film not get hurt too badly by the animal violence. The animal violence guaranteed that I wouldn’t give this film an 8 like Captain America. It wasn’t very bad, but there was one pretty sad scene at the bar. We see an animal eating another one and it’s done for sport. The characters actually don’t mind this and they encourage the barbaric game. There’s also the scene at the very beginning of the film where Star Lord is beating up on a lot of small lizards. That was pretty sad to see since it was completely unnecessary to the plot. We definitely don’t need animal violence in our films and hopefully this doesn’t become more of a trend with Marvel. (I still won’t forget the dog scene in The Incredible Hulk)

I will say that the film did have a little more language than the average MCU film. Mostly, it tended to come from Rocket, but they all chipped in a little. Luckily, we don’t get the line that offers the big word. It’s mostly just a lot of s and a worlds, but they do add up a little more than usual. It was likely to show that these guys were definitely not as heroic as the Avengers, but we already knew that from Star Lord.

Finally, I think the film tried a little too hard to be emotional at some points. “You’re asking us to die” quickly comes to mind as everyone gets serious and it’s a solemn moment. It’s almost inevitable for a film and especially one that is as happy as this one. After all, the heroes have to finally realize the gravity of the situation at some point, which will make things serious. It’s a cost of being a light series, but it’s a light one. The opening scene at the hospital was also pretty sad, but it really didn’t do the film any favors. Why not give the hero a happy origin story instead? What makes the origin a little sadder than usual is the fact that they made sure it was a realistic origin that could happen to anyone before the UFO came. Taking away that scene and one or two others would have allowed the film to keep it’s happy stride and to never look back. I think that would have made the film even better.
The soundtrack for the film is definitely solid. I’ve always been a fan of the classic songs from the 1980’s and beyond. It was a good time to be a listener and they just don’t make songs like they used too. We got a whole bunch of classic songs in the film and I was glad to see that I recognized two of them. The main theme that was seen in all of the trailers and on Star Lord’s MP3 player is easily the best song. Most of the others are pretty solid as well, but that one definitely had what it takes. The tune that Star Lord listens to in the very beginning was pretty good as well.

Naturally, we get an after credits scene in the film. There is a small sort of bonus scene early on, but I barely count it since nothing really happens. The actual after credits scene is another comedy clip so it’s not there to advance the plot, but it is a pretty good one. The novelty of the scene is the best part and while I would have preferred a Thanos vs Ultron fight to set up Avengers 2, this will have to do for now. You should hopefully recognize what the after credits scene means…hopefully.

Now, this film is Disney like Star Wars and it’s the first big space epic in a while. After the similar poster came out, I’m sure that we all quickly thought of Star Wars. It’s definitely worth mentioning that they do have a lot of similarities. We get adaptions/homages/similar circumstances to the Dark Vader and Lord Palpatine plot through Thanos and Ronan. We get a space fight scene where a lot of small ships go for the large one like in Star Wars. Groot is pretty similar to Chewbacca and Star Lord’s relationship to Yondu is identical to Han Solo’s time with Jabba The Hut. Gamora and the main heroine of Star Wars also have some mild similarities as they already had a mission and then the other heroes jump in and wreck her plans while attempting to help. There are other similarities and some of these are naturally coincidences since it’s hard not to adapt them when doing a sci-fi film. It definitely had a Star Wars feel to it though and that’s pretty nice. Star Wars definitely had a lot of good things going for it even if it started to make some mistakes down the road.
Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Hi-Res-Photo-2
Overall, I definitely recommend checking out Guardians of The Galaxy. I love superhero team films because watching the team form is always great. The opening fight scene with the members is pretty great and I definitely place that as my favorite scene. The film is pretty fun to watch and the action scenes are great as well. The film did have some negatives for me, but there aren’t any scenes where you’ll seriously grimace except for the animal violence. This installment can definitely hold its own against the other titles and I’m looking forward to the sequel. We’ll see if Thanos really is one of the major players to face them. Either way, expect a lot of action and excitement along with some more great tunes.

Overall 7/10