Suggested by Sonic The Aliens from Battle LA have some decent blasters but you don’t really expect that to do much more than scare Rocket Raccoon right? Rocket’s in a different league here and absolutely packs a massive punch with every hit that he lands. He is quick enough to dodge the alien attacks and counter with his own weapons. The Aliens do not have anywhere near enough durability to tank a single shot so that’s the match. Rocket Raccoon wins.
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.
Suggested by Anonymous Time for Rocket Raccoon to try his luck against Guyver. That being said, he doesn’t really have a shot here. His strongest guns may be able to deal some damage of course, but Guyver is too fast to be hit by them. All of Rocket’s best efforts will simply be futile here. Guyver has really been on a roll, but can he really keep it up? His matches are slowly dwindling down so soon it could be all over for him. Guyver wins.
Rocket Raccoon has a lot of heavy armaments at his disposal which he has used to great success so far. Unfortunately for him even his strongest guns would have a minimal effect on Thor. Thor has withstood the heat of the sun and can break planets with a single swing of his hammer. Rocket can run, but he can’t evade Thor forever and will eventually reach his limit. This is one fight that he can’t win. Thor wins.
Thanos is certainly the most iconic Guardians of the Galaxy villain. Despite mainly being known as their opponent lately, he is completely out of their league. I don’t care how much of a genius Rocket is, he simply won’t be able to build something that can destroy Thanos. Thanos has abilities that are completely out of this world. It’s hard to picture him even taking 5 minutes to end this fight as one solid hit will do the trick. Thanos wins.
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.
#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
#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
#1 20% Used fists
#2 45.9% defeated foe
#3 6% didn’t convince
#4 6.2% should leave
#5 61.1% Destroy
#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
#1 69.9% Drax
#2 13.3% Mixed feelings
#3 63.9% let be consumed
#4 32.8% No final moment
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.
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.
Let’s take a look at the 2008 run of Guardians! Volume 1’s cover is pretty iconic even if the roster is certainly a little different from the film’s. Good ole Groot is still around, but he evidently could not make the cover. No loss there and Warlock is really the team’s power hitter anyway. It’s a cosmic adventure so the plot is very dynamic and keeps on changing throughout the run so a static summary can be a little tricky. Try and keep up!
The Guardians disbanded a long time ago, but Starlord wants to bring them all back together again to save the universe. There are quite a few threats that have risen up like the Badoon, Blastaar, and the Skrulls so the universe really needs the team. That being said, none of the members really like Starlord and by the end of the collection, they like him even less than usual. I didn’t think that was possible, but he does have a way with teammates. Can he keep the team together long enough to make a real difference or is he going to die first?
Debatably, the plot that takes up most of the collection is the Skrull one. The Guardians are currently based in Cosmo’s home. It’s a large Celestial head that also houses a small army of other people who aren’t thrilled that Starlord has decided to open up shop here. As tensions rise, someone is murdered and there seems to be a Skrull on board. The problem is that there is no longer a way to detect them (Even Professor Xavier could not do so in Secret Invasion) so everyone is a suspect. Drax quickly becomes the lead suspect because he keeps disappearing from time to time and even shows up with a bomb. It’s a rather drastic strategy that he uses and I don’t think I actually buy it (Involves everyone “dying” for a quick minute) but Drax was never one for subtlety.
That storyline wasn’t my favorite, but Skrulls can always lead to intriguing plot developments. We even saw Adam Warlock take on Cosmo. I’m confident that Warlock would have won had he kept on going. Another plot involves the Church of Universal Truth. These guys are fairly powerful and they believe that Adam Warlock is their chosen champion from prophecy who will lead them to conquest. That’s why they are a little confused. Adam Warlock may have appeared, but they still hold the cocoon where he is supposed to wake up from. One of the Warlocks is evidently a fake, but which one?
This was definitely my favorite plot. The church warriors have very cool designs and could actually fight quite well. Their powers stem from their belief so the stronger their convictions are, the stronger they become. Warlock was able to fight on par with these guys, but the other members didn’t fare so well. The Guardians were able to escape though and now Warlock is aiming to become their leader. We’ll see if his plan ends up working.
The reason why the members are separate is due to a plot twist from the Skrull arc. The reason why it seemed odd how the Guardians would all be willing to come together so easily..is because Starlord had Mantis telepathically mess with everyone’s minds to make them want to join up. Obviously this is very unethical and a terrible move on the leader’s part. No matter what his hopes and aspirations for the team were, there’s never a good excuse to invade someone’s mind like that. The team is right to be upset with Starlord so they are all having their own adventures. Unfortunately, I’m sure that they will join up again, but Starlord should definitely be kicked from the team after something like that.
Another plot involves Phyla and Drax going to stop an evil magician who had kidnapped Moondragon. The guy’s a decently tough sorcerer and he puts up a good fight. I’m confident that he could probably beat Drax, although I’m not sure about Phyla. Phyla was Quasar for a while and her energy abilities are second to none. When you consider her super speed, flight, and energy projection, she’s easily one of the Guardians’ strongest members. Even better is the fact that the real Quasar returned at the very end so we may see him more in the next few volumes. I was always a fan of that guy so it’ll be great to see him back.
Starlord’s plot involved being trapped in the Negative Zone along with Blastaar and being forced to act as a delegate for him. Starlord has to try and get the prisoners to team up with him to face off with Blastaar, but prisoners aren’t the most trust worthy of people at times. It’s a pretty interesting battle and Blastaar is definitely a tough opponent, although I see him lose a lot more than he wins. Things don’t go all that well for him this time either.
The PC (Politically Correct) police jump in at the end though with Moondragon’s pairing with the new Quasar. I don’t believe that this is a new development, but in the older comics, she was interested in characters like Warlock and a few others. Being a flirt’s a bad character trait, but the twist of her being bi, or in Iceman’s case, ignoring his whole comic industry, is always regrettable. DC and Marvel have definitely been adding in more gay characters in their comics and hopefully this isn’t too frequent. It will likely increase as the agenda goes further and it’s too bad. How many more characters will be turned gay or bi are the years go on? I feel like the number is only going to increase and that’s terrible. As a Christian, I still don’t believe in the gay movement and seeing it in the comics is no fun.
As far as the characters are concerned, Adam Warlock is still my favorite. He believes that the Guardians should not have a boss and delegating with other groups slows them down. His personality has changed somewhat and he’s a lot more eager to fight at all times. Mix this in with his great character design and he’s easily the best character here. I liked Quasar a lot as well and it’s great to see him return. Every character returns at some point so the waiting is the tough part. ( A few exceptions) Rocket Raccoon is all right I suppose, but he still can’t fight all that much, which is always a little dicey when in battle. He talks a good game though.
Groot…is Groot. He doesn’t have a whole lot of personality anyway. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I liked Gamora or Drax this time though. Gamora’s scene with Nova really says it all and technically that’s not even out of character. We’ve seen her have flings with many different characters, but it just makes her look so bad. There’s no way I can take her seriously after such a scene. As for Drax, I still miss the real incarnation of him. This warrior version just doesn’t do it for me. He’s barely even pretending to be a hero at this point and really just does whatever he feels like doing. If he was a little stronger, then that could maybe have helped him as a character.
For the most part Starlord’s a decent character. He’s charismatic, which is important for a leader, but he did mess with the minds of his teammates and that’s a big no no. He didn’t seem like the type of guy who would pull something like that. I suppose he was desperate, but it will make you lose a lot of respect for the guy. Mantis is just as guilty for agreeing to such a thing of course. She can fight a little, but she typically just acts as a communications officer so you won’t see her in the field all that much. Cosmo is cool since he’s a Dog, but he sure does like to play all of the angles and doesn’t take the right side often enough.
The art is very good. It’s like a mix of the current art with some early 2000’s where the colors were very bold. I didn’t like the cover art so I’m glad that it didn’t look like that in the actual comic. Iconic or not, the live action style just doesn’t work for any comic book. It doesn’t feel right if you ask me. This way, we can still get a lot of good action scenes and easily read through the adventures.
Overall, This was a good Guardians comic. There was certainly a lot action throughout. The Moondragon part at the end is regrettable, but besides that, the setup is certainly getting ready for a big volume 2. I look forward to seeing Warlock’s plot play out and Oblivion actually stepping into the ring will be great. After all, cosmic entities usually talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. It’s about time one of them decided to stretch his muscles a bit. I hope Nova appears some more because he only got a very brief cameo here. After seeing his teenage days, it’ll be great to see him in his prime. Maybe we’ll even get some cosmic guest stars since Marvel has so many of them at their disposal. Will the Guardians actually get back together or is the group gone for good in their own title!? As you ponder this question, just remember that the group needs Warlock to survive.
This is a fairly close battle. Rocket Raccoon definitely has the better weapons at his disposal, but Hawkeye is a great archer. He has dozens of different arrows and the stronger ones are just as effective as a laser blast. Hawkeye’s a little more acrobatic than Rocket Raccoon and that may prove to be the edge. He also has his Pym Particles at the ready in case he needs to make a quick dodge. Hawkeye wins.