Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow’s Avengers #1 (Marvel)


Rating: 2.5/5 – 4 stories in one, but only two that are worth your time

Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow’s Avengers is an Anthology book that has 4 short stories, each highlighting a different character from the Guardians team.  Although all the writing is done by current Guardians scribe Brian Michael Bendis, each story is drawn by someone different.  It’s tough with anthologies to get all the stories within to stand out.  Unfortunately this book falls into that same category.  Two of the stories were really well done, while two were forgettable.

Sadly, the book opened with what I felt was the weakest of the four stories.  Bendis and his long-time Powers collaborator Michael Avon Oeming tell a story dealing with Drax the Destroyer.  Unfortunately, the story is pretty much one big bar fight.  If the idea was for readers to get to know these characters better, than this tale missed the mark.  He comes off as just another hulking brute, with little to no depth.  Fortunately, this issue took a much better turn with the next two stories.

Groot headlines the second tale with Michael Del Mundo art.  I was wondering how Bendis would tell a story with a one-word talking tree as the lead, but he’s able to make the story work with a strong supporting cast.  Although we don’t get to see much in terms of Groot’s character development or motivation, the story still works and makes you care for him.

The third story is the highlight of the book, and would be an excellent prelude to an on-going series with Rocket Raccoon.  Ming Doyle illustrates Rocket Raccoon finding out that there may in fact be more of his kind/species alive than originally thought.  This story succeeds where the others don’t by exploring the multiple aspects of the character.  Seeing a raccoon with guns in a bar is one thing, but showing how he can be funny, intimidating and inquisitive makes his character so much more.  I hope Bendis pursues this storyline in the ongoing series as it left me wanting more.

Finally, Gamora stars in the book’s last chapter.  And just like the opening, the ending is a let down.  Similar to Drax’s story, Gamora’s is also one big fight scene with no dialogue until the final past page.  The art is pretty to look at, again handled by Del Mundo, but that’s about it.  Again, if this book was designed to allow the readers to get to know the characters, then regrettably it fails with half of them.

It’s difficult to imagine a book that provides more character and depth in stories that involve a raccoon and a tree than it does with two “normal” characters, but this book does.  If you’re a huge Guardians of the Galaxy fan, then this issue may be worth it for the Rocket Raccoon story alone, but if not, you can avoid this issue and get a better presentation of the characters in the on-going series.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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