I know it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but Marvel is doing quite an awesome job making GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY a super fun sci-fi title. It's understandable they're going all out since they definitely need to build the popularity of these characters before the feature film comes out next summer, and I gotta admit, Brian Michael Bendis is doing a great job with the team -- even if some characters don't get much of an opportunity to shine (*cough* Drax *cough*).
Bendis' signature banter is on top form in this chapter -- fear not, there's no massive dialogue boxes -- and the issue never fails to deliver a smile or build up momentum. Sure, some plot points are formulaic but Bendis has them play out in wildly entertaining ways. For example, seeing Groot slowly grow as goons babble and are totally oblivious to him was terrific and I couldn't wait to see what would come of it. As expected, the end result was cheer-worthy. I mean, we know what'll happen, but it's just so darn fun, especially how Bendis utilizes Groot's limited dialogue. Oh, and there's something particularly hilarious about Tony Stark telling Rocket Raccoon, "Don't be snippy."
There's quite a few hands involved in creating the panels for this issue and I never hit an overly jarring transition. In fact, I thought the entire issue looked really, really good. Everything from a firefight to alien architecture was highly detailed and did a superb job setting the scene. Plus, who doesn't love a solid image of Groot smashing like a boss?
Rocket Raccoon's "blam!" banter is walking a fine line between adorable and redundant at this point.
Like I said above, the course of events is a bit predictable, but that hardly matters when sharp dialogue, great visuals and a lot of fun fills the pages.
As of right now, this book is basically Marvel's go-to source for popcorn entertainment. The art team is doing a stellar job, and while there is apparently a lot of gloom and doom lurking in this series' future, Bendis is bringing fantastic pacing which never fails to enthrall. The story is widely by the numbers so far, but it's being done so well that you likely won't care if you can guess what the next scene has in store for you.