Guardians of the Galaxy: New Watch

by - 3:00 PM


Last month Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hit theatres and I was too busy losing my mind in college to realize it was the perfect opportunity to review my only Guardians of the Galaxy comic book. Sad, very sad indeed. Almost a month later I returned to my drafts for the review and realized I didn't just let the opportunity slide. I'd made a somewhat concious decision. Everyone was excited about the movie and I didn't want to rain on the parade. I think that already says a lot about how I feel about this comic. Let's just get into it, shall we?


I bought Guardians of the Galaxy: New Watch because it had 'New Watch' in the title. I thought that'd mean a new start to the series, not too much knowledge of its history required. I thought wrong. By buying this one I shot myself in the foot. You see, New Watch starts where the previous series ended, which meant two things for me. First of all, I had no idea what kind of shit went down between the characters and why their relationships were so different now. Second, the book gave away some spoilers for the storyline that the Guardians of the Galaxy movies are currently exploring. Great. Awesome. Good job, Envy.
So confused as I was I kept on reading. Now before I continue this review, there's one thing you need to know: I read all the comic books I review twice, once to enjoy it with a clear mind and once to review it with a more critical eye. After the first read I could summarize the plot as 'beating up two bad guys'. That's all, and that's not much of a plot.
I don't want to spoil anything for anyone since I'm already annoyed enough that I spoilt Guardians of the Galaxy for myself, so explaining the plot in more detail than I just did is a bit difficult. It comes down to the Guardians coming face to face with two villains who still have a bone to pick with ma favorite space heroes. Oh, and there's a villain called Annihilus at the very start and end, who apparently has a plan to take over the universe, but since everything happening inbetween seems to be one unrelated fight scene, you'll finish the book feeling like you've made no progress in the storyline at all.


Okay Envy, deep breaths. Don't get swept away by your annoyance at the lack of a plot. Let's focus on the good things about this comic book instead.
First up, the characters. No idea what happened between all of them and Quill, but there's a new dynamic and it works. Venom and the Thing were added to the gang. Rocket is awesome as usual. I don't know how I feel about Groot's freen dreadlocks, but apart from that he's the Groot I got to know in 2014. There isn't much character development yet, but we do get a good introduction to the Guardians and their powers, both the old and newer members.


Then there's the art. If you've read any of my other reviews, you probably know I'm a sucker for good comic book art. And my god did this book deliver just that.
Usually the cover of a comic book is absolutely stunning, while the pages are on a slightly lower level than that because of the smaller size of the drawings and time pressure. That rule didn't apply here at all. All of the two-page spreads were so breath-taking that I'd drame them and hang them on my wall right now if I could. They're detailed, beautifully drawn and colored, and the art style blew me away. But it's not just the double pages, no, all the other pages are amazing as well. They're not all on the same level of greatness, but the level of beauty in the art work is so far above average and consistent in that, that I spent at least half my time reading with staring at panels, marvelling at how mind-blowing beautiful they are. I don't usually name artists or writers in my review, but this time I'm making an exception: Valerio Schiti, you are my hero!


The last awesome thing I want to mention are the extras. If you ever want to make me love your (web)comic, make sure there are extras because they make me love a comic so much more. This one didn't just have a few alternative covers, but also loads of detailed character sheets. Different outfits, the color palette, it's all there. It's a little piece of perfection right at the end of the book.


Yet if I take the art and extras out of the equation, it doesn't look all that great for Guardians of the Galaxy. the typical Marvel humor was a bit snowed-under because of all the fight scenes. There's a difference between fight scenes to further the plot and a continous series of fight scenes as a plot. Still I couldn't get upset about this while actually reading the book, since every fight scene was beautifully depicted and nothing felt rushed.

All in all I have mixed feelings about this New Watch. It's hard to decide whether or not to continue a series if you don't see a clear plot unfolding for which you'd want to follow the series. It's also not the best place to start your comic book career. Yet the art makes up for so, so, so many of its flaws that I'm torn. Continue this one or not? I think I'll let you gues decide in the comments.

x Envy

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12 Fellow Ramblers

  1. I've never really liked comic books I will admit-I prefer words to pictures and numbers-but this made me laugh! Your review is very honest, and I like how you change tenses. Keep it up!

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    1. Hahaha, I'm glad the post made you laugh even though comic books aren't your thing. It's not for everyone, but who knows, maybe one day I'll review a comic that makes you fall in love with comics after all

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  2. I love how honest this post was! I used to read comics all the time but life has just gotten in the way recently 💖

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    1. Thank you, I guess honesty is the best way to do this kind of thing. I hope you'll get more time for comics again!

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  3. I'd say continue as I've found that some comics take a while to get going, then again there are also many one shots so it really can be hit and miss! :(

    sophieannetaylor.com

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    1. You're right, maybe it'll pick up in the next book. They've established all the relationships and we know there is going to be a bigger story arch, so maybe it'll be more about that arch in the next one. If not, well, then I can always call it quits anyway :)

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  4. Well, I suppose you could always just read them for the art! Your initial summary of the plot wasn't exactly a resounding endorsement...

    Hopefully future installments will be less fight-centric!

    xx
    Emily

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    1. I wouldn't even mind reading these just for the art, it's just so good. I'd have to shut down my brain in order not to get too frustrated though, hahaha. I guess the plot will become clearer in the next installment, so I guess I'm going to give that one a shot when my next paycheck comes in.

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  5. You're right that artwork is top notch! I was never a big fan of GOTG until the movies; I prefer the second to the first. As a comic book collector myself, I get what you mean about the confusion between series and stuff. My partner loves going to the comic book shop and getting new ones, but I can't lol. I have to read them start to finish, in chronological order haha!

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    1. Since I uploaded this post I finally went to see the second movie and I have to agree with you: the movies are better. I'm not sure which one I prefer since I haven't seen the first one since 2014, but I definitely loved the second one. I laughed out loud in the theatre multiple times.
      Chronological order is so important to me too! That's why I was so annoyed when I realized I was dropped in the middle of a timeline when I picked this one up...

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    1. That's not Peter... But I can't explain who she is without completely spoiling the movie series and sinking some of people's favorite ships...

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