Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW by Brian Bendis and Sara Pichelli


Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor


The short of it:

Peter Quill is looking for some alien strange at a bar in Knowhere, but instead he gets Vintage Gamora telling him all sorts of things he already knew. Mainly that his father still has a bounty out on him, but he doesn’t care, he pulls a gun on her, and that’s about when she realizes that she’s a Skrull, and he’s been drugged. Anyway, let’s talk intergalactic politics. King J-Son calls together his council of alien leaders to talk some business, well, no, he’s just holding it, Gladiator called it. Remember Gladiator? Used to be a Superguardian of the Shi’ar, now he’s just their king and failing miserably at it. This is proof of that, because he wants to go to Earth and capture Jean Grey and throw her on trial for being the Phoenix. J-Son explains to those who don’t know, and to the readers, why Jean would need such a trial. From what she did, to a Brood pointing out that she’s been dead for years, to them reminding us that Jean came back via the X-Men’s abuse of the timeline.

Gladiator only cares about one thing. There is A Jean Grey alive, and she needs to pay. It is pointed out to him that she has committed none of the crimes that he wants to try her for, because she is Jean Grey, and he can burn her at the stake to make his people like him more. He wants them to know that he’s doing this, and isn’t asking for permission, and they can come and join in on the farce…I mean trial. Because someone named Jean Grey committed these crimes, thus someone named Jean Grey must pay for them.

Back on the Guardians ship, the team is sitting around eating when they get a transmission from Tony Stark where he explains he stole gear from them so he could send them the message, but he can’t go back to space. He thanks them for the experience, offers to send up some new blood, then stutters so he tries to rerecord it, and that’s when they realize this is live. And they tell him this, and he gets shamed and thanks them directly until Rocket hangs up on him. Angela and Gamora, meanwhile, are still on Knowhere, doing shopping…for weapons, when Angela notices Skrull Gamora walking off with Starlord. Real Gamora wants answers, but Angela just decapitates the Bumpy Chinned Bounty Hunter. Gamora is pissed, but Angela gives her the Skrull’s ship and all is forgiven. Quill wakes up confused, he’s kind of an idiot.

A week later they intercept a transmission via the Badoon, and it’s all about the Shi’a plans to kidnap Jean Grey for the farce trial, and the Badoon making fun of them for how ridiculous it is and saying that they will take advantage of this to assume more power. They debate on what to do up until they get an alert that the Shi’ar have entered Earth Space, so they go in after them. They hit a snag, but still find out that they need to get to Canada. Step outside, announce themselves, andddd we’re on the otherside of last weeks All-New X-Men!


What I liked:

  • Sara Pichelli’s art, on my God, so good. I have no idea why they go to anybody else but her, her style is amazing and perfect for this book and it makes it awesome.

  • Tony’s attempt at recording a message for the Guardians. So funny, love that he didn’t realize it was live.

  • Angela is growing on me, though anybody who decapitates a Skrull gets bonus points with me.

  • The amount of mockery that Gladiator received for his awful trial idea.

  • Three boobed alien in the bar at Knowhere!


What I didn’t like:

  • The entire premise behind the Trial of Jean Grey.

  • Gladiator. Holy crap, it’s like Bendis has never read anything he’s been in before. Maybe he’s a Skrull too.

  • Did Bendis ever actually read the old Guardians series? Because his Knowhere is…not even close to the one DNA created.


Final thoughts:

My first thought when I saw Gamora in her classic ‘sex sells’ outfit was “That’s a dirty Skrull”. I said it outloud during the in story recap of current events. I was right.

Gladiator wants to put Jean on trial for crimes committed as the Phoenix. Let’s break down the sheer idiocy behind this. First off, the argument given in the issue, that this Jean Grey has committed no crimes at all, and does not deserve to be punished for sins that aren’t hers. That’s a pretty fair argument, I mean, it’s not like she got amnesia, or had her mind erased, or came back from the dead. She’s sixteen years old, and probably a good ten years of her life away from when it actually happened. She isn’t guilty, and the idea of trying her for it is absolutely insane.

Now, on top of this, Jean has already been on trial for the Phoenix crimes that were committed! Hence the reason the X-Men fought the Imperial Guard on the Blue Area of the Moon, where Jean killed herself. That was Shi’ar justice. Gladiator helped to enforce it and everything. This is, like, the definition of Double Jeopardy, which apparently isn’t a Shi’ar concept.

The whole thing seems like Gladiator having a mad on for the X-Men, and I mean, he has every reason to have one, but just as many reasons not to have one. Vulcan killed Lilandra, well, D’Ken had Vulcan ripped out of the womb and raised as a slave. The Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire may have featured X-Men involvement, but it was clearly a problem caused by the sins of former Shi’ar leaders, all of whom Vulcan murdered. Hell, Gladiator is in charge because Black Bolt, and Earthling, killed Vulcan.

Vulcan was an awful character.

Angela’s decapitate first, assume you know the answers to the questions you didn’t ask, philosophy…brilliant.

Why was Iron Man never this funny when Bendis wrote him in Avengers?

Overall: 8/10

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