Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #12 by Brian Bendis, Sara Pichelli, and Stuart Immonen

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Guardians of the Galaxy #12

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Sara Pichelli, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Justin Ponsor

 

The short of it:

Flashbacks to oh so many years ago, depending on your perspective due to time travel, as we see the origin of Cyclops…well, we see the mom shove him and Alex out of a plane while aliens attacked it. Scott wakes up on the Guardians ship, surrounded by X-Men and aliens, and he gets to do something he never thought he’d get to do again. He gets to hug his dad. On Spartax, meanwhile, King J’Son of Spartax is getting word that Gladiator has already rushed off to Earth to kidnap Jean (despite the decree that everyone leave Earth alone), and that his son, Starlord, is already involved. Now, J’Son’s hand is forced, and he can’t sit back and let the Shi’ar have their pound of flesh quietly.

Not that the Shi’ar wouldn’t be ready for it, they’re training on their Throne World while Oracle warns Gladiator that the X-Men will come for her. Gladiator finds it amusing, since obvious there is no way someone from Earth could ever get to Shi’ar space. Again. For, like, the millionth time. She points out that he’s just being arrogant, and he leaves. Back IN SPACE Scott is hanging out with his dad, and finding out all sorts of things. Like that his future self met him already, and that Alex was there, and that his mom is dead….oh. Scott needs a minute to go cry alone in a closet somewhere, but Laura won’t let him. She’s turning into a hugger.

Jean is still a prisoner, and Oracle is her counsel. She offers Jean advice, and it’s clear that she isn’t looking at this situation as anything more than a Kangaroo Court, but Jean will still have to compose herself and not let her emotion take control if she wants a chance at getting through this. The Guardians and Starjammers get to the Throne World and see it completely packed with all sorts of hostile ships, so they need a plan. And they better come up with one quick, because Gladiator opened the trial with Dark Phoenix committing genocide.

 

What I liked:

  • The slow burn of Scott and Laura’s relationship feels much more organic than the cover a few issues back would have had us believe.

  • Oracle recognizing that Gladiator’s plan is ridiculously stupid. Someone had to on the Shi’ar side of things, and it’s nice that it’s happened around the middle and not being saved for a big twist at the end.

  • Pichelli AND Immonen on art this issue? Well, Marvel certainly made mine. I didn’t even realize that there were two artists during my first go-through on the issue, that’s how seamless it was. This is the sort of thing I like to rant about.

  • X-23: Hugger.

  • Scott and Alex’s origin has never once gotten old to me. It’s selfless, it’s brutal, it has a giant starship attacking a tiny human plane in a show of utterly ridiculous overpowering, and it rarely takes more than three pages to get across.

 

What I didn’t like:

  • Man, the Shi’ar REALLY underestimate the X-Men. “They can’t get out here!” Really? Really? How many times have they gotten to Shi’ar space without Shi’ar help? The majority of all of them?

  • Gladiator also seems to forget that whenever they deal with the X-Men in a ‘we’re gonna fight you’ situation, the X-Men kick the shit out of them. I remember when he lost to CANNONBALL!

  • What’s the point of having a big ‘everybody stay the hell off of Earth’ decree if the people who make it are the ones breaking it first? King J’Son’s authority is crapped on regardless of whether or not people find out, and Gladiator gets to be a smug little bastard knowing that the rules don’t apply to him. So the fact that the King was ready to just let Captain Mohawk have his way is just baffling.

 

Final thoughts:

Can Laura go join Scott and Corsair in space? That way it’s not just father and son, but also crazy clone of Wolverine girlfriend. Seriously though, if they send him to space, that relationship gets put on pause, and that would be lame.

Still want to know how Hepzibah go back into space. Corsair not being dead bothers me less.

So at no point did older Scott, or Alex, mention “Oh, hey, dad’s alive”. Wait, that’s right, they couldn’t, because Vulcan burned him alive right in front of Alex.

Man, the Shi’ar have really gotten their shit back together ever since the Vulcan/Black Bolt war completely ravaged them and left them hobbled for generations to come.

I liked this issue, a lot, but it had one really big problem….it felt like half of an issue stretched out to fill pages. Everything had to happen, but it definitely felt padded.

Alright, this is what has to happen now. Kid Scott has met his brother, he’s met his father, he knows he’s going to get married, and he’s going to probably be getting it on sooner than later with X-23. There’s only one thing left. Scott needs to….MEET HIS KIDS! Bendis managed to avoid a Rachel Grey meet up, letting her have the awkward quiet telepathic “not dealing with this” moment with Jean instead, and hell, let’s leave Rachel out of this. Kid Cyke and Cable! Let him see the crazy badass soldier his son grows up to be in the future! Let him wrap his mind around the level of time travel fuckery that is the curse of his bloodline!

Man, it’s easy to forget that this book was Guardians of the Galaxy and not X-Men, wasn’t it? I totally just did for a few minutes.

Seriously, this is an issue of All-New X-Men. Stuart Immonen even drew pages.

Overall: 8/10

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