Guardians of the Galaxy #21 Review (Spoilers)


detailThree for Three this week. Carnage roped himself yet another B- while new-comer, Spider-Woman earned herself a B+ 

So how did Flash fare this spider-packed week as the much hyped Planet Venom storyline kicks off? Pretty Schiti *ba dum ching*  

Guardians of the Galaxy #21: Planet Venom Part One (of Three)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Valerio Schiti

Colorist: Jason Keith

Letterer: Cory Petit

Cover Artists: Nick Bradshaw & Justin Ponsor

Editors: Xander Jarowey & Mike Marts

Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso

Guardians 21.2

 

I Need To Go Home:

The story starts in a bar on the planet Flash and Drax went weapon shopping on back in issue fourteen. An alien makes a ruckus about those damn humans and once he’s kicked out, Venom attacks him. Venom wants him to take him back to his home but the alien is unable to help him and Venom consumes him.

Peter Quill explains the unstable state of the team to Kitty Pryde following Gamora’s interrogation and the revelation of what happened in the Cancer-verse. We check in with the various members and Gamora happens to be on the same planet as Flash, as part of their search for him. Venom is in full control though and attacks Gamora. The other Guardians arrive and use a device Tony Stark gave them to separate Flash from Venom. In the aftermath of the battle, aboard the Milano, the group tries to decide what to do with the symbiote. The issue ends when Venom bonds with Groot.

Thoughts:

I’m worried. Because I think this was one of Bendis’ best issues so far (largely in part due to the art team) but it moves at a glacial pace and this is a three part story line. Bendis has talked plenty about this arc in interviews, so it’s clear he’s got big plans, but at the end of the first (of three) acts, we have yet to really start the story line. So yeah, unless this ties into The Black Vortex event coming out, I don’t see how Bendis can do this storyline justice in three parts. 

Guardians 21.3Negatives first. Flash is a character Bendis focuses on more heavily than any other character except for maybe Peter Quill (maybe Gamora), but he still has yet to do anything of importance. Gamora tells Flash they were searching for him, but in reality, what we have seen over the last few issues is Quill tied up as Gamora interrogates him and Drax takes his rage out instead of looking for Flash. Hell, I don’t even know what Captain Marvel is doing in this book, but we have three series with ties to Guardians (Captain Marvel, Legendary Star-Lord, and Rocket Raccoon) and not one of them showed any of the Guardians looking for Flash either.

I also don’t love that Flash is unable to control Venom in this issue. We’ve seen them go through so much together that really are partners at this point, but if Flash has to lose control, having Venom take control to try and get home is probably one of the best ways for it to happen. Also, I know it was a throw away line, but when they mention giving the symbiote to Tony Stark, I got excited. Seeing the Superior Iron-Man with a symbiote would be great in Tom Taylor’s excellent series, but I doubt it’ll come to pass. 

Everyone feels on point in their characterization though, as Bendis shifts more towards the movie versions of the characters. He focuses on Peter Quill and Flash this issue, but the others gets some good moments here and there (except for Captain Marvel). Quill’s scene with Kitty is a highlight of the issue. Thanks to some help from Sam Humphries in Peter’s solo book, Bendis finally sold me on the Kitty/Peter relationship and I think it’s an interesting one to explore. Peter is romantically stunted and Kitty is in a pretty rough spot after Colossus and Ice-Man, so it’s fun to see them find connection with one another even though they are millions of miles away.

The real star of this book is Valerio Schiti though. His Venom is terrifying and unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. It’s nothing I ever thought I wanted to see in the character (hoodies? wings?) but I can’t get over how much I ended up loving what I’ve coined as ‘Venomoth’. If you are a fan of Venom, I recommend you pick up this issue for the art alone. And Marvel? Make that damn Venom hoodie, because I will drop so much money to get one. I can’t wait to see what Planet Venom, Venom infused Guardians, and the rest of the storyline looks like under Schiti’s pen.

Guardians 21.1Verdict:

The book continues to move in the right direction, but maybe a tad too slow for a three part storyline. I’m hoping Flash finds his legs on the Guardians team, as to my surprise, he will remain on the team following Planet Venom (maybe for a sequel arc). Valerio Schiti is the best thing to have happened to this book since Bendis took over and Venomoth is a new favorite look, so I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Pros:

  • Peter/Kitty Finally Works
  • Guardians sound like themselves
  • Valerio Schiti & The Art Team

Cons:

  • So slow
  • Why is Captain Marvel on the team?

B

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