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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Thoughts On Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2


So, first, I'm going to say this: Yes, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a fun movie, but I think the movie dangerously comes close to crossing that line into corny and cheesy. For me, the movie tried to be a little too funny and anyone who watched the flick could see the effort being made.

There were definitely times when I actually thought, Enough already! I was pretty deaf to Rocket's humor, or after a while, I consciously tried ignoring the character.

This movie is a bit too bright and colorful, and I'd even go as far as goofy in a cartoonish way. It reminded me of 2008's Speed Racer.

Don't get me wrong here, 'cause I did like Speed Racer for some odd reason. For a movie based on a comic book that isn't suppose to be goofy, though, it's not a tone that I really care to see. Bright and cartoonish irked me when it came to Batman Forever.

The whole deal with the Sovereign was plain goofy, a supposedly superior race of beings just a bit too into their drones like they were all a bunch of degenerate gamers. Didn't care for them whatsoever and the character of Ayesha was pretty stale, meaning the audience has yet to know much about her other than she is the leader of the Sovereign. 

Actually, the way I mean it is that I have no further interest in the character after her on screen debut in this flick.


The character is portrayed far from the actual comics. There is no Sovereign in Marvel Comics just yet, and Ayesha in the movie actually bears little resemblance to the actual character.

Not that I expect a comic book movie to be an exact translation, but I do expect at least some resemblance. Heck if you wanna completely revamp or twist the character on screen, I'd say just make up a character for the flick then.

In the actual comics, Ayesha is basically the female version of Adam Warlock and created by the Enclave. Once again, spoiler here, the Enclave created both in the actual comics. Ayesha did not create Adam Warlock like depicted in the mid and post credit scenes of the sequel.

So it seems that the cocoon in the first Guardians really didn't mean squat, and if Warlock is just being created, who has the Soul Gem? In the comics, Ayesha's debut was almost a decade after Adam Warlock's 1st brief appearance as HIM in Fantastic Four #67.

Once again, for those who continually want to debate on whether Warlock's full debut is Fantastic Four #67 or Thor #165, wrong damn venue to do so. Take it up with Overstreet or CGC or CBCS!

As mentioned prior on this site, Ayesha has several incarnations in the comics. She actually first debuted in The Incredible Hulk Annual #6 as a male figure called "Paragon". This was before the character's full transformation into the female being known as Her in Marvel Two-In-One #61.

When we are talking about the actual comics and Guardians of the Galaxy, it's pretty crazy since the Guardians were originally from an alternate future timeline other than Marvel's regular continuity. Unlike the movie, Yondu was originally not a Ravager and is actually an original member of the Guardians of the Galaxy who 1st appeared with the debut of the Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel Super-Heroes #18.

In the movie and in this Volume 2 sequel, the original Guardians comic team does show up as Ravagers minus Vance Astro. So we saw the cinematic debut of Martinex and Charlie-27 from the original line up in the comics.




Stallone's Stakar Ogord, better known as Starhawk, fully first appeared and joined the actual Guardians team in Defenders #28. He is or was a prominent Guardians of the Galaxy member of that era. 

In the actual comics and the timeline of Earth-691, Stakar is the son of Ayesha (Her, Kismet) and Quasar. Not expecting that to take place in the Guardians Cinematic World, but he is no Ravager either.



Incredible Hulk Annual #6
Marvel Two-In-One #61 
Defenders #28 

 
Actually, the Ravagers in the sense of Guardians of the Galaxy were created for the movie and then influenced the comics. Yep, yep! The Ravagers, as in those lovable space pirates, were introduced in Marvel Comics in Star Lord #2 early last year or February of 2016.

That comic also saw a revamped debut of Yondu Udonta, the Earth-616 Yondu of actual Marvel mainstream continuity. Speaking of characters that started off or existed in a different timeline from Marvel's main one, I suppose you'd have to bring up Peter Quill or Star-Lord as well.


Now don't get me wrong here. Star-Lord's 1st debut is still Marvel Preview #4. Period! Don't give a shit about the nitpickin' "magazine" or "comic size" bullshit. That crap is lame.

So the first and original version of Peter Quill as Star-Lord in the actual comics has been designated as hailing from Earth-791. The original is the son of Merideth Quill and Jason of Sparta/Spartax, became a NASA trainee and chosen to become Star-Lord, which is basically an interplanetary cop, by an alien entity called Master of the Sun.

The original version of Peter Quill or Star-Lord had a pretty short tenure in comics over-all, appearing sporadically from 1975 to 1982. The character would take a hiatus from comics for a while but be reintroduced in 2004.

The reintroduction of Star-Lord in Thanos #8 is supposedly a revamped and different version. This Star-Lord is in Marvel's Earth-616 mainstream continuity. He still has the parents of Merideth Quill and Jason of Sparta or Spartax, but it is this version that would eventually head up the Modern Age version of the Guardians of the Galaxy that debuted in Guardians of the Galaxy #1 volume 2.

In case you're wondering, Thanos #8 also sees the first meeting between Peter Quill and Thanos. Here's the panel that sees his return and the supposed debut of Earth-616 Star-Lord.




The new Modern team seen in the movies and based off the comics are considered the Prime Earth-616 version of the team. The Modern Age team does first debut in Guardians of the Galaxy #1 volume 2 without a doubt, but there is a lead up to the team in the last issue to the Annihilation Conquest #6 comic issue back in 2008.







For those who are currently trying to pimp Annihilation Conquest #6 as the 1st Modern appearance of Guardians of the Galaxy, you are 100% misleading those who do not know any better. Stuff like this is becoming a big problem in this comic market.

Just because members of an eventual team show up in an issue prior does not mean they have officially become part of that team. They are not the Guardians of the Galaxy in that issue, but it hints at the future formation of the new team! 

Shit like that was and is still being done with Justice League Dark in Swamp Thing #49 & #50 and it's flat out wrong as that team's first appearance. The newest one is Gotham City Sirens having their debut in Detective Comics #850 and it's flat-out WRONG!

Does that issue set up Gotham City Sirens? Sure, it may set it up, but that issue does NOT see the actual debut of the team. Gotham City Sirens #1 does actually see them specifically band together as the actual team as shown below:


Panels from Gotham City Sirens #1


So there ya go! Nothing to do with Guardians of the Galaxy but sort of does when it comes to debuts and shysters trying to pimp non debuts as such.

So here's Guardians of the Galaxy #1 and how and why the team forms. It is formed out of the results of the Phalanx Conquest. Here's a few flashbacks that talk about forming the team.

Note: The first flashback is the "day after" the end of the Phalanx Conquest in the Annihilation Conquest series. Phyla talks to Peter Quill about an elite force to keep a huge war from happening again. Unlike the ending of Annihilation Conquest #6, Richard Rider and Phyla are talking to Peter Quill, instead of Adam Warlock and Phyla like suggested or hinted at in Annihilation Conquest #6.












So it's obvious that all this shit happens after Annihilation Conquest #6 and after Adam Warlock invites Phyla to accompany him to go talk to Star-Lord. Jeezus H!

The Earth-616 version of Peter Quill has a somewhat different origin from his original version. Actually, this revamped origin is told in the Star-Lord volume 1 series. 

Yes, this retconned origin is in the same comic series that sees the introduction of the Earth-616 Yondu, and the explanation of how Quill becomes Star-Lord and ends up a Ravager on Yondu's ship is explained from issues #1 to #4, I believe. Here's some of the covers, and if interested, clicking the image will bring you to eBay's search results for the comics.


Star-Lord #1A 2015
January 2016
est. 47,104
Star-Lord #1B 1:25 
January 2016
est. 1884
Star-Lord #1C 1:20 
January 2016
est. 2,355




Star-Lord #2A
February 2016
est. 26,348
Star-Lord #2B 1:25 
February 2016
est. 1,053
Star-Lord #3A 
March 2016
est. 22,698






Star-Lord #3B 1:25
March 2016
est. 907
Star-Lord #4 
April 2016
est. 19,117
Annihilation Conquest #6
June 2008
est. 29,872





Quill as a Ravager was not part of the original, alternate timeline Star-Lord in comics, and even this revamped origin in the Star-Lord comics is not quite the same in the movie. One big difference, Quill was not a kid when he joined Yondu's Ravagers in the comics like in the movie, and I admit, I do like the movie version better when it comes to that.

Also, and a huge difference, Quill's father is not Ego the Living Planet like in the movie. Well, at least, not yet in the comics, and we all know some crazy writer can retcon lame into comics if the editor is feeling as equally lame.

The whole thing about Ego the Living Planet being Star-Lord's pops in the movie is still weird to me. I just think the concept of it is cheesy over-all, and I pretty much think no matter how it's done or translated on the big screen, it'll just come out cheese regardless.


However, it wasn't horrible cheese. It wasn't great either but watchable and I do attribute that to Kurt Russell who sold it skillfully.




Sure, I do understand that daddy issues is one of the underlining themes of the movie, but, heck, Quill could've had daddy issues with any other Marvel character that wasn't a living planet. Then again, it might not have aligned with Quill and Yondu's thread so poignantly, right?

The film is generically about family, but there is a lot of heart at the core of this film. Although Guardians Volume 2 was criticized for being a bit bloated on the CGI, it's not just a dense sci-fi flick overloaded with action and zero substance.

There is a story even if it brought me back to my tween angst. There is a great message that everyone can walk away with after watching. I left the theater feeling grateful for the family I was given and for those who became my family a long the way.

The cast once again knocks it out of the park, and the surprise standout character is Michael Rooker as Yondu. Mantis is a weird one but has potential, and Chris Pratt as Star-Lord is so perfect that I really can't see anyone else pulling off that character half as good.

Groot was my favorite character in the first Guardians flick, but I'm tired of Baby Groot and glad he's finally aging. Hopefully, he's back to adulthood by the next movie.

Do I have any wish to see more of Stallone as Stakar Ogord or Martinex or Charlie-27 as Ravagers? Ayesha and the Sovereign? Not really. 

Over-all thoughts: I did like this movie, but once again, dangerously close to crossing the line into corny territory. While I do have my little concerns about Volume 2 and it may not shake the rim as hard as the first, this follow up by James Gunn is still a whole lot of fun and a slam dunk. 




4 comments:

  1. Well said on movie. Jw

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    1. Thanks JW, hope all is well down south, bro!

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  2. Agreed! A fun film but way over the top on the jokes. You know they are always going to twist some characters around from who they are or where in the comics. We as fans just have to come to terms with that. I also don't like people misleading others on certain 1st appearance comics. I think some of them don't even actually read the comic before saying these things. It's definitely a bad habit in the market right now.

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    1. For sure, I'm well use to the twisting of characters by now. Some I can see why and some I don't understand why they went that route. Still, a very well done movie. Hats off to James Gunn and crew!

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