Guardians of the Galaxy vs. Angela

Brian Michael Bendis writes the best dialogue in comics.  Don’t try to convince me otherwise — I’m very biased.  But I read once that someone had the gall to claim Bendis “tells” stories instead of “showing” them.  That’s crazy talk.  His genius extends far beyond the written word into the second most important part of comics: the fights.  Have you read this week’s issue of Miles Moralies: Ultimate Spider-Man #4 yet?  Brilliant battle between Spider-Man and Green Goblin.  It flowed, it made sense, and the art shines.  So keeping with our theme of Guardians of the Galaxy, how about another example of Bendis’ fight scenes from Guardians of the Galaxy #5-6, drawn by the equally phenomenal Sara Pichelli.

While the movie focused on a select five superheroes, the modern team has had a rotating roster since its creation in 2008.  We’ve already mentioned Phyla-Vell and Adam Warlock previously, but characters such as Bug, Jack Flag, Mantis, Moondragon, Cosmo, Captain Marvel, and Venom have also occupied slots on the team.  In our story today, Iron Man has joined our dear quintet for a few issues for a little vacation (that ultimately shatters everything he knew about his past and forever changes the status quo, but that’s another story for another day).

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Meet Angela.  She replaces Iron Man on the team later on.  She first appeared in Image’s Spawn series.  As you know, the other comic book companies aren’t too fond to share their characters — something about profit or whatever.  Todd MacFarlane, who wrote Spawn, asked Neil Gaiman to write an issue during which the two of them worked together to create Angela.  Cue some legal fights over who actually owned the character and in 2012, Gaiman gained full ownership.  Thus when Gaiman returned to Marvel (and hence Marvel buying Angela from him), she could re-spawn (sorry) with a brand new company.  Now she’s Thor’s sister, so she’ll be around for a while.

Oh yeah, and the Guardians of the Galaxy battle her.

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The dialogue on that last panel reference an off-panel scene between Star-Lord and Thanos.  They’re doing their own thing somewhere else right now.  But Angela and Gamora are pretty well-matched, with our antagonist having a slight advantage.  Gamora’s the most dangerous woman in the universe, right?  Angela’s like that, just with a more Xena: Warrior Princess-ish touch.

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That last panel’s great.  You see the oncoming Guardians through the sword’s reflection.  More importantly, see the Star-Lord costume?  No Iron Man today, as the Spartax empire (led by Star-Lord’s dad) wrecked the suit in an earlier issue.  Tony Stark has to slum it as a replacement superhero.

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I want you to click the last page to see a larger view.  Pichelli’s art sparkles here and Bendis’ layout of the page allows a 2-D medium to show the many different moments going on at once.  But the Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t complete without their grumpiest, most shirtless member of the crew. Just remember that Tony Stark wears a highly-evolved metallic armor into combat for him to be effective — not this guy:

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I know we should probably talk about Uatu the Watcher observing the fight with eyes like he just came from an anime convention, but it’s irrelevant to our brawl today.  Look, Angela didn’t exist in Marvel comics before a few issues ago.  She legitimately popped in from nothingness, much like how Batman and Superman exist in a separate DC universe that never interacts or even knows about the Marvel universe unless Jubilee wants to make out Robin or something.  Of course Angela’s entrance would get the Watcher’s attention — that’s most of his job description.  By the way, I know this article will be incredibly out of date in a few months, but here’s my guess on who killed Uatu: Fin Fang Foom. I’ve seen How to Train Your Dragon enough times to know how dangerous those winged lizards are. Especially dragons that wear short shorts.

Anyway, Tony Stark just shot Angela with a space gun.

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For more Angela stuff, read volume three of Guardians of the Galaxy or the ongoing Original Sin miniseries Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm to see her battle Thor, another superhero with equally gorgeous hair.  Also, when you finish that, go read everything Bendis has ever written.  I adore him.

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4 Comments on “Guardians of the Galaxy vs. Angela”

  1. Anon says:

    Obviously I was talking about the examples I mentioned, I can’t actually keep up with Bendis to criticize him. Not exactly a productive usage of one’s time.

    But you should have mentioned your like for Bendis. I really wouldn’t have wasted my breath. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that.

    Just read a team book where it ties into an event monthly from Bendis. Unless he fixed his style, he will have the mistakes i talked about.

    In Age of Ultron, he did repeat one of his favorite crutches in story telling, making a character the mouthpiece of the author.

    Anyway, like your blog,have fun.

    • Jason Levine says:

      I love Bendis, and I love you. Of all the people who have commented negatively on my blog so far, you’re by far the most intelligent, thoughtful, literate person with strong opinions and strong evidence to back it up. But I’ll never compromise on Bendis because he makes comics so much fun — and that’s the main reason I read comics.

      • Anon says:

        Thanks for the love man. Though your praise isn’t exactly hard to merit,this is the internet after all, I thank you for it.

  2. furyoffirestorm78 says:

    Leave it to Stark to aim for the tits.


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