No, actually; for at the same time, a scandalous Badoon invasion force attacked Earth, leaving the Guardians as the gung-ho first-respondents in the absence of the Earth-based Avengers and superhero collectives. They managed to fend off the attackers but were immediately arrested by the Spartax empire for violating the intergalactic decree. The whole ordeal obviously stunk of a set-up, and the Guardians escaped custody and broadcast a message to the people of Spartax exposing King J'son's injustice against Earth's protectors.
Now, derailing from Guardians of the Galaxy for a moment to the wider scope of the Marvel comic book universe, last year saw the big Marvel cross-title event, "Age of Ultron," from which the 2015 Avengers film sequel borrows only its name. The event in itself was a huge, confused mess with poor execution (in my own opinion), but it managed to leave lasting effects on the Marvel Universe in its wake due to the characters' abuse of time traveling. Among these effects was the introduction of a very significant property into Marvel's vast library of characters: Angela, an angel and hunter from Heaven.
|When your debut into a new universe involves riding the decapitated head|
of a Kirby-era monster, you know you're destined for greatness.
|"She's up all night for good fun, he's up all night to get lucky!"|
|Obviously she doesn't remember hunting Spawn|
Angela's presence in the Marvel Universe means trouble according to Uatu the Watcher, but after a brief and decisive battle and a short term of imprisonment, Angela is released from the Guardians when it's obvious she means Earth no harm. She flies off to Earth's surface to see it for herself, explaining to the Guardians that just as Heaven is a myth to Earth, the same is true vice versa. The Guardians leave her to her own devices for a short while before she shows up again to assist them in defending Earth against Thanos' armies during the "Infinity" cross-title event. She ultimately joins the team toward the end of the volume.
|All Fearless Defenders really needed was these two, and it could've survived!|
The art in this volume continues to deliver stunning visuals to accompany the excellent writing. Sarah Pichelli and Kevin Maguire's styles compliment Steve McNiven's from the first volume in their strong sci-fi elements and distinct characterizations, while Francesco Francavilla kills with his much more classical, ink-heavy line work reminiscent of Mike Oening's work in the previous volume.
The real success, though, is in Bendis and Gaiman's handling of Angela in the Marvel Universe. They faced a particular challenge in reinventing and reintroducing a character who had been unused for over a decade and whose appearance and development in the Spawn comics was all too brief to warrant much celebrity outside of a cult following. I did read her first appearance in the pages of Spawn #9 and admit that she fostered some attraction in me (not just because she was a hot and badass red head with a 'do only the '90s could produce), but what Bendis and Gaiman did with her made me a new fan.
|Alas, poor Groot. She slew him well.|
Still raving to see the Guardians of the Galaxy film this summer? If you read the book, how do you think Marvel did with adopting Angela? Let me know in the comments section below, and stay tuned for future Guardians of the Galaxy reviews by yours truly here, on Fanboys Anonymous!