Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy begins... comics

I haven't spoiled myself on Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I have read the comics that inspired the movie and seen few trailers. So you can consider this spoiler free what comes to the movie. I will how ever spoil two comic stories, Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest. I won't go deeper into Guardians of the Galaxy comics. Based on trailers, movie is inspired by Star-lord part of Annihilation: Conquest and I haven't got past first few issues of Guardians of the Galaxy comics. There was earlier Guardians of the Galaxy comic, but movie is based on comic, which was kickstarted with Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest.

Annihilation was event that changed Marvel's cosmic universe.  Annihilation wave attacks our universe destroying planet, races and fractions. Story was told in main comic and several spin-off comics. I won't be going the whole story here, just what Guardians of the Galaxy and couple other characters did during Annihilation.  Drax the Destroyer was just released from prison, when Annihilation wave hit planet he was on. Drax survives the first attack and joins forces with Nova, who also survives the attack. They help refugees to escape and later joined United Front against Annihilation wave.

Ronan the Accuser is not member of Guardians of the Galaxy, but he is in movie and he was one of the main characters in Annihilation. In movie he could be either good guy or bad guy depending how he fits the story. In Annihilation he is accused of betraying his race the Kree.  He has escaped and hunts witness, who told about his betrayal in court. He is no longer supreme judge of Kree empire, but he still judges and executed based on Kree law. That doesn't always work and he causes at least one city-wide war. Ronan makes quick decisions without thinking  of consequences. This will cause problems for him and everyone around him. Ronan finds witness inside Gamora's sisterhood. Gamora has went to solitude and build sisterhood around her. We find, whole planet is under mind control of alien who makes everyone more aggressive and fight against each other.

Then Annihilation wave hits the planet. Ronan hears, who framed him. Ronan and Gamora join forces and escape the planet. Ronan finds, the house that framed him, did that because they wanted to make deal with Annihilation wave. Ronan would never have accepted that. Ronan destroys the house which eventually makes him leader of Kree empire. Somewhere along the line Ronan and Gamora joined United Front. In Annihilation Star-lord is using his real name Peter Quill. He made one mistake, that hunts him as Star-lord and don't want to be called that any more. He has only small role in United Front during Annihilation.

Drax hears his arch-enemy Thanos is with Annihilation wave and has kidnapped his daughter. When United Front need to leave planet, Drax stays behind to give them time and to infiltrate Annihilation wave. He kills his way to Thanos and kills him. Problem is, Thanos seemed to be only one capable of stopping Annihilation Wave. That wasn't the case and United Front can stop Annihilation wave. Annihilation has a short appearance of Nebula, who is also in movie. She is member of Gamora's sisterhood, but we don't learn much about her.

Because Annihilation was so popular, it got sequel Annihilation: Conquest. It is pretty similar to Annihilation. There is one main comic with several spin-off comics. Again we have almost unstoppable enemy and characters are almost same. This time story isn't as universe shattering since Annihilation left universe in ruins. This story start to put Guardians of the Galaxy members together. Cybernetic species Phalanx attack Kree home world during rebuild. They create force field  around Kree space. No one can enter or leave. Inside force field they destroy opposition and brainwash others to join them. Peter Quill is blamed for letting the attack to happen. Gamora and Drax are brainwashed and they fight for Phalanx together. Ronan the Accuser is also brainwashed.

Kree resistance captures Peter Quill. They make him to become Star-lord again and led small group of convicts in Kree home world. Their goal was to investigate what Phalanx are planning and sabotage those plans. This group can be caller pre-Guardians of the Galaxy. It was led by Star-lord and had Groot and Rocket the Raccoon along with other non-cosmic powered characters. Annihilation: Conquest is bad for Ronin. He has to question himself time and time again. During Annihilation he made stupid choices, but choices didn't bit him back like in Conquest; Annihilation. Finally Phalanx is beaten. Star-lord want to react before third similar event happens. He is joined by Groot, Gamora, Adam Warlock, Quasar, Drax the Destroyer and Rocket the Raccoon.  Quasar and Adam Warlock have cosmic powers, which made name Guardians of the Galaxy make sense. However, I think it was good choice to left cosmic powered characters out from the movie.

Adam Warlock is embodiment of everything wrong with cosmic powered characters. He can practically do anything story requires. He also almost always knows everything. Other characters just hang around him, because he seems to be key to solve problems. Adam Warlock is the reason, why I haven't got past first few issues of Guardians of the Galaxy. Groups dynamic is strange. Usually members have different kind of powers. Guardians of the Galaxy seem to have two of each kind of characters and then there is walking tree Groot. Gamora and Drax the Destroyer have almost similar powers. Drax can fight endlessly with his knifes. Gamora is female version of him, who like to hide and attack from shadows unlike Drax who like to fight face to face. Both can kill armies with their knifes. Star-lord and Rocket the Raccoon are gun crazy master tacticians. One is man and other raccoon. Adam Warlock and Quasar also had similar power. Groot was one and only walking tree.

Annihilation was good. It changed Marvel's cosmic universe, which meant anything could happen to any character and place. It was story of desperate fight against superior enemy. Annihilation: Conquest suffer the fact that it was made because Annihilation was popular. It doesn't change things as much as Annihilation did and it felt like copy of Annihilation. Annihilation is good reading, if you are interested about Marvel movies. It has Thanos, who will be main villain at some point. Many earlier movies have been build up for Infinity Gauntlet story and in that story Thanos is main villain. Adam Warlock is also important character in that story, but I hope he is not in movies.


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