Comic Book Corner — Guardians of the Galaxy, Kingsman: Secret Service

Guardians of the Galaxy  Image: ComiXology
Guardians of the Galaxy Image: ComiXology

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week, I find myself disappointed in Guardians of the Galaxy, but excited to see where the next issue will take us. Meanwhile, Lisa finds a new love in an old classic turned movie, Kingsman: Secret Service.

Dakster Sullivan — Guardians of the Galaxy (2013 -) #22 by Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti

The latest issue of Guardians of the Galaxy was my first real let down since the series began two years ago.

We open the issue to see Venom attached to Groot. There’s some fighting, random shooting by Rocket, and a weird flash to the Spartax Empire talking about needing a new leader. By the end of the issue, we are still on the ship and watching Venom go from one member of the Guardians to another with the ending being almost a copy of the previous issue. With this now going on for two issues, it feels like a running gag gone bad.

Every series has its dud issues, so I’m looking forward to the next issue taking the story in a direction other than Venom playing Duck, Duck, Goose with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Age Recommendation – 12 and up

Lisa Tate — The Secret Service: Kingsman by Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn with art by Dave Gibbons

Kingsman: Secret Service  Image: Copyright Marvel Comics
Kingsman: Secret Service Image: Copyright Marvel Comics

I can’t believe I let this Mark Millar comic spy thriller, illustrated by Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), slip by me when when it was originally released as a six-volume series in 2012 and 2013. I first got wind of the story with the announcement of its movie adaptation hitting theaters next month. It was nice to find out the collected six issues were released in trade paperback form in February of 2014.

From the beginning, this was a fun, crazy take on the British super-spy genre, with a horrible-yet-hilarious plot twist that occurs in the first few pages. (I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but it involves Mark Hamill…yes that Mark Hamill).

It turns out, several sci-fi icons are being abducted, and it’s up to one of the world’s greatest spies, Jack London, to figure out how this is connected to some other shocking mass murders. This would be a thrilling story for any James Bond lover, myself included, but the true heart of this story is Jack’s taking-under-his-wing of his street thug nephew Gary (AKA Eggsy) to help him channel his street smarts for the greater good.

I tend to go hot-and-cold on Millar, who can be an incredible storyteller when he doesn’t feel the need for inserting so much shock value profanity and violence into his work it overwhelms the story. Kick-Ass had some great characters, but frankly left me cold. This may be the reason I first ignored the series, which I may have assumed would be not much more than Kick-Ass with a British accent.

Yes, it had its over-the-top gruesome moments, but they were certainly less prominent than Millar’s better-known series. I found this story much more satisfying, especially since there was a very real and redemptive quality to the character evolution of Eggsy. I felt myself wanting to see good things happen for Eggsy and his family. I was embarrassed for him when bad choices were made, was heartbroken for him when his was judged harshly for his less-than-favorable upbringing, and was impressed with his transformation. This type of sympathetic attachment isn’t something I usually get from Millar’s stories, and I salute him for showing this side of his writing talents.

If the current trade paperback is hard to find, Marvel will reissue it in February featuring a movie tie-in cover.

Age recommendation – Mature readers.

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:

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Absolute Batman Incorporated HC
Action Comics #38
Aquaman And The Others #9
Batman Eternal #40
Deathblow Deluxe Edition TP
Detective Comics #38
Earth 2 #30
Earth 2 World’s End #14
Fairest #33 (Final Issue)
Flash Season Zero #4
Green Arrow #38
Green Lantern #38
Hinterkind #14
Injustice Gods Among Us Vol. 2 TP
Justice League 3000 #13
Legends Of The Dark Knight 100-Page Super-Spectacular #5
Lobo #4
Names #5 (Of 9)
New 52 Futures End #36
Scooby-Doo Team-Up #8 Kid Friendly
Showcase Presents The Unknown Soldier Vol. 2 TP
Sinestro Vol. 1 The Demon Within TP
Superboy Vol. 5 Paradox TP
Superman The Power Within TP
Swamp Thing #38
Wolf Moon #2 (Of 6)
All-New X-Factor #19
Amazing Spider-Man #12
Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 Edge Of Spider-Verse Prelude TP
Angela Asgard’s Assassin #2
Ant-Man #1 New Series
Avengers No More Bullying #1
Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #3
Death Of Wolverine HC
Death Of Wolverine The Weapon X Program #5 (Of 5) Final Issue
Hawkeye Vs Deadpool #4 (Of 4) Final Issue
Hulk #10
Iron Fist The Living Weapon #8
Legendary Star-Lord #7 GM Recommended
Marvel Masterworks The Fantastic Four Vol. 1 HC
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Prose Novel HC
Marvel’s The Avengers #2 (Of 2)  Final Issue
Men Of Wrath By Jason Aaron #4 (Of 5)
Miracleman #14
Operation S.I.N. #1 (Of 5) New Mini-Series
Punisher #14
Punisher Vol. 2 Border Crossing TP
Spider-Man 2099 #7
Storm #7
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 New Series / Kid Friendly
Uncanny Avengers Vol. 5 Axis Prelude HC
Wolverines #1 New Series
X-Men #23
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Angry Birds Comics #7 Kid Friendly
Edward Scissorhands #3 (Of 5)
Judge Dredd Vol. 6 TP
Maxx Maxximized #15
My Little Pony Friends Forever #13 Kid Friendly
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Vol. 6 TP
Shadow Show #3 (Of 5) Kid Friendly
Skylanders #4 (Of 5) Kid Friendly
Steve Canyon Vol. 5 1955-1956 HC
Sunglasses After Dark Full Blooded Collection HC
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Animated Vol. 5 Choosing Sides TP Kid Friendly
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Vol. 9 TP
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures Vol. 4 TP Kid Friendly
Tom Sutton’s Creepy Things Chilling Archives Of Horror HC
V-Wars #9
WEIRD Love #5
Angel And Faith Season 10 #10
Drug And Drop Vol. 1 TP
Ghost #11
Ghost Fleet #3
Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. 1952 #2 (Of 5)
Lady Killer #1 (Of 5) New Mini-Series
Lone Wolf And Cub Omnibus Vol. 7 TP
Pariah Vol. 3 TP
Usagi Yojimbo Senso #6 (Of 6) Final Issue

Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback / GM = GeekMom Recommended Reading