So I Just Watched… Guardians Of The Galaxy (Marvel Studios, 2014) 

When this film was first announced almost two years ago I was very skeptical. Marvel had just managed to win me over with phase one bringing most of the Avengers to life in solo films and with a huge blockbuster reuniting them as a team that showed the world how super hero films should be done. The line-up for phase two was looking good with follow up to great stories from characters I loved until I ogled the name “Guardians Of The Galaxy”. Not only I didn’t knew what the hell was this about, I kept asking myself why these guys deserved a film. In those two years time I got to read a fair share of the comics about these guys and while the original 70’s saga an team didn’t click with me, the adventures of Peter Quill and the band he gathered in 2008 in the second volume of the comic penned by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning was a blast to read. Fast forward to 2012 and we have a third volume of the comic by the hand of the always capable Brian Michael Bendis (whom hardcore Marvel fans seems love to hate) who chronicles the adventures of current incarnation of the team featured in the film.

For starters I gotta say that Marvel took a HUGE chance with this one. It had every ingredient to be a hit or to be a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Somehow James Gunn and Marvel Studios pulled it off. Taking some of the most obscure Marvel Comics characters and elements and making them likable, enjoyable and almost familiar, this is the Marvel Comics film of the year. It’s the best release of Phase 2 so far with a solid cast of actors that are well known, but by no means are superstars (The biggest actors in the roster just lend their voices to CGI generated characters). If you have been tracking The Marvel Cinematic Universe you will get the familiar sense of continuity set in every film they make, the appearance of Thanos was incredibly welcome and it will give fans something to keep building the expectations about when is this character gonna make his big move. Chris Pratt nails Peter Quill and very much like Robert Downey Jr/Tony Stark, makes the character his own by being the adorable doofus he plays in almost everything he acts in. Zoe Saldana it’s the ever reliable scy-fy girl who kicks ass and takes no names as Gamora and Batista makes a very welcome addition as Drax, the man who doesn’t seem to get a metaphor. Lee Pace plays and incredibly good Ronan, although sometimes a little bit to intense for a character who actually knows how to keep his cool most of the times in the comics. The voice work of Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Josh Brolin as Rocket, Groot and Thanos is very clean and flawless. All in all this films is just aces. It works as a great origin story. It’s very dynamic and it gives you a good fill on laughs, drama and heroics. My sole regret about it? I wanted to see more Nova Corps and more Nova-powers.

I was truly surprised by this one. Marvel Studios just keeps upping the ante with every release they make. They just set the bar very high for themselves as with each film they release. Guardians Of The Galaxy it’s a show of how-to-make a proper introduction to new obscure and unknown elements in your universe without losing your cool. So I say now: bring on these movies about Ant-Man, Dr. Strange and Black Panther!!!

Captain America: One Man Army // artwork by Kharmazero (2014)
T-shirts available for £11/€13/$15 until 11am GMT Wednesday Aug 6th at Aplentee.com. They also have a related Spiderman inspired design SpiderWeb on special, again at £11/€13/$15 this week only.

Captain America: One Man Army // artwork by Kharmazero (2014)

T-shirts available for £11/€13/$15 until 11am GMT Wednesday Aug 6th at Aplentee.com. They also have a related Spiderman inspired design SpiderWeb on special, again at £11/€13/$15 this week only.

Batgirl Portrait // artwork by Andrei Nicolescu (2014)
For Superheroes Portraits project. More about this artist: Tumblr // Behance

Batgirl Portrait // artwork by Andrei Nicolescu (2014)

For Superheroes Portraits project. More about this artist: Tumblr // Behance

The Marvel Cinematic Universe: A Look Back // by Marvel Studios (2014)

The ongoing saga of the Marvel Studios films up to Guardians Of The Galaxy. Stick with with it until the end to take a look and hear Josh Brolin as Thanos for the first time!

First Look: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Full Costume (2014)
The image was revealed an hour ago at the SDCC 2014. I think she pulled it off, what do you think guys?

First Look: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Full Costume (2014)

The image was revealed an hour ago at the SDCC 2014. I think she pulled it off, what do you think guys?

The Scarlet Witch // artwork by Stephen Segovia (2012)

The Scarlet Witch // artwork by Stephen Segovia (2012)

Catwoman // artwork by Gianluca Mattia (2014)

D-List X-Men // artwork by Lee Gatlin (2014)
[blogspot | tumblr | flagpole]

D-List X-Men // artwork by Lee Gatlin (2014)

[blogspot | tumblr | flagpole]

All New Avengers // artwork by Stuart Immonen, Yildiray Cinar, Russel Dauterman and Sara Pichelli (2014)

Well, Marvel’s big event of this year (Axis) hasn’t come out yet but we already know the outcome will be a brand new team of Avengers as Steve Rogers and the classic Thor will lose their mantles and will pass them on to new bearers. Sam Wilson the longtime hero “The Falcon” will don the red, white and blue costume while sporting the classic wings of his former namesake along the shield. A “familiar face” in the Thor lore will be worth it of the mantle of Thor as hinted by Jason Aaron. And Tony Stark will go the “Superior” route becoming more of a bastard while donning a new all-white suit or armor in a new location (He will move to San Francisco). The Avengers will also get an extreme makeover paring down the “army” feel of the roster to a more manageable team including (l to r, top to bottom): Medusa, The Scarlet Witch, Superior Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, The Winter Soldier, Angela, Thor, Captain America, Hellstrom and Deathlok.

Another shocking move by Marvel to keep readers hooked I guess. Since I’ve reading the publisher for years I’m accustomed to these "bold changes" that tend to last very little (specially when you got a big movie featuring the original characters coming up next year). And while I think this could make for a really good story a la Superior Spider-Man I will not hold my breath for it since It feels very rushed, a move done to avoid a bullet released by the recent Kirby State lawsuit heading to the supreme court. Also, am I the only one who thinks that  making one of your most popular characters wear an all-white garment and call himself “Superior” it’s a little politically incorrect? 

Ultron Revealed! // artwork by Entertainment Weekly (2014)
Here’s your first peek at Ultron and how he’ll look in the upcoming film “Avengers: Age of Ultron” courtesy of the folks of Entertainment Weekly.

Ultron Revealed! // artwork by Entertainment Weekly (2014)

Here’s your first peek at Ultron and how he’ll look in the upcoming film “Avengers: Age of Ultron” courtesy of the folks of Entertainment Weekly.