Last year before the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was released, I confessed that I had never been a comics reader and I felt overwhelmed about where to start. As usual, Pajibans were helpful and suggested I start with Guardians of the Galaxy: Legacy. I bought it, I read it and I enjoyed it. But for some reason, I was not up to writing a review. On Sunday, while I was waiting for a friend, I opened up my Kindle library and decided to re-read it. I think I enjoyed it even more on re-read.
I haven’t read the Annihilation series, so there’s clearly some back story I missed, but having seen the movie helped a little bit with understanding most of the characters. Still I enjoyed the comic on it’s own merits.
The Universe has suffered two “annihilation” level wars and is in a fragile state. Peter Quill puts together a team to proactively fix problems before they become that big, because the Universe might not survive another. The team is Rocket Raccoon and baby twig Groot (who does not dance), Gamora the assassin, Drax the Destroyer, Adam Warlock, Quasar (Phyla-Vell) and Mantis for support. They make their base on Knowhere, the head of a deceased celestial being that serves as an inter-dimensional crossroads. Cosmo, a Soviet dog lost in space in the 1960’s, is the head of security and works closely with the team. They have their hands full with fissures in the space-time continuum, creatures from other times and dimensions attempting to enter, a church dedicated to violently converting or purging unbelievers, a man out of time, and the revelation of a fatal flaw within their team. It’s a fun read with dynamic art. I understand the attraction of comic books, and wish I’d read more earlier.
In relation to the movie, it’s a different story, but most of the common characters are consistent. Except Gamora. Lets talk about Gamora for a minute (or for the rest of the review). As a character she is a wonderful hard-ass. She has no time for sentiment or whimsy. She would never remind someone of their loving mother. There would be no almost kisses or soft seductions. Gamora kisses you or stabs you, maybe both. She’s got skills, attitude and quips. I would want her on my save the galaxy team, even if she isn’t much of a team player. “Team? Ugh. All we need now is a secret handshake and a clubhouse.” She’s grumpy and no one’s side kick. But her costume. Her costume, people. It’s strips of something and a cloak. This is what she fights in. Yep. And this is why I didn’t get into comics when I was younger. I just can’t with this nonsense.
In the past couple of years there have been some marvelous critiques of the way female characters are drawn in comics and video games. Three of my favorites are: The Hawkeye Initiative, Escher Girls, and Bikini Armor Battle Damage. So entertaining and so infuriating. Lots of time-wastey goodness. Bikini Armor Battle Damage has created a couple of great bingo cards. One for the actual outfit, and the other for the rhetoric defending the outfits. Lets take a look.
I think comic book Gamora could call bingo a few times.
- Bikini/lingerie shaped
- Random patches of skin uncovered
- No head protection
- Sharp ornamental edges that can pierce skin
- Looks like a bra/gives no breast support – no breast support
- High heels
- No underwear
- Boob window
- Thigh-high boots
- Bared back (that cape swirls around and is removable)
- Covers only nipples and genitals
- No pants
- Bared belly
- Camel toe
- Metal worn directly on bare skin
- Almost naked for an adventure in cold climate
- Underboob (and sideboob, inner and outer)
That’s 19 out of 25 on the inappropriate armor list. (BINGO, BINGO, BINGO, BING!) She’s such an amazing character, but it’s kind of hard to focus on that when you’re wondering why someone hasn’t ripped out her belly or if a boob is going to come flying out. At least in the movie she got to wear pants. Ok, sure, she’s got some cleavage/boob window and a randomly see through shirt. But this is better. That’s how low the bar was – this is better. But it seems that in return for pants she was made considerably softer. No criticism of Zoe Saldana, she smirked with the best of them. The other female members of the team in the comics were more in line with the male characters costume wise – more covered, but lot’s of skin tight clothing.
Look at that! She’s fully covered. I don’t know how she moves in it, but her vital organs are as well covered as her labia. I am definitely going to read this series when it comes out later this year. I’m also going to read the Annihilation series and the subsequent Guardians of the Galaxy series. I’ll just imagine Gamora in this armor instead of her ribbon thong.