REVIEW: Guarding the Globe #2
In the second outing of their new, on-going series, the Guardians of the Globe are literally all over the place. Is this book different enough from “Invincible” to earn a spot on your pull list? Read on to find out!
Cool ending reveal
There’s too much going on in this issue
Previously in Guarding the Globe: After being famously murdered by Omni-Man, the Guardians of the Globe reformed with all-new members. Now these new heroes carry on the legacy of that team saving the world and do-gooding and such.
There’s too much going on in this issue. Flooding, children being eaten, blue babies, mysterious North Korean submarine missions and very nearly some girl-on-girl action. All the story lines are interesting, so there’re no low points in the issue, but having to deal with not only a B plot, but C, D and E plots can make for some exhausting reading.
The story opens during a humanitarian rescue in Bangladesh—the river is rising and the team is getting people to high ground before the bridge collapses. This sequence appears to have no plot relevance to the later story, but it saved from irrelevance by a good character moment from Brit. Obviously still dealing with his son’s autism diagnosis from last issue, he lashes out at a woman whose child has just died in the flooding. If this is what Phil Hester was going for, then he achieved it, but it came off just a little too manufactured and melodramatic.
Blue babies and the threat of more blue babies make up the main plot of the story, though. Best Tiger and Kaboomerang investigate some weird birthing facility in Kuwait and discover than a very familiar villain is working some reproductive mojo on the local ladies, with designs on expanding his breeding program. Eventually more of the team is called in to help neutralize the threat. It’s the excellent anti-Bond villainy I’ve come to expect from this universe—things have consequences and heroes can’t always save the day. That kind of realism can often lift a story out of mediocrity and that’s what I think happened here. After the emotional heft of Brit’s story in the last issue, it was a mistake to barely touch on him in this one and that decision eliminates what could have been a story more moving than many of the subplots this month.
The children-being eaten/El Chupacabra plot leads to a pretty cool reveal on the last page—I certainly didn’t see it coming, but maybe I’ve been unplugged from this universe for too long.
I found the art to be good, but unspectacular. It was universe consistent with “Invincible,” and really, that’s more than you can ask for with most shared-universe titles. The art in the Bangladesh story seemed more detailed than the rest of the book and made me think a different person had drawn that part, but I can’t find anything to indicate that.
If that North Korean sub found what I think it found, then I’m a little disappointed in how it was portrayed—I don’t like it when my sunken cities of lost civilizations look like space colonies. If we are looking at the lost city of Atlantis, however, then this no doubt means the return of one of the more annoying characters from “Invincible.”
BOTTOM LINE: IT’S EARNED ANOTHER ISSUE OR TWO
I went into this book with two major questions: What sets this apart from “Invincible” and will that be enough to make me buy it in addition to “Invincible”? After two issues I still haven’t made a decision and, fortunately for Image/Skybound and unfortunately for my wallet I’ll likely need another issue or two to make up my mind. It’s an enjoyable book, to be sure, but there are a lot of enjoyable books out there these days and you really have to be something special to rise to the top of an already crowded pull list. “Guardians of the Globe” has potential and aI hope it lives up to it. Three and a half stars.