DISCUSSION - The Personalities of the Galaxy

I posted my review of Guardians of the Galaxy #7 to Reddit, and later I saw this reply.

"I just want the 2008 guardians back. These don't even try to act like the same people."

This is what poured forth from my fingertips in form a reply.

"But they're not the same people. They survived through hellacious ordeals, huge, galaxy spanning cataclysms. When we first found Peter at the beginning on Annihilation, he was tortured and broken and hated himself and very idea of being called Star-Lord again.

Drax has been denied his life's goal over and over again, only to obtain it by dooming everyone. Then when Thanos comes back, he's not even the one who gets to kill him again. He's died and came back himself more than once. He's wandered, lost and confused and without purpose.

Gamora is ten kinds of messed up (from Thanos being a relation), and that's before losing her lover to the Cancerverse.

Rocket and Groot are a "raccoon and a tree." Fighting battles that are a million times bigger than they are, losing friends, never truly having a home...

And that's only UP TO the Cancerverse. That's not everything that came after for these people.
How do you expect people with such chaotic lives to ever stay the same?

Peter SHOULD act completely different. He's retaken the name that he felt he'd tarnished forever, became a leader, after being a loner for decades.

They've found a family in each other, a home, even if it is just a group of people, just as lost as the next. How do you expect them to stay the same, with the lives they lead?"

And so I pose the question to my fellow Galaxians here. How can we expect them to stay the same, story arc after story arc, and remain the same people, through all the chaos and turmoil they go through? How much of their character is reasonable, realistic, and rational to expect them to retain year after year? I keep seeing people talk about how "these aren't the same Guardians!" but if they were, if they remained unchanging... would the story be as good? Would you believe that they could come out the other end of these ordeals and remain unaffected? Love or hate who they come out as on the other end, it's irrelevant; I'm asking, can you expect them to remain unchanging?


  1. There may have been a couple issues where there were arguable minor tweaks to some personalities. For Rocket, the questionable decision to have him repeatedly boast about "murder"ing. Over all, I have not seen that much difference, and, I agree, they have all been through a lot. We are not talking fighting super-powered bank robbers. These decidedly sub-cosmic-powered heroes have consistently faced cosmic-level threats, some that went to the heart of time-space and reality itself. An average person, realistically, would have completely lost their mind.

    Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but... The *timing* for someone to say this, too, is odd to me, as well because I was specifically thinking to myself that, in Issue 7, their personalities seemed closer to their v2 writing than I have seen the entire series (although the antics in the bar were very v2 Guardians). Rocket, in particular, seemed to have a little bit less of an edge than he has lately.

    1. My biggest problem is that these characters have changed before. Look at their origins. Then look at Annihilation. Then look at V2. I think the changes make sense. I think there's a progression, intentional or not, to the way they're acting. Peter is a great example. Look at his origin series. He's your classic "space-man" adventurer, he's up there with Buck Rodgers and Adam Strange. Then Annihilation hits, and he's an entire different character. He's broken and beaten, he's self-loathing and feels he doesn't deserve a lot of things. And as we progress he ends up becoming the leader that we've come to love, snarky, sure, sarcastic and has that dry, sharp wit about him, but still, he's finally found his niche in leading a team. He seems happier there than he did when he first became Star-Lord and certainly through-out Annihilation. Then he gets thrown in the Cancerverse and now we're seeing a character who's more cavalier in his attitude before, taking him back to the way he was when he first became Star-Lord, without losing the "leader" qualities to him that he's developed. He's pushing things a little harder. V2 Peter might not have told his father's entire fleet off, out of fear of what that might do to Spartax and he'd be responsible for that mess. V3 Peter has somehow survived the Cancerverse. WHO KNOWS HOW. What did he endure there? What sacrifices did he have to make to get out? What changes to his character did he have to make in order to come back? He's less reserved and more reckless now that he was before. But I think he feels like he has to be to do what he has to do now that he's back. He's gotten a second chance that only Thanos has gotten.
      So when people go "Bendis has no idea who these characters are!" it makes me want to go "DO YOU?!"
      I don't think it's Bendis not knowing who the characters are, I think it's a matter of Bendis' writing style, the world he builds being cohesive, or at least trying to be, it's akin to a Joss Whedon tv show; everyone seems to speak the same lingo and have the same sense of humor. Buffy had kind of a language of it's own, with the way people talked, and the men especially seemed to have the same dry sarcasm to them. Delivered one-liners and jokes in the same manner. Lazy writing? Maybe! But it also gave it a sense of it's own world. Made the characters closer to each other.
      I think people are too critical of his writing here. They walked in with expectations that weren't realistic.

  2. This post is very moving.

  3. I have noticed minor differences in the characters. Drax probably seems the most out-of-character to me. Rocket would be the second most out-of-character. Unfortunately, I think Bendis wasn't really a big fan of Guardians of the Galaxy before he started writing. It was probably more like, "Hey Bendis, we have a Guardians movie coming out and we need you to make that shit as mainstream as possible." But honestly, we can't expect this very young property not to evolve (or devolve even) as its thrust into the limelight. And we can't deny that these comics are just a great marketing tool for the movie. As fans, all we can do is enjoy the ride or move on. Personally, mediocrity aside, I'm having fun with this new series.

    1. From interviews with Bendis as V3 was starting, I get this impression this isn't entirely his idea. He got to sit in on the meeting towards the beginning of the movie so he could get a feel of what the movie was going to be like, to help move the comic book in that direction. Before I continue, let me add, I don't care about Bendis. Take or leave him, he's six of one, half-dozen of the other, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not a huge fan, and neither do I hate the guy. But I don't feel like we can place the blame on his shoulders for any of the changes in this book that we dislike. I think he's just doing his job, and doing what Marvel is telling him to do.
      I find it funny you say Drax is the most out of character, since he's the one who has the most changes to his core-character through-out his history. I think Drax hasn't gotten the spot-light he deserves just yet, I think it'll happen, but I don't think we've gotten to see enough of him to say how Bendis will write him seriously. Have we gotten more than a fight scene with Drax?
      Rocket, I'll agree, the character has changed, but not fundamentally. I feel like Rocket's gotten a little darker, cynical, and added some snark since V3. I get the sense that Rocket might be getting to his middle ages, getting a "I'm too old for this shit" mentality, in the back of his head. He still believes in what he's doing, but he's tired of losing people he cares about, he's tired of the universe doing so stupid that he has to come along and fix it so often. But that's just my impression.

  4. People act as if events in your life (tragic or otherwise) have no sort of effect on your character and who you are/become. People have said this about Wolverine throughout the comics (the many years he's been on this earth, the many loved ones he has lost, the many pains he has suffered.... you really think the same man from the first book he appeared in would still be there???).

  5. Gamora did not lose her lover to the Cancerverse. Did you even read Thanos Imperative? What about Nova?

    1. That's what I was talking about. Gamora and Nova were lovers at one point, and he got sucked into the Cancerverse with Peter and Thanos.

    2. Richard Rider was no longer Gamora's lover at the time of Thanos Imperative, he was with Namorita. Gamora is the most dangerous woman in the galaxy, I doubt ONE ex-boyfriend dying is enough to push her over the edge. She's made of sterner stuff. And no one was "sucked" into the Cancerverse. Death rejected Thanos again after he completed he returned her to the Cancerverse. Thanos went into a murderous rage, threatening to kill the entire 616 universe, so Peter and Rich stayed behind to keep him from escaping while the fault closed. Similarly, Drax wasn't denied the right of killing Thanos. Drax's status as the Avatar of Life caused him to be adversely affected by the energies of the Cancerverse. He killed Thanos once, only for Thanos to return from Death and kill Drax. And even if Drax had remained alive he wouldn't have been able to kill Thanos with Death rejecting him. Thanos didn't die with any finality after he killed Drax.

      You should really try reading the stuff you preach about.


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