Back in March, Image Comics started releasing a series of press releases announcing the members of the “Guarding the Globe” mini-series (then called “Guardians of the Globe”), one at a time. At first it started normally enough, with Invincible as the initial member. But from there, other members included Spawn, Rick Grimes from “The Walking Dead,” President Barack Obama, and the young wizard “Gary” Potter.
Needless to say, it was a joke, and later the real members were announced. But reading “Guarding the Globe” #1, I hate to say this, but I found myself wishing that somehow those characters were the stars of this comic instead.
“Guarding the Globe” is actually a direct spin-off of the long-running “Invincible,” a comic that I haven’t read in quite a few years. (I should try and catch up one of these days.) Fortunately for new (or lapsed) readers, after the first five pages, just about all of the old members of the Guardians are written out and the book starts fresh. That’s the good news.
The bad news, though, is that it rapidly turns into a “been there, done that” first issue. Sole holdover character Brit gets a new costume and weapons, and then begins the recruitment drive, while villains begin to mobilize as well. But so far, there isn’t that extra-special punch or excitement to make the comic stand out. The humor is a little too familiar (big brutish looking character is actually loquacious, gruff character given new outfit admits later that he actually likes the change), and the few characters that stick around past the first few pages aren’t given that much in the way of character moments to particularly stand out as someone you want to read more about. The character I wanted to see the most of was Monster Girl, based on just her five-page appearance, and she’s already out of the title.
Ransom Getty’s art isn’t bad, the sort that could best be summed up as a very solid superhero style. He loves showing characters grimacing by way of visual shorthand, but it’s actually a fairly funny end result on the page. Most of the anatomy is good, and Yeti in particular comes across as fairly fluid and easy moving when drawn by Getty. There are some occasional awkward poses (the guy at the Pentagon balling up his fists to say, “Guarding the globe!” seems slightly deformed, and that first drawing of Yeti seems to have misplaced his shoulders) but on the whole it’s an attractive enough look.
Hopefully the pace will pick up a bit in future issues of “Guarding the Globe,” because the biggest problem with the first issue is how slowly it moves. We’ve barely met the cast (a lot of them are still yet to appear), and it doesn’t feel like the story is going anywhere at all. Boredom is a fast way to lose readers in a comic, and I could already feel it trickling in after this initial installment. Here’s to a bit more pep next time around.