Sam Humphries and Paco Medina’s “Legendary Star-Lord” #2 feels like a real missed opportunity for any fans of the film that might buy it seeking something with the same snap and pop of the film. Though the story is passable and the art pretty (if inconsistent), the book has none of the spirit, charm or humor of the film — perhaps too tall an ask, but it’s disappointing nonetheless.
Like the first issue, Humphries tells a essentially a done in one, but with a built in stinger for the next issue and hints to a larger arc. It’s not a bad idea, but neither story has been particularly interesting, funny or rewarding, so the idea doesn’t quite fire on all cylinders. The adventure Peter and Victoria go on together has its charm but there’s just not enough here to grab onto. The story needs to wrap up so quickly; the reader never really gets past the surface.
The biggest problem with the script is that while the chemistry between Peter and Victoria has a nice pop to it by the end of the issue, the relationship doesn’t feel earned. The book begins with Victoria happy to turn Peter in for a ransom (and to face a particularly brutal fate). She also seems quite angry with him (and also generally angry), but it takes literally no convincing for her to agree to a team up and an extremely dangerous caper with Peter as her partner. While any reader of action comes to expect that characters thrown into intense circumstances will bond quickly, this gives new meaning to the idea. In the end, Victoria still doesn’t seem to understand who Peter is or what he’s about, which further undermines her reckless decision to change her entire plan when he suggests the team up and double cross. It’s extremely shaky all around, even if the relationship is far more enjoyable on the last pages than the first. Still, if you ignore the unearned nature of the relationship, the endpoint is interesting and has plenty of potential.
Medina’s art with inks by Juan Vlasco is extremely pretty, but sometimes the focus on prettiness seems to get in the way of telling the best story, causing the work to feel a bit stiff, especially his figures. The expressions are strong about half the time, but the other half are static or even confusing. Where Medina really excels is in the super cool “space stuff.” His rendering of the Fortress Viderdoom both when it is simply a moon and then as it transforms into monster is excellent. The best panel in the entire book is Viderdoom, floating in space, having fully transformed into a giant space monster that looks half magnificent fish with arms and half epic spaceship. It’s fantastic stuff.
David Curiel’s colors have the same issue — very pretty, but feeling slightly too slick and tight on the whole. They are truly gorgeous when dealing with space and stars, when cutting loose on the Viderdoom, and with explosions and things that need pop. A moment when Victoria rescues Peter from certain doom includes a heaven-like shaft of light that’s breathtaking. However, the colors struggle to be consistent when it comes to skin colors, capturing mood, and addressing the changes of lighting of a room, which is distracting.
Lack of substance and inconsistent execution plagues “Legendary Star-Lord” #2. It’s not a bad comic, but there is little to distinguish it from the pack.