Not counting Iron Man (& who counts Iron Man), this is our last big review for Guardians of the Galaxy Week! Oh, and don’t think of it as a late review, I prefer to look at it as even more GOTG goodness that simply spills over into a second week!
Years ago, before Abnett & Lanning relaunched the Guardians of the Galaxy, my feelings on the two characters here, Star-Lord & Drax, couldn’t be more different. I enjoyed Star-Lord’s earlier stories (even if they weren’t always good) and I didn’t really care much about Drax at all. Abnett & Lanning made changes to both characters, subtle for Star-Lord and rather major for Drax, and in the process made me love both characters more. (Something the film did again).
Star-Lord’s film version mostly lines up with the comics. Both have thrown out the intergalactic alignment heralding his birth and near death at the hands of his stepfather. The movie did alter the circumstances of his mother’s death from being murdered by aliens to illness. It did make his abduction a little more left field, but we got payoff for that by the end of the film. In all, I was happy with Chris Pratt’s portrayal. I wasn’t a big fan of his going on, but I’m on a convert now (still not gonna watch Parks & Rec though).
Drax is a little more difficult to reconcile. In the comics, Drax the Destroyer is… human. Yep. It was Thanos, not Ronan, that killed his wife & daughter (well, not really, hold on) and him too. This coincided with some folks not particularly happy with Thanos having built the ultimate weapon against him, a being with flight, energy bursts, super-strength, and near invincibility. But it needed a soul and Arthur Douglas, fresh with a need for vengeance was chosen. That was Drax for over thirty years. When Abnett & Lanning came along, that Drax died and the current one emerged from the destroyed remains like a phoenix (saved him tons of money on those tattoos). After that he looks very similar to his movie appearance, leaving the film only to tweak him slightly and make his not human; thus preserving Quill’s uniqueness and sparing us a really complicated exposition. Personally, I loved him a lot more in the film than I was expecting too – I was worried from the trailers he would be dumbed down for comic relief. He was, but it, like many things in the movie, was kept balanced well with his other personality traits.
In figure form, Drax is pretty much the best figure in the wave (possibly by default, but still) and Star-Lord is the close second. They are both 100% new sculpts and both feature some great detail work as a result. For Drax, those are his extensive upper-body tattoos and the intricate details on his pants. I can’t say with much certainty that the tattoos are screen-accurate, but they look great here. This Drax is light years better than the comic-version released last year. Drax also gets points based on having the best head sculpt in the wave. Like the rest of the line-up, the blank expression is still present, but it works for Drax. Whereas Gamora looks stoned out, Drax looks intent and works with the character’s personality.
Star-Lord is either a great sculpt or has issues depending on what you consider his alternate, unmasked head. I’m going to call it an accessory and just say he has a great sculpt here. Some collectors find it a little odd that we got the not-so prominent trench coat version over the shorter jacket seen throughout the film. I’m in agreement. I’m not going to lop off the bottom of the coat like some have, but it is a tempting thought.
The trench coat, like the whole figure is well executed. From the little rocket packs on his ankles to the shoulder armor attached to his jacket, this is a well-sculpted piece throughout. And top it all off with that fantastic Star-Lord mask (seriously, I kinda want a prop version) and the figure pops off the shelf.
On top of that we have some mostly well done paint. On Drax, the paint work on his tattoos doesn’t quite line up with the sculpted areas, but it doesn’t come across as sloppy, possibly because it’s such a complicated design. The paintwork on the technical areas like the boots is sharply done and also helps compensate. Continue to Page 2…