Not very long ago I reviewed a (non-graphic) novel about the Guardians of the Galaxy and I was not impressed with it. Since I've never read a Guardians graphic novel, I was curious to see how it compared with both that and the movie. My excellent local library had several on the shelf. I chose this one because the title was such an amusing play on "Avengers Assemble!" The interesting thing about this though, was that in many ways it paralleled the earlier novel in having the team split-up at the beginning and get back together later, so it was also a really good novel to compare to the previous one. I have to say now, having finished it, that while I still had a problem or two with it, this graphic novel was light years ahead of the text novel I reviewed here.
What was missing was the humor that I had come to expect, having been first exposed to this team through the excellent Marvel movie, but that aside, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Nick Bradshaw did a pretty decent job. The novel seemed much more focused upon violent conflict than ever it did in other forms of entertainment, but aside from that, the novel was in many ways reminiscent of the movie (or vice-versa!) so it was familiar territory and it worked pretty well for me.
The only other problem I had with it was that the creators seemed to have taken the disassembly to a rather extreme level, getting off topic (it seemed to me) towards the end of this story to the point where I wasn't even sure it was the same story, but comic books have always been rather loosely wrapped for my taste, so this didn't faze me that much, and overall I liked it. I especially liked the chance to see Captain Marvel aka Ms Marvel make a guest appearance, since this is also to be an upcoming (and long, long overdue I have to say!) female super hero movie from Marvel. The novel introduced a host of other super heroes, with only some of whom I was familiar, so this was interesting too.
Star Lord (also known by the unfortunately phallic monica of Peter Quill) and his team are disassembled on the orders of his dad, who is the despotic ruler of a stellar empire. Apparently dad wants his son back in the fold, which begs the question as to how truly evil this guy is. It seemed a bit of a stretch to me that he would bother to do this, but in order to achieve his aim, he contracts a diversity of other villains to take the team apart, selling off Rocket for scientific experimentation, bringing Peter home, turning in both Drax and Gamora over to the villainous groups who had the biggest ax to grind with each, and so on.
The rest of the novel is about their individual experiences, and about them getting back together. As I mentioned, there was a lot more fighting in this than I was accustomed to from the movie and a lot less interesting inter-character interactions. In the movie, the action scenes were fun, but mainly because they were interspersed with sections which explored character idiosyncrasies and which allowed the viewer to really get to know and empathize with the characters. It made me really invest in them. The graphic novel - not so much, although I imagine you would be more invested had you been following the comic book series.