The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special – A “What Christmas Means To Me” Reflection

It’s Christmastime again, so ‘tis the season for me to read and watch a buncha Christmas specials and use them to reflect on what Christmas means to me just like Stevie Wonder does in the very song which inspired this series.  And, just like Stevie Wonder sings about, “All these things and more, darling (all these things and more) / That’s what Christmas means to me, my love,” Christmas means a lot of things to me, too!  This time I’m turning my attention towards The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, debuting on 25 November 2022 on Disney+.  Speaking of the special to Radio Times, James Gunn said, “The Holiday Special is the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  It’s totally ridiculous, and every day we can’t believe that we’re making it.  We all completely love it.  It is unlike anything that anyone’s ever seen before.  I can’t wait for people to see it.”[1]  I was stunned!  Greater than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and 2??  Greater than The Suicide Squad??  This wasn’t anything I expected it to be (save fun, I expected it to be fun!) but I absolutely loved it!  It left me with warm Christmas feels, too.

Note, spoilers for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special follow.

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Wild and Weird In All the Right Ways: Donny Cates’ Guardians Of The Galaxy

I like to do these pieces where I’ll examine the entire run of a writer on Guardians Of The Galaxy.  It began when I first read all the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning comics which inspired James Gunn’s film.  I fell in love so they naturally led me to Brian Michael Bendis’ run.  Then I read Gerry Duggan’s.  His All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy was a painfully forced attempt to make the comic feel exactly like the movies, disregarding ten years of narrative character development.  It also setup Duggan’s Infinity Countdown and Infinity Wars which may be the worst comic crossover I’ve ever read.  Then Donny Cates comes along…and totally redeemed everything!!!  Seriously, if I ever meet this guy I’ll buy him a drink or dinner or dinner with drinks.  He’s earned it. Continue reading

Too Much Like Movie Stars: Gerry Duggan’s All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy

I started this li’l series a while ago, when I finally read Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s Guardians Of The Galaxy run, the comics that inspired James Gunn’s films.  I had so much fun writing about my experience of meeting the Guardians in that way, as I continued my journey through their comics, I did another post about Brian Michael Bendis’s time writing the title.  Naturally, next up is Gerry Duggan.  I feel enough time has passed (now that we’re seven months into the Donny Cates run) that I can thoughtfully reflect on Duggan’s vision of the team.  For me, this ended up being a shocking-yet-classic example of the truth of being careful what you wish for… Continue reading

As They Became Movie Stars: Brian Michael Bendis’s Guardians Of The Galaxy

Reading Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s Guardians Of The Galaxy a few weeks ago yielded an epiphany of sorts.  I realized, or rather remembered, I shouldn’t look for comics that feel like James Gunn’s oh-so-perfect film.  Rather, I should embrace the Guardians as they are in the comics which will always be a different animal.  That’s how it works.  The comics inspire the films but each is unique unto itself, shaped by the vision of its creators.  I’d never went backwards before, from the movie to the comics, and I guess I wasn’t ready for the differences when encountered from this direction.  But I fell in love with Abnett and Lanning’s Guardians, no matter how different they were from Gunn’s, because they were great characters involved in exceptional stories.  Naturally I couldn’t wait to meet their next incarnation, Brian Michael Bendis’s take on the team! Continue reading

Nebula Was Right – or – How Nebula Could’ve Stopped the Infinity War

To get this out of the way first, this post will have spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.  All sorts of them.  Do I still need to give spoiler warnings?  I don’t know.  The movie came out in April.  It’s been available digitally and physically for a few weeks.  But people may still have yet to see it.  Not everyone lives their lives on the Marvel schedule I do.  Heck, last year a student was upset I “spoiled” an episode of Seinfeld from OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO.  So I have no idea what the appropriate spoiler limit is anymore.  But this post will spoil Avengers: Infinity War because, as the title implies, I’m going to explore how the whole thing could’ve been avoided if everyone just listened to Nebula. Continue reading

Could the Infinity Watch Join the MCU’s Phase Four?!?

With Avengers: Infinity War out on DVD last week, I obviously rewatched it the other night.  As I was watching it, a thought struck me that hadn’t before.  I’ve spent a lot of time wondering who will live and who will die? after the dust has settled from Avengers 4 but I haven’t really thought about what will happen to the Infinity Stones?  As I considered this my mind drifted to something I haven’t really thought about since the ‘90s – the Infinity Watch. Continue reading

Before They Were Movie Stars: Abnett and Lanning’s Guardians Of The Galaxy

It’s no secret, like a large portion of the world, I immediately fell in love with the Guardians of the Galaxy when I met them in James Gunn’s masterpiece.  I’d never seen Peter Quill, Rocket Raccoon, or Groot before and only knew Gamora, Drax, and Nebula from their Infinity-related exploits of the 1990’s.  This team was like nothing I’d ever seen and everything I always wanted!  It’s also not a secret, loving the films as I do, I’ve sought comics with the same feeling.  But no matter what I read it wasn’t enough like Gunn’s vision.  This is a major (first world) problem because I want more Guardians in my life!  Well, for my birthday this summer Mom and Dad got me the collections of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s 2008-2010 run with Guardians Of The Galaxy, the comics that inspired Gunn’s film!  And I finally met the Guardians before they were movie stars… Continue reading

Thoughts on James Gunn’s Firing from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

This isn’t a news site.  I’ve no desire to be a news site either.  But, as a comic geek and MCU fan, it’s impossible not to think about the news that came out Friday.  Being a lover of the Guardians Of The Galaxy films, I’ve obviously been thinking about Disney firing James Gunn from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 a lot.  Writing often helps me sort all my feelings (one of the reasons I need to get back to journaling regularly…I miss it) so I figured I’d give it a go here.  So, technically, this isn’t so much a reporting of the news as it is my reaction to the news. Continue reading

The Great Chris Debate: In Praise of Chris Pratt

As superhero movies have become a larger and larger part of our popular culture, a question has vexed fans and scholars alike.  Which of the cinematic superhero Chrises is the greatest Chris of all??  Now, three incredible blogs and four intrepid bloggers have banded together to try and definitively answer this daunting question.  Nancy and Kathleen of Graphic Novelty2, Kalie of Just Dread-full, and yours truly are going to get to the bottom of this.  So fasten your seatbelts as we spend the next few days exploring all things Chris…although, sadly for my collaborators, I don’t know if we’ll need more than one post.  Because I’ve solved it.  It’s Chris Pratt for the win – easy.  No contest.  Game.  Set.  Match.  Now here’s why. Continue reading

My Avengers: Infinity War Preparation!

It’s coming.  The “most ambitious crossover event in history” is almost here.  And, while I might think the most ambitious crossover ever thing is a little heavy-handed, this is undeniably HUGE.  On 26th April, ten years of interconnected storytelling will come together in Avengers: Infinity War, bringing together all the characters Marvel has introduced into their cinematic universe over the last decade.  This brings with it many pressing questions.  Who will live??  Who will die?!?  And, perhaps most vexingly of all…how do I go about preparing for this?!?!? Continue reading