This is a special episode of the animated “Guardians of the Galaxy” series in that the team not only discovers the Asgardian Destroyer armor leading to an inevitable throwdown, but it also features new music by nerdcore champions Kirby Krackle… or does it? Meet me after the Moomba-fueled hyperspace jump for my thoughts on “Stuck in the Metal with You.”
Up front in the spirit of full disclosure, I need to profess my love of Kirby Krackle. The Seattle based nerdcore band featuring the talents of Kyle Stevens is my jam. Playing comic cons, opening for Weird Al Yankovic, and the cool name are only the tip of the iceberg. If you’ve never heard “Great Lakes Avengers,” “Marvelous Girls,” the awesome “Ring Capacity,” and dozens of others, get with it, fangirls and boys.
The big news recently with Kirby Krackle is their inclusion on the animated series soundtrack and in this and the next episode of “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.” Sadly the song does not appear, in this episode at least. I wonder if it was clipped by Disney X-D, because “Gotta Get Back” would have worked perfectly as the end credits ran. Boo…
The Spartaxian Elephant in the Room
As we open this episode, the Guardians of the Galaxy are actually, finally, addressing something that has been bugging viewers for quite some time… that the CryptoCube is leading them nowhere. Sure, it worked as a mysterious McGuffin leading our heroes to adventures for a while, but the thrill is worse than gone, it’s tired. In the immortal words of Millhouse on “The Simpsons,” “When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory??”
Gamora makes the obvious decision. If the ‘boom box’ isn’t leading them anywhere, why not go to the place whose symbols are on it – Spartax? Comics readers know, despite film director James Gunn’s insistence that the Marvel Cinematic Universe won’t go that way, that Star-Lord’s daddy is J’son, Emperor of the Spartax Empire. So why doesn’t Quill want to go? Does he already know that?
Ambush on Retsemaw
Luckily (maybe) an energy signal from the CrytoCube leads the Guardians to the planet Retsemaw where they find the ruins of a temple on the wind blown world. Gamora identifies the architecture as Asgardian and further calls out a statue of Loki. Um, just how does Gamora know so much about Asgard? The temple is a monument to the truce between Asgard and Spartax, if the English carving is to be believed.
I’m sure someone was about to ask Gamora where she came by this knowledge, when the Black Order came out of the shadows. The inevitable throwdown occurs, but as with last time, the battle with one of Marvel’s most dangerous cosmic villain groups is played for laughs. It’s only by Rocket finding and donning the Destroyer armor that the Black Order is defeated. And then they’re gone. What were the Black Order doing anyway?
The Other Destroyer
Now when I say Destroyer, I’m not talking about Drax, or even Remo Williams or the kaiju who fought Godzilla once. I’m referring to the armor forged by Odin as a weapon against the Celestials (the decapitated head of one of these serves as Knowhere), and has fought Thor countless times, including once in the climax of the thunder god’s first movie.
The design of the Destroyer armor has been altered somewhat, bugging me a bit. Sorry, but I’m old school. If it ain’t broke, don’t ‘fix’ it. Superman ain’t Superman without his underwear outside his pants, know what I mean? Anyway, Rocket starts to get a bit aggressive and addicted to the armor, and it culminates in a barfight at Starlin’s Tavern on Knowhere. Nice shout out to legendary Marvel Cosmic writer/artist Jim Starlin by the way. Much of the world that the Guardians walk through would not exist without Starlin.
The Mischief of Loki
Once Cosmo shows up and shows he’s not just a telepathic dog, the fight is broken up, for the moment, but that’s when the real threat steps in. Loki, the Norse god (sorry, Disney censors, ahem, Prince) of mischief, and half-brother to Thor, is on the scene and hunting the CrytoCube and Cosmic Seed. His mischief includes some Destroyer on Destroyer action and the armor chasing the Guardians through Knowhere.
This is pretty standard stuff though. What really pulled this episode up higher than most lately is the revelation once Loki returns to Asgard. Odin is taking one of his famous long naps while Thor is on the throne. Loki plans to frame the Guardians in an act of war on Asgard by Spartax. Things are going to get very very good…
And here’s “Gotta Get Back” by Kirby Krackle for those who, like me, didn’t get to see and hear it.
Next: Spartax, maybe…