Marvel Animation has rostered Hulk & The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H out and replaced it with current flavour of the month The Guardians Of The Galaxy, the all star intergalactic group who took cinemas by storm last year, and while fans wait with bated breath for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, their appetite for more GOTG should be satisfied with this animated series which picks up right at the end of the first film. Director James Gunn has confirmed that the animated series is not connected to the films or the Marvel cinematic universe, and that has allowed the show’s creators some freedom they may otherwise not have been granted.
Marvel have struggled to find a hit animated TV show, unlike their DC Comics counterpart, and while Guardians does show great potential, the pilot episode is sluggish and feels like an animated version of the movie name dropping as many connected heroes as it possibly can.
The episode starts with, you guessed it, Star Lord aka Peter Quill (voiced by Will Friedle) tapping his space boots to “Hooked On A Feeling” as we are slowly introduced to the other Guardians, Rocket Racoon (voiced by Trevor Devall), Groot (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) Gamora (Vanessa Marshall) and Drax (David Sobolov). One thing is clear, the connection between the Guardians is a strong one, and connecting characters like Yondu (James Arnold Taylor) and Ronan The Accuser (Jonathan Adams) are also tightly knit in the opening episode of this series.
A lot of the events in the movie happen in this pilot episode, and hopefully that gets it out of the way for the series to progress and develop a universe of its own. There are a few surprises like the canine Cosmo now being a part of the team and official security for Knowhere, The Nova core are also mentioned like a million times and the biggest thing missing is the show’s sense of humour; plain and simple, there is barely any here and this show will struggle if it can’t get that balance right.
Visually this is the most ambitious and beautiful thing that Marvel animation has brought to the table. The 3D backgrounds with traditional 2D animation blends beautifully together. The space setting works with this and delivers a point of difference in the Marvel animated universe.
Guardians Of The Galaxy “Road to Knowhere” delivers a typical pilot, devoid of any substance, but enough to give a sliver of a promise that the show will deliver an engaging and successful Marvel animated TV show that fans will engage with. The next episode is a one hour special, so we can hope that it delivers something more substantial than this.
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