Rating: 4/5 – Starting to hit its stride…
After a strong zero issue, Guardians of the Galaxy took a bit of a step back over the next three issues. The previous issue as well as this one have ramped up the pace and the excitement. After reading this issue, I feel that this series may be starting to hit its stride. Bendis is beginning to make the characters gel, and weave the different storylines together into something special. This issue of Guardians of the Galaxy is also significant as it’s the first full appearance of Angela in the Marvel Universe. Her appearance in this book, although visually striking, is about the only weak part of the issue. It still remains to be seen exactly what kind of impact she’ll have on the Marvel Universe.
This issue has Peter Quill (Starlord), searching for answers to the why behind the visions he saw when space and time were ripped apart in the Age of Ultron event. As a side note, although the Age of Ultron event as a whole did not live up to the hype, the lasting effects seem to be having an impact on a wide range of Marvel books. His search brings him into contact with longtime Avengers character Mantis, who makes a long overdue appearance in the Marvel Universe. While Starlord’s journey takes a more serious tone, it wouldn’t be a Bendis book without the witty banter and quick dialogue that his books are usually known for, and this issue has just the right amount. Tony Stark and Rocket Raccoon in particular have a humorous exchange where Tony compares himself to Captain Kirk. It’s a fun little back-andf-forth that adds to the overall enjoyment of the story. As mentioned above, Bendis knows how to write dialogue, and he proves it yet again in this issue. He’s able to adjust from action to humor, and back again, without making it seem forced or abrupt.
In regards to the art, Sara Pichelli is a fantastic choice for this series. She has a clean look to her art, she’s able to portray expression in her faces, and she can handle the sci-fi aspect of the book. My complaint with her art, which is true of many artists today, is that her backgrounds can become plain and boring. When you’re in a sci-fi environment, you have an opportunity to make it look futuristic and/or just…different. Unfortunately, the environments aren’t taken advantage of, and therefore they at times tend to look bland.
I’m glad to see this book getting good again, and with a last page cliffhanger, I’m even more excited for the next issue. This is a fun book that’s exploring a part of the Marvel Universe that has so much potential. Let’s hope the inclusion of Angela adds to the universe, without unnecessarily complicating it.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – firstname.lastname@example.org
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