Rating: 4/5 – Celebrating 100…no…101 issues of Guardians of the Galaxy.
by ComicSpectrum Reviewer Shawn Hoklas
The fourteenth issue of Guardians of the Galaxy is a double sized Anniversary issue celebrating 100 issues. Now, it’s actually the 101st issue when you add all the previous volumes up, but since they had the Trial of Jean Grey crossing over with the X-Men, they were one issue late. This is an anniversary issue that feels important as it sets the stage for the next big storyline while also including a couple of backup tales that are just as entertaining as the main one. Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Bradshaw and Todd Nauck open up the issue with the main story.
The Guardians are split up across the galaxy as each of them are being attacked either individually, or in some cases as a pair, like in the case with Drax and Venom. Yes…Venom. Although it hasn’t been revealed as of yet exactly why or how Venom was chosen to join the team. the story has him partnering with Drax as though he already knows him. The only information given as to the why he’s now on the team can be found on the “previously” page on the inside cover. Hopefully Marvel provides a bit more depth in later issues, or in the Free Comic Book Day issue of Guardians out next week. Nick Bradshaw’s art is exciting as he embraces the science fiction settings and aliens. Although it’s a bit distracting when the art switches over to Todd Nauck, for the most part it works. The story ends with another surprise character that we’ll also hopefully get some answers on, but despite the questions, the story is a strong set up and a great entry point for readers unfamiliar with this team.
The second story is titled Groot’s Tale by Andy Lanning and Phil Jimenez. It’s a nice peek into Groot’s origin and his time as a child. Jimenez does a great job of rendering both the peaceful and quiet moments, as well as the violent and heavy action scenes. There’s a wonderful splash page that creatively uses Groot’s catch phrase, while the ending opens the door to some future stories starring the walking tree. It’s tough to tell a story with a character that has only one line of dialogue, but the shorter length of the story proved to work.
Dan Abnett and artist Gerardo Sandoval finish the issue strong with a tale starring the “original” Guardians from the 31st century. It was a pleasure to read these characters again, and hopefully this isn’t the last time we see them. Yondu, Martinex and Vance Astro are great characters that deserve some more time in the Marvel U. Hopefully this is only the beginning and Bendis can include them along with the main team. Overall this is one of the better issues in the series. It’s a nice jumping on point for new readers while giving long time fans some nice surprises as well. There’s been a lot of focus around Angela and the X-Men lately. Hopefully now, the Guardians will be front and center.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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