A new Guardians of the Galaxy team is just what’s needed to track down Gamora and keep the cosmos safe. The thing is, it is most definitely not the group that Star-Lord has assembled. This rag-tag collection of power houses and weirdos can barely keep from killing each other, let alone stop arguing long enough to actually formulate a plan. Meanwhile, a more powerful, darker group is hunting Gamora, ready to put her down, worried that she might be the resurrected Thanos.
We’ve watched Peter Quill wrestle with the recent trauma of death at Gamora’s hand. The rest of the Guardians are tired of waiting for him to pull himself together and they’re taking matters into their own hands. Groot is a stand out here, taking charge and leading the team, even if he doesn’t really know how to fly the ship.
I cannot get over how cool Groot looks with his mohawk and little Groots climbing all over the place. I really hope we get this version of the character in a Marvel Legends figure soon. Artist Geoff Shaw combines the attitude of teen Groot with the power of adult Groot and the fun of baby Groot. It’s great all around. While he often has a stoic expression on his face, Groot occasionally breaks into more of a cynical, angry look, which is heightened by his new haircut.
As cool as the dynamic is between these characters, it pales in comparison to the opening pages featuring a battered and broken Eros screaming at the memory of his brother, Thanos. He is torn up with rage and wants nothing more than to wipe any trace of the Mad Titan from the galaxy. It’s interesting to see how menacing he’s become. I wouldn’t be surprised in Thanos’ consciousness is kicking around in the back of Eros’ mind.
Colorist Marte Gracia fills this scene with an eerie glow from the holographic image of Thanos. It bathes Eros in a sickly light and playing up the shadows across the scars on one side of his face. It makes him look so much more frightening, like he’s a monster lurking in the darkness. This is a polar opposite of what we’re used to seeing with this character.
As if all this wasn’t enough, we also get some awesome battles between some rival factions in the cosmos. Hela and the Black Order confront Annihilus and the Dark Guardians track down Nova. Shaw delivers some dynamite artwork here that’s full of excitement and energy. Some of these characters haven’t gotten a lot of love lately, so it’s awesome to see folks like Wraith out in full force.
Letterer Cory Petit adds to this as there’s a variety of voices at play. This amplifies writer Donny Cates’ already snappy dialogue as you can imagine it coming from all kinds of alien voices. Most tend to stand out in big, bold ways, giving you a glimpse at the power bouncing around.
The sheer amount of characters involved in Guardians of the Galaxy is as staggering as it is impressive. It never feels overwhelming though. Instead, we’re plugged into each of these narratives as they work together to tell a compelling story. This is doing the cosmic characters of the Marvel Universe justice in ways I haven’t seen since Annihilation.