An ailing Rocket seeks the help of a young Magus in taking down the Universal Church of Truth and saving the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Groot and Moondragon are aiding him in this quest, but are worried that their friend is pushing himself too hard and his body will soon give out. Meanwhile, Star-Lord comes face-to-face with an old friend who does not recognize him.
I love Rocket. In many ways he’s the heart and soul of the Guardians of the Galaxy, so seeing him like this is absolutely heartbreaking. Artist Cory Smith makes him look so very sickly. If you saw a raccoon like this outside your house going through your garbage you’d either shoot it to put it out of its misery or you’d run for the hills. It’s really hard to see him like this.
Inker Victor Olazaba highlights the unsettling details in Rocket’s appearance. He looks so diseased that if you even touched him, you’d die a horrible death so you can imagine what he must be going through. This sympathy is definitely felt by Groot who sees his good friend in such a position and wants nothing more than to help him, but he’s powerless to do so.
Rocket’s tone changes when he’s in the safety of his battle suit. The armor provides extensive life support so he’s able to regain his confidence when surrounded by all this metal. It doesn’t change his gravelly voice though. Letterer Cory Petit still uses scratchy word balloons, showing how hard it must be for Rocket to speak, however they’re still tinged with the sarcastic tone that’s signature to the character.
Guardians of the Galaxy #10 builds to a great reunion between Rocket and Star-Lord. It could not have come at a better time either as Peter was up against an army, about to be torn apart. The moment he realizes that it’s Rocket that’s come to save him, a look of pure joy spreads over his face. His friend has come home.
The aforementioned army is a twist on the usual scheme we’ve seen play out from the Universal Church of Truth. It plays into their new outlook on the universe and the need to bring death and destruction wherever they go. Writer Donny Cates has all of this plotted out beautifully. The fact that it’s personal to the team only makes it even more emotional. It ups the stakes.
Those caught within the thrall of the Universal Church of Truth have an eerie purple glow in their eyes. Colorist David Curiel makes this shine through all the darkness and shadows that loom on their massive ship. It shows how they’ve been stripped of all humanity, leaving nothing but a servant of the Church in its horrifying beliefs.
This issue ends on a great cliffhanger as Magus arrives at the Church along with Rocket. You just know we’re in for something crazy with the next chapter when these two forces collide. The rest of the Guardians are in danger and have been since this arc began, yet I’m more invested in Rocket and whether or not he’ll make it out of this adventure. Yes, I care more about the raccoon that any of the human characters. I’m sure I’m not alone.