Rocket, Groot, and Moondragon have crashed the Universal Church of Truth party looking to save their friends from an army of Drax clones. They have to rescue the rest of the Guardians before the Church can destroy Earth. They brought a pint-sized Magus along to help out, but will that be enough to stop these forces?
Guardians of the Galaxy #11 is chock-a-block full of action. You’d think this would be a one-sided fight as it’s basically four people against an army of Drax the Destroyers, plus the Universal Church of Truth, but you’d be surprised. I mean, they do have Rocket in a big robot suit, one of the most powerful telepaths in the universe…and a big tree man with a mohawk.
Artist Cory Smith delivers the action with the size and scope it deserves. Billions of lives are at stake here so it better be an epic battle. Moondragon is the first to steal the show, peering into the minds of the Drax clones to confirm that they’re just empty husks and not the real deal. This gives her permission to let loose, unleashing a monstrous three-headed dragon to burn them all with fire.
Since you can’t “see” a telepath’s powers, Smith fills in the background behind Moondragon with fiery images showing the anguish and rage that is powering the Drax horde along. Inker Victor Olazaba adds greater definition to her in the foreground while leaving the pictures in the back a little sketchier, aiding with the violence unfolding in the mind and in real life.
The fight choreography is top notch, keeping you focused on the action in each scene. This makes certain moments all the more shocking as you don’t see them coming. You’re paying attention to something else when suddenly a deadly blow is struck or someone pops up out of nowhere.
There’s one shot in particular that had me letting out an audible gasp. It comes as everything is really heating up and it’s a terrific use of a page turn reveal. Aside from the sound effect of the attack landing, there’s a single word of dialogue on the page. It’s all you need in this case to leave my jaw on the floor. Letterer Cory Petit captured this perfectly.
Colorist David Curiel controls the tone of each page as we go through phases of the battle. At first things are bright and vibrant as the energy blasts fire in every direction with bursts of blues and yellows. This coincides with a feeling of hope and excitement as the Church is knocked against the ropes. That starts to turn and the colors get darker. Shadows loom with the eerie purple glow of the mind-controlled masses piercing through the darkness.
This is seemingly the penultimate issue of this iteration of Guardians of the Galaxy with the series relaunching with a new #1 in January. I’m torn about this because on the one hand I’m excited for what’s coming next, but on the other, I would love for this version to go on forever. Writer Donny Cates has introduced a bunch of cool ideas, not to mention bringing together one of the oddest assortments of characters this side of the Marvel Universe. The non-stop action is made all the more impactful by the amount of heart poured into each and every page. The last issue is teased as the culmination of the story begun in Thanos Wins some time ago and I can’t wait to see how all this plays out.