Even in death, Thanos has proved himself as one of the most dangerous villains the Marvel Universe has ever seen. The cosmic heroes met to discuss the Mad Titan’s last will and testament before being attacked by the Black Order. Now a new Guardians of the Galaxy has formed to combat the threat of a possibly resurrected Thanos, but they’re too busy fighting each other to get anything done. Meanwhile, another group of heroes has come together and they’re willing to go to any lengths if it means putting Thanos down once and for all, even if that means killing one of their own.
Thanos’ plan is absolutely diabolical. I have to wonder if it’s even true. He claims that he’s uploaded his consciousness into another body. That means that somewhere out there, someone is walking around with Thanos’ spirit inside them. All signs point to Gamora as the most likely suspect and after her recent tenure as Requiem during Infinity Wars, there aren’t many people that doubt it.
Of course, Peter Quill isn’t ready to go on the hunt for his friend and former teammate. He’s not ready for much of anything to be honest. Star-Lord is still reeling from his death and rebirth at the hands of Gamora in Infinity Wars. He is a broken man. This isn’t something that he can just shrug off. This is deep seeded trauma and he’s trying to ignore it.
This presents such an interesting dynamic. Quill wasn’t a great leader to begin with, but now he’s the only glue holding these disparate egos together. These new Guardians are going to break up before they can go on a single mission. You can see the weight of all this pulling Quill down. Artist Geoff Shaw gives him a rundown look. He’s clearly been through a lot and it’s affecting him, even if he doesn’t want to talk about it.
The thing about this is that despite all of this trauma and heartbreak, he’s trying so hard to hold it all together. The cracks are starting to form and the other folks on his new ship aren’t helping. Guardians of the Galaxy #2 gives me the fight I didn’t know I wanted in Groot vs. Cosmic Ghost Rider. These two have such conflicting personalities so they’re super fun to watch.
I’m not entirely sold on Groot speaking somewhat normally, but it works in this case, especially since he’s sporting a punk rock look with a mohawk. This issue has a bunch of tiny Groots popping up from his splinters calling themselves Stab. It’s the fun of baby Groot with the awesome power of adult Groot.
Shaw brings out a lot of emotion in his facial expressions, even on a character like Groot. These are the outcasts. They don’t fit in anywhere else so they’re all together here. You can see the tension, but if they can just figure each other out, they would be unstoppable.
Colorist Marte Gracia casts a somber tone over Guardians of the Galaxy #2. We’re out in the farthest reaches of space and there’s no natural light coming in. This allows shadows to creep up everywhere, casting ominous shade on the characters, particularly the rival team that’s formed elsewhere in the cosmos.
I used to think you couldn’t control pacing in comics as you don’t know how fast or slow someone is reading the book. Comics like this prove me wrong as there are ways to hold on a beat for some extra time to let things sink in. There’s a great example of this in an exchange between Star-Lord and Cosmic Ghost Rider where the latter explains his origin and the former has to comprehend the sheer lunacy of it. Letterer Cory Petit fills this in with a small word balloon with an ellipses that is the comic book equivalent of Jim Halpert looking into the camera and smirking on The Office.
This new Guardians of the Galaxy could break apart before it even gets started. They don’t have a set goal right now as some of them want to save Gamora and others want to kill her. Star-Lord is in the middle and he’s not leaning one way or the other. Writer Donny Cates has pulled together what is probably the most dysfunctional family in the Marvel Universe and they are fascinating to read.