In the wake of Planet-Size X-Men and SWORD #6, the X-Men have made a play which changes the entire Marvel Universe. Guardians of the Galaxy #15 shows that even with those bold new changes, the universe may have much more to deal with than a new government on Mars.
This issue acts as a few different things, including a prelude and an epilogue. One of the scarier purposes of the issue, though, is to set up the upcoming “Last Annihilation” crossover, and as the last page shows, this is a big one. It comes from Al Ewing, Juan Frigeri, Federico Blee and Cory Petit.
Ego the Living Planet has transformed into a giant egg and the entire Galactic Rim is watching, meaning the Guardians are keepring their eyes peeled on the situation. Other threats are hanging over the cosmos, however, and other matters need their attention — including the birth of a new capitol world in the Sol System. But none of those things will matter when the egg hatches …
After reading this issue’s preview, I did not expect this kind of story and I’m glad for it. First of all, Ewing uses the opening and closing pages to build up tension in a very subtle way, so much so that you don’t even quite realize it until the last page hits and you realize you’ve been kind of holding it in. In between those pages, we get one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable conversations I’ve read in a long time as Nova finds common ground with Magneto. Some superhero books have mid-issue fights that just feel like “we gotta get in a quota of punching,” but Ewing makes this one count, and shows the characters learning from it afterwards.
After a couple strong issues, Frigeri really steps up in this issue. There is a lot going on here, and he renders it all extremely well. Space action is hard to depict in comics, yet he conveys a great sense of motion with the various ships, and he switches up layouts and the point of view to keep the reader engaged. His depiction of the characters is able to convey their moods and emotions, even in the middle of a knock-down, drag out fight. The Magneto/Nova fight takes up most of the book, but it’s just as engaging from the art side as it was the writing.
Blee opts for slightly brighter colors throughout the issue, and while it doesn’t quite fit with its sister book from this week, it still looks great. Petit puts in even stronger than normal work on the letters, making the shift between different alien dialects and accents obvious without being distracting.
Add all these components with the extremely surprising last page reveal, and it comes together as a killer book. This continues to be one of the more engaging stories in the Marvel line, and I don’t think enough people are talking about it.
Guardians of the Galaxy #15 is available now from Marvel Comics.
This issue sets up The Last Annihilation and acts as an epilogue to the events of the Hellfire Gala. However it stands alone, as Ewing takes the time to do some great character progression complimented with exciting action. The art gets better by the issue too, truly making this a series to watch.