Guardians of the Galaxy #9Written by: Dan Abnett and Andy LanningPencilers: Brad Walker and Carlos MagnoColorists: Wil Quintana and Bruno HangCover Artist: Clint Langley Warning: Contains Spoilers
This issue begins with Joe Quesada – oops….uh….. I mean Jack Flag, a prisoner in Earth’s Negative Zone “42” Prison, making several remarks about how he “hates” cosmic stuff, doesn’t understand cosmic stuff, doesn’t “get” cosmic stuff, etc. This little “insider joke” at JQ’s expense is sprinkled throughout the first part of the issue as a way of poking fun at JQ and all others who draw what I would call an artificial distinction between cosmically themed superheroic comics and all other superheroic comics – suggesting that somehow cosmic stories/characters are harder to comprehend or are less plausible than Earth-based stories/characters. I personally don’t see the logic in that way of thinking; but I’ll mercifully save that rant for an op-ed piece to be written later.After Jack’s introduction of Blastaar’s siege of 42; Star-Lord gains entrance into the prison and gains Jack’s confidence, convincing Jack to help him summon The Guardians of the Galaxy to come to 42’s rescue. Next, we jump to Drax and Phyla’s quest to find Moondragon. We find Drax and Phyla on Titan, deep in conversation with the ruler of the Titanian Eternals, Mentor. Mentor, it seems, has his own ideas about how to find Moondragon and has a rather unique and surprising method of sending Drax and Phyla off on their mission. Finally, the issue wraps up back at Knowhere where the rest of the team manages to figure out that Star-Lord is in the Negative Zone and they teleport off to rescue him.Quite simply, GOTG is the best cosmic comic on the market today. DnA consistently deliver a brisk, fun, roller-coaster ride of hard SF adventure each month. The large cast of characters is ably managed with each showing growth and change as the complex and multi-layered GOTG story arc unfolds. At first I thought it a mistake to incorporate Major Victory and Starhawk into the storyline; but now I’m enjoying their contribution. Groot and Rocket Raccoon continue to be the breakaway stars of this comic – adding a consistent, satisfying blend of humor and superheroic action to each issue. I am hoping that both Drax and Phyla will come away from their part of this adventure significantly changed – with Drax hopefully regaining his flight and energy projection powers; and Phyla deciding to give the Quantum Bands back to Wendell and move back to Titan to play house with Moondragon.Turning to art, Langley’s cover is a solid, compelling action piece of Star-Lord in a fire fight. In terms of interior art, it looks like Walker penciled the first half of this issue and Magno penciled the last half. There is a clear difference between the art in the first half and that in the last half. Walker’s art is good, solid work. Magno’s art is weak in this issue. I was particularly disappointed with Magno’s renderings of Cosmo and Rocket Raccoon. Frankly, I’ve seen better art in newspaper comic sections. The coloring was well done throughout the issue.I know that comics are expensive; but believe me when I say to you that GOTG is well worth your hard earned money. Pick up a copy. You’ll be glad you did.