Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artist: Brad Walker
Colorist: Wil Quintana
Cover Artist: Alex Garner
Warning: Contains Spoilers
Awesome. Amazingly, jaw-droppingly awesome. I felt as though I had just finished reading a chapter from a dramatic, exciting, well-constructed novel.
Issue #20 is both an aftermath story for the previous arc and a prologue for the next arc. Transitional issues of a series are often times among the weaker stories in a series; but in the highly talented hands of writers Abnett and Lanning, Issue #20 is one of the dramatically strongest of the series thus far.
We are treated to an issue filled with a blend of action-adventure, plot advancement, and a unique form of character development through the eyes of the newest telepath addition to the team, Moondragon. Moondragon “gets in the heads” of several of the characters to explore their motivations and their struggle to cope with the deaths of so many teammates last issue. There are some particularly somber and touching scenes featuring Starlord and Rocket where their pain is evident both in their words and their faces.
Speaking of Moondragon, I have to say that I was a bit concerned with her addition to the team at first. I’ve never really liked that character. To me, she always sucks all the air out of any storyline where she appears. Not so this time out. I was pleasantly surprised all the way around. She really worked in this storyline both as an individual and as part of the team. In fact, this storyline wouldn’t have worked as well as it did without her and her private struggle to cope with the loss of Phyla.
The tenuous political standing of the Guardians on Knowhere station is also explored a bit more; with fan favorites, The Luminals, guest starring as foils to Starlord’s plans. It is during this sequence that we get another tantalizing clue as to who is in the cocoon being held by the Universal Church of Truth.
My personal favorite visual scene takes place in Starlin’s bar. Rocket on a booster seat and Groot with a giant-sized umbrella drink being absorbed through his roots will hold a special place in my visual memory for a long time.
Speaking of visuals, let me rave about the art. First off, Garner’s cover art was well-constructed, eye catching, and intriguing. It almost looked like a poster for a SF horror film. It would tempt me to buy this book when it caught my eye on the shelf; and that’s the yardstick I always use to judge a cover.
Walker’s interior art was magnificent. I was excited to have him back on this book and he did not even come close to disappointing. Every page was eye candy. Walker brings back the intricacy, depth, and all around eye pleasing beauty of the characters and the settings that has been missing for the last several issues. He even made me see Moondragon’s beauty for the first time as normally she does nothing for me. I was struck by his ability to capture the emotions of the characters in their postures and facial expressions. He also perfectly captured the weird and wonderful environment of the fault and its denizens. I hope Walker stays on this book forever. To round out the visual extravaganza, Quintana perfectly captures the mood of each scene with his coloring and shading. Comics art and coloring don’t get much better than this.
If you’re not buying this book, you’re missing out on one of the best comics being published by any publisher bar none. It is truly head and shoulders above most of the stuff that makes it to the shelves – including the best sellers. The dynamic writing duo of DnA paired with the incredible artistic talent of Brad Walker make this book a top quality must read every month. I know it sounds fan-boyish, but I’ll admit that I generally read it for the first time in my car on the parking lot of my local comics shop because I can’t wait until I get home to see what DnA and Walker have created. Seriously, if you ignore everything else I say, take my word on this one. Buy Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, buy two copies and put one in the hands of a friend who is not currently reading the book. It will leave both of you happy; and you’ll make a friend for life.
Article by: Bill Meneese