While the Guardians’ impact on Infinity may not have been the strongest, it was an interesting shift for the team and a good chance to get to know newcomer Angela a little better. Now that the team is back to their own devices, we get an issue focusing on her and Gamora as they track down a badoon slave trading ship to try and ferret out more information about Thanos’ wearabouts. They also engage in some absolutely top-notch banter as they help liberate the downtrodden and even get a lead that they didn’t expect. Quill comments that the two ladies had an Earth equivalent of a spa, but it’s cool to actually see two female heroes have a full-on girl’s night that doesn’t involve shopping or getting their nails did. The dialog between the two is fantastic and even serves to differentiate their admittedly similar personalities.
Kevin Maguire tackles the art with Justin Ponsor on colors. They do an absolutely amazing job rendering the two ferocious women in all their brutal, cosmic glory. Gamora’s been one of my favorite characters since her reintroduction in Annihilation and I’ve loved seeing the ways she’s developed in terms of her style (the fact that her armor bears more than a passing resemblance to N7 armor is, I assure you, purely a coincidence). While I may still not be 100% on-board with how Angela looks, Ponsor does a great job showing her graceful, lethal style of combat that starkly contrats with Gamora’s straightforward violence. The issue is focused on giving these characters both a unique voice and a unique style and, between the writing and the art, it absolutely succeeds. The colors are rich and full as well, gorgeously showcasing the vastness of the Marvel U and horrors that the badoon have wreaked.
There’s very little to dislike about this issue. The fact that it doesn’t do much to advance the plot, or even introduce any new threads, is fine considering what the Guardians just went through and it’s good to take a breather and get to know the newest addition to the roster. If anything, it’s over TOO quickly with the two battles winding up feeling clipped and abbreviated where they could have been stretched to allow more breathing room.
Guardians of the Galaxy is back on course to be one of the most entertaining books in Marvel’s roster and one of the best ways to mix your sci-fi wants with a hearty dose of superhero action. What it lacks in the heady, huge-concept ideas department it more than makes up for in the sheer fun department. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously, and in a book with a sentient space raccoon and walking tree (I swear I don’t MEAN to bring them up every review in this context), that is most assuredly for the best. This book is a pure delight.