Brian Bendis and Sara Pichelli...with Neil Gaiman...with Olivier Coipel on six pages of the art. It’s like someone combined a Reese’s cup with a s’more, it’s all these different, but great, elements coming together perfectly. Guardians of the Galaxy has, oddly enough, been a title that has stood somewhat apart from the Infinity event. This may be due to its status as a monthly, rather than biweekly, ongoing title, or may be because it’s doing it’s own thing. Regardless, even it isn’t immune as we see Peter Quill confronting Thanos on what, exactly, he’s up to, but unfortunately the Mad Titan is making a strange kind of sense. Meanwhile it’s taking the entire rest of the Guardians to take down the strange interloper who emerged from a gash in reality following Age of Ultron. Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the galaxy, is seemingly halted by the woman’s skills, Groot is rendered moot, Rocket Raccoon can’t catch a break, Tony’s liable to shoot himself in an unfamiliar suit of armor and it isn’t until Drax shows up that things become even manageable. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a cosmic event without the watcher watching and pontificating.
Sara Pichelli handles most of the linework, with Justin Ponsor on colors, but Olivier Coipel jumps in for six pages with Mark Morales on inks and Ive Svorcina on colors near the beginning. I can’t say that it’s a seamless transition back and forth, but that’s because both artists have incredibly distinct styles, particularly when it comes to how they draw human faces, so there was almost no way that it was going to sneak by unnoticed. Fortunately, these are some of the best artists in the biz, so there are no complaints on my end. They both strike the same tone as well, cartoonish without sacrificing seriousness or being too over-the-top. Pichelli, in particular, has the unenviable task of drawing a melee battle on the moon and she manages to absolutely knock it out of the park. The sense of lessened gravity is subtle, but definitely there, and the myriad combatants are fluid when they need to be and absolutely crushing when it counts.
Angela’s outfit is...certainly eye-catching. “Distracting” might be a better word. This wouldn’t bear mentioning if it weren’t for the fact that they recently redesigned Gamora to have a less absurd costume, making this go against the tone of the book even more. A very specific, dramatic, moment in this book becomes almost comical because of Angela’s costume. The characters in the book even mention how odd it is.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Uatu’s contention, and continued dramatic intonations, that he’s sworn to never interfere. The man interferes with things he shouldn’t more than a paid-off referee, but every time he shows back up, he talks about how he has to ignore the worst atrocities and never help anyone. It comes off as a bit disingenuous.
Those complaints are about as fanboyish as I get (does the fact that I’m AWARE of it negate some of it??), so I can still very safely say that this book is worth the wait every month. I’m absolutely enraptured by how they’re going to answer the question of exactly who Angela is and where she comes from. Many of the characters comment on how familiar she seems and I can’t tell if that’s a tongue-in-cheek reference, or if it will actually amount to anything, but either way I can’t wait to find out. Some of the best creators in the industry are on this book, so if you’ve ever been unsure of a cosmic superhero book, this is one to convert to.