Sunday, July 13, 2008

Guardians of the Galaxy #3 review

Beyond Belief

Picking up where the last issue left off, the Guardians face off against a group from the Universale Church of Truth while attempting to look for survivors in a dyson sphere and shut down a fissure anomaly. They discover that the fissue was subatomic, fusing the inhabitants of the dyson sphere into a giant mass which proceeds to attack both groups. Back on Knowhere, Mantis and Major Victory are set upon by...Starhawk! Major Victory and Starhawk battle it out through Knowhere, the Guardians are still caught between this giant fissure monster and the Cardinals of the UCT. Warlock is gravely injured after Starlord is beaten down. Apparently, the Cardinals are there only to retrieve a blood sample from Warlock, which they do after putting a knife in his back. Back on Knowhere, Major Victory and Starhawk finish their fight after trashing the teleportation systems and Starhawk disappears. This is problematic, since the new plan the Guardians develop for destroying the fissure creature is to retract the dome of the colony inside the dyson sphere, fry the thing, and then teleport out before getting cooked themselves. Well, the creature is destroyed, but they get trapped. Ultimately, Gamora, having an enhanced healing factor, saves the group by rushing out to close the dome getting severely burned in the process. The issue ends with a slight mystery as the blood sample the UCT took confirmed that Warlock is Warlock leaving them to wonder who it is in the cocoon in their possession.

I can go on and on and on about how much I'm loving this title right now. Three issues in and three issues knocked right out of the park. The Starhawk thing kicked ass, Gamora saving the Guardians kicked ass, the powers displayed by the Cardinals of the UCT kicked yes, it kicks ass.

But there was one plot point that gets brushed over entirely showing, I think, the limits of the narrative. When Warlock is stabbed in the back, it's a brutal attack. Dude looks down for the count and you can't help think maybe this issue might have some surprise death. Unfortunately, it's gloseed over. Oh yeah, he's bleeding to death, but through the narrative device, these little mission debriefs, we're told that he's perfectly fine. And of course he is, we'd already seen him in one prior to the attack. That really deflates the suspense. I remember Pete LaPage on the Stack saying that was his problem with the series. While I still disagree, I think they're perfectly fine, but this was a perfect example of what Pete was trying to point out if Abnett and Lanning aren't careful this device could really undo the whole book.

Minor quibble aside, Abnett and Lanning really did a fantastic job of earning their salary. Paul Pelletier continues putting out greatly underappreciated artwork. Always gotta give love to the guys who go for smooth action and pacing. The flashy artists are too flash, the experimentalists and alternative artists are too iffy, but the guys who make it easy on the eyes are alright by me.

As a final aside, I wonder how hard it would be to convince Marvel to release a Mantis & Groot one-shot?

Pick it up!


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