Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Paul Pelletier
Guardians of the Galaxy has been a great read since its conception several months ago, but it's never really had that one defining issue yet to set the tone for the book. That all changes with this issue as Abnett and Lanning have delivered what I'd consider the best issue in the series.
The oddest thing about this issue is that I can't really pin-point what exactly makes it so much better than the previous issues. It has the same action packed story, lots of great one-liners from the varied cast of characters, several plotlines being progressed and even hints at future storylines that every other issue in the series had, but it just flowed so much better than previous issues and hit all the right notes for me and has me genuinely excited about the series for the first time since it launched.
So, what happened this month to have me speaking so highly of this issue of Guardians? One thing might be the way DnA perfectly weaved in and out of several different plot threads throughout the issue. Whether it was the future view of the Badoon ruled Earth or the hints at the upcoming War of Kings storyline or even the jumping back and forth between the various former members of the Guardians and the current makeshift team put together by Rocket Raccoon, this issue just flowed perfectly.
Another thing I really enjoyed was the return to action of several Guardian members, including Bug, who was left off the team when the book launched for some reason, Mantis, who had been confined to inactive duty for no apparent reason, and Groot, who'd been busy regrowing in a pot since the end of Annihilation: Conquest. Seeing everyone back in action again was a nice change of pace and these characters added some much needed dynamics to the book.
Speaking of Annihilation, this issue reminded me very much of the initial Annihilation event and its prologue issue with how it set up the Badoon threat, followed the various character subplots and ended with a compelling cliffhanger which sets up events for future issues.
In regards to the Badoon, in the future segment of this issue, it showed the future Guardian team fighting back against the Badoon, who had conquered Earth and most of the universe. The rest of the issue focused mainly on the current make shift Guardian team fighting against an unknown enemy, which turns out to be the Badoon initiating the very plans that lead to that future domination.
To me, this was a brilliant time to reintroduce the Badoon as I had been wondering where this alien race was during all these major cosmic events, which makes up one of the bigger empires in the universe, up there with the Shi'ar, Kree and Skrulls, and it looks like DnA haven't forgotten about them either. After the events of Annihilation, Conquest and the Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire, it looks like the Badoon are finally going to be making a move and I wonder if they will play into War of Kings, which was hinted at during the Drax segment of this issue, or if it will be confined to the GotG title.
As for what was going on with everyone else in the issue, Drax and Quasar went looking for Cammy, who was seemingly forgotten about after the first Annihilation, and a fortune teller hints at both the War of Kings event and the possibility of Moondragon still being alive. Meanwhile, Gamora and Warlock are busy hunting down the Church of Universal Truth and Warlock professes to wanting to take over the organization, which leads me to believe we may be seeing the possible return of Magus. Finally, Starlord ends up in the Negative Zone at the feet of Blastaar, who may end up being another player in the upcoming War of Kings based on what I'm seeing here.
Verdict - Must Read. All-in-all, this is a picture perfect comic where everything flowed together perfectly to form one great read from start to finish.