Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Guardians of the Galaxy #11 Review

Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Wesley Craig

Ugh, there were so many things wrong with this issue, I don't know where to begin.

The most obvious place to start has to be the ridiculous amount of exposition. There are literally panels where the main characters of this issue, Drax and Quasar, are barely visible between the gaps of the seven or eight speech bubbles.

This wouldn't be so bad if the topic at hand was actually relevant to the readers, but I've never seen so much said about nothing before. We've got Drax spending a page or two on some existential nonsense about the concepts of Death and Limbo that immediately gets thrown out the window when they introduce the villain of the piece, Maelstrom, who explains the place our heroes ended up has nothing to do with any of that.

From there, it just goes downhill as we have to spend page after page, each littered with speech bubbles, basically recapping who the hell Maelstrom is and the history he has with Drax, all of which seems irrelevant to the actual story and could have been glossed over in favour of some more interesting dialogue.

After the exposition overload, the next biggest fualt in this issue comes in the form of the teased return of Captain Marvel, who is a mere ghost or apparition, preying on Phyla's fragile pysche. Included in this cheesy fake out was Genis-Vel and Annihilus, who isn't even dead after being reborn at the end of Annihilation. Where many (myself included) had hoped Genis might actually make a return to the Marvel Universe here, we were simply toyed with in a cheap one or two panel throw away scene.

Next up was the artwork from Wes Craig. While the characters look fine, he threw in several pages where the focus is zoomed way out, leaving non-descript blobs on the pages, which were then filled with a mountain of text boxes. If there were character actually drawn, then Craig simply threw them on a washed out background completely devoid of any details other than the occasional rock or hole in the ground or just a giant cloud of mysterious dust. I just feel ripped off when the artist can't take the time to draw a proper background.

Finally, the story, or lackthereof, consists of Drax and Phyla walking through this dreary limbo-like environment, meeting up with Maelstrom, having a small fight and then being escorted to the sleeping Moondragon, who's revealed to be possessed by the Dragon of the Moon entity. If you cut out the needless fight sequence and mountains of Wikipedia-like word balloons, this issue consists of maybe 2-3 pages of actual worthwhile story and we actually have to come back next month for the conclusion to it.

Verdict - Avoid It. Maybe Abnett and Lanning are stretched too thin with the War of Kings event and other books they write. It simply felt like they phoned in this story and stretched it out so they'd be able to focus on their other books for the next couple months. First Guardians of the Galaxy I've actually been disappointed with having purchased.

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