Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 Review

Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Wes Craig

Similar to how Incredible Hercules is alternating between Amadeus Cho and Hercules, Guardians of the Galaxy is alternating between the present day team of Rocket Raccoon's team, who just saw Adam Warlock turn into Magus last month, and Starlord's team, which is stuck in the future.  This issue deals with Starlord's team in the future.  I wanted to know more about Adam Warlock's transformation into Magus at the end of last issue.  I are disappointed.  Yes, so disappointed grammar goes out the window.

While, yes, I am disappointed with the lack of follow-up on Magus, that doesn't mean this is a bad issue.  In fact, it's still a very good issue and Guardians continues to prove it's one of Marvel's best books.  However, it's difficult, at times, to not get frustrated when a team is splintered and the comic takes an alternating schedule following each team's adventures.  This is doubly frustrating when you really want to find out about something that happened with one team and is a similar feeling of frustation I have with the Cho/Hercules dynamic.  I want more Hercules, they give me Cho.  It's still good, but I would prefer they weave each story together, giving each character equal billing in the book each month.  Same goes for the two teams of Guardians.

Again, this issue isn't bad.  It was great even.  There's some wacky time paradoxes and other glossed over details we don't really need to know as to why Peter's team is being thrown through time (they're basically anomolies and the universe is trying to 'correct' them) and space, landing them in alternate realities in addition to altering their appearances.  For one, Starlord is old as dirt now.  Mantis and Cosmo have both reverted to younger versions, Mantis being a baby and Cosmo a pup.  Bug is a teenager and Flagg is curiously the same, Starhawk describing him as a 'chosen one' and of great importance, but unable to tell him more without doing damage to the timestream.  This basically causes him to phase in and out of reality.

The reality jumping leads the team into contact with other versions of the future Guardians of the Galaxy, futures with Magus in charge and so on, but most are quickly glossed over in favour of moving the story along.  It's a fun story, made doubly so by the change in ages of characters (Cosmo acts like a puppy, both in intelligence and enthusiasm for one example), and just a cosmic, time travelling romp that doesn't get bogged down by the little details that plague so many other time travel/reality hopping stories. 

However, with that light hearted nature and lack of real focus comes the stark realization that nothing happens this issue.  Literally, nothing happens.  We're right back where we started the issue.  The team is no closer to getting home than when we started, the people we met in this issue are written out of the story and forgotten and there's no indication of connecting back to the present outside of the Church of Universal Truth worshipping some Magus statues at the end of this issue.  In theory, they'll just jump out of that reality before we learn anything new and the cycle will continue ad nauseum.

Verdict - Check It. While I liked this issue, I'm not willing to give it a very high verdict for the simple reason reason that it felt like filler.  Enjoyable filler, but filler nonetheless.  Give us some plot progression with these fun character moments and we can talk next month. 

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