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Everything's Out of Wack

January 8, 2010

     After greatly enjoying their work on Annihilation: Conquest and War of Kings, I decided that I would pick up the more popular of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s two cosmic titles: Guardians of the Galaxy.  I’m still missing a few issues, but I’ve picked up what I missed.  Starting from the end of what is covered by the paperback War of Kings Book II, the team gets tossed to another alternate reality with another alternate Guardians of the Galaxy in the future.  They escape that and a bunch of other alternate realities to ultimately arrive in a timeline where Adam Warlock has become the Magus.  Here, they are rescued by Kang, who is aided by all the Starhawks from across the timelines.  He takes them back to just after Adam Warlock prevents the Fault from getting any bigger in hopes of stopping him from becoming the Magus.  However, he actually overlapped timelines to fix the Fault, meaning that he’s already the Magus.  He goes on to kill Martyr, Gamora, Mantis, Cosmo, and Major Victory before Star-Lord uses the Cosmic Cube to weaken him and kill him.  Moondragon is greatly distraught by Martyr’s death, and it affects her performance as the team’s sole telepath.  She also starts seeing visions of a cocoon that looks like Warlock’s cocoon.  The Guardians of the Galaxy naturally investigate the Fault themselves, only to get attacked by some mysterious creature.  Cynosure of the Luminals insists on sending a team into the Fault, but one of them gets infected by some powerful parasite that the Church of Universal Truth thinks is their god.  Moondragon absorbs the creature to control it, but the leaders of the church kidnap her and Cynosure, who brilliantly cuffed herself to Moondragon.

     Definite props to Abnett and Lanning for using a version of the Guardians of the Galaxy that includes Killraven (Jim Valentino had planned for him to join the team in his later years) and for using Kang the Conqueror, who is one of my favorite Marvel Universe villains.  Leave it to the best writing team in comic books to be able to pull all that stuff off while continuing all the superb plotlines they started on at the beginning of the series.  I’m really sad that all those characters were killed, but something tells me that they’ll be back, one way or another.  Abnett and Lanning have spent too much time on them to just kill all of them.  And I trust them the same way I trust Ed Brubaker, since they really can do no wrong.  All these stories are full of superb characterization and intriguing moments, especially with Jack Flag being involved with saving the universe.  What’s up with that?  He’s a rather random choice as an addition to the team, but of course, it’s Abnett and Lanning.  Wesley Craig’s art is a bit too cartoony and random for my tastes, especially considering that the original artist for the title was Paul Pelletier.  Brad Walker’s more realistic art is definitely more suitable for this book, despite his strange tendency to make Drax the Destroyer’s upper lip look ridiculous.  However, this is definitely a book I should have picked up earlier.  It’s featuring a portion of the Marvel Universe that hadn’t gotten much love before Annihilation, but with these two writers at the helm, it’s just part of a superb tale that is among the best Marvel puts out.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 8.5      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 9.0

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