Friday, February 6, 2009

Rayboy's Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #9 (Marvel Comics)

I have two other purchases this week to review and neither of them are a Marvel Comics property, so lets go ahead and get this one out of the way.

War of Kings continues in Guardians of the Galaxy #9 with "Prison Break". Star-Lord has been compelled by Blastaar to approach the super-powered inmates who’ve been abandoned in the Initiative Prison 42 (introduced in the crossover series, Civil War) and proffer a surrender order, "42" is under siege by Blastaar’s forces, and only the incarcerated villains remain to defend the place (the warden & staff having already fled back through the portal to Earth; which is exactly what Blastaar wants to do).

The current Guardians line-up of Rocket Raccoon, Mantis, Bug, Major Victory and Groot eventually receive a psychic summons from Star-Lord to pop on over to the N-Zone and help curtail Blastaar’s pending invasion, but in the meantime we also get to check in with a couple of former Guardians who had previously walked away from the group upon finding out that they had been mentally manipulated into joining by Mantis (at the behest of Star-Lord). Drax and Quasar are tracking down leads that indicate that former Avenger, Moondragon, may still be alive. They too encounter something unexpected on their mission, this time at the hands; or rather mind, of an old ally.

Like last month, the fill-in art duties by Brad Walker & Victor Olazaba are acceptable, but little else and there are a few fill-in pages by Carlos Magno & Jack Purcell, that really make me long for the return of original series penciller Paul Pelletier (currently off drawing the War of Kings mini-series). Whoever approved hiring this pair really ought to be demoted back to the steno pool. HEY, MARVEL! Tom Grummett on this book would be sweet. [Hint.]

As a series, Guardians started off strong, but consider the series stated premise from their regular monthly splash narration:

"In the wake of two catastrophic annihilation events, the universe is in a fragile and weakened state. With the fabric of space itself damaged, anomalous fissures are beginning to appear, fissures that could crack and spread, collapsing reality and letting in things that should not exist in our dimension.

Guided by the mystical insight of the newly returned Adam Warlock, the gun-slinging Star-Lord has forged a proactive team of proven cosmic champions ready to protect the vulnerable universe and prevent any large-scale disasters from ever happening again. Together, Star-Lord, Warlock, Quasar, Gamora, Drax, Mantis and Rocket Raccoon are the Guardians of the Galaxy."

I would say that writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have gotten away from their original intention, primarily due to company-mandated participation in endless crossover events like Secret Invasion, and now, War of Kings. They are good writers and Guardians is a good series, but it would be nice if the cosmic nature of the book dictated that the Guardians remain safely tucked away in space, as far removed from the auspices of as much of the Marvel Universe as is possible. And. It would be nice to see Star-Lord get his powers back.

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