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Guardians of the Galaxy #9 Review

5

The Guardians must assist Agent Brand as she struggles to hold off Thanos’ forces and reclaim control of the orbital platform The Peak.

The Good

Bendis continues Marvel’s grand, new tradition of making the cosmos a more approachable, personable place to read about by having one of the biggest misfit teams since The Champions continue to move from mission to mission by the skin of their teeth, fangs and bark. Peter Quill and Rocket Raccoon are helping Abigail Brand retake her orbital station from Thanos’ forces, as well as lowering the barrier that will allow the Avengers to return to Earth, while Drax, Groot and Angela hold his forces from the outside. Meanwhile, Gamora finally makes a decision regarding both her allegiance and her goals and it’s great to see. Besides Gamora, there’s not a lot of character DEVELOPMENT, but there’s a lot of great cementing of character, especially Quill grappling with his survivor’s remorse while trying to remain his expectedly upbeat self. Also a space racoon (don’t call him a racoon, seriously) has a giant gun. I still don’t get why people don’t think this is the greatest idea of all time.

Francesco Francavilla returns to one of the most unlikely titles in his career. His visuals have a very staid and controlled look, one that you wouldn’t immediately associate with a grand, galactic conflict. But both he and Bendis are masters of their craft and we get entire pages of total silence, allowing the action to move with a graceful, flowing pace that, when it works, looks absolutely amazing. The fact that he handles all of the artistic duties (besides lettering) is a testament both to his efficiency and talent.

The Bad

I used the qualifier “when it works” above for a reason, there are a few panels where characters look stiff or posed and one or two others where their faces look a little awkward. These are also in the minority for sure. My biggest issue came from the fact that this didn’t come out before Infinity #6, which left a lot of the action and suspense a little hollow. Sure, there was who would make it and who wouldn’t, but we knew without a shadow of a doubt that the entire enterprise would succeed.

The Verdict

I’m a huge fan of this title’s more grounded, character-driven tone. It’s been struck from the beginning, but I feel like Francavilla’s visuals do it so well, and Bendis’ ability to write to those strengths can’t be understated. The characters all have distinct personalities, and I so far love what’s been going on with Angela, so I’m anxious to see what we get now that Infinity has ended and the Guardians can go off on their own again. But in the meantime, this is a great addition to the already fantastic pantheon of Infinity tie-ins that still work on their own.