By Brian Michael Bendis, Neil Gaiman, Sara Pichelli, Justin Ponsor, Olivier Coipel, Ive Svorcina.
If the quality of a comic book would be measured in terms of how far a story progresses in each issue, there would be a serious problem with the script of the latest issue of Guardians of the Galaxy. The plot line barely inches forward, and the gravity of Angela’s appearance in the Marvel Universe leaves me feeling apathetic as the issue dances around the significance of her entrance.
The script for this issue is rather lackadaisical. The bulk of the issue focuses on the Guardians having their asses handed to them by Angela, with very little dialogue surrounding her purpose. Guardians of the Galaxy in an interesting position because the book is still taking place outside of the Infinity timeline. We are experiencing a pre-Infinity Thanos, as well as still learning about the fallout from Age of Ultron and the breaking of the time stream. Thanos’ speech about how Earth has really screwed up this time feels passionless and is almost redundant in its use, except for the fact that he could be giving reason as to why the Builders are after our precious world. The story in this issue focuses more on the physical struggles of the Guardians, as opposed to the larger issues that have been introduced in the arc already.
The art in this issue was fantastic. Sara Pichelli is joined by Olivier Coipel, and together they create some masterful panels and fight sequences. Coipel was behind the meeting between Peter Quill and Thanos and he does a great job of conveying the gravity behind their meeting. His attention to detail and emotion really makes the characters come to life on the page. Pichelli, handling the action sequences and the battle between Angela and the Guardians, has a talent for adding vitality and excitement to a battle scene. Her motions are fluid and life-like, giving motion to the characters perfectly.
While the script was lacking in this issue, the artwork from Pichelli and Coipel really did make up for what was missing. Hopefully we’ll start to learn about Angela and what her presence means in the Marvel Universe next issue.