By Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli, Valerico Schiti, & Justin Ponsor, with Neil Gaiman as consultant
The Guardians are back from their battle with Angela and it’s finally time to start getting some answers to the myriad of questions Bendis has raised in this space opera. With the focus of this issue mainly on Angela, we begin to see the significance of her arrival in the Marvel Universe and how it could tie the ending to Age of Ultron to the events of Infinity.
Bendis does a good job of creating Angela’s origin story. The entire issue basically plays out as an interrogation of this new character, so it fits well within the continuity of the series. It also gives the Guardians the chance to learn more about what is going on with the time stream. Angela and Peter Quill are linked through their perception of the break in time, and the gravity of Angela’s appearance is becoming clearer. Bendis is handling this team of ragtag heroes fairly well. Some of the characters are still pretty one dimensional, however, namely Drax and Gamora. They’re lucky if they get two bits of dialogue in during an entire issue. I’m pretty sure that Groot had more dialogue than Drax and Gamora combined in this issue, and he can only say three words.
Bendis is trying to establish these people as a team by putting in the sarcasm and one liners that the characters have almost become known for. While this seems as a cop-out from establishing real connections between the characters, it has been working within the confines of the series. One of the funnier moments was how Bendis not-so-subtly addressed the fact that the entire team was trigger happy and bent on destroying the newcomer, even though Angela wasn’t technically a threat until they attacked her.
Sara Pichelli delivers great art to this title once again. She has a talent for drawing emotions and creating a fluid picture on the page. Pichelli has a great attention to detail and is able to establish the scene in reality. Rocket Raccoon, however, still looks like a cartoon cat that you would see chasing a mouse around a kitchen on an endless loop (e.g., Tom and Jerry). Valerico Schiti joins Pichelli to draw the scenes that take place in Heven as Angela narrates about how she got to the Marvel Universe. Schiti’s style is much more animated than Pichelli’s. The lines and colors really float off of the page where Pichelli’s work sits and grounds the story. While normally this would be distracting, the contrast in styles helps to tell Angela’s story, as Schiti’s artwork draws us into an entirely different dimension.
Since Guardians of the Galaxy still hasn’t caught up with the events of Infinity, it’s hard to tell what role the Guardians will play in the coming issues. And with Infinity nearing its end, there could be a possibility that Bendis is waiting until the last minute to jump on board with the big event of this year. Since the connection between this book and Infinity is getting less cloudy, it’s time to hunker down and wait for the Guardians to enter the fray.