Guardians Of The Galaxy #7 Review

by Charles Martin on July 24, 2019

Guardians Of The Galaxy #7 Review
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Cory Smith
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The previous arc of this volume was a bit of a scattershot affair. Picking up the pieces left behind by the Infinity Wars was complicated, and splitting the title's attention between Guardians and Dark Guardians was risky. 

This new arc launches with much less risk of focus loss. It's all about a singular new (kinda new) threat rolling in with oodles of destroy-the-universe potential and the Guardians scrambling to meet it.

#7 is very much written to the arc; it's not afraid to dangle intriguing plot threads out there. And it's also not afraid to go loud to emphasize its high stakes. We lose most of the Nova Corps in the first scene to show just how much business these baddies mean.

It's a more personal alert that breaks the Guardians out of their wine-and-roses retreat, particularly the aftermath of a Gamora-Quill booty call. There's a more sinister call to deal with: J'Son phones up his son to say goodbye before leading the Spartax against the new Big Bad.

Things spiral from there with speed and drama. This is a terribly, wonderfully cinematic script. Donny Cates fearlessly slams the Guardians into the very midst of the problem and lets things evolve from bad to worse to catastrophic.

The overarching narration throughout the issue comes home to roost at the end, making it a flashback told to Rocket. And his long-awaited reappearance is a match for the bigger story: Shocking and full of questions that demand answers.

Cory Smith and David Curiel capably tackle the galactic scope of the action. Their command of characters is fine, and there's space for some solid sight-gags. (Keep your eyes peeled for the four-armed Nova and his Bonus Guns early on.) 

Where the art and the colours really shine is in the spectacular wide-angle shots that rip the "epic" page out of the dictionary and point to that word with justified confidence. The baddies' big spaceship is incredibly menacing when the Novas face it from the outside. When the Guardians get inside, the menace ramps up to a whole new level. Mr. Curiel's ominous use of uncanny, unwholesome purples throughout the ship really seals in the threat. 

I think the art and the script are very well-suited to each other, but that counts for weaknesses as well as strengths. The plot is grand and fast-moving and compelling, but the character work suffers in comparison. Even without splitting focus between a hero team and an antihero team, this Guardians roster still has some under-utilized members. Beta Ray Bill, Phyla-Vell, and Lockjaw aren't pulling their weight. And dramatic though they be, the big plot developments make it less likely that they'll get any spotlight in the near future.

There's also the open question of whether the heavily-MCU-influenced take on Gamora and Peter works. Gamora has a few lines that suggest she's playing their romantic connection casually, which would suit some of her past comics behaviour. Peter is more vulnerable to accusations of Chris Prattification, though. Racing off to rescue J'Son without even paying lip service to how effed-up their past relations have been? It feels very "second Guardians movie," and not in a good way.

Guardians of the Galaxy #7 launches a big, cinematic arc by introducing a big, cinematic threat, and the Guardians' first swing at it does NOT go well. The highlights are the fast, dramatic plotting and some truly epic arc. Character is taking the backseat and letting Story drive for now, but the destination looks promising enough to justify that imbalance.

Our Score:


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