Guardians Of The Galaxy #10 Review

by Charles Martin on October 16, 2019

Guardians Of The Galaxy #10 Review
Writer: Donny Cates
Penciller: Cory Smith
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Mini-Magus provides a quick sketch of what he's been up to, cheerfully signs on with Rocket's "save the galaxy" team, and accompanies them in their assault on the Universal Church. 

Said Church now consists essentially of a frantic, captive Peter Quill, his generically evil, glowy-eyed dad, and a whoooole lot of mind-controlled Draxes. 

#10 takes us right up to the opening bell of the big fight. While I can't speculate on what the point spread is going to be, there's really no doubt about who's gonna win.

This issue's other main concern is wringing poor Rocket out like a dishrag to squeeze out a few extra drops of sympathy. 

We knew he was dying but now we know he's really really dying -- every moment outside his battlesuit is a risk.

The art performance put forth by Cory Smith, Victor Olazaba, and David Curiel is probably this comic's strongest point. It feels appropriately big-budget at every turn, packing oodles of detail and vibrant colour into each scene. 

It's a cinematic spectacle, but the art team isn't locked exclusively into doing grandiose things. Mini-Magus is a huge opportunity for Mr. Smith to indulge his considerable talent for youthful faces, and he does a terrific job of balancing this kid precisely between endearing and unsettling.

He also works the opposite end of the age spectrum, giving Rocket the hard-to-look-at decrepitude he needs to make this issue's tearjerking efforts successful.

When it comes to plot and character, this issue suffers from the same alienation that's dogged the volume as a whole. Events move forward according to a certain chilly logic, but without any real sense of the Guardians acting as a team. It's almost an anthology of individual characters' stories, albeit with a master plan carefully nudging them toward each other.

The issue's strongest moments are the all-too-brief glimmers when Guardians actually get to interact. Rocket sassing Moondragon, Quill trying to reconnect with Drax, Groot panicking over Rocket … and that last one is not as nearly as moving as it should be.

Similar to many of this volume's past issues, Guardians #10 is long on strategic plot development and offers just a frustratingly brief dollop of character interaction. Some polished, top-shelf art works hard to make the action grand and the characters sympathetic. But even the strongest visuals couldn't fix the core problem that carries on through this issue's script: It's a story about things happening to Guardians characters rather than a story about the Guardians as a team.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Here's hoping that Rocket's inevitable resurrection in the next volume plays out better than Drax's in this one. Or hey, here's an idea, maybe stop killing Guardians for cheap melodrama?