Guardians of the Galaxy #11 Review

by Nick Devonald on November 13, 2019

Writer: Donny Cates
Pencils: Cory Smith
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colours: David Curiel
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

Donny Cates’ run on Guardians has divided a lot of old time fans. I personally think it’s a return to the Guardians from Dan Abnett’s Annihilation era of comics, and that is a definite win for me. He has a clear reverence for all of the Cosmic heroes, seen across his run on Guardians and his previous work on Thanos, Cosmic Ghost Rider, Silver Surfer Black and Death Of The Inhumans.

But despite this love for the characters and an excellent run of cosmic stories, including the first Guardians storyline The Final Gauntlet, the Faithless storyline has at times felt a little drawn out and slow. We don’t have a team of Guardians as such, and while it feels like this storyline has been about them getting back together it’s taking its time and could have been rounded up a bit quicker. Five issues in and the Church of Universal Truth storyline in particular feels drawn out. They’ve been set up as the main villain and after their initial introduction haven’t really done much.

One of Donny Cates strengths as a writer is building up suspense, but he’s missed the mark here a little and I feel like rather than six issues to tell the story it might have been better told over three. Perhaps this story is a victim of needing six issues to fill a trade but it could have been streamlined a little.

So we’ve got an Army of Drax clones. The Universal Church of Truth. The child reincarnation of the Magus. Rocket dying. Most of the cosmic heroes under the Churchs mind control. It looks as though all is lost for our heroes. The stakes have never been higher.

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about Cates’ run on Guardians is that we’ve had cameos from nearly all the major cosmic players in some shape or form, and there’s a great double spread showcasing a lot of them in this issue.

The artwork excels itself throughout. It’s reason enough to buy the issue. Cory Smith, Victor Olazaba and David Curiel work really well together and puts this up there with the best looking Guardians of the Galaxy runs.

I need to make it clear this isn’t a bad issue. It has some great moments. But when the stakes are as high as they are and so much is promised for the conclusion it leaves this issue feeling a bit flat and underwhelming.

As the penultimate issue of Cate’s run it feels like we’re building to an epic conclusion, and that’s one thing this issue does is promise #12 will be a must read. But it’s this promise of what’s to come in the next issue that is really the highlight of this issue. And that’s a bit of a concern. And to quote the preview for the concluding issue:
“Thanos Wins…Cosmic Ghost Rider…The Death of the Inhumans…Silver Surfer Black…Guardians of the Galaxy…It’s all been leading to this.”

That’s quite a legacy of tales, and only serves to get me more excited for the next issue. But when a comics main achievement is building up excitement for the next issue it’s doing something wrong.

The future looks bleak for our heroes, and the concluding issue promises to be epic. It’s a shame that building up to that issue has left this issue feeling a bit of a weak link in this run. However the artwork is, as always, stunning, and well worth the price of admission. And this is essential reading for #12 which promises to make up for the weaker aspects of the Faithless storyline.

Our Score:


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