Guardians of the Galaxy #15 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 23, 2021

Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Juan Frigeri
Colours: Federico Blee
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

There has been plenty of build-up across the last few issues of the series to reach this point. Ego is now a giant egg and whatever hatches from within will build into The Last Annihilation, Al Ewings upcoming cosmic crossover event. Annihilation is one of those terms which has fond memories for Guardians fans, with it heralding the greatest age of Marvel’s Cosmic comics, and bringing characters like Star Lord, Gamora, Nova and Drax to the forefront of space tales. The subsequent Annihilation Conquest event introduced Rocket and Groot to the series and led directly to the formation of the Guardians. The rest, as they say, is history.

Al Ewings run has referenced that series, and it’s clear the reverence he holds for it. From the current uniform being a minor update from their initial look to characters like Super Skrull and Quasar returning to the fold, along with revisiting some of the key locations from the Annihilation war. He doesn’t just respect these events though, he understands how important they were to form the Guardians, and he has a fantastic understanding of those characters. He’s taking them closer to their comic roots than recent years, and further away from the MCU’s iteration. And it’s incredible.

It’s fair to say this current iteration of the Guardians is fast becoming this reviewer’s favourite, only the mighty Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning run competes with this for best Guardian’s series. And there is the potential for Ewing to surpass that legendary run. Long may he reign on Guardians.

There are two main parts to this issue, the first is with one part of the team guarding Ego and preparing for whatever is going to imminently hatch. The other part is Star-Lord and Nova taking a trip to S.W.O.R.D. for the Hellfire Gala. When they arrive, they are greeted by none other than Magneto, and of course in classic comic fashion fireworks ensue between Nova and Magneto. Following this there's a surprisingly poignant moment between the two which gives Nova some time in the spotlight. A staple character in Dan Abnett and Andy Lannings cosmic adventures he’s been relegated to the side-lines for far too long, which Al Ewing has been rectifying during his tenure on the series. Following on from this issue comes The Last Annihilation, featuring a crossover with Sword and a one shot featuring Cable. If it can live up to the name of Annihilation, and Al Ewings current work is anything to go by, then fans are in for a real treat.

Juan Frigeri’s art has been another highlight of the series. It’s difficult to give characters a new look which is both unique and pays homage to all their previous iterations, but he does so with style. They all look fantastic. This issue gives Frigeri the chance to draw a massive fleet of alien crafts, all nervously monitoring the Ego Egg, as well as an epic battle between Nova and Magneto. While in the S.W.O.R.D. HQ the characters get an opportunity to watch Earth out the window, and it looks as beautiful on the page as it does when we get real life shots from the International Space Station. The final touch is Federico Blee’s colours, capturing the classic Guardians blue, red and yellow uniforms of old. From the shot of Earth from space, to the contrast with the greenery on the S.W.O.R.D. HQ against the darkness of space, the colours look fantastic throughout.

Al Ewings grasp of the characters is second to none, this run is as important to the lore as anything previously published. It’s impossible to heap enough praise on the issue, or the larger series. Each issue stands out from the rows of comics because of the second to none storytelling contained within. This is fast becoming one of the best runs on Guardians, and in time will rightly be remembered as a legendary epic. This is shaping up to be the definitive take on the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Our Score:


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