Ever since Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder unveiled their “All-New” Guardians of the Galaxy the most intriguing plot thread, at least for me, is why Groot can’t grow bigger than a few inches. Some would argue it’s so it matches the film, but I always suspected something was afoot. Of course, Duggan has been slowly unveiling why it might be so, but in this issue we finally find out!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Since the beginning of the series, the mystery has lingered…what happened to Groot that made him revert to being a tiny shrub? Why isn’t he growing back? And why does Rocket think it’s all his fault?
Why does this matter?
Mike Hawthorne takes over on pencils with inks by Terry Pallot as Duggan reveals the last time Groot ever stood eight-plus feet tall. Do you really need anything more?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Groot talks a lot in this issue. Yes, it’s mostly, “I am Groot.”
This issue has a nice one-shot feel as it picks up with Rocket and Groot on yet another mission that’ll probably end badly. Duggan captures Rocket’s voice well as he captions his internal monologue, which feels things are certainly not normal on this mission–and soon we find out why. These characters seem to get caught in setups a lot and this issue reveals who is the perpetrator of Groot’s permanent size. Duggan and Hawthorne do a good job capturing the bond these characters have with each other (there’s a tearjerker of a moment folks) and it’s safe to say the sequence of events in this issue really tear Rocket up. It explains Rocket’s current mood in the series, but also how Groot ended up so small.
Hawthorne draws a detailed issue. The fauna is gorgeous in the backgrounds and in Groot himself, and the dramatic beats are made more meaningful due to his deft lines. In one, with snot dribbling down Rocket’s nose, readers get a good sense of the turmoil he’s in. In another, readers get to peek behind the curtain to see the robot Galactus the team built, and then used, in the first issue. The cliffhanger harkens back to the 90s because of the character used, but also the smash cut of it, and Hawthorne draws this scene well too.
One might say they don’t live an island lifestyle.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Much of this issue is basically filler. There isn’t a lot to the actual events in the issue, the action is ho-hum at best, and much of what happens here probably could fit in half the amount of pages. It’s not a bad issue by any means, but it’s certainly biding its time to get to its point. Take for instance the opening, which has Rocket tell us about a deal he’s doing and the man he’s talking to. These scenes are fine, but end up being pointless. The adventure in this issue just isn’t worthy enough of the scant reveals we do get. On top of that the cliffhanger, while a fun nostalgic moment, doesn’t do much in the way of laugh in the reader’s face to make us wait till the next issue.
Is It Good?
We finally get an answer to Groot’s last days standing tall, but don’t expect a lot from this decompressed tale.