Part of the plan for All-New Guardians of the Galaxy all along was to stagger the main story so Aaron Kuder could continue to draw every part of the story arc, but also deliver this series on a biweekly schedule. So what happens when he’s not drawing the main story arc? Why, Gerry Duggan reveals the backstory for each of the heroes so we can find out how they got here. This week we get to learn why Gamora has been so ornery the last few issues and boy, is there a good reason!
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Frazer Irving
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So what’s it about?
Read the preview to find out more!
Why does this book matter?
Aaron Kuder is a fabulous artist, don’t get me wrong, but boy is Frazer Irving a whole other beast. He’s drawn some of the most thought-provoking science fiction pages in the last decade. Just look at his work on Batman Incorporated or Uncanny X-mMen and you’ll see. He adds a symbolic and abstract nature to the art that can make the pits of Hell or the darkest places in outer space feel truly alien. Given the fight Gamora is up against in this issue, he’s a perfect choice.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s not that much of a spoiler, but it’s worth noting this review will delve a tiny bit into what is going on in this issue simply because it’s what the entire issue is wrapped around. Or maybe the better way of saying it is wrapped in. The page below will show you the Soul Stone is involved and in fact Gamora being inserted in said stone is what this issue is all about. It’s the kind of story that somehow reveals more about the cosmic awesomeness in a package that makes sense yet is a bit mind bending. The issue delves into how being put into the Soul Stone changed Gamora and how she’s now on a quest to fix what was done to her.
That means this issue is soul searching (hehe) for Gamora and it’s plotted in a very good way. Writer Gerry Duggan keeps the reader on their toes–essentially, we feel as Gamora does, which helps convey an disorientated feel. As it’s revealed what is going on Gamora understands more or less and so do we. The fact is though, there’s so much weirdness and misunderstanding going on for Gamora it’s an interesting and introspective journey she’s on. Like Carlos Castaneda but without the drugs, Gamora is seeing inexplicable things, doing inexplicable things, and attempting to find meaning from it all. Instead of drugs though it’s one of the Infinity Gems.
Frazer Irving will dazzle you with this issue. Nay, he will astound you. No wait, he’ll blow your mind. There are so many awesome images in this issue it’s hard to recount them all without wanting to go back and just look at the sheer beauty of them. The use of light, or maybe you should call it trick of the light, is excellent and keeps a certain mood throughout the issue. In an epic bottom up angle, Irving reveals some…thing that peers down on Gamora that’s frightening and yet beautiful. What it is is beyond me, but it’s gorgeously rendered. It seems Irving keeps us on our toes as much as Duggan is and together they make for a perfect example of what the Soul Stone can do to a mind.
Now that you’re caught up…
It can’t be perfect can it?
Though the visuals do a great job capturing a perplexing scene, at times the lack of environments can have a confusing effect on the pages. Where characters are spatially don’t make a lot of sense–though that’s clearly on purpose here and there–and can make a page look more like art than a comic book panel. This effect can also be rather frustrating early on as there isn’t a real explanation as far as what is going on until later.
Is It Good?
Given how cold Gamora can be, this issue does some magnificent soul searching of the character. The visuals magnify the awesome nature of the story, revealing yet another side of the cosmic universe that’s beautifully incomprehensible.