Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy #11

by

Or – “Three Stories, No Waiting…”

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Right now, the Guardians have broken up, and varous factions thereof are engaged in individual missions throughout known space.  Phyla-Vell and Drax The Destroyer have set off in search of the one woman they both love: Heather Douglas, the creature known as Moondragon.  Of course, the presence of a dead guy about to squot Phyla’s head like a punkin with his fist of cosmic awesomeness could possibly imply that there has been a snag in this particular quest…

GG2.jpgPreviously, on Guardians of The Galaxy:  Sometimes, people need time to themselves.  Hot upon the revelation that Peter “Star-Lord” Quill had Mantis telepathically influence the various members of the latest incarnation of the GotG into joining up, the team has gone their separate ways.  Rocket Raccoon and Groot (with help from Mantis, Bug, and others from Star-Lord’s Annihilation Dream-Team) set off into the Negative Zone to free Quill from custody.  Gamora and Adam Warlock have set off in search of the Magus, head of the Universal Church of Truth, while Arthur “Drax The Destroyer” Douglas and Phyla “Quasar, except for Wendell Vaughn no longer being dead and using the name over in Nova” Mar-Vell have gone searching for his old partner Cammi, only to discover a trace of his daughter and her girlfriend, both of whom reside beneath the alternately scaly and or shiney dome of former Defender Moondragon, a.k.a. Heather Douglas, recently deceased.

Of course, since Phyla and Drax are both dead (thanks to Mentor of Titan, who offed them both last ish) it should, theoretically make the search for Heather a little easier.  Quasar’s quantum bands fall away, as she has shuffled off this mortal coil, but before she can worry about it, she is confronted by the zombified corpse of her old man (Captain Marvel), her older brother (also Captain Marvel), and a kid in a red shirt named Billy (no, not really.)  Drax steps in, beating down the ghosts, and explaining, “You can’t fight your OWN demons, Phy.  You need someone’s help to do it.”  She doesn’t understand where they are, and Drax makes fun of her suppositions.  “You ever BEEN to Limbo?  This ain’t Limbo…”  He explains that the place where they find themselves is, essentially symbolic, and that they aren’t even really there, that it’s a ‘Liminal Zone’ on the fringes of reality. 

They discuss it, and suddenly Drax freaks out that her Quantum Bands are gone, indicating that they’re really dead.  Mentor, he reasons, killed them and sent them into the realm to find Moondragon, just as former Quasar (Wendell-version) villain Maelstrom arrives to fight them.  Even dead as they are, they’re barely a match for a creature like Maely, and he quickly takes them both down.  This time it’s Phyla who makes the save, bludgeoning his head (or his symbol that passes for a head, whatever) until he agrees to take them to Moondragon.  Maelstrom babbles on an on, suddenly fixating upon Drax’s statement that he killed Thanos.  “Death’s champion is gone,” burbles the suddenly talkative Maelstrom.  “If life wins, it’ll be just as BAD as if death was victorious…  Different bad, that’s all.”  He leads them to a crater where the Dragon of the Moon (the demon that once possessed Moondragon) lies, and distracts them with his palaver, before revealing that HE has the Quantum bands again, and using them to awaken the Dragon.  “I’ve brought you SUPPER!” he cries as on baleful red eye opens within the crater…

I’ve namechecked it in recent Nova reviews, but I’m very gratified to see the return to many of the late Mark Gruenwald’s stories in recent Marvel comics, and this is another, with the return of one of Wendell-Quasar’s greatest foes.  The issue itself, though very pretty to look at, kinda drags in places, with some seemingly endless dialogue, as well as a bit of self-indulgent craziness from Maelstrom.  Still, it’s one of the stronger issues of Guardians in recent months, and crosses over with neither War of Kings or Dark Reign, so it’s alright with me.  Occasionally impenetrable, but interesting, even when less-than-coherent, Guardians of the Galaxy #11 is a good issue overall, earning 3 out of 5 stars.  With a little more focus (and maybe a clearer idea of who is/isn’t a Guardian right now) this could be the equal of Nova or Iron Fist, but even so, it does it’s job as a story that ISN’T a standard-issue soopahero tale, but still well told and enjoyable…

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