For six issues, the Guardians have been desperately trying to stop the threat of Grootfall. But how did the heroic Guardian become a galactic plague? Your Major Spoilers review of Guardians of the Galaxy #6 from Marvel Comics awaits!
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #6
Writer: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Alex Lins
Colorist: KJ Diaz
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 20, 2023
Previously in Guardians of the Galaxy: One year ago, the Guardians were more than a team, they were the galaxy’s super heroes… Now the Guardians are outlaws, guns for hire roaming the frontier in hopes of stopping one of their own. How did the Guardians fall apart, and what changed Groot into the monster he is now?
THE SPACE WHERE IT HAPPENED
Last time around, the Guardians of the Galaxy intentionally put themselves in the way of the wave of Groot, driven by Star-Lord’s belief that the tree-man’s spirit told him how to stop the Grootfall once and for all. it… didn’t go well. All six Guardians were killed, but as this issue opens, they’re all together in some sort of void, each convinced of their own guilt in the loss of their friend. It was Nebula, after all, who identified a seemingly dead area of space worth exploring, all in the hopes of proving herself as a hero. Of course, Rocket was the one who accompanied his pal, witnessing Groot’s memory of his home world being awakened, going with him to find the oldest member of his race. It was Gamora who mobilized all the active Guardians, sending them into battle, only to see them all destroyed by Groot. It was Drax who refused to go into battle with the team and his daughter Moondragon, leaving him to listen in horror as they all died screaming. It was Star-Lord who pretended to have a plan, who insisted that his team follow it, who quietly believed the world would be better without him.
And now, all the Guardians are gone.
R.I.P.: THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
This issue’s deep dive into the minds of the broken heroes is quite wonderful, reminding me a bit of the good old days of The Defenders under Steve Gerber and Dave Kraft. Each hero blames themself for the chain of events that led to Groot’s transformation, and each of them is a little bit right. The fact that they’re all wrong doesn’t affect their mindsets at all, even in the face of each other’s experiences. Alex Lins’ art is impressive, conveying the characters’ emotions very well, but the slightly cartoonish proportions of the faces do mute a little bit of the heartstring-tugging. The cowboy-flavored redesigns are still on display here, and the brief glimpse into the mind of Mantis (a complicated character whose history is complicated at Hawkman levels) is beautiful, especially her warning to her friends, and the audience, that we’re not ready for what’s in her head.
BOTTOM LINE: A LITTLE GRIM, BUT REALLY GOOD
While I’m not always a fan of grim stories with heroes at the end of their proverbial ropes, Guardians of the Galaxy #6 takes the time to really delve into the guilt, the grief, the rage, and the confusion of the last Guardians, even ending with a somewhat hopeful note, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. The ‘Butch and Sundance’ ending goes well with the cowboy motif, and I’m really chompin’ at the bit to see what comes next.
Here’s a hint: They used to be Young Avengers.
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #6
The fate of Groot is even more terrible than we suspected, and each Guardian's trauma is revealed in fascinating (albeit awful) detail. Good stuff!