Brian Michael Bendis says goodbye to a series he’s introduced a lot of heart into as Thanos makes a play to take over the Earth itself. They don’t call him the Mad Titan for nothing! We review to determine its merit on your shelf!
Guardians of the Galaxy #19 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the full preview to find out!
Why does this book matter?
This is an extra-sized 37 page issue and truly an epic battle drops here. While reading this issue I had the feeling I was reading an event caliber story, only in a single issue. You can’t say that everyday!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Love that glow!
Bendis writes many endings in this issue and it all comes together masterfully; I’d love to know how many drafts of the script he went through, because this issue feels extra thorough and complete. It opens with Thanos in the Negative Zone hatching a plan with some of the other big bads in the Marvel Universe. This opening is bookended quite nicely at the end of the issue, further making this issue feel complete in a done in one sort of way. If you haven’t been reading this series fear not, as it’s incredibly enjoyable regardless. Sure, there are callbacks and nods to characters Bendis wrote into this series (like Angela or Gamora’s desire to kill Thanos), but you can enjoy their moments to shine all the same. Because that’s what this is in more ways than one–Bendis is giving a bit of a nod to his run in one massive battle.
And boy is there a battle. As alien ships descend on Earth ala the Avengers movie (there are Chitauri Leviathan-looking flying whale ships!) you’d think this was a summer event. That’s partly due to Valerio Schiti’s ability to draw impressive full and double page spreads, but also because the stakes are so high. The villains want to crush Earth once and for all so instead of plotting or meddling they simply go to Earth to do it. Who can save us? The Guardians of the Galaxy of course! As the battle rages you soon learn this is a one on one between Thanos and many of our favorite Guardian characters. One could argue, why aren’t the other major Marvel characters here to fight? In great comedic moments the villains actually reflect on that, which is a reminder that Bendis is writing this and of course he’s going to make you smirk in a way only fanboys can.
This issue also serves as a bridge of sorts to the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy coming out next month. This is partly because of what Rocket’s mission entails in this issue, but also because the characters get to say their peace here. There’s a definitive period for most of the characters, which should make the All-New series feel like a fresh start.
Let’s make it clear, Schiti doesn’t draw this entire issue though he is the main artist. Phil Noto, Andrea Sorrentino, Ed McGuinness, Kevin Maguire, Arthur Adams, Sara Pichelli, Filipe Andrade, and Mark Bagley all contribute pages. Much of these pages are pinup caliber stuff, which further makes this book feel event level stuff. There’s even a touching double page spread of no words, but just glances and recognition that makes this issue feel so damn complete. As if Bendis was quitting comics entirely, this issue feels like a statement that he enjoyed his time on this work and is sad to say goodbye.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a moment where Quill freaks out that involves a word balloon that is insanely packed with dialogue. He’s freaking out and obviously saying a lot of words quickly to indicate that. That said, I wasn’t sure what the point of this was. It may be political (cough::Trump::cough), but it seems to stick out and mess with the flow of the book overall. It’s a minor moment, but it took me off guard.
Is It Good?
Talk about going out with a bang. This may be a five dollar comic, but dammit I had so much fun with this issue I’d have paid eight to read it. It closes some doors, feels event level in caliber, and is hard to put down for a second. Every major character that’s appeared in this run gets a moment to shine and if you’ve loved this series this comic may just bring tears.
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