One of the best parts about cosmic Marvel in recent years is seeing everything come together under Al Ewing’s singular, cohesive vision. The Last Annihilation has been a joy to read from start to finish in no small part because of how tight Ewing’s plans for cosmic Marvel are. Guardians of the Galaxy #18 is easily one of the best issues in this already phenomenal run.
One aspect of Ewing’s Guardians that’s been a joy to read is the team dynamic, and issue #18 hammers home that this team is a family. There’s a wonderful callback to the scene where Richard tells Gamora “I loved him too, you know that right?” in regards to Peter Quill. This time, it’s Peter saying that to Gamora who replies, “I know. That makes it even better.” Richard’s following scene is also quite phenomenal — Ewing puts everything on a major scale this issue and the story is all the better for it.
Once all is said and done, the reader actually gets a sense of relief and a feeling of accomplishment. The party scene afterward is very sweet and it’s great to see the characters just happy like this. Even Storm, who is a major player in Ewing’s S.W.O.R.D. run, makes an appearance here. This is a goodbye issue, of course, but it’s a sweet goodbye.
The art does a phenomenal job of showcasing the scale of the battles and the feats being accomplished. Ewing’s character voices are always great and this issue is no exception to that, with several characters getting their own chance to shine. Another aspect of this issue worth mentioning is how good the lettering is, which really nails the different tones and speech patterns of several characters.
Guardians of the Galaxy #18 is a great send-off to a fantastic arc and a love letter to Ewing’s own stint on the title. This Guardians run will surely be remembered as one of the greats and while it’s sad to see it go, it really couldn’t have ended on a stronger note.
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