All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #9 is another of the little one-shot asides focusing on members of the team, this time the pairing of Rocket Raccoon and Groot. And here, we finally find out what happened to Groot to leave him stuck in his pint-sized form.
I'll leave the specific ins and outs to the comic itself, but I have to say, I found the direction that writer Gerry Duggan seems to be taking All-New Guardians of the Galaxy more than the specific events that led to Groot's new status quo. What happens, after all, is pretty straightforward, and I will say that involves the cloaked figure we've been seeing throughout the series so far.
However, it seems to be yet another example of the attempt to marry the contemporary versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy, heavily influenced by how they have wound up on the cinema screen in the big GotG movies, with the original appearances and personalities and histories of the characters.
We've seen Gamora and her reasons for why she is more closed off and guarded than she was in the past. We've seen Drax and his (admittedly connected reasons) for why he is a very literal, serious, and somewhat simplistic version of his original iteration. And here, we learn that the original appearance of Groot in Marvel history is definitely not forgotten.
There's also a surprising reveal in the last page of the issue. Now, my knowledge of classic history of the Guardians characters is spotty in places, so I'm not sure if there is a previous history between the two characters connected on the last page. But either way, it certainly adds yet another interesting piece to the puzzle of the ever-expanding mystery and misadventures of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot, and Jordie Bellaire's artwork is fun in the issue. And when things take an emotional turn toward the end, it really serves to show how devastating the gut punch of the events is for one character.
Overall, All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #9 adds some interesting new elements into the widening story of the Guardians books. The hints of bringing back deeper history into the series is very intriguing, as well.