Intrigue, desperation, good manners, mystery, laser blasts, drinking … Guardians Of The Galaxy #8 has everything going for it. While lacking the character depth of its predecessor, this issue goes all-in on plotting and entertainment value, and it's working.
The scene is a diplomatic conference featuring several space-faring empires. Two of the dignitaries have been horribly murdered, and Marvel Boy, a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy who's also "entangled" with the Olympian demigod Hercules, is the prime suspect. Enter Ranger Rocket, a sentient not-raccoon who drinks and knows things. He has to find out who the real killer is in order to keep the conference from devolving into pan-galactic warfare.
Al Ewing's gift for the light-hearted fare is on full display in this script, from a comical surprise in a laser gun to the joy (or lack thereof) of working with telepaths. The story is mostly talking heads (with one very fun exception), but Marcio Takara, Federico Blee, and Cory Petit somehow fill these panels with tension and anticipation. The lurching nature of solving the mystery is a delight, and its solution is less frustrating and more a cosmic lark, and the reveal near the end is picture-perfect.
There's one hilarious bit about gratitude and patience that must be seen to be enjoyed. It's magnificent.
Admittedly there are flaws. Fans of Groot or Phyla-Vell will be left out in the cold, as they (and some other characters) have literally nothing to do here aside from standing around and watch Rocket monologue. Even as the prime suspect, Marvel Boy is mostly dumbfounded, trying to stay out of trouble. These are not necessarily deficits — you can't fit every Cobra into every issue of G.I. Joe — but they don't need to hang around to just looking gape jawed.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable book with some pleasant twists and turns to keep you guessing, all while leaving everything you need to know right there on the page. RATING: BUY.
At the diplomatic conference to decide the future of space, there's been a murder most foul – and one of the delegates is responsible! It's up to Ranger Rocket to save Marvel Boy from execution, solve the mystery and find the real killer – while a ticking bomb counts down to zero! Can things get worse? It's GUARDIANS. Things always get worse.
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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