The Guardians of the Galaxy return to Earth in their search for the Infinity Stones. They have gone missing from the universe, and the team calls upon the expertise of Doctor Strange, Cable, Victor von Doom, Black Panther, and Man-Thing for aid in finding them.
The search comes up dry, but they do collect a couple of stowaways aboard their ship.
So, the new Guardian joins up in this issue, and you likely already know who it is. I'm happy with the new addition, and I hope this person sticks around for a while.
How's the plot overall? It's alright. It's a guest-star issue, with the aforementioned Doctor Strange, Cable, and Man-Thing showing up for a moment as well as freaking Deadpool because this character is impossible to escape.
Well, there is another guest star, but, for that, we'll have to move into spoilers.
Loki is impersonating Cable in this issue, and that's interesting. I do get that he and the Guardians are only where they're at because of their popularity in the Marvel Studios films. But, I've not really seen Loki have a run-in with the Guardians of the Galaxy before, so it should at least be an interesting showdown whenever the time comes around for such things.
Deadpool's cameo is insufferable, but he does come close to resembling an actual character, showing remorse for his allegiance with Steve Rogers during Secret Empire. He also avoids any awful meta-jokes, so that's nice. However, he tries to justify his actions by "betting on Steve Rogers," which does not hold water when you remember the naked fascism.
Ant-Man, the new member, shows similar remorse for his aiding of Steve Rogers. That is disappointing to me as someone who actually quite likes Scott Lang. I missed the part of SE where it was revealed that he was Hydra's mole in the Underground. However, if Marvel is cool with forgetting that trainwreck of a crossover soon, I can as well.
The Infinity Stones/Gems disappearing is at least a new thing to do with those things, so I'm interested in seeing where Duggan goes with this angle.
All of that being said, this is a pretty meandering issue, and it does little-to-nothing to forward the plot. Ant-Man joining the team is the most significant thing to happen. Beyond that, it's a very slow read which does nothing for the characters other than, again, Ant-Man.
It's not an unpleasant read, mind you. The characters are still overall enjoyable, and it at least foreshadows some intrigue in the near future.
Speaking of Secret Empire, Rod Reis takes over the art for this issue. I enjoyed his work in the Steve Rogers dream sequences in SE, but that was only an ethereal section of the comic, the rest of which would have a different artist. His work mostly holds together here. There are some odd moments and panels where the characters appear flat, but I did mostly like his work and coloring. If he stuck around, I wouldn't complain.
Overall, All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #12 was a decent read. The Guardians are a fun team, the new member has me excited, and the plot looks like it will be interesting. This issue doesn't really have much of its own to stand on, but it's still a fun enough experience. I can recommend this if you have an interest in the Guardians and the upcoming cosmic saga (whenever that will happen).