It’s okay, Star-Lord has a plan! Unfortunately for the Guardians, that plan has a decent chance of going completely sideways. The good betting money says that this plan is bound to fall apart, just ask Nebula.
In the series’ first issue, we’re introduced to the slimmed-down and outcast version of the Guardians. A team physically & emotionally beaten down trying their best to save a town from the threat of Grootfall. With the second issue the Hivemind, Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, pull things back. As the team engages in some heist hijinks and the overall threat becomes much clearer.
For the first issue review I brought up a Firefly comparison and this time I’m gonna throw out some Farscape. A ragtag crew on the run, sort of, doing their best to survive and maybe help others along the way, only to have the best-laid plans backfire on them. Others may not want or respect the help, because things aren’t that simple. It’s honestly kind of a refreshing space for the Guardians. It’s so different from the usual recent big galactic heroes version of the team.
We can feel how at wits end many of the characters, chiefly Star-Lord, are at this point as they are trying their best to save lives. In the moment where it all falls apart, we witness all that frustration, because those participating in this war would rather keep fighting than escape oncoming doom. It’s a fitting contrast to the first issue where the Guardians had to make an impossible choice. They couldn’t save all the townspeople. This time, no matter what choice they make, there are no lives being saved and they must live with that.
Each of the characters has been sort of broken down into their core elements. The way they interplay is intriguing because they are still a family, but they are all broken right now. Holding on by a thread, and we can feel that. But we still root for them. We know who they have been and still can be. As much as Star-Lord might be holding onto the heroic tendencies, we see the others beginning to return to baser instincts as they take loss after loss.
A grittier story that is focused on the outskirts of space, with realms and species that aren’t the usual human-looking big species we know, requires a particular type of artistry. Kev Walker and Matt Hollingsworth deliver the energy that is needed. Walker’s style has always had a bit of a roughness to it that is charming in its own way that works wonders for books like this. At the same time, there is a sense of fun and lightheartedness that can still be felt through the art even with such dire subject matter/circumstances in play.
Much like the heroes in question, the artwork makes sure that we still feel those hints of superhero-style energy.
Similarly, the colors fit right into this sort of mix. Naturally, all the various aliens and costumes come with eye-catching colors, but they’re all toned down. This isn’t a big hopeful bold superhero book through and through. Having the colors brought down quite a few notches with plenty of shadows dotting the landscape brings that extra weight.
Contrasting the heavier/darker tones and feelings with the use of white space is great. It’s one of the elements that help bring some of that aforementioned light into play.
Much like the jagged, hard-to-fit-together puzzle pieces that are the Guardians, I love the panel style choices here. Having various pages full of strangely shaped panels, turned at angles, overlapping just adds to the urgency. It’s logically structured roughness that still feels very natural and chaotic, which is Guardians’ energy through and through.
Capturing a tone goes beyond the overall artwork on the page. Lettering is very much an art form itself, and the right tweaks here or there take it to a whole other level. Cory Petit is always good with that sort of thing. Able to quickly establish the tonal baseline that can be taken up or down with some bolds or size changes or colors. Allowing the character’s voices to fully match whatever emotional level we’re seeing from them.
Jagged balloons, colors tossed into the mix, big bold SFX, and so much more give the issue even more life. I really loved the different changes to the font that showed Nebula speaking different languages, as well as the Whitecap visual language. It would’ve been easy to write it in English with some brackets thrown around and just call it another language. It’s far better to showcase these other languages, and not fully clue us into what she’s saying because it doesn’t matter.
All that matters is the overall intent and what it says about the character, and it works.
Guardians Of The Galaxy #2 is now available from Marvel Comics.
It’s okay, Star-Lord has a plan! Unfortunately for the Guardians, that plan has a decent chance of going completely sideways.COMICONRead More