Review by Ian Keogh
A persistent head-scratcher as one hit film after another featured Marvel superheroes was why the equivalent comics often bore little relation to the films. Gerry Duggan’s Guardians of the Galaxy bucks that trend by serving up the joy, laughter and space opera adventure seen on cinema screens, the miniature Groot of the second movie, and a Drax who’ll no longer be violent. It’s all the more welcome after the disappointing run of Brian Michael Bendis (ending with Grounded).
Communication Breakdown opens with the Guardians escaping from a Nova Corps jail and their creative plan to break into one of the galaxy’s most secure banks. Unusually for them it’s handled relatively smoothly. That’s because the real problems follow. Duggan places the Guardians between two battling brothers who also count among the most powerful beings in the universe. It’s funny, you won’t see the twists coming, and it’s better presented than when originally serialised as it’s not interrupted by chapters of individual adventures gathered in Riders in the Sky, good though they are.
Most of what plays out is expressively drawn by Aaron Kuder, with Marcus To dropping by for a single chapter, and Kuder transmits the both the fun and the action to high standards. He seems to be enjoying himself, and under his illustration the energy rush of the plot plays out well. To will later become the artist of choice, and while not as obviously stylish, his storytelling is impeccable.
Duggan ensures readers are going to pick up some clues, such as talk of characters returning from the dead just before the discovery of a skeleton in a spacesuit, yet some are just teases for those who know their Marvel history. Star-Lord has his friendly goon personality throughout, while each of the other Guardians has something going on. The dialogue sparkles with precise comedy timing, the characters shine and this is just the starting point.
All three volumes of Guardians of the Galaxy by Gerry Duggan are combined in hardback, appropriately in Guardians of the Galaxy by Gerry Duggan.