Review by Ian Keogh
There’s been some clever plotting by Gerry Duggan over the previous two volumes, and he’s constantly and joyously taking readers on a merry ride. Riders in the Sky ended with the Guardians co-opted into the Nova Corps just after they’d decided their purpose was to search for infinity stones. The expectation must have been that it’s just a diversion before getting down to business, but the entirety of Infinity Quest is devoted to the Guardians hanging around with the Nova Corps. It’s suspected that the newly revived Corps has been infiltrated by pirates and other assorted scoundrels, and an opening scene with the Raptors shows that to be true.
It’s clever for proving that for all the comedy in the better Guardians stories, they’re actually efficient at what they do, and a hint of how that’s the case is represented by Rocket going about his task, but also stockpiling information for future use. Ant-Man is now with the Guardians for reasons seemingly connected with some form of crossover, but he’s not just thrown in willy nilly, he has a purpose, and there’s also the presence of a heavyweight Marvel villain with pedigree among other threats. Duggan hasn’t entirely discarded the idea of infinity stones, as at least one is seen because this does after all lead into The Infinity Countdown involving far more than just the Guardians.
Marcus To’s art for a single chapter of Communication Breakdown was a successful audition as he’s back to draw most of this, and is very accomplished despite his style not being the most glamorous. He supplies everything needed to tell the story clearly, and provides a sly artistic wink to sell the funny moments. Aaron Kuder drew most of that earlier volume, and he’s back for parts of the final chapter drawing some great Adam Warlock sequences.
Duggan continues to surprise, not least with his casual treatment of the threat he’s been building all the way through, wrong-footing readers expecting something completely different. Actually he does that several times, not least with a final few pages neatly used to set up a massive event. There can be the deflation of feeling conned when a series ends without a resolution and the purpose has been to set up something else, but in this case Duggan’s delivered so much it generates positive expectation. He’s in charge of what comes next during Infinity Countdown, and this provides the full menu of excitement and comedy.
If you’d prefer Duggan’s Guardians in one complete head-rush there’s the hardcover Guardians of the Galaxy by Gerry Duggan.