Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Juann Cabal
Colors: Federico Blee
Cover Artists: Rafael Albuquerque & Marcelo Maiolo
The Guardians have been divided, separated, down on their luck, and almost killed each other. So naturally, the only thing to bring them back together is a bunch of killer Space Gods from Earth. In Guardians of the Galaxy #12, the Guardians will finally finish this fight.
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So, this reviewer has been rather disappointed by Al Ewing’s Guardians series so far. There was initial promise with how he set up the Guardian, not to mention he picked up the story set in the previous Avengers: No Road Home with the new cosmic Olympians. But it all feels like an afterthought. The Olympians weren’t that fleshed out here. They’re really just a plot device to get things moving and make things happen.
As such, this whole conflict felt like it didn’t really need the Olympians, just a random cosmic threat that got dropped at the Guardians’ door. It could’ve been some Mad Celestials, more of those Imperial Kree, the Progenitors he set up in his Inhumans series. Any of them would’ve been fine threats since the Guardians are fighting literal Gods and winning.
Thankfully, the comic’s real strength is the character payoffs from all the previous storylines with several characters in particular, Peter, Groot, and the new Moondragon and Quasar. The last two especially. Everyone else is giving something to do or is at least seen fighting and killing the Space Greek Gods, some off-panel and others in ways that kinda make sense and don’t.
Hercules is supposed to have this big moment near the end with the rest of the Guardians, and it’s well illustrated by Cabal with Blee’s amazing colors. But it doesn’t have any weight to it because the Olympians weren’t great villains in this series. Ewing never built a strong rapport or dynamic between Hercules and Zeus in this comic, who just keeps yelling about how he’s going to drown the galaxy in blood and fire or something like that. He’s very one-note in this series, which makes their fight less compelling.
There’s also a lot of talk about eras beginning and ending in this comic. Let me just say, the Guardians of the Galaxy as a series has just been one era starting and ending after another with each new writer. So, there’s little investment from this reviewer on how long this current “era” for the Guardians will last until the next writer comes along. However, now that this story arc is finally over, it seems like Al Ewing is getting ready to finally show us some much bigger and brighter ideas for the Guardians that could feel right for the team.
So, quick spoilers, but Groot is back to his old self saying “I am Groot” and nothing else again. Like I said before, “eras” come and go in the Guardians series like that. The past Infinity Wars event gave Groot intelligible speech again, Donny Cates kept this going, and now Al Ewing kind of switched him back to his old self. So, hopefully Ewing’s new ideas for the Guardians going forward have a more lasting impact.
Guardians of the Galaxy #12 is a comic all about resolutions. There is payoff to certain character storylines from past issues, but the villains felt very disposable and were not compelling threats. This made the conflict cool to look at, thanks to Juann Cabal’s art and Federico Blee’s colors, but it has little weight behind it. Whether you’re a fan of Al Ewing’s story choices or not, this part of the story is finally over and it looks like the future might be brighter for the series going forward.