Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Juan Frigeri
Color Artist: Federico Blee
Cover Artists: Brett Booth, Adelso Corona & Guru-eFX
The Guardians of the Galaxy are back! But now the plucky band of galactic misfits have a more official standing and authority in the wider galaxy, and their first days on the job are already full of victories and new dangers. They repelled the Progenitors, discovered a secret space cult, and even fought and recruited Dr. Doom into the group. Guardians of the Galaxy #15 shows what they’ll do next.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
So, this issue is a weird one, but not because it does anything too strange. It starts out well enough with the Guardians overseeing the big, black egg that Ego The Living Planet encased himself in as part of a dark ritual. It’s being watched by an armada of spaceships studying it while the Guardians wait for the worst to happen. This part is where Al Ewing really puts in the effort to flesh out the cosmic landscape of Marvel Comics a little more.
Meanwhile Star Lord and Richard Rider aka Nova are on their way to Earth, specifically the S.W.O.R.D. station as part of an invitation to the Mutants’ Hellfire Gala. Thankfully, this issue has very little to do with the event, it’s just a way to officially get these two back to Earth. On their way there, Rider is arguing with Peter’s leadership, questioning him about Dr. Doom’s recruitment and especially not telling him about his life in Morinus, the other universe.
This is a major point because Nova is a catalyst for a lot of the chaos that happens afterwards on the S.W.O.R.D. station and the way Al Ewing writes him is both compelling and off-putting. Nova is written to be very emotional, belligerent, and at the end of the day he’s just looking for a win for the good guys but comes off immature. Whereas Peter is more laid-back and composed acting as the mature one of the duo. This is best demonstrated by Nova’s fight with Magneto on the S.W.O.R.D. station shown in the previews. This is where I’ll get into Spoilers.
On their way to Earth, Nova is talking to Star Lord about how he doesn’t like working with super-villains and the minute he sees Magneto is the liaison he says, “I’m done shaking hands with super villains. You’re going down, Magneto.” He ends up going into a tirade about how he’s had enough of super-villains “getting away with it”, mentioning Dr. Doom, Annihilus, and now threatens to arrest Magneto for something he did decades ago and literally starts a fight with him while Peter and Abigail Brand try to de-escalate things.
The fight is cool but short-lived and is ended by Brand who ends up making Nova look like a child just looking for an excuse to fight Magneto. Nova even describes himself as an “ass” admitting he was wrong for what he did. It just seems like this entire comic spent too much time making a fool out of Nova instead of telling a story. Al Ewing tries to add some context and rationalize Nova’s actions with a conversation between him and Magneto that comes down to how things used to be simpler and now they’ve gotten more complex.
However, for years Marvel Comics has largely kept Nova to outer space, rarely returning to Earth, and constantly “adjusting” to how things since he returned from the Cancerverse. So this moment feels a few years too late. Plus, it seems a bit like commentary from Ewing on superhero stories growing more complex over the years. But then the comic reveals who’s behind Ego’s madness and the secret Skrull space cult – Dormammu. Dormammu is a pure and simple super-villain who’s only out for conquest. There’s nothing complex about him, so Nova will be getting his wish for a straightforward superhero battle soon enough.
Guardians of the Galaxy #15 splits its time between Earth and the mysterious state of Ego from the previous issue. Unfortunately, the comic spends a little too much time making a fool out of Nova and attempts to convey a message about things being more complex nowadays for both Earth and the wider Marvel Universe. Things ramp back up by the end with a cool reveal that’s sure to get the series back into straightforward superhero action the next issue.