Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Juan Frigeri
Color Artist: Federico Blee
Cover Artists: Brett Booth, Adelso Corona & Guru-eFX
The Last Annihilation has begun! The dreaded Dormammu, ruler of the Dark Dimension, has started his universal invasion of the Marvel universe once more but has gone cosmic. He’s taken over Ego The Living Planet’s form, unleashed countless Mindless Ones of varying forms, and the Guardians are on the defense. Guardians of the Galaxy #17 sees the galactic heroes try to go on the attack.
The last part of The Last Annihilation saw the Guardians try to fight off waves of Dormammu’s Mindless Ones while S.W.O.R.D. #7 had its team try to come in for the win to help save Emperor Hulkling after his forces were overwhelmed, including Captain Glory. Now the Guardians, with Dr. Doom, are regrouping to figure out Dormammu’s plot and devise their own plan of attack.
The comic is initially a lot of recap and setup as Rocket and Dr. Doom catch the team and the readers up to speed on what’s happened in previous issues of the crossover and what’s currently happening across the Universe. Apparently, Dormmamu is attacking five specific planets in the entire cosmos that belong to recognizable cosmic superpowers. Doesn’t sound too bad, until you find out why he’s doing it.
This is where Dr. Doom comes in as their foremost expert on all things magical and supernatural. He informs the team and the reader of what Dormammu is scheming and thus informs everyone of the crossover event’s true stakes. The flaming planetoid intends to activate a mystical ritual using the invaded planets as points in a cosmic pentagram. Each of which bear some cosmic supernatural significance. He’s attacked the Kree, Skrull, Spartax, and Shi’ar homeworlds. Now his next target will be the Chitauri, who are not on friendly terms with the Galactic Council or the Guardians, so no one knows what’s their status.
This sort of explains why Dormammu hasn’t, say, invaded every single planet in the Universe with his Mindless Ones and is only targeting a handful of planets. It also serves to segway in the Chitauri into the comic, though admittedly, they don’t really have much of a presence in the comic. The real meat of this comic is the dynamic art, the action scenes, and the team dynamics in the Guardians with Dr. Doom in the mix.
Aside from Richard Rider aka Nova constantly telling the team how bad of an idea it is to have Dr. Doom with them, there’s not much there. Doom doesn’t really add or take away from the team dynamic other than Rich’s nagging. The Guardians are pretty much the same, even when they split into two teams, though we do get some more bonding between Gamora and Nova. The group with Doom doesn’t really do much other than comment on Doom using a terraforming ship to mass-produce an army of Doom-bots to fight the Dormammu-possessed Chitauri. Which looks really cool.
During the action in the latter half of the comic, Nova’s team on Spartax seem to be making some headway, until something big drops in their laps. Apparently, Al Ewing is using another of his ideas from previous comics, this time from Ultimates 2. In that series, Ego was recruited by Galactus to fight a grand threat, in the series Ego gained his own titanic humanoid body to match his planet-sized head. Well, Dormammu found the body and has the full set and now he’s ready to cause some damage with it.
Guardians of the Galaxy #17 continues to advance the story of The Last Annihilation and shows what Dr. Doom brings to the team. It’s something only Doom could bring, but aside from Rich saying it’s a bad idea to have him there, that’s about it. No new, fun, or interesting character banter and dynamics between him and the others. The art and colors look great, and the comic provides answers behind the tactics of Dormammu’s invasion which inform the true stakes of the crossover event.