Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) Vol. 2 (Review)

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2

Collection: Guardians Of The Galaxy #13-25© 2009-2010

Publisher:  Marvel Comics © 2014

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

Pencilers: Brad Walker (#13-15, #17, #20-22 & #25) & Wes Craig (#16, #18-19 & #23-24)

Inkers: Victor Olazaba (#13-15, #17 & #20-21), Wes Craig (#16 & #18-19), Andrew Hennessy (#21, 22 & #25) & Serge Lapointe (#23-24) with Livesay (#15) & Scott Hanna (#17)

Colorists: Wil Quintana (#13, #20-22 & #25), Jay David Ramos (#14-15 & #17) & Nathan Fairbairn (#16, #18-19 & #23-24)

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna with Chris Eliopoulos (#15)

Cover Art: Salvador Larroca & Frank D’Armata (#13-15), Pasqual Ferry & Frank D’Aramata (#16 & #18), Daniel Acuña (#17), Alex Garner (#19-20 & #22-25) and Dave Wilkins (#21)

Assistant Editors: Michael Horwtiz & Rachel Pinnelas

Editor: Bill Roseman

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Volume 2 picks up from the first with the resurrection of Moondragon and Quasar now becoming the Martyr. In addition we continue the story of the The Church of the Universal Truth and the unraveling of space-time itself. The Shi’ar Empire and the Inhumans with the Kree square off against one another, only hastening the impending doom of the cosmos. The rifts are getting worse, sending in a dangerous threat. I would dare say this volume is a huge improvement story wise. We get fun time traveling bits in the story and higher stakes than ever. There is betrayal, twists and dare I say death. The stories have a way from going bad to worst and I mean in tone, not quality wise. In a sense, Vol. 1 was New Hope, this is Empire Strikes Back.

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The one thing Guardians manages to do, at least for me personally, is make me feel meaningless on a cosmic level, which yes I am. The Marvel Universe is so expansive, and this volume celebrates that as the Inhumans, the Star Jammers and even the original Guardians show-up. It is one thing for something to go wrong on Earth due to one of the many villains but for one horrible thing to threaten the cosmos is a whole other issue. Abnett & Lanning accomplish delivering a wide scale and scope is this book. You feel the setting is so large and only growing. With their layers of drama only adding to the costs going into saving the cosmos. Yet, they still find time to add some fun without detracting like an old, senior Star Lord for a moment due to time-travel or most of Rocket’s dialogue.

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The art team got a bit of a shift but nothing major, save for the departure of Maygar who did more than half and a few others here and there. Granted, Walker & Craig are now on the job and full-time helps Volume 1 transition to Volume 2 seamlessly. I may argue their Rocket is much “cuter” for lack of a better term. In the previous book there were times Rocket looked less of a raccoon and more of something feline or fox like at points. I found it a nice perk in how Walker provides for the linear narrative and Craig pencils the time-traveling issues, which he does in this hip, edgy, new age style. The proportions and lines have this young and simple vibe to it but with still great detail.

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I cannot deny I miss Langley’s covers from the first book though. Plus, Wilkins’ cover with Star-Lord left me uneasy as he looks a bit like a Helghast with the mask design, coloring and glow of his eyes. Long-story short – Helghast is from the Killzone video-game and are basically space Nazis more or less. The colorists boat was barely rocked, with the departure of only two and addition of one – Ramos, who though he uses many colors, he has a way of putting them into a dark hue. It is quite fascinating as neither color nor shadow is compromised.

All in all a great book and big improvement over the first volume. I especially love the addition of sketch work and fun variant covers in the back.

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