What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the new book that is Guardians of the Galaxy #4! Wow, I can’t even remember when exactly the last issue released of Guardians of the Galaxy. This pandemic was some bad timing for a book like this, because I was so anxious whenever there was a new issue. This creative team jumped right into the madness with this one. Defying the power of New Gods, losing one of their own, and then showing exactly what happens when a family like this is torn apart. It changes everything, and still I want to see what being a guardian now means when fighting for something other than the fate of the universe.
Now if you told me that this is where we would have found ourselves in the fourth issue of Guardians of the Galaxy, I would not have believed you. I still remember first jumping into this book thinking that it was going to be more of the same, and before the end of the first issue they made a statement that that just was not going to be the case. It’s hard to believe that Peter Quill could really have been the glue to this team, yet somehow he was. There wasn’t too much of this “true Guardians” that we got from this issue, but even then they made the message clear that they are not the team they once were. The switch to mercenaries wasn’t hard to accept. When you have had your heart broken the way this team did, it made sense that they would turn to a job where they were actually compensated for their work. You know, rather than throwing themselves to the wolves with little to show for it but loss. When it mattered, they showed exactly how they felt about the other half of the team who came home without Quill.
On the flip side, the other half of the team had my attention for the fact they were still out there trying to fight the good fight. This part was interesting to me because one would have assumed these guys all went their separate ways. That they stayed together was a surprise, especially since most of this team doesn’t share the same dynamic or bonds. You have Rocket who isn’t the most reliable, Marvel Boy who isn’t always what you would call a team player, and Nova who tends to be more by the book. On the surface that doesn’t seem like a combination for success. However, I did enjoy being proven wrong to an extent. At least when it came to Marvel Boy. We didn’t get too much action from the others, but they went to some lengths to remind many of us how resourceful he can be in the field. Even I forgot some of the things he was capable of.
With that said, this issue was mostly the set up for the confrontation between both teams. Something did happen by the end of this issue, but it was nothing full-blown like what you were probably prepared for. Not a problem either, because I would prefer them easing into this developing encounter. With this book back on shelves, we are also now processing everything which happened in the past three issues all over again.
One thing I did remember was how much I loved the work from this art team. The interior work from them was gorgeous. What caught my attention more than anything else is the way that this art team has fun with it. This isn’t the most entertaining story that they are trying to tell given the current circumstances, but still they had fun with the way that the imagery is presented to us. The panel layouts, the panel shapes, the methods of transitioning between scenes. It was all very creative, including the way certain characters were introduced to us too. Going back to Marvel Boy, I was impressed with the way he was drawn in particular. Not many artists have that kind of command over the human body to be able to twist and distort it the way Juann Cabal does with Marvel Boy. I thought a lot of what he could do looked cool visually, despite also feeling the cringe of his ability to dis-configure his body as if it was nothing. With that said, it was at the same time interesting that they went with two colorists for this issue, but the result was something you couldn’t argue with either. There was such energy that we got out of their color work that really makes the art jump out at you.
Overall, a solid issue that Guardians of the Galaxy #4 turned out to be. If I’m being honest, I did have my reservations about the direction that this book has been taking, but at the same time it is hard to deny that this is a new experience to indulge in.