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Guardians of the Galaxy #18 (Marvel, 2010)

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 (Marvel, 2010). Click for larger image.

Given that I am only reading this lone issue because the characters happen to dip in and out of The Killraven War of the Worlds mythos, this is a tough comic book to review, even more so considering this is the 18th issue in the current series, to which one can add an earlier series and numerous guest appearances. That's a mountain of back story nigh on impossible to absorb, though as a lapsed Marvel Comics fan, the inclusion of a past favourite character by the name of Adam Warlock (though unrecognisable to me in this incarnation) stirred happy memories, plus we get to visit again with Killraven, the freedom fighter battling to save earth from a successful second Martian invasion So with caveats in mind, (specifically that I have not a clue what has gone before) what can I say about Guardians of the Galaxy issue 18?

If you are really keen to understand The Guardians of the Galaxy, I suggest you avail yourself of the Wikipedia pages, but as a quick scene setting precis, the universe is in a bit of a mess, reeling from two "catastrophic annihilation events." The Guardians, a team of super powered heroes, are attempting to hold things together, but they are being buffeted across alternate realities and times by the fracturing space time continuum.

This visit to The War of the Worlds is then a brief detour in a very long and complex tale, but standing on its own, the comic has a lot to recommend it. The art (Wesley Craig) and colouring is strong and Guardians of the Galaxy #18 (Marvel, 2010) interior illustration. Click for larger image. vivid, with some great action scenes, and there's some nice dialogue. I warmed to the characters and would be happy to see more of them, but if there is a criticism to be levelled, it's just too quickly over. The conclusion feels rushed and contrived, as if the writers (Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) don't really want to hang around. Clearly there are big things afoot in the grand sweep of the story, but as a War of the Worlds fan, I'd like to have seen this facet of the story extended out over 2 or 3 issues at least. Of course I have to repeat the caveat that I'm seeing this in isolation, and for those who have stayed the course from issue 1, this might seem like an unfair criticism, but to my mind, there is no denying that their escape from Killraven's reality is done and dusted in a dismissively small number of panels. I felt a bit cheated of what should have been a much more epic conclusion.

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