Guardians of the Galaxy #14 Review

by Nick Devonald on May 12, 2021

Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Juan Frigeri
Colours: Federico Blee
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

Guardians of the Galaxy. Their remit is quite literally in the title. More so than The Avengers, or the X-Men, or any other superhero team. If you’d never encountered them before their title says all. But it hasn’t been since the heyday of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning that the threats the Guardians have faced have truly felt Galaxy threatening. Until now. Al Ewing has tapped into that massive, galaxy threatening, huge scale disasters that was the hallmark of the modern Guardians, where they regularly face threats that feel epic and universe shattering. The various different runs over the years since Abnett and Lanning have focused on portraying the Guardians as the ragtag group of misfits established in the film, and the influence of the MCU guardians has been heavily felt, and as a result stories have felt scaled back and less epic. Ewing has taken all of that and produced one of the best Guardians stories in recent times, with each issue getting better and the potential only growing. It’s an exciting time to be a Guardians fan.

Splitting the team into two was a stroke of genius. It stops the huge cast from getting overwhelming, but it also allows Ewing to show readers that there isn’t just one threat at a time in the universe, here we have two massive emergencies which both require the Guardians to intervene. Team A are now facing off against Doctor Doom after his arrival at the end of the last issue, where they feel severely underpowered. And Team B are investigating a Skrull fire cult who are prophesising dark things ahead for the Galaxy. What follows is fantastic, the looming threat in the background growing steadily closer, the two stories being more connected than first appearances might have suggested. The tension really builds over the issue until the epic conclusion. And suddenly a month till the next issue seems a lifetime away. When the worst thing that a comic does is leave readers desperately hanging on for the next issue then they’ve done something right.

One of the strengths of Ewing’s writing is the way he gives readers just enough clues before big reveals. Readers have just enough time to put two and two together before he makes the grand reveal, and it’s brilliantly written. And he’s placed enough clues together for the new threat facing the Galaxy that savvy readers will be able to put two and two together and have an inkling of what’s coming up.

But don’t mistake having bigger threats and grander storylines for losing the charm the Guardians have. They’re still a ragtag group of misfits. The humour is still there. Everything that readers have come to love about the Guardians is present, it’s just the threat they face feels more in line with their remit. Watching Ewing shape the Guardians over the course of the series so that they’re more than capable of taking this threat on has been a highlight. Now that they’re ready watching the stakes increase has been exciting.

Juan Frigeri’s art is phenomenal. The Guardians new uniform is in keeping with their original one, but rather than feeling like he’s recreating that classic look he has his own design for the time which pays homage to their original uniform, while still feeling like it’s his take on the team. His art goes a long way to painting the stakes as epic.

This is an exciting time to be a Guardians fan. If the series continues like this it will end up being one of, if not THE, best Guardians run. Al Ewing is really leaning into the teams remit as quite literal Guardians of the Galaxy and the stakes have never felt higher, the storytelling and art on a new level. Readers owe it to themselves to get onboard this insane rollercoaster ride now or risk losing out on the most exciting Guardians story of the past decade.

Our Score:


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