A Dysfunctional Family Reunion Is Cut Short In Guardians Of The Galaxy #4

by James Ferguson

The new Guardians of the Galaxy have tracked down Gamora in an effort to protect her from the Dark Guardians. See, when Thanos died, he claimed to have sent his consciousness into another being in the universe. Some believe that’s Gamora, given that she’s the Mad Titan’s daughter and she recently went after the Infinity Gems. Nova is in the same boat after a recent encounter with Gladiator and the other big bads, but he made the mistake of leading them here. Get ready for a big old cosmic showdown.

While the action in Guardians of the Galaxy #4 is top notch, it’s the personal and compelling dynamics between the characters that elevate the title. Sometimes you get these small moments, like when the ship lands on Halfworld and artist Geoff Shaw has a panel showing Star-Lord sitting alone in his bunk with a bottle. This speaks volumes.
Another great example is when Gamora and Star-Lord first lay eyes on each other. The last time they saw one another, Gamora killed him and sent him down this trauma spiral. Although they’re in the same panel, they’re placed far apart, literally showing the distance between them. There’s now a huge chasm that may never be filled.

There are definitely some issues between Gamora, Star-Lord, and to a lesser extent, Groot, but this core team is like family. They would do anything for each other and it shows. That’s what makes this group so interesting. Writer Donny Cates gets these relationships so right. Families fight and sometimes they want to tear each other apart, but at the end of the day, they’re there for one another.
Guardians of the Galaxy #4 isn’t all about these great relationships. It’s also about cosmic characters colliding in world-shattering fashion. Shaw delivers some incredible action sequences in this book. Every member of both teams gets some time in the spotlight which keeps the battle exciting and unpredictable.

This is paced incredibly well too. It starts with a literal shot across the bow and builds up to this knock-down, drag-out fight. All the while the tension is steadily building. If this was a movie, the soundtrack would be booming by the time you get to the final pages, perfectly coinciding with the moment your jaw hits the floor.
Colorist David Curiel steals the show in these pages with some gorgeous work. There is such raw power on display here that the page practically sizzles with the attacks from both sides. There are intense energy blasts lighting up the battlefield as the sun sets in the sky creating a fiery backdrop for this showdown.

Beta Ray Bill gets some awesome moments in this issue, both with Gamora and against the Dark Guardians. Letterer Cory Petit delivers his dialogue in a suitably epic fashion, reminding us of the character’s ties to Asgard.
This new Guardians of the Galaxy series has been pretty great since the beginning. This issue further pushes this incredible arc forward while seeding future storylines as well. A great example of this is what’s going on with Rocket. I’m full of questions on that front, but I’m still so plugged into what’s going on with this new team and Thanos’ scheme.
Guardians of the Galaxy #4 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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