Grew up reading comic books in the 90's. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel's cosmic universe are my favorites.
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All time and space are threatened and the only ones who can save us all are the Guardians of Infinity! ComiConverse Contributor Mitch Nissen has all eyes focused on this intergalactic crisis.
Guardians of Infinity #6 dropped in comic shops this last week. Issue #5 contained big reveals and brought everything into focus. It also left the Guardians behind bars with the most unlikely of teammates mounting the rescue, Nikki.
Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak.
Guardians of Infinity #6 reigns in the focus to two characters, veteran Guardian Nikki and the leader of the Guardians 1000 – Stella Nega. An army of enemies stand between Nikki and the device that will free her teammates. We then join Stella Nega as she faces down her executioner.
The ladies steal the show.
Carlo Barberi’s art in this issue is his best effort yet. Writer Dan Abnett gives Barberi several pages with little to no dialog, allowing for the art to truly shine. Carlo Barberi shows he can compose an action sequence that jumps off the page with power and excitement. Walden Wong’s inking is sharp and defining, bringing out the amazing details in the pencils. Israel Silva’s colors bring the art to bright vibrant life. The art is fantastic in all aspects. The character Nikki hasn’t looked this good since Kevin West’s renditions from the early 1990’s.
The action in this issue isn’t the usual sprawling chaotic battle sequence we’ve seen over and over again in comics. It’s intimate and intense. The fighting is close quarters. The impact of the strikes carry weight and the power of the sequence is amplified with little to no quipping or dialog. Nikki has no special powers to aid her save her raw fighting skills and proficiency with firearms.
Carlo Barberi delivers some of the best action to come out of comic books in years.
This is a great demonstration of why Nikki is such a wonderful character. She shines in this issue like she never has before. Aside from a brief cameo in the 2008 volume of Guardians of the Galaxy, Nikki hadn’t been featured in a comic for twenty years until resurfacing in the pages of Guardians 3000 in late 2014 (written by Dan Abnett). She had stellar moments in that book, but this issue is perhaps her finest.
Also heavily featured in this issue is Stella Nega. While she doesn’t have much in the way of action, this issue shows readers her intelligence, resolve and further capabilities as the leader of the Guardians 1000. There are hints at her past, how she received the scars along the right side of her face, as well as an impressive dialog exchange between her and her would-be executioner. Abnett has taken the most time developing Stella out of all of the Guardians 1000 team so far and has forged her into quite the compelling character.
The story, however, doesn’t travel far from where it left off at the end of issue #5. Abnett only has fifteen pages to work with in every issue, five pages shorter than the average comic book from Marvel Comics. There’s only so much plot, action, and character development one can fit into fifteen pages. What the creative team on this book accomplishes in terms of story is impressive, especially when considering that other writers today have difficulty with this in full length comic books.
If only Abnett, Barberi, and the crew had the full length of the book to work with, then we readers would have something even more remarkable to take in.
As always, the other fifteen pages of this book feature an unrelated second story. This issue continues to showcase the female characters with a story focusing on Gamora and Kitty Pride. The two women hijack a spaceship and travel to a desolate planet in search of a doomsday device. Chitauri marauders appear to take the device for themselves. The weapon is activated during the battle. Gamora and Kitty escape just seconds before the explosion.
Eric Paliki, Paolo Villanelli, and Rain Beredo provide the script, pencils, and colors for the second story. The art is very good and Paliki’s script is one of the better stories to have come from these secondary features. Once again, this backup feature ultimately amounts to very little. having no bearing on the Guardians of Infinity story whatsoever.
The highlight of the story is one panel showing a flashback of Gamora as a child with Thanos. This exploration of Gamora’s past is what gives this story its weight. The story would be better served as a backup feature in Bendis’ Guardians of the Galaxy book.
Overall this was a very satisfying issue in spite of the superfluous second story. Judging the main feature by itself, Dan Abnett, Carlo Barberi, and the rest pull off an amazing feat of action and character development. The plot doesn’t move the characters very far from where we left them but it still tells a compelling story. The whole creative team is in top form here.
The second half of the book was enjoyable but ultimately of no relevance to the main story or any other. The space would be of better use as either supplemental stories exploring the Guardians 1000, further developing these brand new characters, or given over entirely to the main feature by Abnett and Barberi.
Guardians of Infinity is the best book from Marvel right now and is worth the money.
For more cosmic Marvel goodness check out The Infinity Entity.
Be sure to return next month, as I continue to review the following issues of Guardians of Infinity!
Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche.
Some of the best action in comic books highlights this wonderful issue of Guardians of Infinity. Nikki and Stella Nega show why they’re the only Guardians of the Galaxy we’ll ever need. Dan Abnett and Carlo Barberi deliver the goods once again.