Review: Guardians of Infinity #8

July 23rd, 2016 | by Mitch Nissen
Review: Guardians of Infinity #8

Reviewed by:
On July 23, 2016
Last modified:July 23, 2016


Dan Abnett and Carlo Barberi bring the Guardians of Infinity story to a close in a natural and fun way. Another great story from Marvel comes to an end far too soon.

Marvel has released the final installment of Guardians of Infinity and ComiConverse Contributor Mitch Nissen is here with the rundown on this epic finale.

The eighth issue of Guardians of Infinity has arrived and it appears to be the final issue. Guardians of Infinity joins the ranks of Black Knight, Red Wolf, Star-Lord, and many others as the latest casualty from Marvel Comics. So too draws to a close the plot threads first seeded in 2014’s Guardians 3000 and on through the Secret Wars tie-in series Korvac Saga.



Guardians of Infinity: Synopsis

Former Guardian of the Galaxy turned universal threat, Hermetikus, launches his warhost of Highbreed warriors, eight billion strong, to bend all time and space to his will. Using Rocket Raccoon‘s brain as a genius military tactician in charge of his forces, Hermetikus focuses his attention on the duplicitous Stella Nega, his hands around her throat.

The war fleet begins crashing into the ship’s shields. Hermetikus’ suit stops responding to his commands and instead releases Stella from his death grip. Suddenly he is pummelled by his own fists, all to the sound of Rocket’s chiding voice,


Credit: Marvel Comics

“Shouldn’t have put my brain in a jar, flark face!”

Rocket’s brain usurps command of Hermetikus’ suit, deactivates the highbreed system, and all the gene-cruited soldiers of Hermetikus return to normal. Thwarting Hermetikus’ plans, the guardians saved the entire universe and the timestream.

Guardians of Infinity: Breakdown

Beginning with the art, Walden Wong’s inks are absent from this issue, with Tom Palmer and Jose Marzan Jr. inking the issue instead. Carlo Barberi’s pencils are rough and less refined in this issue as opposed to the previous seven inked by Walden Wong. Whether Barberi tweaked his art style for this issue or whether the unpolished appearance of the art is due to Walden Wong’s absence is unclear. Regardless, the artwork in this final issue doesn’t quite live up to the previous issues. Minor errors in Israel Silva’s coloring pepper the issue as well. Overall though, the artwork remains vibrant and satisfying despite not quite equaling past efforts.

Story continues below

Issue eight wraps up the story arc in a fun and exciting finale. In issue four of Guardians of Infinity, Rocket and the three teams of Guardians were captured and facing, as Rocket put it, “certain death.” Throughout that issue, narrated by Rocket, he wracks his brain for a plan that will save everyone. Then Hermetikus removes Rocket’s brain. We discover in issue eight that Rocket’s plan all along was to take control of Hermetikus’ functions from the inside via having his brain removed.

This solution felt natural, the next logical step in the story, and a fun way to tie up the series quickly and tightly. With the highbreed system deactivated all the enemy soldiers return to their normal selves including Guardians 3000 member Charlie 27. One of the highlights of the issue is Charlie’s return whereupon he delivers the final blow to Hermetikus.

guardians of infinity

Credit: Marvel Comics

The majority of the issue is action with only a mere five pages of resolution, in reality a third of the story. Abnett resolves all of the open plot threads quickly and with the simplest possible solutions. All three teams of Guardians head their separate ways with a former general of Hermetikus’ left in charge of the Structure. As with every issue of this book, Abnett has had very little time and space with which to compose the story (ironic in that the story he’s writing takes place in a location with infinite time and space). With the writer now exclusively working for DC Comics and with no more issues of Guardians of Infinity to come, Abnett returns each of the teams of Guardians to where they came from, no more or less than when the story began.

This is both good and sad.

Good in that the next writer who comes along with a story about the Guardians 3000 or Guardians 1000 doesn’t have to finish any unresolved plot-threads with the characters. If you never read another Guardians story ever again, this story was completely wrapped up (or just about). Yet it is sad in that there was clearly more story to tell from this and loads of potential left sitting on the shelf.

The Structure, a neutral location existing outside of time and space with access to anywhere and any time in space now in the hands of the Guardians, could’ve been the next Knowhere with literally infinite possibilities for future stories. The Guardians 3000 once possessed a massive temporal spaceship called Drydock. Drydock was destroyed in a battle against the Dread Dormammu leaving the Guardians 3000 without a home base. The Structure could’ve been the next Drydock.

And then there are the Guardians 1000, who still remain quite mysterious and rife with potential. The Guardians 1000 each have untold backstories, yet to be defined power sets, and a whole unrevealed history all waiting to be explored and expanded upon. They could’ve been the sole group of protagonists in this story themselves and there still would’ve been story left untold by the end.


Credit: Marvel Comics

The Guardians 3000 too, expertly revived and reinvigorated by Abnett over the last year and a half, still have plenty of potential left to be utilized. Yondu, Starhawk, Aleta, and Geena were left out of the story completely begging the question, “What were the rest of the future Guardians battling?” The Guardians 3000 and the Guardians 1000 were only featured in this book and exclusively written by Dan Abnett. Whether another writer picks up these characters in the future, we don’t know. It’s a shame we couldn’t spend more time with these characters in this final issue.

The original Marvel Solicitations for this book featured only Dan Abnett and Carlo Barberi’s names attached with no mention of a secondary story. This led some to believe that the full thirty pages of issue eight would be all Abnett’s Guardians of Infinity story, allowing the story ample time to bring everything to a close naturally and addressing any or all questions regarding the future. Sadly this is not the case. Abnett and Barberi’s lead story once again is given only fifteen pages and a secondary story fills out the last fifteen pages as usual.

The second story, titled The Ripley, is a stand alone one-off story written by Jen and Sylvia Soska with art by Juanan Ramirez and colors by Jesus Aburtov. The Soska Sisters deliver a fun homage story to the Alien film franchise. Featuring Rocket, Star-Lord, and Kitty Pryde, the trio respond to a distress call from a Brood ship and find themselves lured into a gruesome trap.

Story continues below


Credit: Marvel Comics

The artwork by Juanan Ramirez is beautiful, especially the single page spread of a zombified Acanti (a giant space whale creature). Jesus Aburtov’s colors compliment Ramirez’s art wonderfully creating a dark and frightening atmosphere very much in the vein of Ridley Scott’s Alien.

The secondary story is a quality presentation all around. The images of the Acanti and the Brood are definite highlights as well as the references to classic X-Men/Brood stories. It’s nice to see writers doing their homework and acknowledging the history of the characters.

The only downfall of the secondary story falls within the format. As with every secondary story in each of the eight issues, not one of them has any relevance to the Guardians of Infinity beyond featuring Rocket, Groot, or Drax in an otherwise unrelated story. Had the space been used to flesh out the characters and history of the Guardians 1000 or filled in the gap between Korvac Saga and Guardians of Infinity with the Guardians 3000 these secondary stories would’ve felt necessary or at least relevant.

Had the last fifteen pages of each issue been more of the primary story this book would’ve been a dream come true.

Marvel has released the final installment of Guardians of Infinity and ComiConverse Contributor Mitch Nissen is here with the rundown on this epic finale.

Guardians of Infinity: Series Review

“If we’re going to die… Let’s do it well.”  ~ Stella Nega


Credit: Marvel Comics

The character Stella Nega has a line of dialog ending the third issue of Guardians of Infinity which in retrospect is quite telling: “If we’re going to die… Let’s do it well.” This dialog could be a commentary by writer Dan Abnett expressing his desire to finish this book as strong as possible even while knowing the book’s end was nigh. And he delivers in this promise. Very few writers have a love of the characters they write that comes across so vividly as Dan Abnett.

There is no other story out there like Guardians of Infinity. It was an ambitious concept, bringing together not just the original and modern Guardians of the Galaxy teams but introducing a third team as well. Dan Abnett’s story transformed the Guardians from a ragtag group of misfits brought together by necessity and coincidence into a timeless concept of universal import.

Very few of the outer space comic books from Marvel can be described as truly cosmic. The Guardians of Infinity is one of the few books that lives up to its namesake. The scope and grandeur of the story cannot be described any other way but “cosmic.” The future of storytelling from this point on is literally infinite. The concept is both revolutionary and reverential. The world that these characters inhabit is evolved and pushed forward without sacrificing continuity or disregarding characters personalities. These are the same characters some of us have been reading since the 1960’s and not merely skin-deep shades.

If I had to pinpoint the downfall of this book I’d say the lion’s share of the blame rests on the format. From the very first issue when presented with the layout, that of two fifteen page stories with only one story relevant to the title, one could foretell this book’s doom. As a result a built-in resentment toward the secondary stories was present with every issue regardless of their quality.

guardians of infinity

Credit: Marvel Comics

Even with the odds stacked against them, Abnett and Barberi achieved greatness. Barberi loads each panel providing lush backgrounds, hosts of characters, and copious action. Barberi’s artwork continues to reveal more to the reader upon second and even third examinations. Add in Abnett’s truly cosmic concepts and judicial storytelling and the book comes together beautifully.

The demise of this book is a shame for many reasons, foremost is that we readers only received one small story arc. The setup is now complete and the storytelling possibilities can only grow from here. And then there are the characters. Drax, Rocket, and Groot can be seen in numerous other books. But the Guardians 3000 and the new and wonderful Guardians 1000 were only featured in this book. Where do fans of these characters go from here?

Later this year, nearly every story featuring the original Guardians of the Galaxy (the Guardians 3000) will be available in shiny new trade paperbacks. Having these long out of print stories readily available again will hopefully spur more interest in these amazing characters. The Guardians of Infinity trade (collecting only Abnett and Barberi’s lead stories) will also be available August 2016. Hopefully this incredible book will gain more traction in a different format.

I will take any new Guardians of the Galaxy comic book written by Dan Abnett regardless of format. I am extremely grateful to have received a total of twenty new comic books since late 2014 with eight issues of Guardians 3000, four issues of Korvac Saga, and another eight with Guardians of Infinity.

If you are among those who bought this book from beginning to end and could see what Abnett and Barberi were accomplishing then you were witness to a rare evolution of characters and concepts, a glimpse into the future.

Count yourself among the lucky.

“We are the ones who know” ~ Starhawk

Be sure to check back as it appears there will be more cosmic comics on Marvel’s horizon in the coming months… and a few of them look mighty tantalizing.


Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche

Source: Marvel Comics

Dan Abnett and Carlo Barberi bring the Guardians of Infinity story to a close in a natural and fun way. Another great story from Marvel comes to an end far too soon.

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