Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #150

Mitch Nissen Mitch Nissen
Expert Contributor
January 9th, 2018

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.

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #150
Comics
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Guardians of the Galaxy #150 has hit comic shops everywhere, hailing the return of a classic Marvel cosmic hero and igniting a new Marvel event series. ComiConverse contributor Mitch Nissen takes a look at this latest cosmic adventure from Marvel Comics.

Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy #150

In May of 2017 Marvel Comics relaunched the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book with the series All-New Guardians of the Galaxy. Picking up the reins from Brian Michael Bendis’ long tenure on the series was writer Gerry Duggan and a rotating cast of artists, most notable among them being Aaron Kruder and Marcus To.

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Where Bendis seemed to shy away from Marvel’s outer space themes, frequently taking the team to Earth and padding their ranks with Earth-based heroes, Gerry Duggan has fully embraced Marvel’s cosmic tableau. With a few of Bendis’ proclivities still at work, such as having an Earth-hero like Ant-Man on the team and the occasional pit stop on Earth, this book has dove head first into Marvel’s cosmic history. Duggan has showcased the Elders of the Universe, the Fraternity of Raptors, the Nova Corps, and more.

And finally, with issue #150, we readers are treated with the return of one of Marvel’s classic cosmic heroes and former member of the Guardians, Adam Warlock.

Synopsis

The Guardians and the Nova Corps are in all-out battle against the Fraternity of Raptors. Through daring and a little bit of bloodletting the Guardians are victorious. However, word gets out that the Nova Corps have been hiding an Infinity Stone, catching the attention of Skrulls, Chitauri, and more. Meanwhile Adam Warlock awakes in Soul World, a land of the dead, having experienced a vision portending doom. Warlock decides it’s time to live again and, upon rebirth, is greeted by an unlikely person: Kang the Conqueror.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Breakdown

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Guardians of the Galaxy #150 is a peculiar issue. Marvel is seemingly ending the book, or at least this current iteration (likely in favor of a new #1 later in 2018), but continuing the story in various one-shots and a mini series in the months ahead. The issue is oversized with a lenticular cover showcasing the return of one of Marvel’s grandest cosmic heroes; Adam Warlock.

Interestingly Adam Warlock is a side character in the issue. He's excluded from the central action, instead being the subject of a peripheral plot. From all appearances this issue looks like an epic return for Adam Warlock as well as a mighty send off for this volume of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In reality this is merely a thicker regular issue.

Throughout the series writer Gerry Duggan has introduced a half dozen plot threads, many of which were present at the onset of the series. After 17 issues few if any of these threads have been resolved. The bulk of the issue centers on a rather inconsequential battle between the Nova Corps and the Fraternity of Raptors, at the end of which neither side is better or worse than they were at the start. None of the Guardians particularly shine in the battle either save for Ant-Man, the guest member of the team.

While I love seeing Ant-Man treated well, I loathe seeing the Guardians take a back seat in their own book.

And then there’s Adam Warlock. He wakes from a dream in Soul World, speaks with “Soul Gamora,” and resurrects himself. That’s it. It’s more of a tease than the triumphant return of one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. Duggan, who has usually crossed all his T’s in regards to the continuity, fails to explain how Warlock ended up in Soul World. When we last saw him, in Thanos: The Infinity Finale, he had just been resurrected by the Living Tribunal. How is he dead already?

I love seeing Adam Warlock return. As great as it is though, Duggan could’ve made the moment far more powerful. Instead it just sort of happens.

The revelation to the greater cosmic universe of the location of the Power Stone is the biggest consequence resulting from this issue. This reveal increases the tension and sets the stage for big events on the horizon, none of which actually occur in this issue though. And after 17 issues (18 if you include the Free Comic Book Day issue) we haven’t resolved much at all. Duggan has lined up all of these plots like dominos in a grand design.

I hope Duggan has a great plan in mind for the time when we will finally start to see these plots come to a head. As of now he’s strung us readers along for quite a while ($69 plus tax so far!). It’s time start rewarding our patience.

Credit: Marvel Comics

The Art

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Art duties are shared this issue between Aaron Kruder and Marcus To with Ian Herring on colors. Aaron Kruder gets top billing but seems to have only contributed four pages to the thirty page count. He renders Adam Warlock’s dream sequence and delivers some very nice looking pages. It isn’t much but it’s good.

Marcus To, who over the last several issues has become the lead artist for the series, illustrates the bulk of the book and knocks it out of the park. His action sequences are tense and kinetic. Ant-Man’s triumphant scene is dynamic and powerful. And the second to last page featuring Adam Warlock emerging from the cocoon is stunning. Marcus To, whose work I loved on the 2014 volume of New Warriors, is a wonderful successor to Aaron Kruder as lead artist.

Ian Herring’s colors are strong yet subdued at times. Certain instances the colors look rather dirty and not as vibrant as they could be. Overall though Herring’s colors round out one great looking book.

For what appears to be the final issue and a landmark 150th issue the book doesn’t quite live up to the advertising. Misleading would be the best term to describe everything. Yes, Adam Warlock returns, but a more accurate cover would’ve shown the Guardians head to head with the Raptors and a tiny circle in the lower right corner with Warlock’s face saying, “And Warlock Too!”

Hopefully this is just the start of a greater story yet to come that will make these 18 issues all worth it.

What did you think?

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

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