GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #8
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Francesco Francavilla
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 30, 2013
Brian Michael Bendis has settled into a nice groove with the Guardians of the Galaxy and his comfort with the characters is on full display in issue #8. The awkward nature of this team, and their headstrong knack for getting in trouble is everywhere in this issue, and the charm of the team is really starting to shine through. I will admit that the lack of Tony Stark is welcomed, as the book feels like less of an “Avengers in space” book with Iron Man out of the picture. Bendis’ dialogue in this issue is fantastic, with each member of the Guardians represented perfectly. Headstrong-to-a-fault-but-deadly-as-all-hell Gamora, over-the-top Rocket, subtle-as-an-atomic-bomb Drax, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants Star Lord and the ever-Groot-errific Groot are an exceptionally fun cast to read when they are thrown together and Bendis uses these personalities to their full potential in this issue. This issue also ties in fairly directly to Infinity, or at least more so than most of the tie-in series so far. The events of these Guardians issues will most likely have an impact on the primary series based on what is occurring in this issue and Bendis does a great job of making Infinity affect this group and also making this team affect Infinity. This is a crew that would not be able to stay out of these events for long, and it is a pleasure to see them diving in by Bendis’ hand. This issue also features what looks to be a greater tie to the Marvel universe for Angela, which is greatly appreciated. Her actions make the character feel like less of a gimmick and more an active player in the Marvel U. Guardians #8 shows how capable Bendis is at writing these characters and how dynamic they are when in good hands.
Francesco Francavilla is like a pinch hitter publishers pull off of the bench and the only thing he does is hit home runs. Guardians of the Galaxy #8 is yet another home run for Francavilla (in a long streak of them) as his work is absolutely fantastic. His style is very different than Pichelli or McNiven who have set much of the tone for this series, but he’s also telling a different story than they have been. His style works very well for the story told in this issue and his use of shadow and colour in this issue is excellent. The issue has a 70s feel that evokes the adventurous feeling of the first Star Wars film, and it gives the Guardians a lot of energy. They leap from the page and their unique attitudes are expressed very well by Francavilla. Francavilla proves (not that anyone really doubted) that he can pencil anything with great skill, be it cosmic, pulp, horror…you name it, this guy can draw it…very well! Francavilla fans will definitely want to check this book out, and fans already pulling Guardians are in for a very special treat when they crack this issue open.
Guardians of the Galaxy #8 is a great comic by two great creators. It is a sharp witted, entertaining and exceptionally well drawn issue that does a great job of riding the fence of being an event book and a Guardians book. People reading for either reason will find a lot to love in this issue, and I haven’t been this pumped to read more Guardians since before the series began.