The vaults of Citopia had never been breached until the Guardians of the Galaxy came along. They stole a self-contained universe for the Grandmaster, who withheld payment until the team went on one last mission to steal the Hujahdarian Monarch Egg from another elder, the Collector. Gamora and the Grandmaster have some kind of secret deal (who knows what that’s about?), Drax has stopped destroying (I know, right?), and Groot isn’t re-growing possibly because of some stranger growing a ton of his/her own Groots (what are they for?). Last issue left us with a ton of questions, and this one is no different.
This issue begins with the Guardians trying to figure out how to get to the Collector’s place and past his security measures (which are plentiful and savage). They manage to get inside and get a hold of the Hujahdarian Monarch Egg, but get caught on the way out. Elsewhere, this farmer of Groots is cultivating his crop, keeping the strongest Groots and killing off the rest.
Seriously, what the heck is up with Gamora? As mysterious as she is, we get a little extra suspicion when she kills of robot guards without knowing that they’re robots. In addition, she seems to be more interested in the collection than what the mission warrants. Both Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon are onto her, but she isn’t telling anyone what’s really going on. The mysteries continue as Groot is stuck in Baby Groot form, taking after his most recent theatrical role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Moreover, we also don’t know what is going to happen to the Guardians. The Collector literally has them in the palm of his hand, and there is seemingly no escape. Yeah, I’m left with questions, but the story does reinforce concerns we had with the first issue regarding Gamora and Groot. This is a lot of buildup to something I’m hoping will his us like a ton of bricks. Duggan is planning something big; I can feel it.
The characterization in this issue is great. Despite Gamora’s secrecy, we still get to see a bit of her humor towards the end. Drax even starts destroying again! Rocket Raccoon is his usual analytical self, looking for the best way out of the Collector’s place. Peter is the one who keeps a lot of the dialogue flowing from character to character, and it’s as natural as ever—especially with the Guardians’ dysfunctional family type of dynamic. The story moves along at a fast-but-steady pace, and is a fairly easy read.
Kuder’s illustrations are on point in this book. From the darkness of the unexplored cosmos to the looming danger that lurks within the Collector’s secured facility, we can see the sheer amount of detail that went into making this issue look as great as it does. The line work is clean and sleek, allowing for ample amounts of detail in the pencils and colors. The characters are emotive and fluid; the pencils show a lot of natural movement from panel to panel. The character designs for the Collector’s security “guards” are insanely intimidating, making the point of this mission seem ever more urgent.
I’m not sure where things are going to go from here, but I can’t wait to find out! What are all those Groots for? How are they keeping Baby Groot from re-growing? Will the Guardians make it away from the Collector alive? What does the Grandmaster have going on with Gamora, and why is she hiding it? I have no doubt that Duggan will answer all our questions in subsequent issues, but for now, you’ve got to check out this issue. All-New Guardians of the Galaxy is doing a great job of keeping us entertained and interested, and I’m pumped to see what’s next!
Written by: Gerry Duggan
Illustrated by: Aaron Kuder