The Knowhere authorities send the Guardians of the Galaxy on a mission to transport a priest and his sacred relic—the Mother Stone—in a deal that would lift the Guardians’ lien on their ship and rid them of financial burdens. But bad things happen when more than five people are in the stone’s presence. Not a problem, as the Guardians are five. But when Pip the Troll shows up to steal the stone, things go sour.
In this issue, Pip and the Guardians have been teleported to a wormhole of sorts, and are confronted by a cosmic being. She tells them that one of them is to become Mother Entropy, but first they have to endure a test. Each of them is put in a stressful situation to see how they react, but when two candidates are tied, the deal breaker is how they deal with pain.
Jim Starlin’s script is really telling. We see a lot of the individual characters when they are put in difficult situations—which are all really creative ones. Drax gets his limbs taken away as he is face-to-face with Thanos. Rocket Raccoon sees a bunch of multiples of himself and can’t figure out which is the real one. Peter goes back to his childhood bedroom and meets his “real father,” who doesn’t give him any answers. Groot is atop a tree that comes tumbling down. Pip is put in a really awkward situation that I have no idea what to make of. Lastly, Gamora is a young girl again, working with Thanos. All have different reactions, and it says a lot about their ability to handle stress and frustration. The characterization is good, but I do wish we could’ve seen lengthier tests of their sanity.
The script itself is fluid and moves along at a quick pace—almost too quick. There isn’t all too much to the story here; we don’t see a lot happening besides a test that leads to inconclusive results. The real kicker is looking forward upon how Mother Entropy will be decided. Who will it be? Will they accept the challenges therein? What will they have to do? Is there any way out of this mess?
Alan Davis’ artwork tells the story really well. It’s a pretty “out there” story, and it looks just as trippy as it reads. The environment that the Guardians (and Pip) are in is beautiful. They’re just floating around in the cosmos, and it shows. There are bright stars, gorgeous color blending, and tons of details to make space look as unforgiving as it is beautiful. Once the tests take place, we can see how the characters react really well. With a mildly animated art style, Davis is able to put a lot of emotion into these characters’ facial expressions. It really is as entertaining an issue to look at as it is to read.
This is a great issue to add to the series. The Guardians have found themselves in quite a pickle and, before they can figure out how to complete the mission, they have to find a way out of this mess. At this point, I have no idea how they can possibly escape, so it’ll be fun to see them try!
Written by: Jim Starlin
Illustrated by: Alan Davis