High Five! Comics

Guardians of the Galaxy #19 – The Killing Fields

Posted on: November 15, 2009

gogWhat to do when the team of kind of goofy but extremely fun cosmic heroes you’ve assembled over the past three years and three epic mini-series just gets too big to handle? That was the dilemma that face Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning recently, when their misfit defenders of the cosmos, the Guardians of the Galaxy, got simply too big to handle. Faced with a burgeoning supergroup consisting of cosmic characters the two had retrieved from the dustbin of history (Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot and Major Victory) whose membership soon reached the double digits, Abnett and Lanning managed to fudge for a little while by splitting the teams. There were field and support teams, groups who got thrown through time, and others who stayed around. But by the end of the recent War of Kings storyline, it became clear that something had to give. And the authors who brought so many of these characters back to modern popularity took a cue from Metallica to solve their problem in the latest issue, deciding to Kill ’em all.

Handily, one of their team members,  Adam Warlock, also happened to be, or at least have the potential to be, the Magus, one of Marvel’s most underrated and powerful cosmic threats. Follow up one great act of self sacrifice with a turn to the dark side and you’ve got just the deus ex machina you need to thin out the herd.

In just one battle, Abnett and Lanning trim the fat from their defenders of space time, eliminating significant swaths of the team. Let’s take a quick peek at the demographic analysis of who went down in the latest issue, shall we?

  • 50% of the Members With Green Skin (Gamora, Mantis, leaving Drax and Bug)
  • 50% of Lesbians (Phyla Vell, leaving Moondragon)
  • 50% of Talking Animals (Cosmo, leaving Rocket Raccoon)
  • 50% of Guys Who Don’t Belong Here (Major Victory, leaving Jack Flag)
  • 100% of Mentally Unbalanced Women With Large Swords (Gamora, Phyla Vell)
  • and 100% of  Awkward, Cosmic Powered Magicians (Warlock/Magus)

This leaves a smaller, drastically de-powered team going into the pair’s upcoming cosmic epic, Realm of Kings, though if history is any indication, the Guardians will leave their Now Hiring sign up for the time being. But having lost most of their psychics, a former Quasar/Captain Marvel, the Deadliest Woman in the Universe, and a cosmic level threat, it will be interesting to see what role the Guardians of the Galaxy play in the upcoming series.

Just one thing rang false as the bodies hit the floor in this issue, and that’s just how easy it was to kill Magus. I usually find it pretty hard to pick a bone with Abnett and Lanning, whose ongoing resurrection of the cosmic Marvel universe is on par with the Jim Starlin classics and stands it’s own against the more heavily hyped Corps Wars of the Distinguished Competition – more on that later. But we’re talking about a guy who, the second he exists again, begins the process of rewriting reality itself. And Starlord just guns him down like it’s a gangland execution? Really?

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4 Responses to "Guardians of the Galaxy #19 – The Killing Fields"

But he was using the cosmic cube to take away Warlock’s powers!

Well, to be fair, it’s a gangland execution backed up with the full power of a Cosmic Cube tuned by Kang the Conqueror to the “Kill The Magus” setting. I would imagine that with that cube, pretty much anything conventionally lethal would have worked.

I get why the team had to be whittled down, but…man, I’m sad to see Cosmo go. Best little telepathic cosmonaut dog ever. I wouldn’t have minded if he (and Gamora, for that matter) had just slid over to be supporting cast on Nova, since they both have some history in that title anyway.

Mantis, Phyla-Vell and Warlock will be missed, too.

(But not Major Victory. He really didn’t belong there, and I think Jack Flag has better chemistry with the team.)

Yeah, I know, there was a Cosmic Cube involved, and thus, sure, Peter Quill is certainly capable of capping Warlock and making it stick. I guess my point, albeit perhaps poorly made in the post, is that getting capped like a Hell’s Angels snitch is still a less than dignified way for a cosmic threat to exit stage left. Think if the end of Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos just got popped with a .45. Anti-climatic, right?
And Trilobite, I’m totally on board re: some of these characters could have been shifted over to Nova – dude’s trying to rebuild the Marvel U’s only cosmic police force – give him a hand, right?

My only problem w/ the issue was the sub-par cartoony art. They need to get that Walker guy back or Paul Pelletier once he is done w/ Realm of Kings, etc.

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