The Guardians of the Galaxy have become a family over the course of the last six years. However when one of their own falls, they face it like any other family- in their own individual ways.
Al Ewing, Nina Vakueva, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Belen Ortega, Juann Cabal, Federico Blee, and Cory Petit grapple with grief with the Guardians in Guardians of the Galaxy #3.
Peter Quill is dead. The remaining Guardians have to face the fact that one of their own- perhaps the one person they all care deeply about- is gone. In the wake of that, they have to find a way to move on, especially as the galaxy begins to get more dangerous…
Ewing has been able to pack so much into three issues already that these vignettes in this issue feels like the emotional payoff of years of stories. Each of the shorts pack in the weight of our heroes’ real grief, but he avoids the cliche of using the stages of grief as a shorthand. By the end of the issue, we’re fully invested in the new direction the characters are headed in on top of the plot of the opening arc. It’s shifted the series into a complicated soap opera.
Each of the artists have their own wildly different style, but each is able to convey the script’s beats and depth. Vakueva silently breaks the horrible news to the team in a story from Groot’s perspective. Sprouse and Story reveal the layers behind Drax and Moondragon using a few simple tricks with point of view and page layout. Ortega quietly allows Gamora to move forward, and gives her the strength to move forward.
It’s an issue that may not have worked in any other way, but it clicks, both in story and art.
Guardians of the Galaxy #3 is available now from Marvel Comics.