Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
Color Art by Justin Ponsor
Review by Mike Duke
Event fatigue is a real thing, and I can’t speak for you, dear reader, but I definitely have it. I finally finished reading Infinity, but I’m behind on both Inhumanity and Forever Evil. I’m just tired of it all, you know? So, when I saw “The Trial of Jean Grey” on the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy #11, I was skeptical. For one, it seemed like a trick to put a “#1” on the cover, and second, we just got finished with a fairly mediocre X-Men crossover event–another one seems excessive at least. But, In Bendis I Trust, so I dove in. What I found was fun, a bit surprising, and very enjoyable.
I love the issues of Guardians that begin in a bar. It gives the series a lived-in, A-Team vibe that I find perfect for it’s tone. In this issue, Peter Quill is in danger from bounty hunters hired by his father, which leads to some funny encounters. Meanwhile, the heads of the galactic counsel, still smarting from the events of Infinity are called together by Gladiator to address an issue: Jean Grey has returned to Earth. What follows is a lively discussion about whether you can try a person for crimes they have not yet committed, but really no one is opposed to scooping up Jean and putting her on trial. The Guardians catch wind of this plot and head to Earth, and the last page of the book is the same as the last All-New X-Men, but from the opposite angle.
When I first heard the title of this crossover, “The Trial of Jean Grey”, I thought this was fallout fromBattle of the Atom; that it would be another internal X-Men story. That it’s not–and that the story takes place entirely in Guardians and All-New X-Men–is a big positive. The fact that the story still allows for the fun and wit of Guardians to shine through is just more icing on the cupcake. I’m also excited for what this could mean for the X-Men as a whole: will rescuing Jean become a unifying point for Wolverine and Cyclops? Will this result in the original X-Men finally going home? What will happen to the relationship between the galactic counsel and Earth when this all goes south?
I’ve been extremely excited to see Sara Pichelli’s art outside of the Ultimate Universe, and her work onGuardians has been exceptional. Whether it’s subtle facial expressions or giant battleships in space, her figures are distinct, expressive, and nearly perfect. I just can’t say enough about how much I enjoy her art. Also, however, the colors in this issue are equally exceptional. Even with all of the alien species, the strange places, and the garish outfits, everything on every page is crisp, bright, and in every way a compliment and enhancement to the already great line art.
Buy it. Guardians is the book that I still haven’t added to my pull list because I keep thinking I’m going to lose interest and drop it at any moment. The truth, of course, is that I’ve bought every issue without fail and loved every page. This is Bendis at his best–good characters with great dialog, humorous situations, and lots of imagination. This story is meant to be a jumping-on point, though if you’re jumping on here I feel like you need to also be reading All-New X-Men. If you haven’t tried Guardians of the Galaxy yet, now’s the time to get on-board.