“Blastaared!” wraps up the three-parter that found Star-Lord trapped in the Negative Zone, trying to serve as negotiator between Blastaar and the inmates of the Initiative Prison.
Abnett and Lanning continue to add credence to the theory that any character can be a good character with the proper motivation and attention. Five years ago, if you would have told me that one of the best books Marvel delivers month-in and month-out would feature Warlock, Mantis, Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Gamora (among others), I would have said that they’d also be filing for Chapter 11, or selling their characters off to other publishers. Please rest assured, to the best of my knowledge, Marvel is in no danger of doing so. But this book is certainly in danger of being the best thing Marvel publishes.
This issue has an extremely heavy-handed lead into the “War of Kings”. The slug on the cover decrying the impending galaxy-busting storyline has some roots here. I’m pretty certain those roots have nothing to directly do with Groot’s roots.
The art is a journeyman effort in most parts. I found myself longing for Pelletier’s pencils in this issue as his double-page rendering of Blastaar in issue #7 boded well for the (then) upcoming story. Please don’t get me wrong, Walker does a great job with the book, but he was dumped into the deep end of the pool, inheriting a team that he didn’t design, a story he walked into, and a battle with more participants than some books have readers. I have no doubt that, given the chance to recharge and realign for the actual “War of Kings” issues, Walker will prove to be a commanding asset to this book. Part of Walker’s seeming inconsistency in this issue, in my opinion, is probably due to the tag-team of inkers he worked with. Livesay and Olazaba definitely know their craft, but they bring different sensibilities to their output.
This book will get a shot in the arm from its proximity to “War of Kings” and it should. It seems to me that there isn’t enough buzz for a book that features a talking raccoon, a tree with a mad-on, and the celestial Madonna. With one collected edition already available and a second on the way, readers might want to consider jumping on board with issue #11, which hits the ground running headfirst in the “War of Kings.”