“Guardians Team-Up” #7 isn’t going to be the most acclaimed comic book ever, but Nick Giovnnetti, Paul Scheer and Shawn Crystal give readers a few laughs and a fun story with Drax screaming on every other page. Well, maybe not every other page, but letterer Cory Petit throws in a few shouting word balloons over the course of the issue, letting readers know that the green-skinned, tattooed Guardian is less than happy.
The writers make it quite clear that Drax doesn’t do happy. Latching on firmly to the persona Dave Bautista brought to the silver screen, Giovanetti and Scheer serve up a Drax that delivers one-liners in spite of himself, on par with the “Nothing goes over my head” line from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie. Scott Lang makes a nice foil for Drax’s trademark overdramatizations. The plot is by-the-numbers but effective in bringing Ant-Man and Drax together and encouraging madcap mischief. “Guardians Team-Up” #7 plays for laughs quite similarly to the approach taken by “Superior Foes of Spider-Man.”
The writers display tight collaboration with artist Shawn Crystal, having fun with society through Drax’s eyes by way of Miami as they touch on the “Do you even lift?” meme, Snapchat and selfies in the course of four panels. Crystal clearly reads the over-the-top direction Giovanetti and Scheer put down and has fun with the art, giving readers visual gags and near-slapstick physicality. The latter is all-but required for a story pairing the bruiser Drax and the miniscule Ant-Man.
So much of the story seems like the end result of the three creators sitting around and just riffing, from the Mambo Kings wielding chainsaws and power drills in their fight with Drax and Ant-Man to the Mambo King (leader of the Mambo Kings) donning a tiger mask for the transaction. Throw in some smoke pouring out of Drax’s ears and cute little versions of Nick Fury and Captain America adding color commentary to the tale a la the “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon, and “Guardians Team-Up” #7 assembles one heck of a list in response to the “Things I Didn’t Expect to See in This Comic” criteria.
Colorist Matthew Wilson answers the challenge effectively, bringing along an appropriately Miami palette, with electrified pastel colors that are heavy on the cyan, magenta and yellow-orange. Drax’s lime green skin contrasts effectively, amping up the energy of this issue as it is quite clear even the colorist is having fun with this story.
Team-up tales are best played for fun, as the whole point of team-ups is to try something new. After all, peanut butter and chocolate teamed up once and that was pretty fun. Granted, “Guardians Team-Up” #7 isn’t going to be as permanent, memorable or widely accepted, but Giovanetti, Scheer, Crystal, Wilson and Petit clearly had fun working on this book, and readers are certain to have just as much fun reading it, whether they draw the fun from Ant-Man’s drinking antics or Drax’s one-liners.