Guardians of Knowhere #4

Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato attempt to wrap up the story of Gamora's wanderlust in "Guardians of Knowhere" #4, but it falls short of succeeding. Yes, there is a conclusion to one storyline, but it only comes at the opening up of another, larger storyline that points readers to "Secret Wars" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" #1.

The closure Bendis scripts into "Guardians of Knowhere" #4 comes in the form of casualties and mystery. Those casualties are shrugged away as a surprise character pops in at the end to change the course of the narrative, away from the mystery of the "nine-foot-tall" blue skinned female warrior who appeared at the end of the previous issue.

The quotes around the warrior's height come as citation from dialogue. Deodato draws every female in this comic with virtually the same build and stature, favoring upshots as opposed to anything more descriptive or establishing. The cast is fairly limited throughout the twenty-one story pages, with the Nova Corps making a brief appearance to bring the character count up to ten. Deodato's storytelling is serviceable but stiff, giving the story unfortunate pacing that doesn't measure up to expectations, especially for a comic which serves as a turning point in a grander saga.

Martin's colors are loud and bombastic, filling the pages, even when Deodato's backgrounds are lacking. It helps that the lead combatants are green- and blue-skinned and both contrast nicely against the reds and magentas Martin uses to describe the atmosphere of Knowhere. Martin inserts textures and changes the fluidity of the tones filling the panels, truly contributing to the on-page visuals.

"Guardians of Knowhere" #4 does give readers a slobberknocker of a scrap as Gamora and Angela form an uneasy alliance to take on the nebulous blue-skinned fury threatening Knowhere -- except she isn't as big a threat to Knowhere as Gamora and Angela are. As seems to be the case for Bendis' tenure on "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Guardians of Knowhere" #4 is just as disappointing. This could be more, it should be more, but it just isn't. Readers wanting more -- expecting more -- are simply told to find it elsewhere.

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