Guardians of the Galaxy #9

It's a shame that "Guardians of the Galaxy" #9 was released a week after "Infinity" hit stores. Partially because it loses a certain level of urgency (we already know how "Infinity" will come to an end), but also because I think it masks a bigger problem. Namely, even if this had shown up at the end of November, Brian Michael Bendis and Francesco Francavilla's comic just isn't that good.

I hate to say this as a long-time fan of Francavilla's, but the art here is lackluster. It's very sketchy and poorly defined; groups of stray lines that don't come together very well. On the third page of "Guardians of the Galaxy" #9, all of the characters have their name provided as a caption below them. I am fairly certain I wasn't the only one who, upon seeing the word "Rocket" next to what looked like a blob with a limb sticking out of it, took a little bit of time to figure out that it wasn't a broken down robot but in fact Rocket Raccoon.

Francavilla is normally so much better than this. When Angela sails in on the third page, she looks like a sketch that was tossed off on a whim. Part of it may have to do with the bizarre choice to color the entire comic in mostly purples and oranges; illustrated with nothing but a single shade of purple/gray, you would be forgiven if you thought that Angela was a hallucination or perhaps a ghost. Francavilla's rich detail is absent here, making the captions necessary because it's hard to tell who anyone else is. Ultimately, this is a comic drawn in silhouettes next to some truly garish shades of orange.

Bendis's script isn't much better, either. It's little more than a lot of shooting of laser guns, with a pushing of a button at one point. I understand that by having to tie into "Infinity" that his hands were slightly tied, but nonetheless, this is just boring. Up until this story, "Guardians of the Galaxy" has been mildly entertaining, but everything has come screeching to a halt for a crossover that I don't feel needed to exist. This is a tie-in for the sake of a tie-in.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" #9 is a big disappointment, and that's even before you realize it's supposed to connect to an event that wrapped up a week ago. Comics like this make me hope that Marvel and DC end their "let's tie anything possible into an event mini-series" policy (even though I know that for sales purposes, they never will); it's ultimately taken a comic where the creative team should give you hope, and instead dragged it down into mediocrity.

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