All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #7 from Marvel by Gerry Duggan and Greg Smallwood is another character vignette issue, and while it’s more singularly focused on one of the interstellar rogues, it also raises some ideas about the continuing stories of the Guardians and sets up some intrigue for the future.
Focusing in on Drax the no-longer Destroyer, the story follows his story explaining why he has given up his brutal barbarian ways for a route of pacifism. We learn the reason for Drax swearing off violence, and while it may not be as huge a mystery as it could’ve been (I mean, it’s probably something that most could guess going into the book), it deftly presents it in such a way to show just how huge a moment it was and why it would be enough to cause this usual violent character to swear off all forms of combat.
Duggan’s story may be simple, but it is told with heartfelt earnestness that when the moment that changes Drax hits, the silent horror of the moment is striking enough to hit the reader in the gut. All of which is of course delivered by the wonderfully detailed work of Greg Smallwood, who is truly an artistic treasure at Marvel right now, and they really should just give this man whichever book he wants to do.
Characters emotions are worn on their faces, or the very lines of their bodies, dripping with a sense of realism and solidity that makes each scene land perfectly.
What is also of interest in this issue is how it connects with some of the overarching plots of All-New Guardians of the Galaxy as a whole (in particular Gamora’s hunt for the Soul Gem). This is a particularly fun one. One of the biggest criticisms of Guardians of the Galaxy comics in recent years is how the characters seem to have been rewritten and recharacterised to better reflect how they are in the movies. Perhaps none more so than Drax, who’s had something of a deeply convoluted history until recently.
But this issue gives us further hint that these classic versions of Drax could still be resolved into the current portrayal and find a way of truly marrying the comics versions to the popular movie versions new readers would more readily recognise.
So while the reason for Drax’s current pacifism in All-New Guardians of the Galaxy may be a little guessable, it doesn’t take away from the powerful way in which this reason would have its effect. And the emotion of the reveal still packs a punch.
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