Guardians of the Galaxy: Then It’s Us – Al Ewing, Juann Cabal & Federico Blee (Marvel)

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Guarding the Galaxy is an impossible mantle to bear without eventually crumbling under the weight  of the responsibility that it encompasses, as the bruised, battered and beaten, but never defeated team of Peter Quill, Rocket, Groot, Drax, Moondragon, Phyla-Vel and Gamora find out to their cost when Richard Ryder comes calling and asking for their help. Fractured by the request, half of the team leave to help their old friend defeat a cabal of insane Olympians, and while they recruit a new a number of new members during their “suicide” mission, the heart and soul of the team pays the ultimate price to save billions, by willingly accepting and adhering to the old Vulcan ideal that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.

It’s a decision that tears the Guardians apart, splits them in twain and sends them in vastly different directions that eventually results in them facing each other on the field of battle on an “insignificant” world in a far flung corner of the galaxy. Al Ewing is a master of the art of finely woven story-telling, incredibly precise plotting and intricate characterisation and embraces the notion of heavy is the head that wears the crown as the central tenet of a book that explores sacrifice, loss, change and redemption in heart-rending detail. It’s a tale that draws you into its no holds barred, no punches pulled action and emotionally weighty drama that’s given an extra dose of jaw dropping energy by the ferociously meticulous and intricate art of Cabal and Blee, that pushes a team of heroes that we thought we knew in a difficult, unexpected and gripping new direction. The future is here and it’s being written by the Guardians of the Galaxy… Tim Cundle

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