In Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Mother Entropy #1

Cosmic comedy and adventure from a creative team as wonderful as the Guardians themselves.

The covers: Surprisingly, only a pair to chase down for this first issue. The Regular cover is by Alan Davis, on pencils, and Mark Farmer, on inks, with Matt Yackey, on colors. These three gentlemen are also responsible for the book’s interior art. Backed into a corner, Groot recoils in fear, Drax has two blades poised, Star-Lord has his mask on and guns out, Gamora has two blades also out, and Rocket Raccoon has a big gun facing toward the menace that’s surrounding them — a green foamy (?) substance that’s seeking to engulf them. Excellent cover that shows all the heroes, plus shows one of this issue’s possible menaces. As soon as I saw Gamora’s face, I recognized Davis’s work, and that’s what got me to pick this book up. The Variant cover is by Dan Mora and Jesus Aburtov. This has the team in a much more aggressive posture: Groot yelling in the back with his arms outstretched, Star-Lord with his guns up and smoking from use, Drax with his blades out, Gamora before him with hers out as well, and Rocket in the foreground with two massive guns and his mouth open in a wail. In the background is the stellar setting of Knowhere. The art is good, but the colors are blending in too much with the background color, making Star-Lord practically invisible and Gamora difficult to find. Overall grades: Regular A and Variant B-

The story: I picked the issue up based on the Davis and Farmer doing the art, but upon seeing who the writer was, this was a guaranteed sale. An unnamed world, with its shapes that once may have been the structures of a civilization, is covered in green. As the reader moves closer in, figures, covered in green moss are converging upon a pillar, where a female figure, also covered in moss, is seen. An unseen narrator states that once again they have come upon a reality that is not endless. There are no more worlds to spread to. “This actuality is spent…All-knowing Mother Entropy foresaw this and planned accordingly.” The female figure speaks, “A surrogate Mother will be chosen for this new actuality and she shall spread our precious gift to the unenlightened masses.” Meanwhile, on space station Knowhere, Gamora and Peter Quill are entering crowded Starlin’s Bar. She’s chiding him for losing them another job. Rocket and Groot are at the bar, with the trash panda spying them. “Uh-oh, here comes trouble.” Far on the other side of the establishment is Drax, who’s sipping from a large glass as two aliens are pumping blood out of him. The green skinned warrior states, “Take as much as you want. Drax has blood to spare.” Gamora tells Dax how she feels about his unique way of earning money, which allows the Guardians to gather around a table. Their financial situation is dire, again. Their solution is typical of this group, and it leads, unintentionally, to a situation to make some serious coin. This may seem like a rather rote premise for a story, but Jim Starlin makes his very enjoyable with the banter between the characters. If one is only familiar with the movie version of these characters, it’s very easy to jump into this issue and feel right at home. If one is a veteran reader, there is a character that appears on Page 13 that will be familiar. How the Guardians get into trouble, and that’s no spoiler, is funny, with things becoming even more complicated when the classic character enters their lives. Fun. Overall grade: A

The art: As with the cover, Alan Davis is the penciler and Mark Farmer is the inker. I have followed this pair since D.R and Quinch and I’ll give any title they do a try. I’m glad to say their work is just as brilliant on this book. The first two pages would fit into hard science fiction book: the images of the beings rallying before Mother Entropy is creepy and the entity herself is a horror. The next two pages are a sharp contrast in tone with the busy goings-on inside Starlin’s Bar, which has Davis and Farmer creating a wonderful collection of aliens engaged in all sorts of business. The characters emote extremely well, with Gamora and Peter looking great on Page 5, and the entire squad fantastic on 6 – 8. Even Raccoon has some terrific expressions, with him looking particularly sly on 8. The settings are also well done, with the hanger the crew goes to nicely detailed, and the structure they exit on 15 outstanding. The individual that is part of their cargo has a wonderful face, and there are three panels that show this character’s very cool way of resting.  The top of 18 has four panels that show one character’s movement: it’s dramatic and it’s very funny. I shouldn’t have laughed at it, but there was a build up that made the action funny. The Guardians have a tight close-up on 19 that shows how they are reacting to this character’s movement, with each clearly showing their personalities. I love this artwork. Overall grade: A

The colors: Matt Yackey does the coloring on this book and he’s a perfect match for Davis and Farmer’s work. The opening pages use many different shades of green, but he expertly employs the most unnerving hues of emerald possible. His choices are almost a sickly green, enhancing the alien and destructive nature of the family. The Mother Entropy character is given blue-green colors, separating her from her followers, and her red eyes make her an instant antagonist. Stalin’s Bar is a fantastic collection of colors; this is not a dark place, everything can be seen and the colors show this. The work that Yackey does on the characters’ skin is also well done, with even Groot receiving some nice tones. There might even be a bit of foreshadowing coming from the colors, with the character the Guardians are transporting similar to in color to that of Mother Entropy. Yackey does a great job throughout. Overall grade: A

The letters: The story’s title, the unique font of the family, scene settings, dialogue, and yells are created by VC’s Cory Petit. When alien races are given their own speech font, it increases their otherworldliness considerably. There are also several different yells in this book, showing that not everyone’s cries are being uttered at the same level. I wish there had been some sounds in this book, but there aren’t any opportunities for them yet, but I’m hopeful there will be some in upcoming installments. Overall grade: A

The final line: Cosmic comedy and adventure from a creative team as wonderful as the Guardians themselves. Even if one is only vaguely familiar with these characters, one can dive in and enjoy. Overall grade: A

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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