In Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Mother Entropy #5

Sure to please anyone of any age who enjoys heroes trying to save the galaxy.

The cover: The Guardians are being overwhelmed by the green spores that Mother Entropy employs to absorb galaxies. It seems their fated hsbr become one with this creature. This cover is created by Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, and Matt Yackey. It succinctly shows what the sad ending of this series could be. Appropriate, but I would have liked to have seen more of the heroes. Overall grade: B 

The story: “The Bitter End” by Jim Starlin starts ominously. The Silver Surfer hovers above New York City, covered in Mother Entropy’s spores. In Deep Space even the mighty Galactus slumps in his chair, absorbed in the green. At Avengers Headquarter, frozen in the tracks by the emerald are Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Wasp, and Hercules. Even on Titan, mighty Thanos has succumbed. In fact, the last two members of the galaxy unaffected by Mother Entropy’s passive attack are Star-Lord and Groot who are on Shi’ar Prime. Peter is trying to get Groot to tell him why they had to return to the planet, but the tallest Guardian is too distraught at watching Rocket be consumed by spores. He reaches to touch his dead friend, causing the absorbed Shi’ar Guardian to open eyes as red as fire and turn toward them. For the first time, those that have metamorphosed are moving, and they surround the final Guardians. One Guardian’s fate is not surprising, while the other chooses his fate with a smile. I was glad to see the antagonist appear on Page 7; I’m a sucker for a villain that gloats just before a hero’s seeming demise. Naturally, a hero saves the day, but not in the way one would expect. Credit Starlin for having this character do something new that is the perfect way to defeat the villain. The exit on 15 is terrific and seemed to make no sense, until someone clues in the reader on 16, which had me laughing. 18 increases the humor in a very natural way. And just when it seems as though are heroes are left where they started, a reveal on 19 changes everything. This was a smart and funny ending for this group of unlikely heroes. Overall grade: A

The art: The first four pages are a collection of images showing how far Mother Entropy’s reach goes. Seeing the Silver Surfer high above New York City, assuming his usual casual pose while surfing, frozen and covered in the spores is shocking. Seeing that it’s reached Galactus aboard his ship and he’s slumped in his seat intensifies the power of this plant entity. And when was the last time the Eater of Worlds slumped in a seat? His posture is always immaculate. These two celestial characters lead back to Earth, where the mighty Avengers have also fallen, with Thor being the only who seemed aware of what was happening during the change. The final character shown effected is Thanos, who is frozen considering his hand. These images are a good lead in to Star-Lord and Groot on Shi’ar Prime, who have effected citizens around them, but are turned away from the heroes. This makes the action at the bottom of 5 more startling. Groot is the star of this issue, emoting wonderfully, and the top of 5 has him breaking down as Rocket becomes completely covered. If a reader has a soft spot for the big lug, they’re going to have their heart tugged at often by the visuals. The fourth panel on 6 is a creepy combination of images: Peter’s goggles, Groot’s reflection, and Peter’s eye — all surrounded by moving Entropy figures. I love a gloating villain and Alan Davis, on pencils, and Mark Farmer, on inks, have made a terrific one in the second panel on 7. However, the smile on 8 is beautiful: it clearly communicates solely through the visual “I know something you don’t know.” The beginning of the attack on 11 is excellent, with the side by side of what’s happening inside a character great. The anger on 12 is outstanding and it unquestionably mirrors how the reader feels. The posture of the character in the bottom panel on 15 is beautiful. The smile in the third panel on 17 is also beautiful and the reactions from the others that follow it are laugh out loud funny. The final page has several panels to enjoy because it’s rare to see these heroes enjoying the moment, on top of the world–er, galaxy. The top and bottom panels of the page are outstanding. I have been fans of Davis and Farmer for many years and this series continues to justify that love. Overall grade: A

The colors: I want — need — a Guardians adventure in space to have bright colors. This section of the Marvel Universe doesn’t have to be trapped in the realistic colors of Earth, so I was hoping that Matt Yackey would give me something bright and bold to look at and he does. The book begins with a beautiful blue sky above the Big Apple contrasting with the light green that now covers the Silver Surfer. This is followed by a multicolored space setting holding Galactus’s ship. Within the vessel, Galactus is given a similar shade of green as the Surfer, establishing a visual clue to the reader that both are suffering from the same ailment. I like that deep space borders both characters’ panels, allowing Yackey to use some gorgeous purples, blues, and reds. Within Avengers Headquarters, reds dominate the setting, a harsh color to put the reader on edge for the calamity that’s occurring. Take a look at the excellent oranges that show space, separating Thanos’s panel from that of Shi’ar Prime. Beautiful! When the attack begins on 10 it makes the background initially turn orange in surprise, finally turning red for when it is seen. This continues in the sensational internal panel on 11. Notice how Pip/Mother Entropy’s dialogue balloon is colored in the same crimson, continuing the shock of the attack. The hologram that appears at the end of this issue is nicely done in blue, a color often employed for technology. When the characters are at their highest point of joy, the top of 20, the background goes a warm orange, which symbolizes their happiness. Thank you, Mr. Yackey, for making this a bright reading experience. Overall grade: A

The letters: The title, scene settings, Mother Entropy speech, dialogue, and yells are created by VC’s Cory Petit. The font used for Mother Entropy’s speech is very creepy looking, like a primitive text, which nicely suggests age. One character yells on Page 10, does so again at the top of 11, but notice how the font has changed for this character at the bottom of the same page, giving a visual clue to the reader that something has changed. The biggest yell of the issue is on 12, which will make fans cheer. A good job done by Petit. Overall grade: A

The final line: An enjoyable outing for the Guardians with outstanding art. There’s nothing deep about this tale, but it will please anyone of any age who enjoys heroes trying to save the galaxy. 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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