Guardians of the Galaxy hasn't enjoyed the most rapid of shipping schedules lately. This is unfortunate considering how it's one of the key series to explore the fallout of Age of Ultron, and that this current arc features a pre-Infinity Thanos. But what can you do when an artist has health problems? Well, you could replace her with a fill-in artist, but that would ruining what is easily Guardians of the Galaxy's selling point at the moment.
Sara Pichelli's art makes any wait well worthwhile. Her action storytelling, already vibrant enough on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, has seen further improvement with this new project. Her battle scenes between Angela and the Guardians crackle with life and convey a sense of motion and fluidity that's rare in comics. Her facial and emotional work, if more subtle, is equally pristine.
The bad news is that Pichelli doesn't render this entire issue. The good news is that she's joined by Olivier Coipel. Coipel renders the encounter between Star-Lord and Thanos, a scene divorced enough from the rest of the issue that the shift between artists isn't too blatant. Coipel's line-work is as impeccable as ever, but it really says something that Pichelli is still the star of the show.
There's a story here beneath all the pretty pictures, if that's your thing. The book doesn't engage intellectually quite as well as it does viscerally at the moment. Part of the problem is that nothing so far has made me care much about Angela's arrival in the Marvel Universe. Deploying the Watcher to hint at the gravity of her arrival doesn't really help, as the Watcher shows up every time the pizza guy screws up Captain America's order at this point.
It might also help if there was a sense that Neil Gaiman was contributing anything tangible to this arc. Whereas once it was suggested that Gaiman would co-write this arc, directly penning Angela's dialogue himself, he's now merely credited as "consultant." It would have been especially terrific to see Gaiman take a crack at Thanos. Bendis' Thanos is fine, but his dialogue feels a bit forced, and he doesn't carry the presence he does under Jonathan Hickman's hand at the moment.
But whatever. This book looks amazing, and that's enough for me right now.
Source : ign[dot]com