"Faithless" blasts to its penultimate chapter, with everyone fighting everyone with no less than everything at stake! Rocket, Groot, Moondragon, and Kid Magus make their move against J'Son and the Universal Church of Truth, but are immediately beset by a horde of Drax clones. Moondragon, understandably concerned that one of them might actually be her father, probes his mind for the truth...
He isn't. Cue immolation.
With the Drax horde easily dispatched, our heroes continue to make their some more individualized moves on their own. Kid Magus seeks to confront J'Son directly, as the Church and all its atrocities are being directly attributed to him...
It doesn't take long for things to take a turn for the worst, just when they're looking up..
To make matters worse, Rocket's mech suit - the only thing keeping him alive - is catastrophically damaged in the melee!
For an all-out action issue, Guardians of the Galaxy #11 still manages to have some great emotional beats. Taking a moment to pause so Moondragon can satisfy her curiosity (and hopefulness) that her father Drax might actually be alive is quietly powerful, particularly since Moondragon has been so underutilized this run (not nearly as much as Phyla-Vell and less than Beta Ray Bill, but that’s another conversation for the “substitute Guardians”). The history between Drax and Moondragon is weird and complicated, and has not grown less so since Drax has fundamentally been changed on page since his 2014 big screen debut. It’s nice, though, that writer Donny Cates takes even a moment to acknowledge these characters’ bonds.
The other big emotional beat is the destruction of Rocket’s mech suit, which is the only thing keeping him alive. His doom now assured, he trudges onward toward certain death with only a blaster at his side (provided by the goofy little Stabs) – marching toward his end with the dignity of fighting for his friends to his last breath. Of course, some miracle will happen – he’s right there on the cover of January’s new number one, for crying out loud, so it’s not like his salvation hasn’t already been inadvertently spoiled, but on its own merits it’s a strong moment nonetheless. And readers would have to be made of stone to not have their hearts in their throats the moment Rocket’s mech suit is destroyed, all but ensuring his demise.
Other than that, the issue is pretty much action from start to finish. As it should be. Penultimate chapters should be accelerating the pace of the storytelling toward finale, and not get bogged down in exposition, tedium, or extra subplots. Readers should be awaiting the finale with bated breath if the next-to-last chapter is doing is job properly. Cates does a great job of that here without sacrificing some great character moments – the mark of a top-notch writer. Aided and abetted by some exquisite art from Cory Smith and Victor Olazaba, Guardians of the Galaxy remains one of Marvel’s funnest, most vibrant books on the shelves. If only this team were sticking around longer!
Guardians of the Galaxy #11 is a heck of a fun time, with front-to-back action that doesn't forget to include the heart. And don't discount the sheer unadulterated awesomeness that is Rocket Raccoon in a mech suit!
Guardians of the Galaxy #11: The Unbearable Coolness of Rocket in a Mech Suit
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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