(a) Sara Pichelli
Age of Ultron hit the Marvel universe pretty hard, but it’s only in the last two weeks that we’ve seen the real ramifications of this event play out a bit. Last week, Joshua Hal Fialkov’s Hunger began with Galactus entering the Ultimate universe through a rip in the fabric of the multiverse. This week, Bruce Banner began his own foray into the effects of the crack in space and time, and Guardians of the Galaxy #5 brings readers the most direct connection between the Age of Ultron and the upcoming Infinity event that’s set to span the Earth and the entire universe. At the end of Age of Ultron, the crack that spread throughout all space and time and dimensions caused the character Angela — of Neil Gaiman origin — to get tossed into the Marvel universe with no idea what has happened to her. While we don’t get to see why, we do get to see what happens when she finally encounters some resistance.
I wasn’t a fan of Rocket Raccoon for the first few issues. I felt like Bendis was overwriting the character, making him more slapstick than necessary. Finally, he feels like a real character instead of a caricature of Rocket Raccoon. And in true Bendis style, the interpersonal relationship drama between Tony Stark and Gamora is just a treat to read. These guys may be saving the galaxy, but they’re also awkwardly waving and being withholding. Space operas are great, but when they’re grounded in organic storytelling rooted in human emotion, they reach a new level of relatability and overall readability. Guardians of the Galaxy has suffered from delays which causes any momentum it gains with each issue to severely drop once the next issue doesn’t show up for a over a month. That much aside, Bendis is still telling a superb tale of intergalactic politics that play directly into Earth going-ons.
It was cool when Angela showed up in Age of Ultron #10, but it was a fleeting moment that is properly followed up here in Guardians of the Galaxy #5. This issue should have come out the week after AoU #10 because it would have kept the momentum going on the Angela train. Instead, everyone was hyped about it, then it was over for a month. Marvel had to hype up Angela all over again for the release of this issue. I know I’m nitpicking about release schedules and timing issues, but it’s all important when considering how Marvel’s timeline is working this year with two major events. Age of Ultron ended just over a month ago and Infinity is set to begin next month. Guardians of the Galaxy #5 is a great interlude issue that connects the two events, but I fear further delays could temper the impact future issues could make. I usually don’t judge a single issue based on future happenings, but in this case, it’s appropriate. Angela and the Guardians are going to be a big part of Infinity, but if the issues aren’t there, how hard can they really hit when they come out?