Graphic Novel Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Through the Looking Glass

Guardians of the Galaxy: Through the Looking Glass

Guardians of the Galaxy: Through the Looking Glass - Credit: Archant

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...

(Panini Books)

With this volume of Guardians wrapping up prior to the Secret Wars epic, there’s little opportunity here to conclude many of the title’s ongoing plot threads, with half of the four issues collected here forming part of The Black Vortex crossover.

While this ensures a complete run is available of this Guardians series, it doesn’t do anything for linear storytelling as the only way to read the whole Vortex narrative is to pick up the specific volume devoted to that storyline. This includes related issues of Star-Lord, All-New X-Men and Nova, with all but the later also contained in their own Panini collections, which means double-dipping on many of those comics. A lesson to be learned when it comes to compiling future crossovers perhaps?

The final two issues of this volume focus on the unexpected election of Peter (Star-Lord) Quill as the new emperor of Spartax, after he deposed his predecessor and father J’Son. The problem is that the devil-may-care attitude of space pirate Quill doesn’t really lend itself to the bureaucracy of running an interstellar empire, and he initially attempts to shirk his responsibilities and escape his fate…

But the intervention of the ruthless Chitauri, hunting his team-mate Gamora out of a misguided sense of vengeance against her father Thanos, forces Star-Lord to consider that he may not be able to avoid taking on his new role, even if that means the end of the Guardians of the Galaxy…

With Brian Michael Bendis set to return as writer for the next volume of GotG, there are unlikely to be many substantial changes in the storytelling or characterisation of the team, especially now it is so closely linked to the blockbuster movie franchise, and that’s sure to please the series’ army of fans.

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Personally, the biggest criticism of this 27-issue run has to be the lack of any real plot evolution, with the team bouncing from crisis to crisis without any real growth or development. It’s popcorn entertainment at its finest, offering a sweet and tasty short-term treat, but failing to satisfy in the long run. Let’s hope the next volume is much more rewarding.