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The Black Vortex mixes things up in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ #24

The Black Vortex mixes things up in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ #24

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Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by Valerio Schiti
Colors by Jason Keith
Published by Marvel Comics

After an extended introductory issue, Marvel’s “Black Vortex” event dives right into the cosmic fray with Guardians of the Galaxy. After securing the Vortex, the Guardians and the X-Men get a moment to decide what to do with the artifact. But with a rift forming between them, can the heroes get their act together before their enemies catch up with them?

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gotgpanelOne of the biggest flaws with the issue, and the series thus far, is the sheer number of characters in play. While some characters naturally rise to the forefront, many characters, such as Agent Venom, Captain Marvel, and others, are reduced to bit players, given nothing more to do than stand in the background and remind us of their presence. It’s understandable that the focus would be placed on some characters rather than others, but it would be a shame if other, equally complex characters were sidelined, or used exclusively as background decoration for crowded fight scenes.

The highlight of this issue is the fantastic art by Valerio Schiti and Jason Keith. Schiti is able to draw the X-Men and their myriad appearances just as well as he can the Guardians’. Replacing the oozing, organic layouts of last issue’s symbiote homeworld are ancient landscapes and crackling energy, which Schiti and Keith do a good job of making look excitingly large-scale. They also get a chance to showcase the characters transformed by the effects of the Vortex. Some of the designs are sillier than others, while others take inspiration from the very best of Jack Kirby’s classic designs. However, they all look interesting and dynamic, especially when rendered by the two artists.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy #24 is a narrative stepping stone, meant to catch both the audience and the characters up on the state of the situation. Despite strange dialogue choices and a mess of meaningless characters, the issue still manages to stay interesting due to a focus on drama and characters choices, rather than nonstop action, and a hearty dose of cosmic majesty on the part of the art team. Hopefully the next chapter of the event elects to definitively move things forward, rather than spin its wheels.

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