Editor's Note: Guardians of the Galaxy #5 arrives in stores tomorrow, September 17.
Guardians of the Galaxy #5 is the series' first tie-in to the larger Marvel Universe, and it does a good job of keeping the focus on the series' main cast while also successfully keeping a scope perfectly in line with the full scale invasion of the Skrulls.
The first thing I noticed about this issue is the lack of the series' traditional narrative structure where the action was strung together through post-mission interviews with the cast a la reality shows. I actually miss this technique a lot because it gave the book a creative angle no other super-hero comic offered. It was also a great way to insert comedy into the book to ease the tension and keep a light-hearted feel perfectly suiting this rag-tag team. And while this reality show interview style might have become old and tiresome after a while, I didn't feel it was at that point just yet and will solely miss it if it never returns.
I will say that if you come into Guardians of the Galaxy #5 for the Secret Invasion tie-in without having read the previous four issue, or either of the Annihilation series, you won't really know what is going on besides the fact that the team is trying to out who is a Skrull among themselves. The issue doesn't really do a great job filling in readers through its dialogue on who is who and why they are important to the overall cause of the Guardians. This wasn't necessarily a problem for me as I've read the previous issues, but I did notice its inaccessibility from a reviewer standpoint. So if you're looking to see what all the raving is about with Guardians of the Galaxy, go back to the beginning of the series and start from there. You'll appreciate it so much more.
This review has been kept rather short but I think the major points of the issue have been touched on. If you've been enjoying this series to date and also like Secret Invasion, this issue is a no-brainer purchase. The comic continues the goodness of previous issues and drops quite the bomb on fans with a shocking Skrull reveal. And even although it's almost telegraphed from the beginning of the book, it was still surprising to actually see it carried through. It also makes me curious where the series will go from here. There is serious potential for a complete shift in direction after this Secret Invasion tie-in is over. And while the series was only four issues in, it will be cool to see the Guardians post-Secret Invasion if the writers of the series have the stones to pull the trigger on what they set up.
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