Writer Donny Cates
Artist John McCrea
Colorist Mike Spencer
“A long Time In Politics”
Writer Al Ewing
Artist Yildiray Cinar
Colorist Rain Beredo
Writer Tini Howard
Artist Ibrahim Moustafa
Colorist Jay David Ramos
“You’re Only Young Once”
Writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler
Artist Filipe Andrade
Colorist Mike Spencer
This annual was a fun one, four separate stories, each one centered around what happened to the heroes who didn’t return from the black hole they’d been sent into by the Black Order during the first six issues of The Guardians of The Galaxy’ current run.
The first and last story, “Faith,” is showing where Cosmo, the ill-fated USSR space-dog, ended up. It seems he’s being mind-controlled by the Patriarch of The Universal Church of Truth to find the other heroes who’re lost all-over the universe. I really liked the art in this one and the colorwork. I also enjoyed the dialogue of Cosmo, whose obligatory jilted, Russian-style of speech is always a good time. There’s not much to say about the writing or story because it’s really only a few pages long but it gets its point across.
The second “A Long Time In Politics,” is about Richard Rider, the current Nova, who runs into Quasar in a space bar and they talk about galactic politics, which aren’t going well at all, war is breaking out on a galactic scale, economies are teetering on the brink of collapse and hard-liners are taking power in governments galaxy-wide.
All of which has Nova drinking heavily in a bar, on “therapeutic leave” from the Nova Corp. My favorite part of this story is when Nova asks if he can pay in Earth Dollars and the bar-tender asks if they’re Canadian Dollars! That really made me laugh. There’s some other funny moments in this story as well. Most of the story is Nova relating the destruction of a planet he’d recently been on.
The third story “Advent Horizon” is about Adam Warlock, who ends up on a planet named Ryas. Ryas is populated by a primitive, purple-furred people, who’ve been receiving much needed support from a “god” in space during a time of drought and famine. I really liked the look of these guys, I never tire of new alien designs.
After a speech to Ryas’ inhabitants about taking help from unnamed, unknown benefactors, Warlock goes into orbit to investigate this so-called god. He learns the unnamed god,who hides behind a mask, is helping the people down below only to take advantage of their high rate of reproduction and make a huge army.
Warlock destroys the guy and offers to protect the purple people. This story was OK, I mostly just liked it for the purple people who were drawn and colored nicely, they were very pleasing to my eyes.
The fifth story, “You’re Only Young Once,” was my least favorite story-wise, and my favorite art-wise. It’s the story of where Darkhawk ends up, which is split between him in some sort of black hole limbo and after being captured by individuals from the various galactic empires that dominate Cosmic Marvel.
The most interesting development is Darkhawk being split from his armor in the limbo and physically being inside the armor aboard the ship he’s captive in. Other than that I’m never a fan of disjointed thoughts and the whole, what’s-going-on-where-am-I,thing.
I loved the art of this story. It really reminded me of the old MTV cartoon “Aeon Flux” of the early 90’s. Long, stretched out limbs, and great movement. The colorwork was really good. Bright pastels that really went well with the lines and shading.
Overall the annual was good, I liked that it was connected to the events from the previous story. A lot of annuals I’ve read haven’t been, which is hit or miss usually.