Thursday, March 6, 2014
Review by Randall Smith
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Penciler: David Baldeon
Inks: Terry Pallot
Colors: Chris Sotomayer
Chapter XIV: Road to Knowhere
We resume fresh off the uniting of Beta Ray Bill and Sam Alexander to pursue the space pirate Skaarn. Right off the bat, our heroes are deep in space, saving lives, and Sam's looking (and acting) much more mature for his time spent in heroics. As an off-hand comment from Nova stirs an idea in Bill's head, the Korbanite champion recants a tale of days past, and a new story of Richard Ryder's heroism that brings things together.
And in a nod to continuity that makes me smile, they arrive at the former base of the Guardians of the Galaxy (amongst other galactic scoundrels), Knowhere, the station inside the empty head of a dead Celestial.
Your typical pirate betrayals and hijinks ensue, and for a large portion of the issue, the titular watchdog of Knowhere is suspiciously absent. Between Sam's fight with a Warbringer robot, and a bit of subterfuge with Bill, his control over the Nova force is on-par with a well trained Rich, showcasing some all new tricks from what I presume is the Black Nova handbook. And as this issue closes, we have Cosmo! (I wish he was in the movie. I love that telepathic cosmonaut dog.)
As far as the art, I'm wishy-washy. When I said Sam looked more mature in this issue, he was looking far older and muscular than usual. Unless he's hit some sort of cosmic growth spurt, he should be far leaner. He was last issue. Other than that, everything's quite spot on, and I can see Baldeon is very familiar with cosmic past.
Now the writing is where I was ecstatic. To be fair, in this title's beginnings, I was very opposed to even giving it a shot. And thanks to the evolving team's work, it's really made great strides, and I can't espouse enough just how great of a job they're doing. Their use of Cosmo, and (Finally!) a Rich Ryder reference, even in flashback shows they haven't forgotten Nova Prime, or what previous cosmic writers have done.
Reccomendation: A fine standalone, definitely a solid issue of this book.