Drax’s Confession Sets the Tone in All-New Guardians of the Galaxy 7

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

In Gerry Duggan’s All-New Guardians of the Galaxy the one formerly known as “Drax the Destroyer” has enacted a strict no destroying policy. This has likely frustrated Drax’s teammates and readers alike, but in All-New Guardians of the Galaxy 7 we find out why he’s done this — and I can’t say I blame him.

Duggan has made each issue of this series stand out on its own by focusing on one particular team member or another. The bulk of the issue is a flashback laid out in the form of a discussion between Drax and Gamora. Drax and his propensity for taking things literally is typically used in the name of comedy. By pairing him with Gamora, however, Duggan gives Drax a fellow warrior to confide in. I can’t imagine Drax being so emotionally honest with anyone else. Maybe Groot.

Greg Smallwood lends his Moon Knight white gutters to the issue, which underlines the soft colors he uses to match the tone of the issue. Along with their warrior philosophies, there’s something visually pleasing about seeing these green-skinned, pale-eyed aliens being put together in the same frame.

What ultimately leads to Drax’s renouncement of violence is something that is completely within the bounds of the character. Drax is a proud warrior who relishes the chance to do battle in the name of justice. So when he stumbles upon an enslaved alien race, he’s all too willing to free them from their master and their master from his head.

In a galactic dead man’s switch however, Drax discovers that the slaver was biometrically attached to his slaves — once he died, they died. Drax ignored the slaves’ desperate cries for “barter” and “peace” until it was too late. In a chilling bit of irony, one of the slave’s last words is “destroyer” — forever tainting Drax’s once coveted title.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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One comment on “Drax’s Confession Sets the Tone in All-New Guardians of the Galaxy 7

  1. Even before the actual character work, Duggan prove shimself adept at writing Drax. The great difficulty of writing any of the Guardians is avoiding copying James Gunn’s jokes, and I love how well Duggan finds new jokes in Drax’s bluntness, like ‘one of you is eventually going to screw up so badly…’ or ‘I am Peter Quill’.

    And while the secret of why Drax is forsaken violence isn’t too surprising (is anyone surprised that this was the story?), the particulars are done well. I love the undercurrent of Drax fighting largely because he’s pissed off that the creatures he wanted to fight were aready dead. Duggan carefully crafts a story to strip any heroism from Drax’s choices. THe fact that he was ‘saving’ slaves is beside the point, which is what makes Drax’s fall work. He can’t even argue that he was doing the right thing, because he wasn’t.

    And the art is brilliant. They’ve chosen the art for these issues really well. I love how in this one, you get the feeling of old pulp covers. Something Conanesque, with a barechester barbarian on top of a pile of corpses. Which sounds exactly like Drax. This retro art style, complete with colours that build this throwback vibe, create a sense of being historic. It ends up being a sneakily innovative strategy to do a flashback issue. Without any obvious cliche, the issue screams flashbacks. Andthis allows the art to be used to be used for other effect.

    But the smartest part was then connecting this to Gamora’s story. We start to see how everything ties together, but more importantly we see that things are tying together on a character level, not just a plot level. And it is a genius idea to root this in Drax’s old love of the saxophone. Duggan has done a great job at finding ways to reconcile the new and old versions of teh Guardians to create richer depictions, and bringing back this feature helps deepen Drax’s humanity and provides a wonderful metephor for that missing soul that Drax is trying to get back

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