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Drax Volume 1: The Galaxy’s Best Detective – Graphic Novel Spotlight

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Following their hit foray into film in 2014, each member of the Guardians of the Galaxy has been given a chance to have their solo adventures showcased. Now it is the turn of the team’s source of muscle, the no-nonsense Drax the Destroyer.

Drax spends his time away from Guarding the Galaxy trying to track down and slay the mad titan Thanos. However, his vehicle of choice in his most recent endeavour leaves a lot to be desired which results in him crash landing on an alien planet. With no money for repairs on hand, Drax take on the job of tracking down a group of missing alien children which leads to an encounter with the all-powerful Fin Fang Foom.

Having assigned Skottie Young to Rocket Raccoon and Jeff Loveness and Brian Kesinger to Groot, Marvel are expected to bring great talent to their Guardians of the Galaxy solo titles and Drax is no exception. This series marks the ongoing series debut of former wrestling superstar and current UFC fighter-in-training CM Punk who has teamed up with fan favourite Marvel writer Cullen Bunn (Wolverine, Magneto) to write this series. In his time in the WWE, Punk was heralded as one of the best talkers in the business and he brings his great gift of the gab to this series. Drax is his recognisable self – brimming with a no-nonsense attitude (immediately putting Rocket in his place when he dares to blame Drax for spraying alien guts all over him) whilst still having a strong sense of right and wrong, as the initial way to fund repairs to his ship becomes a mission that hits very close to home for the Destroyer. Drax’s portrayal is very much in line with the movie version which leads to plenty of great showcases of Drax’s lack of understanding of anything beyond fighting – particularly irony and an inability to read people (his jumping to conclusions when bartender/mechanic Ora offers an alternate form of payment for her services is a particular highlight). It helps that Punk is friends and worked with Dave Bautista for many years in WWE, which I am certain assisted Punk and Bunn when getting into Drax’s head.

Beyond the great characterisation, there are plenty of great action sequences that showcase the great kinetic art style of Scott Hepburn who provides a mean looking Drax and lets all the different alien characters make an immediate impression. But the humour remains the series’ main strength, and standout moments include when what looks set to be a tense encounter with former herald of Galactus Terrax the Tamer turns into a galactic piss-up. The final encounter with Fin Fang Foom is certainly far removed from the behaviour we have grown accustomed to from one of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful villains.

Drax is another strong entry amongst the Guardians of the Galaxy solo books with Bunn always being dependable, Punk making an excellent debut on an ongoing series and Hepburn bringing it all together with some great art. Whether you’re a Guardians of the Galaxy fan or a CM Punk fan, this is definitely one to read.

Drax Volume 1 is published 7 June by Marvel

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This entry was posted on June 8, 2016 by in Graphic Novels and tagged , , , , , , , .

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