Guardians of Infinity #8 is divided into two independent stories. Rocket Raccoon is the main star for both. The first part of the comic Millennium: Part Eight wraps up the story of Hermetikus and his quest for domination. A founding member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Hermetikus faces off against three eras of Guardians who are united in stopping him and his quest for control.
Hermetikus has made himself nearly invincible by stealing the brains of some of the most lethal and tactical warriors in the galaxy. His tactical advisor General Korz’s brain now inhabits the body of Rocket Raccoon while Hermetikus has added Rocket’s brain to his amplified power suit. The story opens with Hermetikus in full control strangling the life out of Stella Nesa. But his control doesn’t last for long. The brain of Rocket Raccoon is attached to Hermetikus’ right arm which takes control, and quickly, the improbable strength of Hermetikus is undercut by the talking brain of Rocket Raccoon.
Rocket destroys Hermetikus’ invasion fleet and then starts to beat the tar out of Hermetikus using his own arms. The classic snarky and hilarious insults that Rocket Raccoon is known for are used. While pummeling Hermetikus with his own hand, Rocket taunts him with “Stop hitting yourself” lines - reminds me of my childhood with my two older brothers. Rocket is wreaking havoc from within, and Hermetikus tries to crush his own brain, but is stopped with a timely punch from Stella Nesa.
I love it when the bad guy gets punched in the face. Regardless of whether it is in comics, movies, or television, it always gives me a thrill when someone who is about to do something so bad, gets socked right in the kisser. Various versions of the Guardians show up and help put an end to the madness of Hermetikus. Rocket is instrumental in deactivating the highbred system that controls Hermetikus’ warriors. As Rocket confidently taunts, “You shouldn’t have given me wifi access.”
All brains are returned and Rocket is back in his body with General Korz back in his own. Korz agrees to put right everything that Hermetikus did and return the stolen brains to their proper bodies. Rocket, Groot, and Drax part ways with the other Guardians, wondering what will happen next.
The second story The Ripley is an homage to all things related to the classic science fiction movie Alien. Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Kitty Pryde respond to a distress call from a derelict Brood ship. The three Guardians have found life signs with their scanners. They board hoping to find survivors. What they find is nothing but trouble.
Dead bodies litter the ship and not a soul to tell the story. Rocket finds graffiti that says, THEY ARE ALREADY INSIDE US TOO LATE! Basically every science fiction horror characteristic is checked off quickly in The Ripley. From Star-Lord finding one lone survivor to Rocket viewing the crew logs learning that the ship was marooned here on purpose to avoid any of the deadly aliens from escaping. The distress call was sent from the deadly aliens.
Our three intrepid Guardians escape with one lone survivor, who of course, morphs into a deadly alien that is blasted to bits by Rocket Raccoon.
Both stories in Guardians of Infinity Issue # 8 are simple stories that don’t require much deep thought to follow along. Millennium: Part 8 wraps up to the long running story about Hermetikus and his quest for control over the galaxy. Dan Abnett does a great job in creating a story that puts an end to the previous issues, but makes it easy for a casual reader to pick up the book and follow along. I didn’t need to think about what was happening in previous issues. I could sit back and enjoy the mayhem caused by Rocket Raccoon. Hermetikus and his idle hands led to his downfall, with a little help from Rocket Raccoon.
Prior to the Guardians of the Galaxy movie I knew nothing about these characters. I doubted that a talking raccoon would impress me, and I am glad to say that I was wrong. Dan Abnett wrote a creative and fun story that allowed Rocket to be his most destructive and intelligent self. I cheered as he taunted Hermetikus. How could you not like what Rocket Raccoon does?
The Ripley is paying tribute to the classic sci-fi movie Alien with Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Kitty Pryde trading barbs as to who is more of a badass like Ellen Ripley from the movie. Starting with Star Lord’s narration of “In space no one can hear you scream,” to the creepy vibe of the doomed ship the three Guardians board, you know and expect what will happen. This story has been told many times before, but this was still fun to read.
Even though our three characters split up in the ghostly marooned ship, they continue to heckle and pester each other as they try to find the sign of life that brought them here. Juanan Ramirez and Jesus Aburtov created a perfect ghost ship, right down to the creepy warning that is scratched onto the walls. Dreary colors sets the mood of this wretched ship. Though each of the characters are arguing which one of them is the Ripley of the group, it’s clear it has to be Rocket.
He saves the day by killing the alien that snuck aboard their ship. That’s what Ellen Ripley would do.
Guardians of Infinity # 8 is a great comic to pick up and read as a one off. You could always buy the previous issues and learn about what drove Hermetikus on his quest for control, but you don’t need to. It may be the end of a longer story, but it certainly works well in this single issue. If you’re a science fiction fan then you will no doubt love the debate that takes place in The Ripley story. You might have even had the same argument with your friends.