All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #9
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artists: Mike Hawthorne and Terry Pallot
We explore the origin of Baby Groot as the mystery of what plagues him is revealed. (And it’s apparently Homeless Donald Sutherland.)
What You Need to Know:
For months, we’ve known that a mysterious, cloaked entity has been manipulating the source of Groot’s life force and power, creating an army of savage, blood thirsty Groots of his own. Due to the schemes of this cloaked antagonist, Groot has been unable to revert to his original form and has been trapped in the underdeveloped body of Baby Groot.
Groot’s inability to control his size has become an issue.
What Just Happened?
We revisit the moment that Rocket and Groot traveled to the Thieves Den of the Stohlad Ring. While retrieving information from an “associate” for a potential heist, Rocket and Groot are confronted by the mystery man.
He makes VERY short work of Rocket, knocking our favorite omnivore unconscious before turning his attention towards Groot.
The creature introduces himself as The Gardener, one of the Elders of the Universe. The Gardener claims that he is sickened that Groot has allowed himself to become a slave to “the meat”, and Gardener plans to free him from this servitude to his “so-called friends”, the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Realizing that they are outmatched, Groot picks up his unconscious friend, Rocket, and runs for safety. However, the Gardener uses his control over Groot’s body causing him to root into the ground, trapping him. In a moment of selfless sacrifice, Groot straps his best friend, Rocket, into their spaceship, clutches and breaks the autopilot device and forces Rocket to escape. Rocket watches in horror as Groot is murdered brutally by the Gardener.
This is a very sad moment, almost comically sad, actually, considering all of the snot and dramatics.
The Gardener assures Groot, as he crushes what’s left of him into so much mulch, that he will be reborn as the warrior he was meant to be.
Unbeknownst to the Gardener, Groot left his consciousness behind in the autopilot controls of Rocket’s escape ship in the form of a splinter. Rocket rushes to save his friend, admitting that Groot has never been the same since. The experience has left him weakened, and they cannot seem to get him to grow past a foot high.
In an odd twist, we learn that Mojo is airing the exploits of Rocket and Groot as a hit series and promises more to come. Mojo is really getting a lot of play from Marvel Comics these days.
This series is fun if you’re a fan of the movies. Gerry Duggan really seems to get the family of weirdoes dynamic of the movies. He does a good job depicting the connection and partnership of Rocket and Groot, you cannot help but feel for Rocket when he believes Groot to have died sacrificing himself so that he would survive.