The Guardians continue their quest to follow the map in the cube to the fabled Cosmic Seed, and encounter a fellow enthusiast of the esoteric and unusual. Is Rocket really going to leave the team for good, and just what is the Collector up to?
Now this feels like a Guardians of the Galaxy story! Another character that fans of the movie will recognise arrives, in the form of the Collector. Lacking the unique vocal talents of Benecio Del Toro, the character feels a little flatter than what we got in the movie, but fortunately the writing makes up for it, delivering a truly intriguing frenemy for the team who it seems certain we will be seeing again as the series progresses.
This is definitively a Rocket episode, as the little guy gets increasingly frustrated with the lack of appreciation he gets from the rest of the team for his particular skill set. The opening sequence does a nice job of illustrating the tension in the crew as Rocket is pulled this way and that by various simultaneous demands, eventually taking the controls of the ship himself to pull off a daring manoeuvre which leaves the Milano stranded and powerless, then losing his temper as he tries to fix it while still getting stick from the rest of the team. By the time they encounter the Collector, he’s had enough, and an offer by the latter to stay at his facility and play with all the tech seems too good to pass up, helped by Quills eagerness to ‘replace’ him with one of the Collector’s legion of automated repair droids.
It’s a fun story, though perhaps a little predictable for older viewers. The duplicitous nature of the Collector works well, and the broad strokes of the narrative are nicely done, for all their well-worn familiarity. Seeing Rocket in his element is impossible to not enjoy, the team behind the series doing a great job of characterising the diminutive Rambo/mad scientist hybrid that is Rocket, and his mannerisms.
The finale works well, and whereas this could have been a hackneyed and wheel-spinning instalment, instead it feels like a real development piece as we watch the team grow closer together and learn to appreciate one of their own a little more. Even the slapstick final shot is forgivable because it works.
Verdict: If this is the standard that we can expect from the rest of the series, then I’m sold. After a slightly shaky start, the writers and animators seem to have really found their feet. Solid, entertaining fun. 9/10
Greg D. Smith