Released: July 18th 2017
Issues: Gamora 1-5
Set before Gamora meets any of the Guardians of the Galaxy (or so I assume at least), Memento Mori is a quick, fun aside into the backstory of Gamora’s life. It isn’t really required reading, as anything major mentioned has been done so in other comics as well, but it is still a quick (only five issues) read. Though some points were slightly predictable, but never to the point where I found myself getting annoyed.
I will admit that this volume really could be skipped if you wanted to – while cute and fun it really does not add anything vital to Gamora’s plot or to the story for Guardians of the Galaxy. I still loved reading it, and I think many fans of Guardians of the Galaxy probably would too.
What I loved in particular from this volume is that it really explained how Gamora was able to transition from the killer Thanos raised her to be, to the Guardian of the Galaxy we all know in love. Previously I always felt like there was a bit of a gap between the two (what motivated her to break through the brainwashing and escape? Things like that) but Memento Mori helps explain some of that.
Seeing how Thanos treats Nebula versus Gamora…it’s easy to understand why Nebula ends up hating Gamora so much. She becomes the lightning rod for all of the hate, being the “favored child.” Nebula isn’t one of my favorite characters, but it’s hard not to feel upset for her and for the way she was treated (yes, I know Gamora was also abused), especially when her father figure essentially calls her trash on top of everything else done to her.
I think this series of events will help anyone understand just how messed up Gamora and Thanos’ relationship is: Thanos treats Gamora to a very special birthday gift – he lets her kill the royal family line that ordered her species annihilation. While we can argue all we want about how revenge would feel great in this case, the fact remains that Gamora’s “father” encouraged her to slaughter an entire family and then called it a gift. Need I say more?
The sad truth was, the “gift” wasn’t enough for Gamora. When she finds out there’s one living relative left, Gamora assumes that why she doesn’t feel better and immediately takes off on a suicide mission to finish her revenge (if you’re wondering how she came across this information, the answer is obvious: Nebula. It involves a suicide mission after all).
Upon getting to Ubliex Gamora accidentally immediately befriends the survivor, named name. Through a series of escapades and arguments, the two finally settle on working together in order to get themselves and as many survivors off the planet as physically possible (remember that suicide mission I mentioned? The planet’s falling into a black hole, so time’s counting down).
L’Wit was a pivotal character for Gamora’s change of heart; her unending hope and capability for forgiveness made Gamora realize there was more to life than just revenge, and by making it her only goal in life she’s stunted her own ability to live. As far as origin/flashback stories go, this was a pretty good one. I’m not completely sure about this, but if I had to guess I’d say this was a one-shot story.