Marvel takes us up, up and away for another volume of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, is hanging out in a galactic bar and hitting on a comely Kree lady. His father comes in and breaks up his fun with a warning – stay way from planet Earth. A council of several old, space-faring empires have concluded that no one is allowed to land on Earth because humans need the opportunity to grow on their own to become part of the galactic neighborhood. Irritated by his message, Star-Lord makes his way to Earth where he finds Iron Man battling a Badoon warship. He gets help when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive to fight back the Badoon. After the battle is over, Gamora reveals to Star-Lord that she believes he was set up by his father so he would have an excuse to destroy Earth since he is unable to claim it for himself.
I had mentioned in the Nova #2 review that I always felt that Marvel was particularly good at capturing that space opera feel in their cosmic series. Since the 80s, it’s seemed as though Marvel had followed the same galaxy-spanning ideas that made the original Star Wars trilogy such a fun and amazing set of movies. That’s not to say that DC doesn’t have good cosmic stories, but they just handle it differently. Their outer space adventures felt more like watching sci-fi films from pre-1977. Marvel always seemed to like building richer character stories from the outset.
This is what Brian Michael Bendis has done with Guardians of the Galaxy #1. He’s presented a simple, but intriguing character story involving Peter and his father. Peter who feels he’s been ignored by his almighty father already has a dislike for the old man instilled in him. His father is a leader of an entire empire which means he doesn’t blink twice at making tough decisions concerning his people and his son. However, he’s also a tactician. He knows Earth is a pretty big deal around these parts and too valuable to fall into one of his enemies’ hands. So what’s he do? Invade it. That’s not going to stand too well with the Guardians. So, there’s our story. It’s simple, but not to a fault. If Marvel wanted to roll these guys out with enough time to build a built-in audience for their movie next Summer, it’s best to keep the initial exposition at a minimum. There will be time down the line to go deeper. Instead, just have the series hit the ground running and get things going. That’s what was done here and I think we’re better off for it. It’s not bogged down with retelling histories or spending a lot of time just showing the characters’ personalities and staving off a more exciting, action-packed story so these characters can get a real good treatment first. Bendis gives us enough for the characters through the action. As I said, there will be more time later. For now, let’s just blow some space stuff up and show us some really interesting characters that resemble raccoons or trees who can only every introduce himself. This is the heart of the Guardians so let’s just go for it and treat this like a true first issue of a series.
Steve McNiven is the artist on this book and boy did Marvel make a good choice. With a big outer space type of story, it’s important to make it big and epic. McNiven has zero problem in doing so. He does such a great job with the looks of the issue, it almost feels like we’re watching a new, to use the reference yet again, Star Wars movie. He does such a great job giving us that scope that this might just be the single best looking book for the entire year so far. If you want to see what I’m talking about? Go no further than the two page spread showing the entire Guardians of the Galaxy team springing to action. It’s 100% sci-fi, 100% comic book, and 100% heroic for a grand total of 300% of awesome.
This series launches on a great first issue. Here’s to more of the same!
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Exciting, fun, and gorgeous, this first issue is going in the right direction right away.||None.|