REVIEW: Guardians Of the Galaxy #.1


Or – “Haven’t I Already Reviewed The Origin Of Star-Lord?

The return of Peter Quill and the Star-Lord character’s ascension to a place of prominence in the Marvel Universe has been something of a surprise to me, but a welcome surprise nonetheless.  My only real worry is that everyone on the cover has ugly, over-detailed armor.  What’s going on INSIDE the book?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Steve McNiven
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Guardians Of The Galaxy:  In the wake of the Annihilation Wave, a loose agglomeration of heroes brought their forces together under the leadership of Peter Quill, the hero formerly known as Star-Lord.  Defending the galaxy against threats like the Universal Church Of Truth, the Phalanx and more, the Guardians Of The Galaxy grew and shifted before drifting apart in the wake of Star-Lord’s death.  So, what’s brought them all back together now?


With the high profile given to guys like Luke “Power Man” Cage and Carol “Ms. Marvel” Danvers, it’s clear that the heroes that Marvel debuted in the 1970s are getting as much respect as those from the 1960s.  (Yes, I count Captain America among the 60s heroes.)  Given how badly some of them were treated in the past (the end of Power Man & Iron Fist was a damned shame, and the characters took nearly a decade to recover from it, and don’t even get me started on poor Spider-Woman) it’s nice to see those characters getting their due from Marvel editorial.  This issue spotlights another hero of Bronze Age, retelling the origin of Star-Lord with some more recent additions.  The basics are still the same:  Alien crashes to Earth, befriends a young Terran woman, they fall in love, he eventually leaves.  The details, however, have changed considerably.  First and foremost, the new telling has the art of Steve McNiven on its side, delivering a solid action punch in every panel (even those that are about a young man and woman bonding.)  The reasons behind J’Son of Spartax’s exit are slightly different as well, replacing the original tale’s flimsy premise (he wasn’t sure that she could survive in his jury-rigged ship) with the more powerful expectation that he is a wanted man in the middle of an interstellar war.


Cut forward a few years, and we find ten-year-old Peter Quill struggling with his life and his absentee father, while his mother tries to understand him.  The issue shows him obsessed with science fiction (hilariously, the books she berates him for reading is an old issue of Marvel Premiere featuring Seeker 3000) and even getting into a fight with the local bully to protect a young girl, all of which cements his character expertly.  Bendis’ only flaw in this issue is some awkwardness due to an overuse of “Bendis dialogue” when J’Son and Meredith first meet, which is awkward when one of the characters isn’t even from Earth.  The last part of the story details what happens when the alien Badoon arrive to find young Peter Quill (Short story: Not pretty) and ends with the revelation of the new GoTG team:  Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot, Rocket Raccoon and new recruit Iron Man.  We end with the characters setting off for adventure and such, with Star-Lord having effectively informed Iron Man (through the origin monologue) what his team is all about…


Point One issues are always a crapshoot, since “jumping-on point” often means “regurgitation of plots we just read in the book.”  In this case, the book hasn’t actually debuted yet, and Star-Lord’s origin hasn’t been told in a couple of decades, so the overall effect is a good one.  There are some unanswered questions here (How did Star-Lord get out of the cancerverse?  What’s with Iron Man in space?  How did these new Guardians actually get back together after their dispersal in the last volume) but since this is meant to be a gateway to the new ongoing, those can be forgiven.  All in all, it’s an issue that looks phenomenal, and reads well, with the only real downside being some truly hideous and over-designed costumes for the team members.  Guardians of The Galaxy #.1 does what it set out to do, showing us enough to get us interested, filling in a few blanks, and resolving itself to showing us why we should want to read these characters and their adventures, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. 

Rating: ★★★½☆


Reader Rating

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