Not so long ago, we took a moment to explore the origins of the original Guardians Of The Galaxy, and now they’re getting a new Number One issue. Can the futuristic GoTG stand alongside their contemporary counterparts? Your Major Spoilers review of Guardians 3000 #1 awaits!
Previously in Guardians 3000: “Vance Astro is a psionically-enhanced warrior and sentinel of liberty! Yondu is a master of all weapons! Martinex has control over extremes of heat! Charlie-27 is super-strong and super-fast! Starhawk sees the future with his mystical precognition! In the war-torn world of 3014 AD, these freedom fighters stand together to overthrow the invasion of the alien Badoon and to face far darker threats. They are The
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY GUARDIANS 3000!
FUTURISTIC SLANG EVERYWHERE
One thing you can say about Dan Abnett: He knows how to open a story. In mid-battle, a woman named Geena gets knocked down by a sonic blast, only to be shielded by Vance Astro who, yes, is carrying the legendary shield of Captain America… like you do. Then, Charlie-27 arrives, and the heart and muscle of the Guardians have some lovely interplay wherein we find that Charlie is still Charlie, right down to his use of slang words like “flark” and “garked” and “beamer-bait.” It’s pretty well-handled, thankfully, because several different eras of the Legion of Super-Heroes have proven that it’s really difficult to use such language effectively. Things take a turn for the worst, though, as the Guardians reunite, just in time for Yondu to take a vicious blast through the chest, KILLING him. Vance’s suit is ruptured, while Martinex is shattered by a monstrous alien creature, and Starhawk is torn to pieces. By the time Charlie-27 dies in a massive energy disruption, it’s clear that something is horribly wrong in the year 3014. Geena is killed, and her vision fades out…
HUMBERTO RAMOS-INSPIRED ART
…only to fade right back, albeit at a point before the events of the first half of the issue. The time-travel shenanigans should be no surprise to anyone familiar with the Guardians history, but the way that it’s folded into the issue works for me, giving an additional dimension to the future madness. I’m also entertained by the fact that Star-Lord himself (back in his traditional togs with helmet, in all his alien glory) makes an appearance, alongside The Supreme Intelligence, Gladiator and other mostly immortal types from cosmic Marvel. Artistically, this issue shows a strong influence of Humberto Ramos, with every character featuring a massive chest, hands and feet, with smaller heads featuring ENORMOUS eyes, but Sandoval has slightly more consistent proportions that Ramos generally does. His renderings of futuristic technology and ships is impressive as well (important in a book set in the future) and the issue ends with an interesting cliffhanger as Geena leaps into battle alongside Vance rather than being saved as she was at the beginning.
THE BOTTOM LINE: STRONG STORY, QUIRKY ART
Geena herself is possibly the most familiar element of the story in play: The narrative equivalent of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the woman whom all the Guardians are willing to sacrifice themselves to save. (Dawn Greenwood plays a similar role in current issues of ‘Silver Surfer’, as does Clara in recent seasons of ‘Doctor Who’.) But, that familiarity doesn’t torpedo the plot of the issue for me, especially when the big reveal comes around, although I feel like I need to point out that the previous iterations of the Guardians already HAD a cute young red-haired female member in Nikki… Guardians 3000 #1 has a lot going for it, though the story is a couple of levels better than the art (which, to be fair, isn’t bad), earning this impressive debut issue 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.