Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
In a dingy bar at the edge of the galaxy, Peter Quill, the Star-Lord of Spartex, sits opposite Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the universe, utilizing every tool in his smooth arsenal, hoping to win her affection when an army marches through the entrance. Led by the king of the Spartex planetary system who is also Peter’s estranged father, the troops stand at attention near the door only to be struck down with ease by a cosmic crime fighter with an extra large sword. All this while Peter gets chewed out by his dad and told that as a result of the most recent Council of Galactic Empires gathering, Earth has become ‘off-limits’ to any extraterrestrial interaction or interference as it would inhibit our ability to finally achieve independent evolution on a universal scale. This of course paints a target on the planet and all its inhabitants as a prospect of unprotected thus easily defeated conquest.
So begins the first chapter in the Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing by the busiest man in comics, Brian Michael Bendis (All New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Age of Ultron, Powers: Bureau) and one of the more beloved Marvel artists, Steve McNiven (Civil War, Captain America, Nemesis, New Avengers). Following their Point One issue that ‘kind-of’ booted the series, this first issue shows the Guardians in action as they battle creatures of the cosmos trying to harm our tiny little, helpless home. Space ships, alien races, laser fights, explosions and a snarky raccoon with a three pronged beam rifle that devastates all in its path are exactly what this first book delivers.
The story of Peter Quill, Star-Lord was handled in the Point One so his origin isn’t covered in this issue, however the transition seems simple enough that anyone should be able to jump on for the ride and not worry about his back story. The Point One was a blast so you would be missing out by not giving it a read but it’s nice to know that it isn’t integral to appreciate and enjoy this first issue. The first half reminded me a lot of the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie because it was a scene of a stuffy old army man reprimanding a youngster for his missed opportunities and squandered potential leading into a bar fight, but that wasn’t necessarily a complaint. It read smoothly and the dialogue was witty and quick like you would expect from a Bendis comic. When the outer space mayhem ensues is where the issue really picks up and becomes exciting.
Mcniven’s pencils produce some really stunning pages and tease what may be my favorite work from him yet. If the rest of the series were to take place out in the vastness of space while starships fly to their demise at the hands of the absolutely ridiculous/awesome cast of Guardians I would have no complaints. His alien creations and visions are amazing and I hope he is put to work on some insane and enormous fights and not just kept relegated to drawing talking heads. Not that that is a real worry because even though Bendis scripts are Kevin Smith dialogue heavy he manages to balance his scenes of banter well with double the amounts of action and adventure.
Guardians of the Galaxy is an exciting space Odyssey with remarkable interiors that will surely be a favorite of the Marvel Now Line. All the explosive galactic destruction will be in the forefront with lots of substance, plot and character development wise, to back it up and keep you invested.
Rob Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior
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