Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1

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tumblr_mdjuweL8Fb1rrz073o1_500It’s a good time to be a cosmic Marvel fan.  After the great start to Nova, we get the equally great Guardians of the Galaxy.  Brian Michael Bendis can do no wrong these days.

If a lot of this issue looks familiar, that’s because a good chunk of it is from last year’s Marvel Point One 2.  Bendis fleshes out Peter Quill’s origin nicely, with it being reminiscent of Star Wars.  Boy has legendary lineage, and goes into space to help save the galaxy.  It’s fairly straight forward, but the best origin stories are one that are simple.  Bendis gives a fair amount of time to his mother, which works on multiple levels.  It makes us feel for her when she eventually dies, as well as make Quill’s origin more legitimate. Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 is Bendis decompression at it’s best.  The opening montage of Quill’s mom and dad is sweet, and gives a great amount of detail for Peter’s dad.  Bendis adds a flare of heroism to Peter, something we don’t see much in the origin of heroes anymore.  Too often they have tragic backstories, and have to come back from the the dark side.  Instead, Peter has always been a hero, he’s just in space.  The ending is surprisingly similar to Nova #1.  Our main hero ends up in a hospital bed from a concussion?  Little to similar considering these books operate in their own corner of the Marvel Universe.

As a die-hard fan of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s volume of Guardians of the Galaxy, I was hoping we’d see some indication of that point in their history.  With the Guardians headlining a movie next year, it’s not surprising that Marvel would choose to push some of their history to the back of the book.  They are a kooky team after all.  But Nova has just as much history as the Guardians, and it looks like Jeph Loeb isn’t going to be ignoring that in Nova.  It is the first issue, so time will tell.

Steve McNiven does his always brilliant work.  Every scene is brimming with detail.  The explosion of Quill’s house is the shining moment.  Bendis’ decompression gives McNiven plenty of room flex his penciling talent.  Many of these panels could have gone without words, and we’d be able to understand the scene perfectly.  McNiven understand body language and how much of a role it plays in a budding relationship.  He has the talent of comedic timing as well.  When J’Son explains to Meredith where he is from, it’s impossible not to crack a smile.  John Dell’s gorgeous inks use the lightings incredibly well.  Many scenes are set by a fire, or explosion, and Dell makes every little shadow feel right.  Justin Ponsor’s colors inject a sense of grounded reality in this space opera book.  The reflections from the fires are gorgeous, and hit the right feel for a romantic scene.

Guardians of the Galaxy is another win for the cosmic side of Marvel.  Cosmic fans rejoice.

Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 gets 4/5.

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