Guardians of the Galaxy #1
If you're Marvel and you're planning on taking one of your least well-known properties you have and turning it into a giant summer blockbuster, what's one way to lay the groundwork for that? Launch a new comic of course! Guardians of the Galaxy will be flying into theaters next August but the new comic book series has already begun. Marvel maestro Brian Michael Bendis writes this new take on the team of various aliens that aren't exactly the most familiar faces in comics. Composed of Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot along with Iron Man himself are the Guardians of the Galaxy, and they're the best assemblage of misfit heroes in comics.
This debut doesn't go the typical route of introducing all the characters and assembling the team like many of the other Marvel NOW! comics have done. Instead, it gives a brief insight into each of them in a concise manner that doesn't feel stretched out. While the decision to not elaborate on the past of each character will be confusing to some newcomers, it's like catching up with old friends for long-time readers. Bendis treats the characters like they should be instead of attempting to make them cute or funny like he's done with some of The Avengers in the past.
When the story starts, you get a Star Wars vibe from its opening. It's set in a giant expansive world that you'll eventually get to see more of, but the less you know about know it, the more your interest is piqued. The plot is laid out in front of you in a way that at first seems like you're being hit over the head with a bag of hammers, but by the end of the issue it takes on a different tone that you didn't think of before. It's quite remarkable.
Artist Steve McNiven does a phenomenal job with the content. Taking place in outer space with any number of different aliens, space ships, robots and planets, there is a lot of scenery to chew on and you will get lost in the amazing work he's done here. My only beef with the artwork is I'm not crazy about the re-designs for Star-Lord and Gamora's outfit, but that could just be me being picky and it will grow on me.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 offers a great jumping on point for interested fans and its ensemble cast of characters, with one of the best writers in the business putting words in their mouths, will keep you grinning from ear to ear while reading it. It's gorgeous, well plotted, captivating, and one of the best comics I've read this year.
Rating: 9.5 / 10