Saturday, March 30, 2013

Guardians of the Galaxy #1

I have a friend who isn't happy about the title of this comic.

He believes that the Guardians of the Galaxy is a team from the future whose adventures were told in a series of stories in the '70s and '80s.

But these days the team is a modern-day gathering of assorted cosmic heroes, dedicated to fighting to protect the Earth from assorted cosmic menaces.

The team is also scheduled to star in an upcoming Marvel film, so don't expect them to go away anytime soon.

The team is made up of Star-Lord (Peter Quill), who's half-human and half-alien (his father is the King of the Spartax system), Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the universe, Drax, a powerhouse, Rocket Raccoon, pretty much what the name indicates, and Groot, who is, well, Groot. Just ask him.

This issue zips right along, introducing the cast, bringing Iron Man into the mix as part of the intergalactic exploration mission he's on in his own title, setting up the challenge (defend Earth without actually landing there) and bringing in the bad guys (an invading force of Badoon warriors).

As you'd expect from writer Brian Michael Bendis, it's sharply written, funny and action-packed. The art is by Steve MicNiven and John Dell, and it's a real treat. The character designs are outstanding, the emotional impact is skillfully depicted, the page layouts are powerful - and it's just a heck of a lot of fun.

This is a team book that doesn't bother with the usual "gather the team" storyline for the first issue - it just hits the ground running and dares you to keep up.

Highly recommended!

Grade: A


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