Monday, July 7, 2014

The Legendary Star-Lord #1

   Give the Guardians of the Galaxy credit - you'd have a tough time finding a group with more diverse origins.

   Groot started in Tales to Astonish in 1960, one of the classic Lee / Kirby monsters.

   Drax the Destroyer first appeared in Jim Starlin's Iron Man (and later Captain Marvel) series in 1973.

   Gamora, the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy, first appeared in Starlin's Warlock in 1975.

   Rocket Raccoon first appeared in the black-and-white Marvel Preview magazine in 1976.

   Four issues earlier, the same magazine featured the first appearance of Star-Lord - but he had little resemblance to today's character. That first incarnation was an attempt by legendary writer Steve Englehart to merge space opera, super-hero action and astrology. (Really!)

   But Englehart left Marvel after that first story, and later creators (including Chris Claremont and John Byrne, among others) converted the character to an action hero, modeled after classic science fiction stories.

   But in his modern incarnation, he's more of a wise-cracking, fast-thinking rogue. His motive seem suspect, but he's actually a hero who hides his better nature behind his image.

   This first issue by writer Sam Humphries is a good primer for the character,  as he finds himself in conflict with his alien enemies, the Badoon, as they seek out a priceless gem - that happens to be hidden in an orphanage.

   Artist Paco Medina turns in some excellent artwork here, jumping between moments of quiet reflection, hoo-hah action and a good dose of humor.

   As first issues go, it's a solid start, and holds a lot of promise for future adventures.

Grade: B+



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