Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1: Cosmic Avengers
Collection: Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #1-3 and #0.1, Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow’s Avengers #1 © 2013-2014.
Publisher: Marvel Comics © 2014
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencilers: Steve McNiven (#0.1, 1-3) & Sara Pichelli (#2-3)
Inkers: John Dell with Mark Morales
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Cover Art: Steve McNiven, John Dell & Justin Ponsor
Letterers: VC’s Cory Petit
Assistant Editor: Ellie Pyle
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Michael Avon Oeming & Rain Beredo (Drax), Ming Doyle & Javir Rodriguez (Rocket Raccoon) and Michael Del Mundo (Gamora & Groot)
Layouts: Yves Bigerel
Letterers: VC’s Joe Caramangna
Cover Art: Ming Doyle
Editor: Sana Amanat
Senior Editor: Stephen Wacker
The Guardians of the Galaxy pick back up under the more recent banner of Marvel NOW in 2013 under the pen of Brian Michael Bendis who brought us the Marvel Ultimate line, Age of Ultron, Secret Wars and more. Therefore we know we are already in good hands. It is of interesting note that the villain in this volume is more or less Star Lord’s father, J-Son of Spartax. The Spartax Emperor has basically sworn all alien empires of the galaxy off from touching planet Earth, proclaiming it as defended and in a sense neutral. Or is J-Son up to something more as Star-Lord thinks? In addition the Guardians of the Galaxy have band together again along with newcomer Iron Man who was invited by Star-Lord. Bendis pull of a good convincing story and captures a good Star-Lord that almost caters back to the original prior to the Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) series and dominating film character that this series was released around in. The #0.1 issue is a great catch-up for those new to Star-Lord as it retells the origin of StarLord with little to no changes. If anything this one is more effective and impactful over the original as Bendis pans it out more, with additional focus on young Peter Quill. Yet, the Tomorrow’s Avengers issue seems a bit of a waste and maybe oddly placed at the back given it takes place prior to the events in this arc. Nonetheless, that issue is packed with terrific action. Overall this trade is fun, exciting, an easy read but no real character development and ends on something of a cliffhanger to bring you right back in for the second one.
McNiven & Pichelli’s art comes with short, small but discreet line work and small details. They have an attribute to providing age along with wear and tear to their environments without over-doing it at all. People’s faces show great detail and expression, though there is a lot of cross-hatching. Personally, not my thing but they make it work without it being too distracting. The art in Tomorrow’s Avengers offers a lot of range with all the different talents they have on this issue with Drax having this almost 2-D animation like quality out of indie videogame, this beautiful painterly like quality to Gamora and more. This was a nice welcome bringing individualism to the project. For one I was never a huge fan of the Guardians with a uniform, but now here they just have different colored armor they wear like a Stephen Sommers G.I. Joe flick. Sure, it’s a step in the right direction but not a huge upgrade. Ponsor offers so many bright, vibrant colors from pink to purple to green and always manages to find a way to illuminate a panel in a dark scene or dark room with just the bare minimum of light. I applaud Petit for lettering Iron Man and Rocket with their own speech bubbles. The covers for the series are terrific and always the nice perk of a variant cover collection located in the back, especially some Deadpool themes ones.
All-in-all a fun, lighthearted read with just the right amount of drama and angst. The scale and scope isn’t as large as the original back from 2008 which I miss but welcome as this remove all the mental juggling and memorization, where I do not have to retread previous issues.
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