Earlier this year, Marvel began its ALL NEW Marvel Now launch. Various titles were launched and relaunched with the banner. It started as a weekly thing but now it’s cooled off and is a bit more random in schedule so every now and then, a new #1 issue comes out with the ANMN banner. And every time that happens, you better believe I’m gonna give you my thoughts on it. Wanna know if this series seems like a keeper or is destined for the quarter bin of our interest? Sit back and enjoy my analysis. You just might learn something.
So this week there appears to be a whole lot of Guardians going on at the old comics stand. You’d think they have a movie coming out. Since the launch of this current roster for the Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2008, it’s safe to say that this group has been an interesting bunch. That goes double now as Brian Michael Bendis has been taking the team to new heights with their current series. One thing he’s done exceptionally well is take a third string douche like Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, and make him an interesting and flawed character who also happens to be a lovable scoundrel. Like Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds, he’s a swashbuckling hero who travels the galaxy in search of grand adventure and ends up helping folks along the way. What’s not to like? But, of course, it helps when you’ve got an interesting supporting cast the likes of Rocket Racoon, Gamora and the rest to play off of. That’s the main reason why I was a bit weary when I heard that Peter Quill would be staring in his own book. With a creative team of Sam Humphries and Paco Medina, my worries lessened as while they’re not the biggest names in comics, both have had steady work with The House of Ideas for the past number of years. Keeping all that in mind, I picked up Legendary Star Lord #1 and prepared myself for something that was good but not necessarily great. Without a doubt, the book exceeded my expectations.
In the opening pages of the first issue, Star Lord is ready to throw down with some Badoon at an orphanage located on a fringe planet of the Spartax Galaxy. Out-gunned and out-matched, he surrenders to his adversaries and they take him as well as a rare gem that was hidden at that location. Once aboard the ship, Peter finds time to rattle the soldiers onboard (who, of course, decide to give him some violent “repartee”) and make a phone call to Kitty Pryde of the X-Men. All this to bide his time till the perfect moment of escape is evident. The moment not only ends up being perfect but also spectacular. He finishes off his day by doing a good deed and thinking back to his not-so-fun childhood on Earth. That is until a high-ranking official from Spartax tracks him down and he gains a startling new piece of information about his family.
There’s only one thing you want from a book like this: FUN! This issue delivers that in spades. From the breakneck pacing to the spot on character beats, this issue did a great job of showing itself as the perfect companion piece to the GOTG montly. Peter Quill is the lovable scoundrel you want him to be. He’s also a tortured soul who’s trying to figure things out. But that doesn’t stop him from living life to it’s fullest. He’s funny, he’s got street smarts and he’s charming. The only thing that really gets in his way of winning is his own ego. Add in what appears to be the other characters’ distain for his fancy free attitude (and his lack of acknowlegement to their distain) and you’ve got some great comedic moments waiting to happen.
The illustrations of the book are also impressive as they blend well with what’s being done in the current Guardians book while still having it’s own style. Over in the current GOTG book, there’s been a quiet shift to the characters resembling their movie counterparts. This switch is fully embraced here as Star Lord rocks a variation of the cinematic uniform. Paco Medina also shares a number of traits similar to Nick Bradshaw’s style, making the book feel like a legitimate offshoot comic from the main title.
If you like the Guardians of the Galaxy, you will like this book. If you’re not a huge fan of the GOTG, you still might like the adventures of this cocky, young adventurer as he quests across the cosmos. Either way, I know that I will be sure to check out issue two as this was truly a lot of fun.
Rocket Racoon #1
Arguably the most popular Guardian, you knew that if Star Lord was getting his own book that Rocket Racoon would have one as well. Written and drawn by Skottie Young, this is a comic that features the solo adventures of a creature that loves to boast he’s the last of his species……..or is he? Rocket’s out on a date with a young hottie. Naturally, he takes her to a wrestling match where Groot is fighting….because he can’t do ANYTHING without Groot involved. Needless to say, things don’t go well as local authorities have RR marked as wanted and he spends the night on the run. But that’s the least of his problems as a group of like-minded individuals have banded together to gain revenge on our furry hero. While a fun read, I was a bit surprized how horny Young makes the character. I know that Star Lord is a bit of a lady killer but so is Racoon, apparently. If you’re a big fan of Rocket, check it out.
Check back here for more ALL NEW MARVEL NOW first issue reviews. Until then, stay in the NOW!
If you’re gonna geek out GEEK HARD!