REVIEW: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 — But Why Tho

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is a new series published by Marvel, written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, art by Kev Walker, colors by Matt Hollingsworth, and letters by Cory Petit. The Guardians are on a planet, trying to gather all of the people on it in one place as something dangerous is coming.

This Guardians comic has a different tone to it than what might be expected. It’s very serious, similar to that of older series featuring this team, around the era of Annihilation. The pacing could be considered slow but Lanzing and Kelly give little pearls of dialogue to denote the oncoming danger. The story is mysterious and ominous, never truly giving away what is on its way until the final part of the issue. Of course, with it being in space, the mind may have made a decision on what the menace is, but there is a brilliant and fascinating idea for the true threat that could not have been predicted. There is humour. as always in a Guardians comic, but there is also this obscured history that seems to be steeped in tragedy and a real sadness to the end of the issue.

The dialogue is brilliant and where much of the humour comes from. When characters such as Mantis are brought in, her energy and variety in tone is infectious and delightful. She can be loud and cheerful, but it underpins an intelligent plan. Star-Lord is again much closer in character to his classic comic book persona than Chris Pratt’s interpretation of Peter Quill. He’s pessimistic and sulky, but constantly thinking of a plan. The others included in the initial roster of Guardians of the Galaxy #1, Drax, Nebula, and Gamora, all carry that gruff, negative voice. The conversations are still fun to read though, filled with an exploratory alien language and the classic curse word changes that can be found in Cosmic Marvel comics. 

The art is fantastic. The first planet of this adventure has a brilliant, rustic sci-fi feel to it, blending a Western town with an extraterrestrial addition. Star-Lord’s opening presents him as a lone cowboy figure, keeping that up until he is back on the ship. The designs of all of the characters are incredible. There is a superb understanding of line weights. For some, like Star-Lord’s helmet, the lines are thin, but for Nebula, the details are thicker and more imposing. I’ve always loved when artists play with Star-Lord’s mask, showing it in different states of opening, and Walker does that in Guardians of the Galaxy #1. The ships and the technology on the planet have a great sense of hidden history, giving the world life. The action can be huge and chaotic, and the reveal at the end is creepy and terrific.

The colors are gorgeous. Hollingsworth beautifully implements a natural palette for the desert design of the planet with some unnatural shades thrown in for when the alien aspect is laced within it. Some of these mixes are mesmerising to see, the shades changing millimetre by millimetre. There are characters, Nebula being the prime example, where pastel colors are used perfectly. The lettering is awesome, with some amazing SFX being included. Drax’s name appears behind him in a huge font that almost screams his name in one of the most badass entrances to a comic I’ve seen in a while.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is a great new start for the team. Whilst it’s methodical in its pacing, the payoff for the story is absolutely worth it. There is a great mixture of tone, with the lightheartedness of some of the characters being matched by a dark plot and some powerful moments of destruction. The Western theme is fascinating and it remains to be seen how much more the comic toys with the idea. The characters are recognisable for those coming from the movies into their first Guardians comic, but their personalities are more similar to their longstanding comic selves.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1


Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is a great new start for the team.

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