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Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy #1 NOW!

Guardians Of The Galaxy

Retcons. Sadly, they have become an everyday thing for comics fans. Sometimes a retcon is a good thing and actually adds to a character but most times it just makes a mess of things and should be ignored. The retconned origin of Star Lord (the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy) is one of the ones that should be ignored. His original origin was more mysterious and interesting. His mother became pregnant when a rare alignment of planets occurred. The man who thought he was the father tried to kill him but had a heart attack and died. He was raised by his now single mother and would eventually end up in an orphanage after she was killed by two aliens. He would go on to grow up and join NASA and through a series of events would become the Star Lord, in essence a space cop.

This was the story since he was introduced back in the mid-70’s. But with the onset of Marvel NOW! and with the 616 having to change direction to match the movies, which in my opinion aren’t as interesting as the comics, we have to add a father and he has to be a king. Bottom line here is, in my opinion, the new origin is very much forgettable and gets in the way more than it adds to the overall story.

It makes me wonder if the other members of this team will have their origins ruined for no reason.

But how is the book? Well, it’s nothing special or groundbreaking. The last series featuring these characters, among others, was far more interesting and seemed to have purpose from day one. This series seems to forced. I mean, we all know there is a movie coming out next year featuring the Guardians and that’s the only reason why we have this book. At least that’s how it feels.

The story begins with Star Lord and his… father… talking about a summit that some of the powers of the universe recently had. Even this makes no sense because while there are representatives from the Shi’ar and the Kree (apparently Ronan is no longer running the Kree or that bit of information has been ignored), but the Brood? What interest would they have in talking to other races? And why is Annihilus, or someone who looks like him, there? He’s from the Negative Zone and hates everything and everyone in the Positive Universe. The only thing that intrigued me is the two figures in shadow at the summit. But the whole point is that Earth is now off-limits to all alien interactions. Apparently this means no one is allowed to set foot on Earth, including Star Lord.

In an apparent show of total stupidity, Star Lord’s… father… apparently thinks only a ‘handful’ of people knows this. But it’s alright to tell Star Lord this in a bar. And the others at the meeting have no reason to say anything to anyone about this. But somehow the Badoon find out (I didn’t see them at the big meeting) and they attack Earth; well, they attack Iron Man who has decided to try to make a fortune in space. Again, it really doesn’t make any sense.

While the banter between the characters is almost spot on from the previous run, the sudden change in Star Lord’s origin and the forced addition of Iron Man almost completely derail this book. Seriously, Iron Man is practically shoehorned into this book because he’s an Avenger and apparently no team book can survive without Iron Man or Wolverine. He’s not needed here.

This title was obviously made with new readers in mind, those who have no knowledge of these characters or their past, both as a team and individuals, because there are glaring mistakes in how characters are presented here. Gamora is suddenly wearing full body armor and blindly attacks armed guards, Groot has teeth and LEDs in his body for some reason… It makes about as much sense as the first issue of the current Nova series.

Now, I wanted to like this book, I truly did. There has been almost nothing in this First Wave of Marvel NOW! titles that I’ve liked and as a longtime fan of both Marvel Cosmic and the Guardians Of The Galaxy I had hoped that this book would be the one I could get into despite all the disadvantages it has. Unfortunately, it failed on almost every level. Marvel Cosmic, like much of the Marvel NOW! 616 Universe, is almost completely unrecognizable. But, having said all that, I may be willing to give the second issue a chance. I don’t know why other than I feel like I should have something from this wave of Marvel NOW! titles.

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Comments (5)

I don't know if I would be as harsh as you on the book. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting (and actually I liked it better than the Guardians appearance in Avengers Assemble from Bendis). I'm getting the feeling that Iron Man being here is just for the first arc in order to draw some new readers to the book, and if that's the case I'm OK with a gratuitous guest appearance. That said, this was not the space epic I was hoping for.

The Badoon invading? That goes back to the ORIGINAL Guardians mythology. (All we're missing to start going full circle is the "War of the Worlds" invasion.) Maybe we should toss Major Victory back in – or maybe pull his kind-of-younger-self-who-was-an-Avenger Vance "Justice" Astro into the team to have an Avengers tie in.

But one thing I'm a tad confused on still… If no other space races are permitted on Earth, including the Shi'ar, then what's going on with Hulkling who has Skrull heritage? What bout the Shi'ar teacher in Wolverine & The X-Men? Noh-varr, who is part of the Young Avengers, or even Captain Marvel who is human but imbued with Kree power? Skaar is still around in Dark Avengers, too. Hyperion is now an Avengers, and Smasher who is human but with alien powers is on the same team, as is Captain Universe (which is not an Earthly power) And let's not even talk about the Inhumans… Medusa is a key member of FF, for God's sake!

A;though I am all for letting writers tell a good story, there also must be some level of control for the universe at large. There are so many world-shattering events going on in the Marvel U… It seems that it's rare that there is any level of overlap. There is no oversight. I have this issue with DC right now and it extends to Marvel. They've grown too big that they cannot keep a handle on things… and for a long-time reader (who has the money to keep buying new issues) that's actually starting to turn me away.


It was really hard for me to not like this. After the disappointment that was Nova #1 I was hoping against hope that this would be worth reading. But I've noticed these Marvel NOW! books do a lot of ignoring continuity for no reason.
You ask some very good questions and I've had similar questions about this and other NOW! titles I've read. This title and Nova are supposed to be lead ins to the upcoming Thanos event and now that is in danger of not being truly good. If this is the lead in I mean. I was willing to tolerate the… art in the Thanos book because I like the character but if this is the foundation to that story I may not even look at it.

Nova was awful. This book wasn't nearly that bad. I didn't think it was terrible but I most certainly didn't think it was great, but damn Skott a 1.5? That is harsh. I would have said at least a 2.5 And Kelly you just rattled off so much Marvel history no wonder you are the boss lol


Ouch. Sounds pretty bad. The art looked decent, but sometimes that's simply not enough. Thanks for saving me four bucks!


I have since gone back and re-read it. It really wasn't that good. From the new character designs that made no sense to the changed origin of Star Lord with also makes no sense and just plain sucks, my collection has very little chance of seeing the second issue get added to it.

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