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.