Way back at the end of October last year I had the chance to review the Marvel Now Point One issue and whilst it was a mixed bag, it did contain a few interesting stories. One of those was Guardians of the Galaxy brought to us by the team of Brian Bendis and Steve McNiven.
I think it's only fair to make it clear that this is a #0.1 issue and feels rather strange. All of the other point one issues were used as jump-on points for new readers from within existing storylines using the established characters. However in this instance, Star-Lord is not someone who already has their own current comic. In fact, despite the Abnett and Lanning cosmic Marvel events and ongoing series from 2006-2011, it's probably fair to say that Star-Lord isn't that well known to the average Marvel reader.
So is a spotlight issue on this man the right way to start?
The story begins 30 years ago when a crashed starship brings a member of the Spartaxian Royal family to Earth. It’s a frantic initial meeting with the woman whose land he crashes on, but in time it obviously turns into something far more. When it’s finally time for J’Son to leave - against his own wishes and desires but instead for duty - it’s clear that he has left a legacy behind. His son.
Moving forward to only 20 years ago, a young Peter Quill is being a typical boy wanting to read comics and not do homework. Not having a father figure for the start of his life has had an effect, but not in all of the stereotypical ways. Despite having a temper and unresolved anger towards his upbringing, he also has a distinctly strong moral compass which gets him in just as much trouble.
It’s at this point that I felt a little let down, as this is where the Marvel Now Point One issue from October steps back in and takes over. If you have read that comic then the next eight pages (almost half the comic) are old news. The upside is that it fits perfectly in for continuity and as a reader you have been given. The remainder of childhood is a little glossed over as the camera takes a step back to reveal that this was essentially narrated by Star-Lord in the present day. Here we meet the new interation of the Guardians Of The Galaxy - Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora and finally Iron Man! So the team has at least one well known and heavy hitting face.
In a self-proclaimed team mission, Star-Lord is out to make sure that the war that is spanning the galaxy does not make it’s way to Earth.
It’s not a bad premise to a story but there isn’t anything else around it. As a reader there is a very loose outline presented to you and then an extra bonus is the addition of Stark (which does kind of fit in with his current storyline but not fully) but as a #0.1 issue it is still very noncommittal.
Steve McNiven's artwork is something I have mentioned before as liking. His art is something that I would happily cast my eyes over every time, as I find his work detailed and refined. This issue is no different in that respect too. Some of the faces may seem a little off, but there is plenty of emotion and feeling conveyed in them all. It was in this respect too that I was glad that Tony Stark was there as I did become a little worried that McNiven could only draw negative images as you can count on one hand the truly happy or smug faces seen inside the pages.
It's obvious Marvel has gone back to basics with these characters, in an attempt to reintroduce them and build a fanbase before the upcoming film. As a first issue though, I wasn’t completely overwhelmed but I think it has set the scene for the proper beginning in issue #1. You have all the personal motivation and back story you need. I will certainly be looking forward to the full launch of this title to get some meat on it’s well rounded bones.
Despite being an international jetset playboy man of mystery, Matt Puddy is not responsible for this latest review being late.