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Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers (2013)

by Brian Michael Bendis(Favorite Author)
3.95 of 5 Votes: 5
0785168281 (ISBN13: 9780785168287)
Marvel Comics
Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel NOW!)
review 1: The “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie is a hit. At a reported $94 million, the newest movie from Marvel Studios has the largest August opening in history. It is not hard to see why with a mix of funny, likable characters with explosive action and a plot that’s exciting the film has all the makings of classic. Since the sequel, which was green-lit prior to the release of the first movie, is still a few years off where do you go to get more of the Guardians of the Galaxy?While the movie was in development, Marvel Comics began reintroducing the heroes that would make up the team seen in the movie. Writer Brian Michael Bendis with artists Steve McNiven and Sarah Pichelli teamed up to launch a new “Guardians of the Galaxy” series that focuses on the five heroes from the... more movie, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Rocket. The series launched in 2013 and you can jump right into it by picking up the first collection of stories in “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1: Cosmic Avengers.”The story begins with the comic book origin of Star-Lord as reinterpreted by Bendis. The story veers somewhat from the origin in the movie but it fills in quite a few details that round out the character. As drawn by McNiven the story is stunning and full of detail. It explains much about the character as he takes his role as the leader of the Guardians. Bendis is able to capture a lot of the attitude but also gets to the heart of why Star-Lord is a hero.Following the origin story Bendis and McNiven launch into the epic battle that showcases the reason why they are called Guardians. This is where the rest of the team comes into focus along with new Guardians teammate Iron Man. The plot reinforces the outlaw nature of the Guardians who act more like heroic pirates than altruistic heroes. Acting in direct defiance of inter-galactic law the team comes to Earth to stop a Badoon invasion. The action gets into high gear with McNiven showcasing each Guardian and their specific talents in combat. The excitement makes for a great entry point to the comic books as it feels like a continuation of the movie.Pichelli comes onto the art team towards the end of the story and does not miss a beat with her stunning style that compliments McNiven’s and keeps the action moving.“Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1: Cosmic Avengers” collects the 0.1 issue as well as issues 1-3 of the regular “Guardians of the Galaxy” series. In addition is a collection of vignettes starring each Guardian in a solo story written by Bendis teamed with talented artists. These stories show where the characters are prior to the launch of the series as Star-Lord searches them out to bring the band back together. If you liked the movie and the characters established in it then “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1: Cosmic Avengers” is the place to start. From there you can work your way through Marvel’s massive library of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and see their various incarnations over their 46 year history.
review 2: This slim graphic novel was released for the movie (naturally) and collects the comic reboot (again) of Guardians from 2013 (#0.1-#3) then a series of individual character studies encompassed as 'Tomorrow's Avengers.' Let me deal with them separately since they feel like it.The 2013 0.1-3 is well worth it. The storyline is solid and relatively simple. The Guardians are back together after the Thanos thing in 2006 (which I'd be lying if I said I remembered much about that). They're talking with Tony Stark to help keep Earth safe. After all, Star Lord is part human and he grew up there. There is a bit of non-linear story telling here but nothing too hard to keep up with. Peter Quill tells Tony his life story, or more precisely his mother's story (which doesn't jive with the movie at all but does with the early series). Peter's father is a galactic king and has ordered everyone, including Peter, away from Earth (There are reasons and it gives the All-Mother a bit of a moment to shine). Peter sees this as painting a target on earth, especially for aliens like the Badoon which naturally happens just as Peter fears. Naturally neither the Guardians nor Iron Man is going to stand around letting this happen. Let's just say Peter's father J'Son is none too thrilled with this defiance.The good - the storyline and the art. No lie, Steven McNiven and Sara Pichelli's art is beautiful. If all comic art still looked this good, I'd be collecting more avidly. I would hang some of this on my wall, especially the Peter pissed off ones.The Bad - there isn't much. I wasn't too fond of how they rendered Iron Man's armor or Rocket's legs but the thing that gets me is typical comic book sexism. I know it's not going to end but seriously why would Gamora be the only one in a black bathing suit under her armor? At one point they're all stripped of their battle suits and everyone is in black skin tight undersuits except her. She's in a French cut bathing suit because that's what all assassin wear (eye rolls). There is one cover variant with Gamora that is a gorgeous piece of art on one hand and on the other she's in something that is little more than three thin strips of cloth that would require her to go Brazilian to wear (assuming of course that her secondary sexual characteristics are human). I just don't see Gamora going for a wax. Now for the final third of the book, the individual stories has an underlying theme of Peter going to round up his friends again. It really should be the first thing since it predates the other two-thirds of the book but it's just as well it's in the back. None of the stories are strong (Gamora's and Drax's stories are just battle scenes). Rocket's seems like something that might be continued down the road and Groot's had a bit of heart to it. The art is also very variable in this (some of it not particularly good, reminding me of why I don't collect like I did.Overall, this is a very good graphic novel. Though it is a bit darker than the movie for those who only know that aspect, much fewer jokes. less
Reviews (see all)
Awesome. Great artwork excellent storyline.
Fun! (Especially if you enjoy the movie!)
Not a big fan of this one.
3.5 stars
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