After speaking with Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder a few weeks ago and finding out this Free Comic Book Day comic would be all original content I had to have it. In part because it extends the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy/Defends story, but also because it contains key story you’ll need to fully enjoy the new series. After enjoying the first issue. I’m sure most folks will make this a book they must pick up. They’re not wrong.

The Defenders story meanwhile, is our first taste of the series! After speaking to Bendis and Marquez a few days ago I’m certain this is going to be a hot book and this is your chance to get that heat early.

Free Comic Book Day: All-New Guardians of the Galaxy/Defenders #1
Writer: (Guardians by Gerry Duggan) (Defenders by: Brian Michael Bendis)
Artist: (Guardians by Aaron Kuder) (Defenders by: David Marquez)
Publisher: Marvel Comics

So what’s it about? The Guardians portion of this story takes place before issue #1 (which came out last week) and actually has some major story beats not to be missed. The Defenders portion is key too, partly because it’s the first we’re seeing Bendis and Marquez on the book, but also because it hints at what this team will be fighting against.

Why does this book matter?

The Guardians title is a no-brainer for anyone who is a completist. This not only reveals how they get their ship, but shows us a bit more when it comes to the Nova Corps, which the first issue did not do. The Defenders portion is the only way to get a taste of what is to come from this breakout series. Nuff said!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

As I said above, the Guardians story is surprisingly filled with key details. It’s also a fun break out of prison tale, especially since the dynamics are all changed with Drax being a pacifist and Groot in permanent baby mode. Duggan is incredibly efficient with the storytelling here, giving us a taste of each character and having it all matter. Plus, you get a good look at how this team is actually very good together. It all concludes with a major taste of a threat you did not even see coming in the first issue too.

Kuder meanwhile, is excellent here. The opening page is gorgeous, framing the heroes at the center, showing space all around them, and then progressing Rocket’s plan in panels littered around them. It’s a bit chaotic, but that helps convey the trouble their in. I just love the bounding fun Star-Lord brings in this too. It’s an excellent chapter not to be missed.

The Defenders portion might be of particular interest since it’s still early and we’ve only seen a preview and not much more. This story hangs on Jessica Jones talking to a mysterious person who is angry his club was destroyed. It weaves in some Defenders action, gives each hero a time to shine, and ends on a wicked cliffhanger.

The art by Marquez with colors by Justin Ponsor is darker in tone but still has that street light color sprinkled in. The art is highly detailed, moody, and about what you’d expect from an A-list artist.

Is It Good?

It’s free, so you really can’t complain, but that being said, this is one hell of a fun comic. The Guardians portion blew me away and exceeded my expectations. It may be even better than the first issue as it packs so much into such a small package. The Defenders story is an excellent taste of what is to come and should satiate fans while we wait for the first issue.

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy/Defenders #1
Is It Good?
A must read for Guardians fans and Defenders fans will want the taste you get here.
The Guardians portion is excellent and may even exceed the entertainment value of the first issue
The Defenders portion is a nice taste of what is to come
The Defenders portion is more like a preview than a fully enjoyable tale