Thanks in part to James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy are now a household name. An obscure team made up of a human, the daughter of a murderous titan, a destroyer, a wise-ass raccoon, and a walking/talking tree — kinda like a space age Breakfast Club. Love them or not, the Guardians of the Galaxy are here to stay. Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder are the latest creators tapped to deliver stories from my favorite gang of misfits. So the big question: Is the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 good?
First off, this volume skips around a bit and I am not huge on skipping issues for this arc. It collects material from the Free Comic Book Day GOTG from this year, and issues 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 from the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy series. And there are definitely parts of the story that made it feel like I missed something here and there. Off to a rocky start.
The book starts out with the gang escaping from Ingnar Station with the Nova Corp hot on their tracks. Fast forward to Galactus descending from the skies of Citopian and all the local citizens running for fear of their lives at the sight of gargantuan monster. Then Galactus’ head opens up and the Guardians come running out. They have been hired by the Grandmaster to steal an item that he craves. After they return it, the Grandmaster offers them a new proposal: infiltrate the Collector’s collection and retrieve the Grandmaster’s most sought after piece, the Hlijahdarian Monarch Egg.
Another twist is thrown the Guardians’ way once they manage a way inside of the Collector’s domain. Gamora has been acting odd lately and we soon discover that a part of her lies within an Infinity Stone. She tells the Collector that she is in possession of one stone but needs the other. The Collector tells her that if she can prove his brother has the one Infinity Stone she seeks, he will assist her if she gives him the stone that she holds.
The race is on to get the Infinity Stone. But things aren’t going to be that easy. Throw in an ambush by the Fraternity of Raptors, mix in a Nega-Band or two, and add a poisoned raccoon and you have all kinds of chaos going on! Will Gamora get the stone? Will Groot grow? Will Drax kick ass again? Will Star-Lord be able to save Rocket? A lot of questions boys and girls; how many answers will we get?
Gerry Duggan writes an interesting story for the first volume of the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy. Once again, it is a shame there are missing pieces of the puzzle with select issues not being included in the volume. I read this series, I feel as you can’t fully appreciate the tale without including the missing issues. But I may as well stop complaining about it because nothing is going to change it.
I like Duggan’s take on the Guardians for the most part. Star-Lord is still your happy-go-lucky space pirate that loves to listen to music. Drax is now a pacifist and will not fight. He refuses to do so, but a destroyer is gonna be a destroyer when he has to be. Gamora is a bit more mysterious; she has a past that involves the Infinity Stones, an interesting move on Duggan’s part. Of course, Baby Groot with his one leaf haircut is cute. But for some reason that we have yet to learn, he isn’t able grow. My favorite character is Rocket Raccoon, he has been for a long time, well before the movies, so I am a little more critical with him. He’s a smart ass and some of his quips sound like it would come from his cinematic counterpart. Some times it works, some times it doesn’t. But it doesn’t ever feel forced upon the reader.
I have mixed feelings on the art, mostly towards Rocket. Like I said, I’m critical over the little guy. I like he looks a little too cartoonish. In some parts of the story, cartoonish works for him, but rarely does he seem tough or intimidating. In some panels, he even looks like a dog. As for the other Guardians, they look decent enough. Drax has this long face, but it’s forgivable. Kuder does a great job with the other aliens that we see throughout the arc. Ive Svorcina does a fantastic job with the colors. The alien planets, as well as the aliens themselves all glow with great contrast. Despite my minor gripes, the book is visually appealing.
Overall, the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 is an entertaining book. I do hope that Duggan gets a change to write the Guardians for awhile. I hope Marvel doesn’t switch things up too soon. If you are a Guardians fan, I suggest you pick this up. But I also suggest that you hit up your local comic shop and grab the missing issues from this volume.