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Review – Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (Marvel Comics)

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (Marvel Comics) wraparound variant cover by Geoff Shaw
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
Overall
8.8/10
8.8/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 8.75/10
    8.8/10
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Summary

Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artists: David Marquez & Dean White
Publisher: Marvel
Maturity Rating: T+
Release Date: January 23rd, 2019

Following the events of Infinity War, a new team has reformed the Guardians of the Galaxy. Only they’re not quite what you’d expect.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are Back! Well, Sort of…

The Guardians of the Galaxy are back, and they’re newly reformed as well. Though they’re not quite what you’d expect. But they’re here to deal with the new galaxy-level threat, and that’s all that matters. Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is the first in a six-part miniseries. Also, this series is post-Infinity War, so there are going to be spoilers. If you’re not up to date with that event, you may want to check it out first. Or just be okay with getting some things spoiled. But be warned that it deals heavily with what happened: specifically what happened at the beginning of Infinity War, and the status of many characters at the end of it.

Guardians of the Galaxy has been getting tons of ad space in the last few rounds of comics, so it’s likely that most fans have seen at least one of these images. Some of the images include teasers for potential new teammates for the series (or so they’re hinting). Others have been showing a well-known antagonist. It’ll be interesting to see how everything advertised all connects together. Though I can say that personally, I’m hoping to see Darkhawk and Beta Ray Bill officially join the team…I’m totally not obsessed with those characters or anything.

Writing

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (Marvel Comics) main cover by David Marquez
Main cover by David Marquez

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 was nothing like I had expected. And for the record, I think that’s a good thing. The original premise of the series does build heavily on the events of Infinity War. I think most of us knew that they weren’t done playing around with that plot, so it’s no real surprise. I’ll admit that I was intrigued by the way they set up this situation. Donny Cates did a fantastic job, pulling facts and characters from Infinity War and then weaving it into this larger standalone plot. It’s surprisingly well thought out and solidly done, all things considered.

There are countless cameos in this issue. As of the conclusion of the first issue, I’m not even sure if we’ve met all the members of the new team. In fact, I got the impression that it wasn’t going to be something as simple as getting six or seven new players to join together. I strongly suspect that Cates is setting up for something larger than that.

There were several parts of this issue that I liked in particular. Having memorable moments in the first issue of a series tells me that it should be a good run. I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen in the next issue.

Art

There were a lot of characters and abilities that had to be portrayed in Guardians of the Galaxy #1. And if they weren’t done properly, there’s a good chance that they wouldn’t have been recognizable—since they didn’t clutter the pages by giving every character a label. Geoff Shaw and Marte Gracia did an excellent job of having all of the characters be perfectly identifiable—even the ones in background shots that didn’t get as much detail. Okay, admittedly, some were likely easier than others, but I still want to give them credit for it.

There were a lot of stylistic decisions made for this issue that I really enjoyed, from the dramatic lighting and shading to the choice to have some scenes washed out in blue. The panels showing deep space shots, in particular, were really well done.

Conclusion

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 started off the new series with a bang. It’s not the series I expected…but I think it could be even better than that. It’s amazing how many characters and locations they were able to fit into just a single issue, and how they succeeded in keeping them all distinct. The plot looks like it’s going to be an interesting one. Even though it’s only going to be six issues long, it’s clear that they have big goals to reach within that time frame. I also have a feeling that the events that occur within this series will end up affecting other series…


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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