Sunday, February 15, 2009

Guardians of the Galaxy (Volume 1)

Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Paul Pelletier
The original Guardians of the Galaxy collection was the first non-X-Men graphic novel I ever picked up when I was a kid. "The Quest For the Shield." It was kind of lame, but I did like some of the original characters like Aleta and Starhawk. So, I was happy to hear that they were relaunching Guardians of the Galaxy, even in a new incarnation, and especially as it was spinning out of the really well-done Annihilation crossover.
The Guardians are stationed in the severed head of a Celestial in Knowhere (a sort of limbo), and are on a mission to repair rips in the fabric of space-time left in the wake of the two big cosmic wars. The dangers they face are a group of religious nuts (The Universal Church of Truth, who abolish all nonbelievers and are on a quest to convert the universe to the one true religion), and skrulls that have infiltrated Knowhere in an attempt to halfheartedly tie the book into Secret Invasion, but separate enough to be a decent story in its own right. Major Victory also appears among the group (a member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy from the far future) with holes in his memory, and Starhawk comes close at his heels, shooting everyone in sight. There's a lot of action in this book and dissent among the ranks of the team, which include: Star-Lord, Quasar (Phylla-Vell), Adam Warlock, Drax, Gamora and Rocket Raccoon, with Mantis (one of my favorite characters from Annihilation: Conquest, so it was nice to see her again) and Groot as a support team, as well as the chief of security on Knowhere, a talking dog named Cosmo. I like Pelletier's art: it's very clear and cartoony at times. It kind of reminds me of Alan Davis, to be honest, which is a very good thing in my opinion. But there's not quite the same magic in this book as there was in the Annihilation books, although it is off to a decent start and I really did enjoy my time reading this first collection. I did prefer the team that Star-Lord assembled in Annihilation: Conquest to the more popular characters that make up the team in this book, but there are some heavy-hitters on the team that appear here that a lot of people are probably happy to see, and it does do a good job in that regard of sampling different parts of the Annihilation books and bringing them together in this book.

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