They’re baaaaack! The original Guardians of Galaxy created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan back in 1969, are the 31st century cosmic superhero team from Earth-691. This particular team got its own solo series back in the early 1990s, which was written and drawn by Jim Valentino. After its cancelation, this team drifted around in almost total obscurity unless you were a hardcore old-school Marvel Cosmic fan, until Dan Abnett and Andy Landing introduced several members as guest-stars in their acclaimed Guardians of the Galaxy reboot. So now with the success of the Guardians of Galaxy film, writer Dan Abnett and artist Gerardo Sandoval return to the 31st century to continue the adventures of the original Guardians. So how does this issue do introducing audiences to a Guardians team that doesn’t have a talking raccoon?
We hit the ground running in the opening pages of this issue with the Guardians fighting off a huge invasion by the Badoon in an unknown location. At the same time we are introduced (somewhat) to Geena, who is a new character that will serve as the audience surrogate for this story. The Guardians have no idea how the Badoon can be here and suspect a darker presence is behind the attack. Unfortunately for them, it appears the Guardians won’t be able to figure this mystery out as the overwhelming forces kill each hero one by one. Afterward, the Edge of Tomorrow Comparisons begin. Ya I wasn’t joking up in the title.
Dan Abnett does a decent job introducing these characters, although if this is your first experience with the original Guardians you are not going to fully know who these characters are by the end of the issue. You will be able to tell their power sets and some of their personalities apart, but that’s minimum at best. It takes about half the issue before we get to learn anything specific about Geena, meaning we’re stuck with a new character that we know nothing about as the narrator and focus of the story for a large chunk of the book. The dialogue also gets weird at point when Abnett uses made-up slang words like “Exfil”, “Garked”, and “Numbkiss” that might throw people off at first. This issue also feels a little light on plot when all is said and done, though it sets up an interesting story that hopefully will play out well in the coming issues.
Gerardo Sandovald’s artwork is very bulky and cartoonish, depicting pretty much all the characters as hulking mass of meat that couldn’t possibly exist. Whether or not you will enjoy the artwork depends on how much you like exaggerated character models. The best artist I can compare with Sandovald’s is Humberto Ramos, so if you know his artwork you will have a rough estimate as to what you would expect from this issue. Personally I really like the art. It’s very energetic, fun, and fits well with the tone of the book.
Overall, this is an alright beginning to the series. If you’re a fan of the original Guardians, you will probably like this, although you may be disappointed that they are not technically the main characters of this issue. If you have no idea who these characters are, but you like the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, you may enjoy this. The problem is that these characters are not fully introduced, the plot isn’t fully revealed until near the end of the issue, and honestly it may be best to wait for this to be collect or at least wait a couple of issue to how this arc turns out. If you have a basic grasp of these characters (like me) and like these kinds of far out cosmic stories, this might be worth a pickup.
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CBH Score: 3 out of 5
Mark Kausch says
Yep, it was #18. MSH was a tryout book from #12 (it took the place of another comic on the schedule, but I don’t remember which one) until #20. #21 and on held reprints of other comics.
Mark Kausch says
Really? I remember the original Guardians – I think it was ish 17 or 19…maybe 18…of the original Marvel Super Heroes tryout book. But I don’t remember a series continuing on. I DO remember Jim Valentino, though. I used to work with him at Pacific Comics.