“Guardians of the Galaxy” by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven
Okay, so it looks like Marvel is rebooting the Guardians as part of the Marvel NOW! campaign in an attempt to reintroduce them to readers in time for the movie coming out next year. They got Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-man, New Avengers) to write it and Steve McNiven to do the penciling (New Avengers, Civil War). What makes things interesting for me is I’ll essentially be covering two iterations of the Guardians’ origin at the same time. Fortunately, Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 covers some backstory that I’m only vaguely familiar with: the origin of Star-Lord.
The book starts on a farm, 30 years ago…
Over the course of the time it takes J’son of Spartax to repair his ship, he and Meredith develop quite a relationship: having dinner together, gazing at the stars, sitting by the fire, etc. But unfortunately, it all comes to and end just as mysteriously as it began.
J’son must leave. He is needed back on his home planet, where his people are at war. He vows to return for Meredith some day and leaves his one-of-a-kind gun with her as a memento. But, as it turns out, that’s not the only thing he leaves behind.
Oops! Fast forward 10 years. Meredith struggles raising young Peter Quill, our future Star-Lord, without his father.
On the playground, Peter Quill demonstrates the qualities that will later serve him well as the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
In the evening, the Quills are visited, yet again, by beings from outer space.
Peter Quill manages to narrowly escape being blown up with the rest of his house and wakes up in the hospital. Believing it to be a “space toy,” the nurse returns his father’s gun to him.
Cut to him in the present, on board a space ship, as Star-Lord, the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
And there you have it. Bendis doesn’t really break new ground with Peter Quill, choosing to rehash a story that’s already been told, however I really enjoyed some of the little touches. With Marvel trying to reintroduce these characters to a new audience, the lack of originality is forgivable. We’ll see how the series pans out over the next few months. The highlight for me, though, is Steve McNiven’s artwork. It’s crisp, clean, and kinetic, which all works nicely for this space-age superhero comic.
Did anyone notice the Marvel Preview easter egg? Young Peter Quill is reading an issue of that book before his mother snatches it away. I thought that was a fun little wink at Star-Lord’s past.