So while my favorite characters over at DC are making their exit from those comics; Marvel seems to have spiced things up by pushing for a fresh take on “Guardians of the Galaxy“. While i admit to being skeptical of just how well Guardians will perform at the box office i AM very glad to see one comics company really putting faith into their characters and pushing for fresh takes on lesser known heroes…
Coming just weeks before the release of the anticipated #1 issue, Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 establishes the origin story for the famed Starr Lord, leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy and child of a human mother and alien father. See i must give major props to Marvel for putting their A-Game here on a book with less than familiar characters to the mainstream audience. Bendis and crew deliver a fun, fast moving tale to start us off on the right path to what promises to be a good run on Guardians of The Galaxy!
A starship (starfighter?) crash lands on earth, in a forest where we see a young woman on the phone with her mother, discussing what appears to be her love life. The young woman is Meredith Quill, and she rushes to help the injured man who crawls out of the space ship thingy-majig. The young humanoid Alien man is J’son of Spartax royalty. It seems his ship has crash landed on Earth after a battle with present enemies; The Badoon. Through a beautiful montage of textless panels we see Meredith and J’son form a strong bond and romantic relationship as we see him rebuilding his ship and having very human moments with Meredith. Eventually we see J’son’s ship repaired and he readies to return to Spartax, Meredith wishes for him to stay on earth but he hesitates as he begins to tell her of the terrible war plaguing his planet and how it would be selfish to take her with him and present her into such dangers, he leaves, but not before giving his personal laser gun to Meredith (no puns, it’s seriously just his gun). J’son leaves and Meredith is revealed to be pregnant with his son. Peter Quill (J’son’s offspring) grows up, raised by a single mother and apparently very hateful toward his father. One day as he returns home from an incident in school, we see Meredith send Peter up to clean himself before dinner. Peter washes up but unbeknownst to him; his mother is visited by a strange ship just outside their home. Meredith initially believes it to be J’son but ultimately sees it to be the Badoon, the enemy of Spartax whom are hell bent on destroying the Spartax bloodline. They quickly and brutally kill Meredith as Peter rushes downstairs to see his dead mother, he runs upstairs and grabs the home shotgun, takes aim, and fires. With the aliens dead Peter discovers the gun J’son gave to Meredith all those years ago upon his departure. The spaceship takes aim for the house and destroys it entirely but not before Peter has escaped. Peter is then sent to the hospital where the doctors report the accident to have been a leaking gas issue and return he “toy” gun to Peter who is now an orphan. We flash back to present day Peter and we see that he has been telling this story to one Tony Stark whom is joining the Guardians on their adventures. They toast to their newfound team and race off into distant space.
There is much to be said about how well written this story feels, Bendis delivers an emotional origin story that not only makes you feel for Peter Quill but also has you on the edge of your seat as you flip page by page to the inevitable outcome of Meredith and J’son’s relationship. This interpretation of the Peter is not too far off from the original as this version seems to add a little more of an edge than the original comics. While Peter Quill is given a nicely sorted origin story we don’t quite see much of the other members of the Guardians, though i suspect this will come soon enough. The art is very good and covers the story well, if there is one complaint i have for this issue it’s this; Peter Quill seems to be without his awesome mask, and lets face it, it ain’t Starr Lord without that pimpin mask!. With Marvel pushing Guardians of the Galaxy in full force, i am very excited to see just what they have cooking up for our heroes. Never in my lifetime would i have suspected Guardians to receive this much attention and much less a movie in live action format. You owe it yourself to pick up this book for the sake of just enjoying a great piece of fiction, i look forward to reading the rets of this series and i will definitely be adding this book to my monthly pick ups.
Final Grade: 8.5/10