In a marketing move that surprised literally nobody Marvel Comics is releasing a new Guardians of the Galaxy series the same week as the new movie hits theaters. ALL NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1, written by Gerry Duggan, finds our galactic do-gooders back in space where they belong and going after the largest score of their lives. In a scene that could only work in this comic the crew break into the most secure vault in the galaxy via a fake Galactus mech. The imagery is epic and it definitely set the tone for this book right from the start. Turns out their mysterious buyer is none other than the Grandmaster himself and now he has sent them to steal something from his greatest rival… The Collector.
Gerry Duggan has got a strong handle on the over the top and comedic nature of the Guardians but the characters are off. I know that it is no doubt a directive from Marvel Editorial but it feels very forced and left me as a long time reader wondering what in the hell was going on. Drax is a pacifist for some reason that is yet to be revealed and Gamora is completely distracted by some mission of her own design. These are character designs that should pay off in the future but it feels abrupt at the start. Groot has been de-aged to match his current movie design and while I thought this was horrid marking at first due to Groot’s ability to regenerate in the past it turns out there is a rather clever plot device at play to explain the difference.
Guardians of the Galaxy has become one of Marvel’s most high profile books and this new volume is trying its hardest to live up to the pedigree. It largely succeeds despite a few drawbacks in characterization but there is time to resolve those issues as the first story arc plays out. The art is solid and the storytelling is good, a giant fake galactus with an angry racoon at the help will always make me laugh. Fans of the characters should check this new series out and it is a perfect time for new readers to jump on.