Comic Reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Spinning out of the pages of last year’s mini-series, Infinity War, Marvel has chosen to reboot The Guardians of the Galaxy with a new roster of heroes in response to the fallout from Infinity War.

Writer Donny Cates and Artist Jeff Shaw have combined their talents to create a new version of the GOTG that feels fresh and exciting. Featuring new members Beta Ray Bill, Moondragon, and Cosmic Ghost Rider, this new iteration of the team is a welcome change from the more popular established roster.

It was unclear whether the Silver Surfer is a member of this new GOTG team, though he did team up with the GOTG against Thano’s Black Order. Personally, I would love to see Silver Surfer be included in this current version, his strict moral compass would be a perfect foil to Star-Lord’s brash impulsiveness. Though his solo series was a bit too off kilter for my tastes, I will say that Cosmic Ghost Rider was the star of this issue with his snarky dialogue and humorous quips.

The main plot centers around Thano’s death and the discovery that he has uploaded his mind and consciousness into another being. This revelation occurred in a meeting held by his brother, Starfox, in which all of Marvel’s cosmic heroes attended. This scene reminds me of the classic movie The Warriors, when each street gang assembles to hear a delegate speak. That is exactly how Shaw illustrated the panels, allowing for all the differing heroes and races to be visible through the panels.

Simultaneously, Star-Lord and Groot are traveling to Knowhere, the iconic city located inside an ancient deity’s skull, which has disappeared. The issue transitions back to the meeting, where Thano’s mercenaries, The Black Order, storm the meeting and attack the congregation to retrieve Thano’s corpse. This large-scale battle then transitions to the exact location of the GOTG via a wormhole, bringing a few heroes in contact with the remaining GOTG. The story then cuts back to the members of the Black Order discussing Thano’s possible revival with the series’ surprise villain, Hela.

It will be interesting to see how Hela, the Asgardian Goddess of Death, affects the storyline with her power and cunning. Especially since Thano’s desire was to be united in the afterlife with the spirit of death herself, Mistress Death. I am also excited to see how this new iteration of the GOTG interacts and coexists with each other, especially given that the surviving members are still reeling from Drax’s death and Gamora’s transformation into a villain.

I can’t help but wonder if this new version of the GOTG will evolve into a permanent roster, or will act as a temporary fix until the core team is reunited. I’m also curious to see if this new team will affect the GOTG’s presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and if it could serve as a solution to the rumored exits of several characters from that entity.

Verdict – 5/5 – A perfect debut issue filled with action, humor, and an engaging storyline.

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