Sunday, 31 March 2013

Traversing Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (twice)

So, after reading the first issue of the new Guardians series by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven, I've gotta admit that I'm in two minds, despite having read it twice.
Basically, Guardians of the Galaxy, much like the previous volumes, tells the story of a rag-tag group of heroes; Star-Lord, Rocket Raccon, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora and Groot, facing down the big bads that threaten to destroy the galaxy. This time round though, this small group are joined by Avenger mainstay Iron Man, who has gone out into space to do a bit of old fashioned prospecting (or so it's implied) and the big bad they have to face down; Star-Lord's estranged dad (apparently).
Now, I read the 0.1 issue and thought it was a beautiful book and that Bendis made the right decision focusing on the origin of Peter Quill (A.k.a Star-Lord). With this issue however, I'm kind of torn on simply because none of the characters are written how I imagine them to be. Both Drax and Gamora, historically somewhat selfish bad-asses, seem much more selfless and heroic while Quill makes the biggest change, with much of his personality and appearance radically altered from the previous volume, especially concerning his helmet (which had a more Darth Vader look) and his Element gun (which he supposedly lost years ago).
The art, on the other hand is lovely (which you kind of expect from McNiven), with the little touch on the first page of the space bar looking like the space bar from Star Wars having a real nice touch. In fact, a lot of the early pages look like they were ripped from the Star Wars movies in this way (yes, I'm having a Star Wars day) which does give the book a pleasant, almost reminiscent, feel. The only complaint is Star-Lord's costume, which just doesn't have the same iconic look as previous incarnations.
In the end, this book isn't a bad book, but it just feels so radically different from the previous series that despite the same character names, it doesn't feel like the same team. This, probably, has something to do with the Guardians of the Galaxy movie that is due to come out, and so Marvel wanted to make something a little more new reader friendly that relates. However, for me, this has had the opposite effect, leaving me struggling to get engrossed. I probably won't be back for issue 2 which, given how much I like issue 0.1, is a real disappointment.