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Marvel Now is, in part, supposed to help readers new to comics with a place to start without being burdened by decades of continuity. Most of the new launches have simply jumped in assuming readers have at least a basic knowledge of the characters from the films or word of mouth; others incorporate a little of the backstory to orient. GOTG does a bit of both.

The book opens with Peter Quill’s “origin” story and reveals who his father is. Then it jumps into the present where he is already Star-Lord and leader of the Guardians. In this series, Iron Man is part of the team, on sabbatical from Earth. I actually loved this because on the Avengers he is a leader, one of the geniuses. They often look to him for a plan of action or to save the day with a brilliant idea. Here, that is not the case. His armor and tech savvy is well behind the rest of the galaxy, as Rocket loves to remind him in the most condescending way! It was refreshing to see Stark so out of his element.

This book is really a staging point to build something bigger. The story is light on content, but heavy on humor and action. Each of the Guardians gets a moment to “shine” so readers can be introduced to them. And they keep the jokes rolling. The book is an excellent starting point for new readers to comics, or to the Guardians (as I am). One problem I had was the characters’ use of made-up words. The writer wants to remind people this isn't Earth, and they have common terms we don’t use. I find that unnecessary since they’re all speaking English via “universal translator” anyway and it got annoying fast. But, this was a minor quibble. Overall, this is a solid beginning to the new series and I will continue reading. Recommended!
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on July 27, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy has long been a lame attempt by Marvel to create a space superhero team....until recently. The Abnett version of Guardians that directly preceded the current version started the team on the path from mediocrity. The current Bendis version completes that journey. Stunning art, excellent characterizations and an intriguing storyline make this a "must read" title. Expect demand to skyrocket when the movie hits theaters later this summer!

RECENT ADD-ON COMMENT: For those readers who are complaining that this book is too small to read on the Kindle or with the Kindle app, are you aware that you can read each panel individually too? You can do it for one page or the entire book and it addresses the occasional problem of the writing in a word balloon being too small to read. All you do is hold your finger pressed on the panel in question until the feature activates. To then go back to normal reading, the easiest way is to go back a page or sometimes exit and return to the book, as you sometimes get stuck in the"panel mode" otherwise (Amazon definitely needs to work on that issue). Contact Amazon for instructions if you cannot figure it out. Amazon should also consider a feature that allows readers to simply zoom in-and-out as needed via the "pinch and pull" method that most websites use to allow zooming in on pictures, words, etc.
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on January 24, 2015
The difficulty in reviewing comics series, especially ongoing series, is that they can start of extremely well, or poorly, and then drastically change in just a few issues. Often, the entire breadth of one writer/artists run can't be faithfully reviewed until it's over, and in the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, this is exactly what's happened. I jumped on board the new series with Issue one, and I was hooked. The art was solid, and Bendis, while not top of his game (see his and Alex Maleev's run on Daredevil for him in prime form), was still enjoyable, well-paced and, most importantly, faithful to the intergalactic, zany struggle that is Guardians. Even when they introduced Angela, which some folks may remember originally from Image Comic's "Spawn," clearly as a gimmick to sell more copies after the results of a hyped legal battle, I didn't feel like it was a serious enough blow to warrant concern. So far, so good.

The real problems started soon after, issue 6, I believe. Now we have an Infinity tie-in. Here's the deal with tie-ins: to me, they suck. I can handle one every so often, granted they're done right. But this: you have no idea what's going on, minus a "Previously in Guardians..." paragraph, which defeats the whole purpose of these books. I want to read the STORIES, not a summation. If I wanted to do that, I'd just Wikipedia the thing and save my money. Marvel has an insistence that you buy all of their books, at $3.99 a pop, or you'll just have to suffer. That's garbage to say they least, but still, I continued, in the hopes the series would move past this. As I said, ongoing series can be good, bad, good again, then get bad, and on, an on, so I wanted to believe this was just a slight droop. With this, though, it just kept getting messier and messier. Immediately following the Infinity event came "The Trial of Jean Grey" story line, which I didn't read (it may be good, and I'm not knocking the story if it is, I just don't want to read X-Men while I'm reading Guardians). In order to get the whole story, you'd not only have to buy Guardians, but X-Men books as well. Again, marketing and sales driven "art" at its finest. By the time the dust settled with issue 14, you're literally dropped back into straight Guardians stories, and expected to go buy all the preceding issues, or just settle for a summation.

Remember how I said the art was good? Well, it is. For this volume. And a few single issues. The art teams changed on this book so frequently that it was detracting. If you were hoping for the epic team of Bendis/Mcniven carrying you through many awesome adventures of Marvel's most beloved space pirates, guess again. I'm not saying the art is bad, most of it's not (minus Michael Oeming, blatant, lesser imitation of Mike Mignola that he is), it's just inconsistent, which detracts from the overall presentation. It was a real let down.

Then came four issues in which Venom was introduced as a member of the team. Really? There's a Venom book out there. I'll go buy it or Spider-Man if I want to read about Venom. I want to read Guardians of the Galaxy. But again, at least he was the only derivative from was other a story about Quill, Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Rocket, even though the story had no obvious direction that I can could tell, so I soldiered on.Then, low and behold, after four issues of straight Guardians, a trend I hoped would last for a while, we have the "Original Sin" tie-in come along, and everything is in chaos again. Summations abound. With that, I called it quits.

I realize this deviates from what happens in this single volume, and it has minor spoilers. Sorry, but understand that you're not getting a straight Guardians story after this. This volume is in fact focused almost exclusively on the Guardians, and that's wonderful. But before long, you're getting Iron Man, Nova, Captain Marvel, Venom, the list goes on. So, while I get that Marvel's big thing is the shared universe concept, and it definitely added authenticity and enjoyment years ago, now it's over-done, obligatory, and down right degrading to what could be a great space saga. Based on all of this, don't waste your time and money unless you're ready for some serious cross-reading and research to avoid confusion, frustration, and ultimately, downright disappointment. This volume alone isn't bad, but if you pick up this book, get hooked, and are hoping for more of the same or improvement in the adventures of the Guardians, you're going to be sorely disappointed, so I hope this helps you in advance.
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on July 14, 2015
The Guardians of the Galaxy have been maneuvering protecting Earth. The only problem is that going to Earth is now a crime. Joined by Iron Man, the Guardians will start an epic fight to do what is right.

I have to admit that I never really got into a lot of the more cosmic Marvel titles. In fact, the last time I had seen the Guardians of the Galaxy, they were in the far future and they were all the last of their species. My first exposure to this team was the movie adaptation. I heard this was a good collection to help know this team. It was good advice. The story does give Starlord's origin (which is a little different from the movie) and then jumps into the action. I know you can't go by the movies when reading the books, but it was close enough that it made it easy to follow. I love the interaction between the various characters. Since that is what made me want to read the book, it worked out great.

The only things that I didn't like was how Iron Man got there. I know it's a comic, but seriously, he expected to fly to another planet in his suit? Not much room to pack extra supplies (including food, water, air, clothes). The guy has access to Quinjets, so modify one for space. An extra change of underwear might be nice where you get there Tony. The second drawback for me was the artwork on the backup stories at the end. None of them held up to the quality presented in the main story.

Still, I feel this is a great collection for anyone that wants to read a little more about this team, especially if they only know them from the movie.
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on November 7, 2015
3.5 stars

If you're a fan of Guardians of the Galaxy movie, you may find the disparity between this and that to be a bit strange. For one, the backstory has been changed. For another, Star-Lord is actually a Star-Lord and a prince. After you get past these changes, though, you may find that you really enjoy it.

I enjoyed this one, though not as much as I could have hoped. I was a fan of the film, and my enjoyment of that outweighs my enjoyment of this. But I still plan to continue because this was very good. All the characters are as great as I remember, and the plot was certainly interesting. It does seem more like fantasy than science fiction, which is a plus in my book.

The art was one of the best parts. I absolutely loved it and thought it did such a great job with all the characters. Facial expressions were obvious and well-rendered.

Overall, though, this gets deducted from the original four stars I wanted to give it because I just don't feel the great need to talk about it. It doesn't inspire emotions and it doesn't make me a bigger fan. I will be continuing with this series at some point, but it's not a top priority.
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on November 17, 2014
It's really good! I'm not crazy about Rocket like everyone else seems to be, I didn't really like him back in the day either and I think he's a bit too mouthy rather than comedy relief but he's just getting started so I'm sure Bendis will mellow him out a bit once he's established.
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on May 30, 2015
Well...the art was nice.

That's about the only redeeming element of the story proper - brief as it is - contained in this collection.

As a narrative, this feels entirely incomplete. There's no sense of theme, really, but that could be overlooked if Bendis had done what he normally does amazingly: character development and dialogue. The titular team is tragically underdeveloped. Peter (and his father, I should note) gets an interesting little back-story in the first issue, but for the most part we are given no reasoning for why this group of aliens has dedicated themselves to protecting the earth. Worse yet. none of them - with the slight exception of Star Lord - is given any time to act like a character with, ya know, thoughts and dialogue. These Guardians are primarily weapons with the ability to communicate battle banter and tactical direction. Rocket's wit from the Abnett days is reduced to variations of "Kablooey, murdered you." Drax and Gamora are completely replaceable 'warrior' cut outs.

Whether or not Bendis intended it, J'Son - Peter Quill's Spartax father - probably boasts the closest thing the collection has to a character arc. His intro - a meet-cute and romance with the spunky Ms. Quill - is by far the most charming component of the book, and it contrasts distinctly with his later presence as the manipulative antagonist of a king, making readers question his character in a more nuanced manner.

Oh - also - Iron Man is in this book. Is he necessary? Not even a little bit, unless your goal is to get buy-in for a lesser-known franchise which happens to be getting a cinematic reimagining by tying it to a well established character in both comics and the cinematic universe.

Like I said, though, Pichelli's art is beautiful. Her action is both detailed and kinetic, which is good because -of course - the vast majority of the book is action. It's a shame her ability to convey emotion through faces is barely put to use here.

In addition to the primary story arc, the collection also includes a few shorts about Drax, Groot, Rocket and Gamora, all of which are illustrated in distinctly different styles. Each of these stories - none longer than 9 pages - convey better character tales than the primary narrative, which I'm not sure is a testament to Bendis (and subsequently an indictment of his editors) or the opposite.

I was hoping for a space adventure like Star Wars, complete with interacting alien cultures, wise-cracking heroes, impressive battles, etc. All that stuff is here, I should say - it's just tragically underdeveloped.

I'll remain a Bendis fan, but my time with his Guardians will most likely be limited.
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on December 23, 2015
I am an addict to the Guardians tale for some reason. I cannot place it, but it seems I have followed the series through all its forms and now am entering into the Guardians of the Infinite series. Good read...well done!
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Shortly after the announcement of A Guardians Of The Galaxy movie marvel decided to reboot the comic in 2013 putting their A-listers on the book Brain Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven in 2013. This oversized collection reprints the contents of the first two trades or 12 comics. Over 300 pages of mostly beautiful comic art. Plus all the covers and numerous alternate covers are reproduced.

The lead story from GOTG #0.1 tells the origin of Star Lord. It is brilliant and starts things off with a bang.

For some reason Bendis puts Iron Man on the team. The rest of the team includes all the favourites we would get to know from the movie Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon. There has been lots of discussion about whether Tony Stark belongs on the team or not. Personally I am rather neutral on the matter . I don't think he adds much but I am not upset about his presence here.

Star Lord argues with his father and then the gang intercepts Angela, who they think may be attacking Earth. Angela is Neil Gaiman's Valkyrie like fallen Angel created for Image Comics in Spawn #9 in 1993. So after a lawsuit and Two Decades she is back . This is a mildly entertaining story certainly not worth all the build up.

In issue #2 Sara Pichelli joins McNiven on art . She is an equally talented artist who also produces beautiful art. But in issue #8 and #9 fellow Italian artist Francesco Francavilla takes over. I love Francavilla's art on his prior assignments which are mostly gritty pulp characters and the heavy blacks adds lots of mood. In this book it is jarring contrast to polished detailed art of McNiven and Pichelli. It just doesn't work.

Issue #10 brings Kevin Maguire on for the issue. Maguire is a much better fit .

Unfortunately the second half of the book plays off the one of Marvel's big events "Infinity". Having not read that book I have no idea what is going on and quickly found myself losing interest. Why Marvel finds the need to force these events on their readers is a matter too big for this review.

The book closes out with four short solo stories of mixed quality. I enjoyed the Groot and Rocket Raccoon stories but was bored by the Drax and Gamora stories.

In summary I loved much of the art. I was very excited by the inaugural story and was having a good time till the crossover hit and then I became confused and frustrated.
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on May 22, 2014
Hilarious, witty and a lot of fighting and explosions.
The stories of each individual within the guardian's its complex and worth the read
if you're into the heros in the tights, fur with guns or aliens being aliens with
space pirates acting as heroes, it gets the idea of misfits fighting for something right
and do it in an entertaining way.
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