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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Avengers of Space, September 17, 2013
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This review is from: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers (Hardcover)
Ever since Marvel's dip into the cosmic universe way back in 2005 during the Annihilation event, I've been an avid follower of the character Nova since then, but that is about all I have followed in terms of the cosmic characters. So for the most part, I've neglected the Guardians of the Galaxy all those years when they showed their heads in the space opera, I've told myself to jump on reading about the Guardians whenever I had the chance. So with Marvel NOW! I decided this was as good a time as any to try out and it is something I am looking forward to.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.1: COSMIC AVENGERS collects issues #0.1, #1-3, and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: TOMORROW'S AVENGERS #1.

Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, leader of the Guardians has been informed by his father J-Son, King of the Spartax planetary system, that Earth is off limits from any and all threats in the known universe. Anything that should disrupt this, would lead into a galactic war. For some reason or the next, Iron Man is in space as a form of vacation and gets into a battle with the Guardians who themselves are fighting aliens heading to Earth. What has made Earth so important all of a sudden? Where did this "off limits" come from? Either way, Quills and his team of Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot AND Iron Man are here to protect the galaxy and find out what is going on.

Brian Michael Bendis writes a pretty good action book, with mixes of character and world building in-between in 3 issues. The Guardians know the consequences of whats going on, but spend the book fighting off the alien horde, which gives readers ideas of the team chemistry have during the action. Groot being a lumbering powerhouse golem figure, Gamora being the most dangerous woman in the galaxy as her title says so, Drax mowing through soldiers, Rocket announcing each and every kill he makes, and Iron Man some how getting involved yet wonders if him being there is no coincidence. It's a bit straight forward, but fun. And while this is all happening, we get flashbacks to how and why the no-Earth law is put into play, giving readers the idea Bendis is slowly planting the seeds for future stories.

To offset the heavy action and dense story telling, new readers like myself get caught up to speed with the #0.1 issue telling the origin of Peter Quills and Tomorrow's Avengers #1 as the semi-origins for the rest of the Guardian crew. This is gives us more idea of what and who these characters are, especially Peter and his conflict with his father, which I think is a great and emotional issue.

Art duties are mostly handled by Steve McNiven, who does wonderful work. His work from Marvel's Civil War and Mark Millar's Nemesis are leading examples of his super detailed style and bold splash pages. He does issues #0.1 and #1-3 with Sara Pachilli doeing some fill-in pages in issues #2-3. Pachili isn't quite up to McNiven's level, but her art transitions well with his. And Michael Avon Oeming, Ming Doyle, Michael Del Mundo, and Yves Bigerel do the Tomorrow's Avengers issue.

I guess any problems here might be that this book is all about setting up the main plot and setting, so very little in terms of story progression happens. 2 issues alone are origin tales and issues 3 issues have the Guardians doing mostly fights while we get the juicy main plot brewing in the background. So most of this book is set up.

Either way, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.1: COSMIC AVENGERS is a pretty action packed, sci-fi story with some good character developments early on for new readers. Though volume 1 is mostly set-up for the future series to come. If you are a new reader itching to try out this series since it's a good starting point, or because the inevitable film release in 2014 to get you pumped, this book is worth taking a look at.
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