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Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 1 Paperback – August 12, 2014
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Yeah, I got into Marvel's whole Cosmic side of it's universe, in large part due to the that movie that is out right now, which is awesome for those of you that had not seen it yet. I picked up from my local library the Thanos Imperative and wow, was my mind blown. The artwork is fantastic and these DNA guys really now how to write a galaxy spanning soap drama for Marvel's very impressive universe. The DNA stand for series writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, if you had not gotten that from the title by the way.
I was thrilled. Thanos's face at the end of the Avengers movie and reading the Thanos Imperative had me aching for more. I was stunned to learn that the Thanos Imperative was actually the end of their cosmic run (technically, I know of the Annihilators, so calm down true believers). I felt it best to find their starting point and learned of the multiple universe encompassing Annihilation, picked up the omnibus edition that came out earlier this year and now I am fully committed to getting everything from the "Annihilation" era. Keith Giffen was the lead architect behind Annihilation but DNA had a heavy contribution and then headlined the next cosmic event series, as well as a Nova ongoing, with Annihilation: conquest, which I hope is collected in Omnibus form soon! That event lead to the formation of this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Now, to this actual series, As you can notice from my lengthy intro, there is a lot building up to this series and a reader would be better suited having read some if not all, but this book is not too overwhelming for new readers who may be interested in checking out the series that co-writer and director of the film, James Gunn, has sited on numerous occasions as his source inspiration. DNA puts together a very motley crew of characters such as: team leader Peter Quill (Starlord), Gamora the universe's deadliest woman, Drax a genetically modified killing machine, Rocket Raccoon a anamorphic raccoon/demolition expert, his pal Groot a massive tree thing, Mantis a psychic and trained in numerous martial arts, Quasar wielder of the quantum bands and daughter to the legendary Captain Marvel, and Adam Warlock cosmic mystic and one dude not to be messed with as he has gone toe to toe with Thanos quite often. They are stationed in Knowhere, the dismembered head of a Celestial and home to millions of different alien races. They have to abide by telepath and telekinetic Russian space dog Cosmo's laws as he is the Chief of Security there. There is quite a large cast but DNA really manages to give everyone a unique voice and give everyone time to shine.
There is quite a bit of adventuring in these twelve issues as this group of Guardians go up against the Church of Universal Truth, a mystery of having a time displaced Guardian of the Galaxy from the 30th century, themselves, the Badoon, themselves, Blastaar new despot of the Negative Zone, and did I mention themselves? The threats are fascinating and give this group a real run for their money as they try and stay together.
The art is wonderful and so much credit to Marvel for putting such fine and energetic illustrators on such a risky property, such as Paul Pelletier, Brad Walker, and Wes Craig. There is so many weird locations and creatures that look awesome and the energy and tension just sizzles on these pages all credit due to the extraordinary art teams!
Sadly, the next volume to come out is the conclusion of this phenomenal run but I will be sure to pick it up along with other cosmic events written by DNA such as War of Kings and Realm of Kings, the former occurring during the middle and middle-end of this Guardians run and the latter lining up with the ending of this run. I do hope for an Annihilation: Conquest Omnibus as that would be too fracking awesome and maybe even Nova complete edition paperbacks by Abnett and Lanning too...listen up Marvel.
It wouldn't be as bad if this error had occurred with the later issues because the trade that includes #1-6 called legacy is unfortunately out of print and costs more than USD50,-.