Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1

There has been a lot of discussion about the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I've heard a lot about it myself, however, I don't know anything about the comics. Actually, when I first heard about it, I was really curious why they were making a movie about the little blue dudes from the Green Lantern universe (I obviously had no idea what was going on in the Marvel universe.)

But, I did what I always do when I don't know what's going on in comics: I bought a comic and started catching up. That comic was Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1. It was written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Steve McNiven, John Dell, and Justin Ponsor. It was released by Marvel on February 27, 2013.

I didn't plan on buying this comic. I saw it on the shelf at the comic shop and noticed that it was written by Brian Michael Bendis. Since I am such a huge Brian Michael Bendis fan and I wanted to learn more about Guardians of the Galaxy, I figured this would probably be a good starting point for me. Once I read it, I thought that it would be interesting for me to review it as someone who is completely new to Guardians of the Galaxy.

The comic begins 30 years in the past in Colorado. A woman named Meredith is sitting on her porch when a spacecraft flies over her, through the sky, and crashes in her yard. The pilot passes out and she takes him into the house. While holding a double-barreled shotgun in his face, she quickly finds out that the pilot of the aircraft (this Ken doll-looking guy named J'Son) is not from earth, but from a planet called Spartax. Not only is he from there, but he's heir to the throne.

J'Son needs to get back to his people on Spartax so he has Meredith help him fix his ship. There's this great 2 page sequence with no dialogue that feels like you're watching a movie montage. Within it, you see J'Son and Meredith's relationship develop and they end up kissing. It doesn't stop there. They keep the party going and end up having full intercourse.

Shortly after the sex, we see that J'Son's ship is ready. Meredith wants him to stay (and he wants to stay for her), but he decides that he needs to go back to his home planet. He leaves and Meredith realizes that she's pregnant almost immediately. I don't know how strong this J'Son is, but for her to feel it that quickly, he must be some kind of powerhouse.

The story jumps ahead 10 years (still 20 years in the past) where Meredith is now raising her son, Peter. We see from interactions at school and with his mom that he's a bit of a hot-head. He doesn't take crap from anyone, but he also looks like he has a good heart.

Peter comes home from school one day after fighting with a bully at school. Meredith is not pleased, but she seems to let it slide. As Peter heads into the house, Meredith is greeted by 2 aliens with laser guns. One of the aliens says "The Spartax Bloodline will not continue" and they both shoot her right through the back without hesitation.

Peter hears what happened and runs out of the bathroom to find his mom dead and 2 aliens (known as the Badoon) entering their house. Peter runs into his mom's room, goes into her closet, and finds her shotgun. Does he shoot the aliens? Oh yeah. With one shot, Peter kills both aliens and sends himself flying back into the closet door. He then looks over into the closet and sees a small bright light. It's J'Son's gun. Peter grabs the gun and runs outside. The house explodes and Peter is sent flying into a tree.

At the hospital, Peter is being treated by a nurse who mistakes J'Son's gun for a toy gun. Thinking that it's harmless, she gives it back to Peter. The story then skips forward to the present where Peter, now an adult, is explaining the reason why the aliens came for him. He was next in line for the throne of Spartax, so they wanted him dead. He also explains that he lived the rest of his childhood in an orphanage. He's really bitter about his dad not being around to protect him and his mother and has vowed to protect earth from anything like the Badoon from ever attacking again.

The last two pages of the comic show Peter telling all of this to Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man in a ship with a bunch of weird looking creatures/people who I assume are part of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The comic ends with "To be continued in... Guardians of the Galaxy #1".

I would like to reiterate that I have no prior knowledge of anything that has to do with these characters (except for Iron Man). Therefore, I do not know how any of this fits into past tellings of the story of the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, I can say that as a new reader, I extremely enjoyed this comic book. I'm glad that Marvel released a #0.1 issue before a #1 issue because I think it will help me understand the motivation for the upcoming story now that I was given some backstory.

One of my main problems with DC Comics lately has been the number of crossover events. I like when stories span multiple titles occasionally, but I hate when I have to follow other titles to enjoy an individual story. In terms of Marvel books, I've been enjoying Superior Spider-Man and New Avengers as standalone issues. I hope that Guardians of the Galaxy sticks to that formula because I just don't have the money to branch out!

Alright, maybe I do have the money. But I want to spread it out and spend it on other stuff like action figures and Chinese food.

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