Early Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 kicks off an action packed space western

Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Grootfall is coming! For a bit now, we’ve been teased with whatever this event is and it’s role in kicking off a new volume of Guardians of the Galaxy. While Guardians of the Galaxy #1 gives us our first glimpse of the event, it really just opens up more questions than anything else, and that’s quite ok. The issue is the 15 minutes before the credits of the movie roll, delivering an action filled opener that teases what’s to come.

Written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, the Guardians are a sliver of their former self. On a planet at the edge of the galaxy, they look worn, broken, and generally, not the heroes they once were. Kelly and Lanzing deliver a western dressed up as sci-fi as the team must not only save the town from impending planet wide doom but also protect them from the evil gang that terrorizes them.

Kelly and Lanzing deliver an interesting opening that starts off slow, and I’ll admit, a little bit of a drag. Like the western genre as a whole, it focuses in on that loan hero here to save the townspeople. It quickly expands from there, picking up steam as the story moves along until the ending which feels like a big budget escape sequence. It delivers adventure, excitement, tragedy, and teases a lot of pain and hurt in the Guardians’ past.

A lot of that is hinted at through the art of Kev Walker. With color by Matt Hollingsworth and lettering by Cory Petit, the visuals hint at a team that has seen some stuff. Damage to Star-Lord’s visor, the body language of the team, to what others are wearing, it all teases things went wrong at some point. Finding out what is part of the adventure to come. The team does an excellent job of blending the sci-fi and western genres to deliver a world where things don’t feel out of place and the concepts really work. Equipment looks worn and beat from the harsh environment, the clothing has a sci-fi look but also fits the desert/dust world around them. Things look lived in and used. It all adds to the story telling us a lot about this world, the people and most importantly Peter and his crew, without having to spell everything out.

What is Grootfall? What happened to the Guardians? Guardians of the Galaxy #1 teases a lot but answers little, instead focusing on a wild ride of an adventure that hits the right beats and becomes a cinematic wild ride once things really get going.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 arrives in stores April 12.

Story: Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing Art: Kev Walker
Color: Matt Hollingsworth Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWcomiXology/Kindle