What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the new book that is Guardians of the Galaxy #1. It has honestly been some time that I picked up a Guardians book, and have always been disappointed in myself for slacking off all this time. So when I heard that there would be a new #1 to jump into? There was no better time to take advantage of that opportunity.
When it came to Guardians of the Galaxy #1? My main concern was how welcoming this book would be. I had little doubt that this creative team didn’t have the skill to ease us all into this story, but the Guardians have been through a lot in the Marvel Universe. It’s easy to fear that there will be a chance that you’ll be left feeling like you missed something. Fortunate for us? This creative team made this first issue very accessible. From start to finish this put us all on the same page as we were pretty much looking at this once group of misfits through a different lens. We jumped into this story with them at peace, and they wasted little time addressing the way that they looked at each other during a time of peace like this. After everything they had been through, it made sense that now they would look at themselves like a family. It made a big difference as well seeing this idea held by certain individuals who would usually be the ones quick to take up arms.
As with most books like this, I also enjoyed the focus on trying to draw that line between hero and regular person. This is a big thing that most superhero books should address in some way. One of the most important elements for me that I like to see is when they emphasize the importance of the person behind the mask. This creative team nailed this and then some. I think most of us were prepared to simply jump into this story and have the Guardians do what they do best. Seeing that this was not the case was for the best. Now is always a great time to show that even the boldest can struggle when its one conflict after the next.
With that said, the main plot for this first arc seems to be what happens when the Gods of Olympus return with a dangerous new outlook on life. Honestly I found this to be a very creative situation. I mean who would have guessed that the next big thing would be problematic gods? In fact, here I am actually suddenly wondering where these gods were this whole time because it is not hard at all forgetting their existence when you have more prominent figures in the Asgardians. Nonetheless, this first issue was a thrill because no punches were pulled showing how these gods of old can shake up the universe once more. It was definitely a lot to take in in such a short amount of time, but that worked well with the state of mind they were bringing up about finding yourself at a place where war is not the first thing you turn to.
The other huge draw-in for me picking up this book just so happened to be seeing that Juann Cabal would be taking up the role of artist for this book. If like me you enjoyed his work on Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, then you were going to instantly want to see what he could do with the Guardians. He did great! The one thing I always enjoyed about his pencils is the way that he aims to make his characters lively. They are expressive and they are reactive to every situation they are put into. That’s not to say some panels don’t hit you where characters like Quill aren’t carrying some goofy faces, though at the same time this would also be him in a nutshell as someone who looks like he is consistently winging it. Aside from this, the colors from Frederico Blee made a big difference too. Lively is only lively when the colors are bold and in your face the way that he made them within these pages. This is my first exposure to his color work, and I have to say that I was impressed. A stunning pallet that works perfectly in a cosmic setting. And I would be crazy not to address how he and Cabal were also able to give us certain panels which mentally took you back to that first Guardians book you may have read. The classic color wash and simplistic look for the pencils was nostalgic.
Overall, if you haven’t been keeping up with the Guardians? There is no better time than now with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy #1 to jump back into the action. Again, this is the kind of book you can sink your teeth into because it goes that extra mile to add depth to your favorite heroes. They have established themselves as a family, while at the same time drawing that line in the sand between what they will sit out for, and what they will stand tall to protect. You couldn’t ask for more than that. I hope this creative team drives this story through.