Title: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1: Cosmic Avengers
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist(s): Sara Pichelli, Steve McNiven, Yves Bigerel, Michael Avon Oeming
The volume opens up with a woman named Meredith who witnesses a space crash near her home. Going to investigate, she discovers an injured man within. She nurses him back to health. He reveals himself to be J’son of Spartax (don’t know who or where that is). While repairing his ship, the two become romantically involved before J’son departs, leaving Meredith with child (J’son’s quite the deadbeat dad, lol).
Ten years later and we see Meredith and J’son’s son, Peter Quill (the future Star Lord), and it’s obvious he’s got abandonment issues. Peter is sent home for kicking a bully’s ass. When he’s sent home, his mother is attacked and killed by a pair of aliens called the Badoon (Meredith doesn’t get it easy, in this comic she’s shot by aliens and in the movie she dies by cancer). Peter is nearly killed himself but he manages to kill the two aliens. But the two aliens aren’t alone and their reinforcements decide to blow up the house with Peter narrowly escaping, but not before discovering his father’s gun.
Years later Peter is in some bar in a galaxy far far away when his father, J’son arrives requesting Peter take his place in the empire as well as warning him to leave Earth alone. Of course, this doesn’t role over well with Peter. Soon after the Guardians of the Galaxy find themselves battling a Badoon warship with the help of Iron Man. The warship makes it to Earth and it is up to the group to stop the campaign with the exception of Groot who’s incapacitated as he was reduced to a stick. There is a very intense battle in which there is a lot of collateral damage but the team are holding their own being badasses. Kind of messed up because they can’t reach any of the other heroes because communications have been cut for the area. The group is successful in defeating the invaders but are arrested by Spartax Royal Guards.
Six weeks prior, it is revealed that J’son had a meeting with the royal ambassadors of each of the galactic empires: Y-gaar of the Brotherhood of the Badoon, leader of the Shi’ar Gladiator, the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree Empire, Freya the All-Mother of the Asgardians, Queen of the Brotherhood, and the leader of the Negative Zone, Young Annihilus. He plans on destroying Earth due to how unstable humanity is and how they’ve influenced the galaxy’s most powerful. Although he makes a compelling argument, Freya doesn’t play ball. So he declares that no one interferes with Earth: Earth is off limits to them all. Which goes back to the conversation he had with Peter.
Groot manages to regenerate, thus surprising their captors and setting the team free (like a boss). They come into contact with royal forces and a pretty cool battle ensues with the group owning everyone. After taking over the ship, Star-Lord sends a broadcast to the Spartax empire calling out his father for his bullcrap.
The Verdict: In the end, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1: Cosmic Avengers is actually a pretty intense issue. The opening prologue with Peter’s origin story does establish a pretty personal tale with stakes showing on both sides of the conflict. The other characters have a short stories to get viewers familiar with the characters. The story is action packed from being to end.
The art style is actually really good. There is a lot of focus on the details of the characters but also of the background. Yeah, people die but it isn’t gory. The paneling was handled well enough to emphasize the action as well as the more dramatic moments. Most of the character designs look great though Rocket’s fluffed out hair is comical to look at. The art style changes dramatically with the four short stories but I think they do reflect the characters.
Still, the writing does feel sound, and has a pretty deep setup. Personally, I don’t think that Tony Stark being written in did anything for the story and probably would’ve been just effective without the character. But it’s a fine line writing in such a popular character without having them overshadow everything thing else. I love the cheesy dialogue and banter between the characters. The volume does feel rushed. The invasion of Earth should’ve been more extensive with more emphasis on the people caught in the crossfire.
I can say it is a great introduction to the characters for those who aren’t familiar with them. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1: Cosmic Avengers gets 4 out of 5.