Now, I am a relative newcomer to the Guardians of the Galaxy, so I don’t know if a lot of these concepts have been touched on before (see: reboot) or if this time in Peter Quill’s life is wholly unexplored territory. I was one (of many, I am sure) who got into the Guardians book prior to the movie’s release when the series got rebooted in one of the waves of All-New Now! Marvel’s Ultimate Now-ier Now! with the point-one issue.
I have said before, I am a sucker for a good variant cover, and the Midtown exclusive cover for that issue featured Deadpool (see: another thing I am a sucker for) so I picked it up and ran with it. And ran, I did- from there I hadn’t missed an issue of the Guardians series since (including the Free Comic Book Day story that introduced Agent Venom to the team). So a bit of a change of pace, and a different style for the characters to show us a teenaged Peter Quill, before he became the famous (or not-so-famous) Star-Lord, seemed like a unique idea.
With two issues, the story sets up Peter as a very smart and resourceful young man, but one who doesn’t seem to think things through (which obviously accounts for him being lost in space, adrift in a spaceship he cannot repair). I did like his attitude towards the space-pirates in this story (including a familiar face) and how he set his expectations regarding them to mirror his own experiences in a situation with space-pirates in an amusement park.
The artwork on this book is really solid- it is a departure from a lot of what the Guardians book looked like- it is a much kinder, gentler looking Star-Lord than the rough-and-tumble, scruffy-looking tough guy that was portrayed in the main comic. But, being that this book is set during Peter’s teen years, it would make sense for him to not be quite as swarthy and piratical.
I liked seeing Yondu get introduced into this story with this issue (no real need for spoilers- the dude is on the cover, for Pete’s sake) and how he definitely gels with the cinematic version of the character (so much so that I heard Michael Rooker’s voice when I read Yondu’s dialogue). I really enjoy Sam Humphries’ writing, he has a very natural flow that incorporates humor and action in equal measure, which is very nice to read. The pacing of the book was very balanced, with the momentum shifting a bit during the “chase scene”, but still throttling down after to really balance things out.
The artwork in this book fits really well for a space-pirate story, because most of the alien pirates are vaguely humanoid, they still each have a very unique and alien way about them. One of the pirates looks like a Warhammer 40K elder character, one looks vaguely like Drax, another is robotic with fibrous cables covering their head and neck and my favorite is a female Nomad-Meets-Captain-Marvel character, who I hope we get to see more of in the future. I mean, c’mon she is a lady alien, and Peter is a young man. He needs a romantic interest, and what better way to set that up than with a scoundrel of a lady space-pirate, eh?
The moments of Peter wearing a football helmet onboard Yondu’s ship was a really nice subtle moment of humor, because what good is an old sports helmet going to do you in outer space?!?!? In spite of that, it was interesting to get a firsthand account of how Peter thought through trying to outsmart and thwart Yondu and his crew (and nearly succeeds in doing so…) and how he uses his quick wits to try and talk his way out of near certain death…
I really liked the end of the issue **SPOILER ALERT** where Peter is taken on by Yondu as a member of his crew, but not actually given any meaningful position on the crew- he is a janitor, basically- and we see him at the end of the issue pushing a giant floor buffer, very similar to the kind you would see used here on earth. But this one has a very subtle difference; the difference being the name of the floor buffer. That name… is “Star-Lord”. Yup, Peter Quill took his namesake from a piece of janitorial equipment. Pretty awesome concept- if you ask me. He takes something, that I am SURE will be a bit of a negative nickname from the crew, and turns it into something meaningful (sort of) and positive (I guess…).
This issue was really fun, and had lots of action, and should serve as a more solid grounding point for this series alongside the main Guardians book and the Guardians film. I think that this book should appeal to a wide range of readers, because it is a fun, silly outer space book, but it also has a lot of emotional weight and twists and turns to it to keep you reading.