GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1
Writer: Al Ewing:
Artist: Juann Cabal
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Cory Petit
So here we are with yet another relaunch from Marvel. Last month saw the conclusion of Donny Cates' short run on the title, and Marvel wasted no time starting over. Where normally I would be annoyed at the thought of yet another relaunch, I was very excited at the thought of Al Ewing taking over. Ewing has been writing one of the best books at Marvel, IMMORTAL HULK, so I knew that we were about to get something really amazing. Well, just as I thought, he didn't disappoint. This was a solid first issue and set up some really cool changes to the team.
The issue kicks off on a Kree controlled planet where the Kree Civil War is being discussed. When out of nowhere this otherwise peaceful colony becomes a scene of destruction. The crazy part about it... its Zeus that is the cause of it. Yeah the Greek God. We get an explanation later on in the book how this was even possible. This came out of nowhere and is an interesting choice as the main antagonist for this first story. The imagery from Juann Cabal in these 3 widescreen panels was like watching a blockbuster movie. He paints a picture of the pure destruction that is about to overtake the galaxy.
But wait a minute, isn't this a Guardians of the Galaxy book? Well once we catch up with the team, they're enjoying some much needed vacation time on Halfworld. I love that Ewing is placing that family aspect of this team right at the heart of this book. The bond that has formed with the core (Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot & Rocket), is what makes this team so enjoyable to read about. But the peace doesn't last long. With an impromptu visit from Nova, the team is dragged back into the defense of the galaxy. With Rocket recovering from his near death and Gamora saying that they can't "fight forever", the team has conflicting feelings on what to do.
Eventually Peter, Rocket, Moondragon, and Phyla-Vell, set out to help Nova. When they get to the Nova Corps HQ, they're met by Marvel Boy. Marvel Boy is the brainchild of Grant Morrison and is one of the most underutilized characters at Marvel, so it's really cool to see Ewing bringing him onto the team. After the events of Annhiliation Scourge, and the unrest between the Kree, Skrull and Shi'ar empires, Nova feels defeated, but Star-Lord assures him that they are their to help.
We finally get the answer to why the Olympians have come to take over the galaxy. They're more powerful then they ever were on Earth and are conquering the galaxy by picking off the weakest colonies first. Zeus is mad with power and takes on the Guardians. While half the team fights Zeus, the other half goes to Olympus. While looking for a way to stop the floating city of Olympus from being able to phase in and out of this dimension (which is how they're able to keep conquering each civilization), they discover the power source that Zeus is using, Hercules. This was a holy shit moment. I mean Hercules has been missing for quite some time and this is the last book I would figure to see him in. How much he will play into the story is yet to be seen, but I'm definitely intrigued.
Overall, this book is off to a great start. I loved the art, Cabal has a great way of invoking a lot of humor into it, which is essential on any GOTG book and at times has some really unique composition that you don't see often. Al Ewing has given us something fresh that we haven't seen before, I mean who would have thought that the Greek Gods would be good antagonists got the Guardians to face off against. I might be in the minority saying this, but I already like this more than the last series. Hopefully things will only get better from here.