The new book is described in a way that only Marvel could write: (link)
Marvel’s sci-fi heroes unite to protect the cosmos! Back-to-back Annihilation wars have weakened the boundaries of our universe. Dark gods and monsters are seeping through the cracks, reigning horror upon those still reeling from the recent calamities. In the face of terror, who stands to defend a desperate universe? Star-Lord and his squad of butt-kickers - the modern day Guardians of the Galaxy!
The original Guardians of the Galaxy debuted in 1969 and showed up from time to time guest-staring in other titles until finally given their own comic book in 1990 which ran until 1995. In its early years, Guardians of the Galaxy was a tremendously popular book and one I really enjoyed. The story actually takes place “in the 31st century in an alternate time-line of the Marvel Universe.” (link) This hasn’t kept the books characters from interacting with the current Marvel Universe, which they have done many times since their debut. The Guardians of the Galaxy were a rag tag group of rebels, each the last of their race, who “unite as a team against the actions of the Badoon, an alien race which attempts to conquer Earth’s solar system.” (link) The book definitely had a “us vs. the world” feel to it and I think fans of the current sci-fi hit, Battlestar Galactica, would have really enjoyed this super hero twist to a familiar story.
While the premise this time around is completely different, I was pretty excited to hear Guardians of the Galaxy were returning. Over the past 5 years or so I’ve really phased out my reading of Marvel Comics, but after hearing really great things about the company’s use of their under-used and random space-related characters such as Nova, Quasar, Annihilus, Ronan, Super Skrull, Captain Universe and Deathcry in Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest my interests were piqued. Since the two crossovers were made up of multiple mini-series and tons of issues I ended up not picking it up, instead just reading reviews. But when the dust settled and Guardians of the Galaxy was announced as a spin-off, I finally gave in and purchased the first issue.
The new team is based in current continuity and features a new rag tag group of some of Marvel’s most famous space heroes and its most random 70’s sci-fi creations. The team consists of Star-Lord (Peter Quill), Adam Warlock, the new Quasar (Phyla-Vell), Rocket Racoon, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora and the tree-like monster Groot. Their support team consists of former Avenger Mantis and Cosmo, a dog who has gained both telepathic and telekinetic abilities since being lost in space by the soviet space program. The strangest part of this new series is the team’s headquarters. The Guardians of the Galaxy's base of operations is Knowhere, an inter-dimensional crossroads housed in the severed head of a Celestial being. Now if that doesn’t get you interested in this new team, I don’t know what will!
The book hit comic book stores this week and was really good, even for someone like me who did not follow any of the previous Annihilation stories. So if you’re in the market to get back into comic books and want to try out a super hero team book that reads like a science-fiction space opera then pick up Guardians of the Galaxy #1 from Marvel Comics this weekend.