Saturday, 3 January 2015

Guardians 3000 #1 - Marvel Comics

GUARDIANS 3000 No. 1, December 2014
Somewhat disappointingly known these days as the 1969 team, the “original defenders of the Galaxy” have always seemed to be one of the more readily forgotten groups of super-heroes within the Marvel Universe; apparently being far more popular as sporadic ‘guest stars’ in numerous titles such as “Marvel-Two-In-One”, than as the lead characters in their very own comic series.

However these ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ did enjoy a highly successful sixty-two issue-run during the Nineties and it’s clear, following the renewed interest in the franchise of their successors, that “Marvel Worldwide” are hoping to achieve something similar with “Guardians 3000”. 

Written by celebrated British author Dan Abnett, in many ways the brain behind the incredible rise in popularity of the modern spacefaring ‘Guardians’ roster, it would certainly seem that the American publishing company have resisted the temptation with this book to simply print a short-lived ‘cash cow’ title. For if the legion of followers of the “Black Library” novelist’ were not enough to ensure a competitive monthly copy sales figure, then the regular involvement of legendary cover artist Alex Ross should certainly warrant a healthy circulation statistic… and no-one has mentioned whether the comic itself is any good or not yet.

Fortunately it is very good, as Abnett uses a couple of reliable story writing ‘tricks’ to hook the reader from the first page. For starters it is written from the perspective of a new character trapped within the thick of an action-packed planetary invasion, who kindly provides a bit of exposition behind each of the ‘Guardians’ as she encounters them one by one. However more engrossing is the fact that the writer has each of the team members killed as the battle progresses. This not only leaves the reader utterly shell-shocked but also compelled to read on in order to ascertain just exactly why things have turned so very bad so quickly.

All of this tension and excitement is fantastically illustrated by artist Gerardo Sandoval, whose strong, almost cartoon-like stylised pencilling really brings some heroic dynamism to the action sequences. The illustrator’s interpretation of each of the ‘Guardians’ are also wonderfully drawn, with each displaying their own unique, though quite possibly ‘over the top’, physical characteristics and expressions. Indeed it is hard not to join in with Charlie-27’s joyous smile when the genetically engineered soldier smashes the heads of two Badoon warriors together during the opening encounter with the reptilian alien species.
The variant cover art of "GUARDIANS 3000" No. 1 by Skottie Young

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