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Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (2023)

Marvel teased big things were coming in Guardians of the Galaxy #1, and they sure weren’t kidding either. A year ago, the Guardians of the Galaxy were totally broken. Betrayed by one of their own, their optimistic outlook and future was all but destroyed. Now in this new Marvel Comics series, written by Jackson Lanzing and Colin Kelly (Captain America Sentinel of Liberty),  and with art by Kev Walker (Predator), the Guardians now ride the lawless alien frontier of the Manifold Territories.They are driven ever onwards, locked in a desperate search to reclaim their heroism and humanity, yet relentlessly pursued by the horrific phenomenon that caused their fall from grace – the GROOTFALL! 

Lanzing and Kelly throw us right into the think of the action with The Massacre at Galilee IV, where Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Nebula, and Mantis ride into a ramshackle colony town of refugees trying to eek out a humble existence on a backwater world. But the Guardians have been changed by the chaos that has brought them here. It soon becomes clear they are far from the saviours they proclaim themselves to be, are they really here to rescue these refugees, or are they just running from a burning fire they have no idea how to put out? The contrast between these Guardians and the one’s we know and love is really striking, especially Peter Quill, who seems to have become a gruff high-plains drifter of the space ways, Gamora and Nebula are as edgy as ever, even Drax seems at odds with Quill’s abrasive new leadership style, leaving only Mantis to remain the one bright light at the heart of the team that once was. The action moves along at a fast and furious pace, as the nondescript menace of GROOTFALL descends on the planet, and the Guardians race to evacuate the refugees to safety.

The Guardians have all been given a fittingly cosmic Wild West costume make-over for this new series. Kev Walker’s art really shines, with beautifully rendered characters, expressions, and  sublime detail that highlights just how much the dysfunctional joy of the Guardians has been turned upside down by GROOTFALL. It’s all there in the body language and snappy asides as the Guardians mosey on into town in their own inimitable style. Walker captures the grittier nature of this environment of the frontier worlds with sweeping panoramic vistas and dusty run down towns, the colors by Matt Hollingsworth are both subtle and vidid, seamlessly balancing the dramatic and emotional beats of the narrative. The cover for this first issue by Marco Checchetto is also really striking and brilliantly encapsulates the tone of this new series as we journey into the unknown territories of the Marvel Universe. 

Sure, the cataclysmic fallout of GROOTFALL looms large for the Guardians, indeed, its hot on their heels, but that’s not to say it’s all doom and gloom. Far from it, in fact. The light, warmth  and humour is still there, the Guardians just have to dig a little harder within themselves to find it right now. As comic book relaunches go, Guardians of the Galaxy #1 provides an exciting and bold new era for the team, featuring a gripping story and excellent art, this new Marvel Comics series is definitely one worth adding to your pull list.

Publisher Marvel Comics

Writers Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing

Artist Kev Walker / Colours Matt Hollingsworth

Letters VC’s Cory Petit / Cover Marco Checchetto

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook