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Guardians of the Galaxy #1: Review

Mar 2013
Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 cover

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Review by (March 31, 2013)
The 1st Guardians of the Galaxy series concerned a totally different team in the 31st century. The 2008 team contained the current members (minus Iron Man of course) plus many more (including for some time a member of the original Guardians). When they reappeared in Avengers Assemble they'd lost all but the current members and Bug. Drax and Gamora were originally both part of Jim Starlin's Thanos mythos, and got involved with Captain Marvel. Rocket Raccoon debuted in a strip called The Sword In The Star in MP#7 (the 1st instalment of which shared MP#4 with the origin of Star-Lord). He made infrequent appearances after that, until getting involved in Annihilation, which led to Star-Lord and the Guardians. Groot was a pre-Marvel Age monster in Tales to Astonish #13, with a similarly spotty CV until he too wandered into Annihilation. Iron Man headed off into space at the end of IM#5. Star-Lord had suggested it in Avengers Assemble #8. The Guardians meet him while still in the Solar System, so this story must happen before the deep-space stuff in IM#6ff. Among the members of the galactic council in this issue we see Jason, the Kree Supreme Intelligence, Guardian of the Shi'ar and a Brood Queen. The Badoon were introduced in the present era in #2 of the 1st Silver Surfer series. But they came to prominence as the main adversaries of the original Guardians in their alternate future, starting in Marvel Super-Heroes #18.

Ignoring this, Peter Quill himself turned up in the MU in the present in a galactic prison in Thanos (2003) #8. In this storyline Quill *used to be* Star-Lord, and used to have the sentient Ship which got destroyed along with his element gun and special costume. After several adventures in this guise he took the name Star-Lord again in 2007 in the Annihilation Conquest: Starlord limited series, but now without the original Ship, gun and costume. And then he formed the new Guardians of the Galaxy in their 2008 series. The recent adventures mentioned by Jason involving Thanos, the Cancerverse and Quill's death were told in the end of the Guardians series and the Thanos Imperative mini-series. Peter's return from death (who would have expected it?!) and reuniting with the Guardians was in Avengers Assemble #4-8. Now the #0.1 origin takes Jason of Spartax from the Inhumans series, but transplants him to the past. This origin ignores the Master of the Sun. It has the Badoon as the mercenary assassins of Meredith. The element gun was left behind by his father. It doesn't explain how he got into space, or where he got Ship who was destroyed in flashback in the Thanos story. This #1 now suggests that Star-Lord is a Spartax title and role, which hadn't been suggested before but fits with Jason's appearance in Inhumans #2-4.

Doug Moench continued the Star-Lord saga into MP#18, Marvel Super-Special #10, Marvel Spotlight #6-7 and Marvel Premiere #61. The brief origin recap in MSS#10 was as MP#4. And the full origin retelling in MSp#6 even had the Master of the Sun as Peter's father. Star-Lord then vanished from publication. It is significant that none of his tales had any connection with the rest of the Marvel universe. And that they involved an as yet alternate future with man spreading out into the Solar System. In the interim Starlord #1-3 tells of Sinjin Quarrel in the future, where Ship chooses him to continue Peter Quill's role as Starlord. This version has since then only been seen in a panorama of alternate futures in Avengers (2010) #2. To add to the confusion young Jason of Spartax appeared in a Star-Lord-like uniform and a Ship-like spaceship in Inhumans (2000) #2-4, which ends with him heading off to crash on Earth and conceive Peter Quill. So he'd still be in the future, but now actually in the Marvel universe.

The latest origin of Star-Lord was given in #0.1. This differs a lot from the original, which is confusingly going to be reprinted in June. However the #0.1 origin isn't really new, and historically Marvel has bounced between the 2 versions. The name Peter Quill and his mother Meredith are about the only constant. (But throughout there's confusion as to whether Star-Lord has a hyphen or not.) In the 1st story by Steve Englehart in Marvel Preview #4, Peter supposedly had no father, and his mother was later killed by an unspecified alien. Peter took part in a then-future expansion into the Solar System, and was given a flying costume and an element gun by a being called the Master of the Sun. The alien assassin wasn't explained. Chris Claremont took over for the next appearances. In MP#11 Star-Lord was a Green Lantern type, and had a sentient ship called Ship. His adventures led him to save Emperor Jason of Sparta from a coup. Jason turned out to be his father, who had crashed on Earth years ago, conceived Peter and left. His political rival had sent an alien to kill Meredith and Peter, and Jason was told she had died in childbirth. But Star-Lord then left his father to continue life as a galactic wanderer. The Master of the Sun wasn't mentioned, but no other origin was given for his costume and element gun, or for Ship. But Claremont's run continued in MP#14&15, and in #15 he restated the Master of the Sun bit, and tied Ship into that. Jason of Sparta wasn't mentioned here or later.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Peter Quill, Star-Lord, is in a Star Wars cantina chatting up a Kree woman when a troop of troopers herald the arrival of his father Jason, King of Spartax. Jason wants Peter to stay away from Earth. Which was where Peter was born after then-Prince Jason crashed his spaceship there and had an affair with Peter's mom (see #0.1 for more details).

Jason tells Peter that a council of galactic empires met and decided to make Earth off-limits, to give us a chance to evolve into our own galactic presence. Peter accuses his father of making Earth a target for the enemies of the council members, such as the Badoon.

Jason really wants Peter to come to Spartax and take up his position as heir and Star-Lord, instead of roving the galaxy with his companions. But Quill is determined never to become part of the Spartax empire.

The argument is interrupted when Gamora fights her way through the ring of troopers, thinking Star-Lord needs rescuing. Jason knows who she is, the most dangerous woman in the universe, as well as the rest of his son's gang, He's also kept track of Peter's adventures, including Thanos, the Cancerverse and a return from the dead. Star-Lord and Gamora leave.

We now skip to Iron Man on his way out of the Solar System (flying past Mars I think), as recommended by Pater Quill. But he doesn't get far before running into a Badoon spaceship heading for Earth. They engage in a space battle, and suddenly another craft appears. And the Guardians of the Galaxy join the fight. (As well as Star-Lord and Gamora there's Drax the Destroyer, Groot and Rocket Racoon.)

Drax attacks the outside of the Badoon ship. Rocket blasts a hole in it, which Groot rampages through, followed by Gamora. Star-Lord, Rocket and Iron Man combat Badoon fighter ships.

The Badoon are losing. The commander sends a message back to the Brotherhood of Badoon. Then he launches a smaller ship, and leaves the main ship to explode.

The blast damages Shellhead's systems and knocks him out. Quill takes him back to the Guardians' ship. Drax goes to help Gamora, but she fights her way out of the wreckage anyway. Rocket retrieves a fragment of Groot, which will be enough to regrow him.

Gamora figures that Jason expected Peter to come to the aid of Earth, and face great odds. She thinks that he thinks that if Quill won't do what he wants then it's better he dies, and takes Earth with him!

The Guardians follow the surviving small Badoon ships to London.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 cover

Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Steve McNiven
John Dell
Justin Ponsor
Steve McNiven (Cover Penciler)
John Dell (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Steve Wacker.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Drax the Destroyer)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Peter Quill)

Plus: Jason of Spartax (J'son).

> Guardians of the Galaxy: Book info and issue index

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