Sunday, April 15, 2012

Guardians of the Galaxy: Legacy

Cover art: Clint Langley

Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't even on my radar until Hasbro released the Marvel Universe 3 3/4" boxed action figure set last year, but seeing this used hardback in a buy-one-get-one sale at V-Stock recently left me with no choice but to do some research on the 2nd group of Marvel heroes bearing the name. 

Following his adventures in the  Annihilation: Conquest story arc, Starlord (Peter Quill ) assembles an official team to be proactive in preventing that kind of the cosmic crisis from reoccurring. Back-to-back Annihilation wars have weakened the boundaries of the universe, leaving a host of terrible forces free to wreak havoc throughout the galaxy. Quill recruits a newly resurrected Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer (killer of Thanos, Gamora ("deadliest woman alive"), Phyla-Vell (the new Quasar), Rocket Raccoon (anthropomorphic armament specialist), and Groot (sapling extraterrestrial) with Mantis (Celestial Madonna, former Avenger) as support staff. 

 On the recommendation of their ally, Nova, the group establishes a base of operations on the space station Knowhere, which possesses a teleportation system with near-universal range. An intelligent, telepathic dog named Cosmo is Knowhere's chief of security and works closely with the new team. After a confrontation with the Universal Church of Truth, the team discovers a semi-amnesiac man encased in ice on the asteroid Hydronis with the lost shield of Captain America, identifying himself as Vance Astro (Major Victory of the original Guardians of the Galaxy).  Astro's declaration inspires the as-yet-unnamed team to adopt the "Guardians of the Galaxy" name for their own. (Wikipedia)
Legacy (Marvel, 2008), a Secret Invasion tie-in, collects Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 2) #1-6, the artwork in which is great- Paul Pelletier's pencilling is superb, capturing emotion in the character's expressions, rooms full of tangled/battling figures, and otherworldly architecture with aplomb. Pictured below: the Universal Church of Truth's starship, infiltrated by The Guardians in attempt to prevent the universe from coming unravelled...

Below: The Guardians engage worshipers of The Universal Church,  pencils by Paul Pelletier...

Below: the Guardian's prepare to teleport from space station Knowhere to Hydronis in attempt to stop a fissure in the time-space continuum, where they will find a time/displaced Vance Astro (Major Victory)...

The mysterious Starhawk returns in male & female forms, in a state of flux, to warn the Guardians that it is too early for the team too exist and that the future tense is in peril due not only to Vance Astro's presence, but their own as well. Yes, in  Rocket Raccoon's own words, " One of those weird alternate reality things". This story is galactic in scale, on par with Infinity Gauntlet, but with a lot more sense of humor than Jim Starlin's cosmic soap operas.

Deception/Intrigue: Drax eavesdrops on Mantis and Peter discussing the implications of any of the team discovering their secret mental tampering to solidify the team's commitment to their initial alliance! Discovery of some shape shifting Skrulls hiding among the ranks on the Knowhere space station, Drax sets out to find out where the others are, fugitive of the suspicious Uuchan delegation sent to investigate the matter! 

Authors Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning show their flair for comedy throughout this space drama. Upon discovery of the Skrulls hidden by Knowhere security chief Cosmo, Adam Warlock must be convinced by force that the fugitives are only seeking asylum from their race, who are plotting an invasion of Earth... 
Then Drax comes charging in with Phyla-Vell, having locked in on the Skrulls through his own device, Cosmo's whole struggle resuming...

The hilarity continues further when the Uuuchan delegates discover the conflicted group, and then Starlord stumbles onto the melee with Mantis, Gamora, & Rocket Raccoon. By then Cosmo has had it up to the collar, psychically flattening everyone in frustration to quell the fight...

When the team learns Star-Lord directed Mantis to telepathically coerce the heroes into joining the team, they disband. I love that about this book: it starts off swinging, the action & plot twists a never ending roller coaster ride threatening to derail at every turn of the page, the whole team coming undone at the end!

This was a great read- now I want to go back & read Annihilation: Conquest, and am curious about the original 1969 Guardians of the Galaxy. I'd recommend this volume to any reader into Marvel's cosmic titles/characters such as Thanos, Captain Marvel, Silver Surfer, or Adam Warlock. Far out stuff!
More Later- Make It FUN!

1 comment:

  1. I wondered about these guys too never hearing much about them in my younger comic book collecting days.Seems like a fun read.