It was announced a few months ago that, as part of the All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, a few printed Marvel books would include a digital collection redemption code, including Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW. I decided to take the opportunity to catch up on the book, considering it's only 11 issues in, just in time for when Agent Venom blasts off into outer space. The book came with a code for the free digital version of Volume 1: "Cosmic Avengers," which includes issues #0.1–3, and Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #1–4. I essentially got nine comics for the price of one. It's a sweet deal and, after having read through volumes 1 and 2, is totally worth picking up to get ready for the film, if not just for how awesome this series is.
This particular series isn't the first for the current group, but the great part about volume 1 is that you don't need to spend extra time or money playing catch-up. The book starts off with the half-human Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord (as played by Chris Pratt in the film), retelling his origin story to Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, who's fitting to join the team. The origin story also serves another purpose besides helping new readers into the mythos: it sets up the entire purpose of the team in this book. Star-Lord's father, J'son (alternatively, Jason), the King of Spartax and an alien, abandoned his mother when she was pregnant with Peter, leaving behind a world of trouble for the young heir to an intergalactic throne and for his home world, Earth. Ideally, Star-Lord and his Guardians of the Galaxy are out to protect Earth from any extraterrestrial trouble his father may have caused.
With that touching story, Iron Man is convinced and joins the team alongside Star-Lord; Gamora, the daughter of Thanos (that purple alien dude at the end of The Avengers) and the most dangerous woman in the universe (played by Zoe Saldana); Drax the Destroyer (played by David Bautista); Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper); and Groot, a sentient tree alien who knows how to say only "I am Groot" in English (voiced by Vin Diesel; think Treebeard, the Ent from Lord of the Rings).
I give Guardians of the Galaxy, volume 1: "Cosmic Avengers" 4.5 stars out of 5 for excellent writing and characterization (excluding Drax, who needs more work) and 5 stars out of 5 for the great artwork. This is definitely a must-read if you're interested in the Guardians outside of their upcoming film.
Are you ecstatic for the Guardians of the Galaxy film after seeing the trailer? If you read the book, what were your thoughts? Who's your favorite Guardian? Let me know in the comments section, and stay tuned for future Guardians of the Galaxy reviews by yours truly here, on Fanboys Anonymous!