Star Lord #1
Writer: Keith Giffen
Artists: Timothy Green II (p), Victor Olazaba (i)
This book is fairly by-the-numbers but still very good. Peter Quill (Starlord) is set up to lead rag-tag team of “expendable” (to the Kree) prisoners on what looks like a suicide mission to try and stop the Phalanx occupation of Kree space. Marvel calls this an homage to St. Fury and the Howling Commandos. I call it an intergalactic retelling of The Dirty Dozen. No word yet on who is Tony Savalis. Basic recap of the Annihilation: Conquest story; is that the Phalanx are Borg-like beings who have conquered the Kree effortlessly, and there’s some sort of impenetrable bubble around all of Kree space. No one gets in or out until the Phalanx leaders makes it possible.
The majority of this issue is a very funny self-narrated history of Star Lord and the introduction of Quill’s team, which features some familiar or semi-familiar characters. Most notable of whom are Bug (who other than knowing there was a Marvel character named Bug, I have no idea about), a human ex-soldier who’s in possession of the Uni-Power (and as such is the current Captain Universe who I only remember from when Spider-Man had the power and punched the Hulk into orbit), Rocket Raccoon (a raccoon with extraordinary tactical abilities who’ve I’ve never heard of), and Mantis, the Celestial Madonna (who I’ve also never heard of). There’s also a Shi’ar named Deathcry and the giant tree-man Groot (um, okay). Quill and his team are provided with blades and projective weapons (no lazers) because the Phalanx can’t corrupt and control non-machined things. Then the team suits up and we’re ready for the next issue
Pretty standard, but still fun, plotwise. Grumpy Giffen’s characterizations are good and the dialog is very natural, both when serious and when a joke is being cracked. The strongest part of Quill’s characterization though is in those first three pages, where he narrates his own story. We find out what happened to make him give up the Starlord name and costume, what happened to his sentient ship, Ship, and where his head’s been at since. It was very good stuff; dramatic on a scale that justifies the drastic change in the way the character works now. I also enjoyed how he wrote the underlying racism of the Kree.
As for the art, I feel it got the job done. There were no big action splash pages or intense scenes where they artists were really tested. And no I do not count a full page of a living tree a test of the artist metal. I have high hopes, though. I can see potential if given the change to shine.
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