Artist: Steve McNiven
I've never really been interested in Guardians of the Galaxy in the past, but with a film based on the characters coming out I thought that I's try this series to see what it was like. The creative team of Brian Michael Bendis, and Steve McNiven also helped me make the final decision to get this series as I've loved their previous work.
Meredith Quill is visited by an alien from Spartax named J'son. Whilst they he's fixing his ship J'son and Meredith form a relationship that creates Meredith's son Peter who becomes Star-Lord.
It's always nice to see a good origin story. I personally always like to see origin stories, whether bad or good, but obviously prefer them to be good. This is probably one of the best origin stories that I've read in the last few years. This might easily be down to me not knowing the character, but either way I liked it. In saying that having not known the character prior I don't know what (if any) changes have been made, as changes tend to upset die hard fans. Anyway I think Bendis has done a brilliant job with this origin story, and love that it's exciting, fun, interesting, and emotional. The emotional point was what really drove the story, as it's the emotional tole that the story has on Peter Quill that motivates him to become Star-Lord. This the second series that I have read of Bendis in the Marvel NOW! line (the other being All-New X-Men), and I'm starting to see that he's put a lot off effort in preparing them. I for one hope that he continues this throughout the series as I can see this becoming one of my favourite Marvel NOW! series'.
I've always enjoyed Steve McNiven's artwork, ever since picking up Civil War, and over the years McNiven has became one of my favourite artists (he's in the top 10). I also really enjoyed his artwork in other series like Captain America, Millar & McNiven's Nemesis, and Wolverine: Old Man Logan, and was dying for him to work on something again. This issue he shows exactly why I liked his art in the first place, as it's beautiful, and very detailed. I also love the emotion in his artwork, especially in the sequence when J'son had to leave Meredith, as you could see some conflict in him, whilst seeing that she was upset, and shocked to find out she's pregnant. I do hope that McNiven can stay on this series for a long time, as I was slightly disappointed when he left Captain America after only 5 issues, with help from Giuseppe Camuncoli on the last of them issues.
I really liked that it showed how Star-Lord was born by showing the relationship between Meredith and J'son. I really liked the start of their relationship as you have a shocked and confused Meredith, who hasn't seen an alien before, and an amused J'son who finds he comments, and remarks funny. I did however feel sorry for Meredith when J'son had to leave, and more so when it was noticeable that she was pregnant.
This obviously leads to Peter being born. We saw from the Marvel NOW! Point One, and I really liked what I read. To be honest my ignorance towards the character went that far that I didn't know he was meant to be anything more than an adult in the main series. This is unusual for me as I usually read up on any comic book character, or team that takes my interest, but I didn't do that with Peter or the Guardians. I do however think that this gave me a better read as I was able to enjoy reading things that I knew nothing about. Anyway I'll get back to actually talking about the sequence. What I liked most about this sequence was the remorse that Peter had towards his father. I personally have grown up with both my parents being around me, so I don't know how it feels to grow up without a mother, or a father, or both for that mater. I do however recognize that it would be a hard time especially for a boy not having a father, and it's understandable to see him lash out, especially when he doesn't know that his father's of alien royalty.
I also liked how we see that even as a child Peter has the courage to stick up for people, and not allow bullies to get away with their cruelty, especially when it's a boy threatening a girl. I also felt that it showed that with the right convictions that anyone can stand up for what they believe in. It was also nice to see that Peter's anger got the better of him, as he went a bit berserk on the bully.
WARNING: SMALL SPOILER AHEAD! (if you've read Marvel NOW! Point One it won't spoil anything)
The next thing I'll be talking about is Peter finding his fathers alien gun. This sequence actually happened in Marvel NOW! Point One, and it showed the Badooncoming to kill Peter cause he was the descendant of J'son, but instead land up destroying his house and killing his mother, but I'll talk more about that in a little while. I really liked the shock, and amazement on Peter's face when he found his fathers gun, as he'd never seen anything like that before, and it showed that people can still be amazed by something like that even with aliens trying to kill you. I'll now return to talking about Meredith getting killed. Even after reading the Marvel NOW! Point One issue I still found this sequence a bit shocking, and was upset for Peter. I did however like the emotion shown by Peter, as you can see that he's upset by his mother's death, but at the same time afraid by the alien attack. I do however look forward to seeing if he ever meets his father, as he's bound to blame him for his mothers death, which should lead to an interesting confrontation.
I also liked that the rest of the Guardians were involved at the end of the issue. They didn't do much but it was nice to see them, and I look forward to finding out more about them throughout this series. I'll probably not even read up on their back-stories straight away so that they're more exciting if shown in the series. I also look forward to seeing how big a role Iron Man ill have in this series, as it was shown on future covers, and also in this issue that he'd be having some involvement with the team.
This was a very good opening issue to the series and I look forward to reading more of it. I would highly recommend this issue as it's good, but at the same time if you have a tight budget it's missable as you'd be able to pick up issue 1 without needing prior knowledge of this issue (I'd assume), although it wouldn't hurt to get the issue if you could afford it.