Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on January 22, 2020

Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Juann Cabal
Colors: Federico Blee
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

This is the first issue of Al Ewing’s new take on Guardians of the Galaxy. It follows on from Donny Cates’ run which concluded last month. The last issue finished with the Guardians back together. Rocket’s now recovered. Drax is back from the dead. We start with the Guardians taking a well earned rest on Half-World and considering retirement.

What is immediately apparent, and fills me with hope for this series, is Al Ewings obvious knowledge and reverence for what has come before. It’s done in such a good way it won’t leave new readers feeling lost but reassures old fans that Ewing knows his stuff. There are plenty of fans who are sure to pick this up just because it's Al Ewing writing it and he's doing so well with The Immortal Hulk.

We get a flashback to Star-Lord and Rocket’s first meeting way back in Annihilation Conquest. This was a nice touch. I also like that the two of them get to spend some time together, reminiscing about old times. Unlike the rest of the Guardians who want nothing more than to rest that's not an option for these two and we get a little insight into why here.

The first half of the issue sets us up with the galaxies latest threat, and establishing where our heroes are and their states of mind. Then the second half of the issue deals with them confronting this new threat head on, which unfolds with typical Guardians of the Galaxy style action, i.e. nothing goes to plan. This issue feels like a real throwback to Dan Abnett and Andy Lannings run on Guardians, which, hot off the back of the first two Annihilation events, I would argue was the best Guardians of the Galaxy series. So that’s a real highlight for me and I’m excited to see where this series goes.

As with every new take on the Guardians of the Galaxy the line-up of Guardians changes and this is no exception. Without going into spoilers (although the front cover does) Ewing has a good line up here, and while it’ll inevitably change, in the meantime I’m excited to see what happens next and their interactions together.

I’m glad to see Nova taking a bigger role here. Fresh off the events of Annihilation: Scourge he’s not in a good frame of mind. He's damaged, not yet sure what Annihilus’ resurrection means for him, and hasn't had time to process all his recent losses.There's been the wiping out of the Nova Corps, again, and the loss of his brother. He's also seeing threats unfolding in the Galaxy which no-one else does. It's not clear if it's his paranoia or he's just gotten so used to dealing with these threats he's seeing them before they occur. Again it feels like a throwback to Dan Abnett and Andy Lannings run on Nova which was incredible, and I’m really excited to see what Al Ewing does with him next. It makes Rich feel human. People aren’t equipped to deal with the horrors and trauma’s he regularly does, and he’s too much the hero to take time to recover, he just throws himself back into the action. 

Juann Cabal does a great job on the art here, there are some fantastic double page spreads which just demand you take a minute to soak up all the detail and action going on here. He’s got a great grasp on all the characters and is just as comfortable drawing the quieter moments where the Guardians are having a feast, or chatting, as he is drawing the incredible action scenes.

Then we have Federico Blee’s colors. All the different aliens and planets and powers have such varied colors and he does a great job bringing them to life, making for an incredibly vibrant comic. There are two early double page spreads depicting the same scene under different circumstances and it’s the colors here which are a real highlight and help emphasise the differences.

An impressive start to a new run from Al Ewing, his obvious knowledge and reverence for everything that’s come before leaves me excited for what’s to come next. Juann Cabal does a great job on art and leaves you no doubt he’ll do excellent whether it’s quieter moments or galaxy sized epic fights. It’s early to say how good this run will be but right now I’m feeling optimistic, and long time fans are sure to love it.

Our Score:


A Look Inside