Pulp [#595]

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Pulp [#595]

So, unless you’ve been living under a very large rock, chances are you’ve noticed that Marvel has put out a new movie: Guardians of the Galaxy. What’s unique about GotG is that chances are that when you first read the name, your first reaction was probably something along the lines of “Who?”
The fact is, you probably wouldn’t have heard of them unless you’re a hardcore Marvel fan. Originally conceived in 1969, the original Guardians line up featured characters like Major Vance Astro and a blue gent with a stunning red mohawk called Yondu Udonta –a character that pops up in the movie (sans mohawk) as Star-Lord’s foster father. The original Guardians spent most of their time fighting the villainous Badoon race, and after popping up sporadically over the years had their own 69-issue series in the 90s. The team was later rebooted by prolific authors Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning in 2008, and features the characters that will no doubt be household names from now on: Peter Quill (Star-Lord), Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon and, of course, Groot.
Apart from the occasional crossover arc with the Avengers, the Guardians have never been as popular as the main Avengers team or the X-men, and have kind of fallen by the wayside as time has gone on. Sure, they’ve still been around, but they’ve hardly been high-profile. Of course, that’s all changed now; after the success of the new movie –and it has been a rousing success, just check out the box office figures –the Guardians might just be one of the hottest properties in the Marvel universe right now.
The whole shebang has been really well timed, too –not long before the movie started to get some serious press, a new series was launched as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative, featuring a team that just happened to exactly match the lineup of the movie team. Not only is the whole movie (and the inevitable stream of memorabilia) an exercise in excellent marketing techniques, it’s actually a fantastic movie.
I was curious to see how Marvel would change the story for to fit the MCU’s ongoing story arcs, so I made a point of picking up volume 1 of the new series, Cosmic Avengers, before going to see the movie. Written by Marvel powerhouse Brian Michael Bendis, the series is definitely in good hands. While the stories of the movie and the comic book don’t overlap at all –Cosmic Avengers is about the Guardians defending Earth from cosmic threats with the help of Tony Stark, while the movie is set entirely in space –it’s clear that the Guardians are definitely in the spotlight now, and they’re going to stay there. The book is a perfect jumping-on point for new fans, and I have no doubts that sales of the first volume will be off the charts.
Despite all my waffle, the Guardians make for a really interesting team –the movie is done particularly well; it hits you with some feels straight away, but goes on to be not only the funniest but the most engaging Marvel movie to date. The comic is more on the happy-go-lucky side, but reads rather like a Marvel version of Star Wars –definitely a good thing. If you’ve seen the movie and want to know more about the team, definitely pick up Cosmic Avengers –after all, the Marvel Universe is a big place, and someone’s gotta look after Earth!
By Alastair McGibbon