June 7, 2023

After two weekends in theatres, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 continues to be doing nice, with a smaller viewers drop-off than most superhero films, and larger returns than most of Marvel’s latest movie fare. Individuals simply love these rascally house rogues! By coincidence, Marvel editor Tom Brevoort additionally shared in his latest publication that this week marks the fifteenth anniversary of Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (Vol. 2), the place the fashionable model of the group first appeared. On Wednesday, Guardians of the Galaxy #2 (Vol. 7) will hit comedian guide shops. Curiously, there was a roughly 18-month publication hole because the final iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy guide. Earlier than that, there was three yr hole the place Marvel wasn’t publishing a Guardians of the Galaxy comedian guide.

Whereas it is not unusual for contemporary tremendous hero comics to reboot their numbering with new artistic group adjustments — readers usually tend to purchase a #1 than a #2, and much more probably than they’re to select a random problem #317 — I discover it odd that these breakout characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe have failed to seek out their footing within the precise comedian books that spawned them.

To be honest, the recognition of Marvel films has not often translated to any direct upticks in comedian guide gross sales. However the Guardians nonetheless really feel like an outlier in plenty of methods. When the primary movie was introduced, it was a helluva gamble. It was not embracing the bizarre outer house components — and Marvel Cosmic can get bizarre — however it additionally featured characters like a speaking tree who solely speaks one line, over and again and again. The Guardians weren’t simply alien to movie-going audiences who had beforehand been enthusiastic about Hulk and Thor and Captain America; they had been additionally largely alien to comedian guide readers. As Brevoort notes in his publication when speaking about that authentic 2008 run of the comedian guide, “The sequence was a stable vendor however by no means a spectacular hit, and it ran for about two years earlier than it was rebooted by different arms.”

Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Spider-Man had these decade-long publishing histories (plus varied different media adaptation makes an attempt) that had cemented them as icons within the minds of contemporary American common tradition. However not the Guardians. When the film was first introduced, that group — and the variations of the characters who sort-of go on to look within the films — hadn’t even been round for 5 years.

The plus aspect of this quick historical past is that James Gunn had quite a lot of wiggle room. His model of Star-Lord was not an ex-Messianic Area Cop with PTSD struggling to retain his connection to his dwelling planet; he was a rogueish, wannabe Han Solo. His model of Drax was not a, uhhhh *checks notes* human saxophone participant who was killed by Thanos after which had his soul compelled right into a bioengineered warrior physique by Thanos’s lifeless, programmed for the express function of killing Thanos; he only a badass alien fighter who was additionally a lovable moron. Truthfully, that was most likely a very good name (though it means we did miss out on our likelihood to see Dave Bautista enjoying sax). His model of Nebula is not only a type of cypher of an area pirate baddie, however truly tragic and compelling! Gunn was each sensible, and fortunate in that regard. Few individuals (besides perhaps me) had any actual funding within the characters that will make up the solid of the primary Guardians of the Galaxy movie. So you might make some main departures from the restricted supply materials (which was already fairly bizarre to start with!), with out having to fret about fan backlash.

Much more curious is that the James Gunn/MCU variations of the characters have largely come to supplant for Comedian E book/616 counterparts. Marvel has usually aimed for some gentle synchronicity between the comics and films; if a personality goes to point out up in a film, it is sensible to attempt to discover a technique to make them present up within the comedian books across the identical time, too, with out coping with direct continuity connections or something. However the Guardians of the Galaxy comics took this even additional. They modified Star-Lord’s complete backstory, erasing all of the messianic space-cop stuff (till Al Ewing just lately reconciled it) in favor of a extra Chris Pratt-like persona. Even Star-Lord’s kidnapper-slash-adopted dad, Yondu, bought his personal sequence to tell apart him from the prevailing character of Yondu, who was extra of a stereotypical Native American Noble Warrior sort of alien (and who additionally from the thirty first century). Marvel additionally tried to construct extra relationships between the Guardians and the extra earthbound heroes; throughout Brian Michael Bendis’s run on the title, the Guardians included such characters as Iron Man, Kate Pryde, The Factor, and even Venom amongst their ranks.

And but…the comedian guide nonetheless by no means fairly discovered its legs. There are some nice runs in there; I feel Gerry Duggan did some underrated work round Infinity Wars, particularly with Drax, and Al Ewing has been doing every kind of incredible work round Marvel Cosmic, together with his time on the Guardians. I even loved the very temporary try to revive the unique Guardians of the Galaxy from the thirty first century (aspect word: I used to be upset that Sylvester Stallone’s model of Starhawk didn’t share a physique along with his personal step-sister slash ex-wife, with whom he was trapped in a timeloop). However regardless of Marvel’s efforts to align the comedian guide Guardians with the film variations that everybody loses…the Guardians of the Galaxy comedian simply by no means appears to catch on that a lot.

My finest idea for why this may very well be is concerning the star energy. Studying concerning the adventures of Star-Lord is just not the identical as watching Chris Pratt be Chris Pratt. Even when Rocket Raccoon and Groot sound the identical in your head, you may simply be eager for the on-screen charisma of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. I get it.

However man, it is a disgrace. ‘Trigger I really like the Guardians of the Galaxy, in all their weirdness (together with that authentic thirty first century group, ‘trigger man, there’s awesomely bizarre shit in that guide like Dr. Doom making himself immortal by placing his mind within Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton. Oops, spoilers!)

Anyway. There is a new problem of the brand new quantity of the Guardians of the Galaxy comedian guide out this week. I favored the primary one. It’s best to test it out. Possibly this time, it will stick round for some time.

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