Giving readers a break from the events of “The Black Vortex,” writer Tim Seeley and artists Reilly Brown, Iban Coello and Jacopo Camagni present “Guardians of the Galaxy: Best Story Ever” #1. A bit of a fish tale, this comic sets aside the possibility of crossovers or events and spins around the cosmos a bit.
Seeley’s tale opens in a jail somewhere out in space where Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord are chained to facing walls and bickering like a sitcom odd couple. The notion behind the lock-up becomes apparent pretty quickly, but it doesn’t stop Seeley from having fun with these characters and showcasing the different personalities that make up the team. They’re slightly off from the movie personas, but Seeley (somewhat selectively) brings along some of the comic continuity in a maneuver to hit as wide an audience as possible.
The issue is clearly the printed version of an Infinite Comic, as virtually every page is split across the middle horizontally. With effects and transitions removed, the images from Brown, Coello and Jacopo have to carry the storytelling and project the adventure. Some panels get more playful than others, with the characters taking on a more animated appearance, anatomy or expression. The art team, with Jim Charalampidis on colors, clearly has fun with this assignment and really up their game for Gamora’s version of the tale. Letterer Cory Petit stays on-model for the Guardians’ word balloons, but Rocket’s dialogue caption boxes contain no visual indicator to distinguish them as Rocket, where his word balloons are generally squigglier in other books.
This story has very little relevance in the ongoing concerns of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” comic. As a matter of fact, this adventure could be one of those stories readers try to find again in years to come, having forgotten where it ran but remembering the punchline. For now, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Best Story Ever” #1 is simply cute and sassy and a little funny. Unfortunately, the bar set by the title is still a little ways off, but it isn’t hard to imagine this tale appearing as a Marvel Studios short to update fans on the goings-on of Star-Lord, Rocket, Gamora, Drax and Groot. Most importantly, Seeley proves he has a solid enough grasp on this gang to think about revisiting them. Hopefully, Marvel is paying attention and using this as a tryout book. It’d be nice to get some more variation in story duration and content from the regular series.