Guardians of Infinity #1

With a second "Guardians of the Galaxy" film on the horizon, it makes sense Marvel wants to publish as many titles connected to these characters as soon as possible. Enter "Guardians of Infinity," a comic that takes three present-day Guardians characters (all of whom are also in the movie franchise) and team them up with some of the 31st century versions of the team. While this may sound like a lot of fun, this first issue comes across as sluggish.

The entirety of "Guardians of Infinity" #1's main story sets up the team-up; as Groot, Rocket Racoon and Drax investigate a strange object poking through space and time, they encounter the future Guardians and get attacked by a generic group of troops -- and, until the final page, that's it. This is hardly an attention-grabbing start to the series; unless the reader has a deep abiding love for the original (31st century) Guardians, there's very little to grab your attention. The dialogue doesn't stand out, the story is incredibly standard, and there's no urgency. Dan Abnett's previous stories involving the Guardians were a lot more fun and inventive than this, unfortunately.

Carlo Barberi and Walden Wong draw the main feature, and it's perfectly fine, but -- once again -- it doesn't stand out at all. Nothing's particularly special about the fight scenes -- if anything, they're a little muddled -- and the strange construct they're examining is barely even shown to us from the outside. What should be weird and eye-catching is instead little more than a big metal wall. Barberi and Wong draw the characters just fine, but -- with a wow factor missing from the script -- one would have hoped to get it in the art instead.

Jim Cheung and John Dell bring some great art in the backup feature, with the Thing fighting aliens in an arena. Jason Latour's story unfortunately is also lacking any sort of punch -- except for what the Thing does to the aliens -- but at least the aliens look like fun. If nothing else, Cheung drawing "The Golden Girls" entirely out of dogs made me actually laugh out loud for a few seconds. It's hard to keep from feeling this space could have been better used to allow Abnett and Barberi to give us a little more to chew on in the main feature, though.

Based solely on this first issue, "Guardians of Infinity" #1 feels as though Marvel is only trying to get the word "Guardians" on as many trade paperbacks as possible. Maybe things will pick up next month and give us something really memorable; right now, with the exception of the appearance of a new Guardians team from 1000 years in the past, there's nothing quite clicking here, and that's a shame. This should have been much more fun.

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