Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude Infinite Comic #1

Picking up from the post-credits teaser tagged on to "Thor: The Dark World," the latest Infinite Comic offering from Marvel brings readers a "Guardians of the Galaxy" story that begins to connect some dots in the cinematic universe. Moviegoers already met Taneleer Tivan, also known as the Collector, when he accepted a delivery from Volstagg and Sif, but writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning provide a peek into the Collector's world following that teaser.

In the course of this story, the writers guide readers to Conjunction to meet Gamora, who really is the star of this installment. It's nice to see Knowhere a bit more and to survey portions of the Collector's loot, but the highlight of the tale is Gamora's stunning ability to disarm the competition. Literally. The push with the Guardians of late has been to make Gamora "the most dangerous woman in the galaxy," but I'd argue she might very well be the most dangerous person in the galaxy. Her lack of emotion and surgical precision cutting through her opposition is revelatory, even if that competition is remarkably non-descript.

Andrea Di Vito's artwork is better than pedestrian, but falls short of making the characters or settings in sparkle within the confines of this single Infinite Comic. The Infinite Comic format itself is hardly exploited. The transitions are little more than disappearing word balloons and panel overlays. One character does close her eyes following a screen swipe. There aren't any flashy scene changes or lighting shifts, just something slightly different than the digital guided view. Laura Villari's colors are bold and bright, working well for the story without overwhelming it. The colors don't infect the tale with emotion, but the story itself is less about emotion and more about action and character introduction.

While it doesn't openly spoil anything from the upcoming movie, it does flaunt the cards being held in the movie's hand quite a bit. Lanning, Abnett and Di Vito insert enough into this comic to send readers and fans of the Marvel cinematic universe into an absolute frenzy, jumping at characters, locations and concepts as they try to suss out the plot of the film months before it breaks. Or, they could simply choose to enjoy an introduction to Gamora as the outreaches of the Marvel Universe begin to take shape. This isn't a must-read by any measure, but it is a pleasantly informative tale from the writing duo that elevated the cast of characters to be featured in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie this August.

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