With trailers and commercials for the upcoming movie lighting up screens and merchandise popping up everywhere, comic fans are getting “Guardians of the Galaxy” fever all over the place. Being astute entrepreneurs, Marvel Comics is ratcheting up the “Guardians of the Galaxy” content available on comic book shelves. This past week, the publisher announced “Guardians 3000” coming in the fall and hit the new comic racks with two solo Guardians titles. “Legendary Star-Lord” #1 rockets onto shelves with a story from Sam Humphries, art from Paco Medina on pencils and Juan Vlasco on inks, colors from David Curiel and lettering from Joe Caramagna.
On the surface, “Legendary Star-Lord” #1 looks like a one-shot, but Humphries throws in an eyebrow-raising surprise on the final page that Medina puts together in a manner that seems at least somewhat inspired by Mike Wieringo. Don’t get me wrong, Medina is a very different artist than the late, great Wieringo, but the outfit and pose Captain Victoria displays on that page really seem like something Wieringo would have designed. Medina doesn’t stop (or start, for that matter) with that final page. Readers who have seen his work on “Nova” know what to expect from him and he delivers throughout “Legendary Star-Lord” #1: vivacious characters with a fun range of expressions and movements. Medina gets an assist in invigorating the characters as Vlasco locks in solid areas of black, teasing out leads and cross-hatches that add texture to Medina’s drawings and contour to Curiel’s colors. Curiel does a fantastic job playing with the expanses of space and gives readers more visual spectacles to consume than simple star-filled black skies. The colorist does more than just make space pretty — he adds atmosphere and effects, from the hues thrown through the Mandalay crystal to the glowing initiation of Star-Lord’s mask. Additionally, Caramagna’s efficiency and placement enhances the adventure without distracting from the stunning art; all the while doing a rock-solid job of communicating emphasis. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Badoon get a font of their own (much like the Asgardians) since the Badoon keep recurring throughout the galaxy.
“Legendary Star-Lord” #1 includes a flashback to a graveside conversation between Peter Quill and Father James with some final advice from Quill’s mother. On her gravestone, Humphries and Medina have collaborated to tell Quill and readers, “Aim for a high mark and you will hit it.” By adding in the pair of flashback pages, Humphries shows readers the introspective nature Quill fights hard to cover up as he seeks out adventure and action to avoid loneliness and isolation. Humphries’ interpretation of Peter Quill is a charming gambler, never too concerned about himself to do the right thing. Quill has been a placeholder in other books, but here, under the spotlight, Humphries is ready to let Star-Lord shine.
“Legendary Star-Lord” #1 is a solid first offering that does a great job of maintaining the readers’ attention without overwhelming newer readers or pandering to long-time fans. It’s always fun to see a popular character get a chance to shine and Star-Lord is definitely shining brightly. Humphries sets up some challenges for months to come, but in this debut, the entire creative team shows off their individual skills, giving readers a comic book to be treasured and shared. “Legendary Star-Lord” #1 isn’t going to revolutionize anything about the comic book industry, but it is exactly the type of fun-loving adventure filled with gorgeous art that readers look for.