The Splash Page Issue 1: The Guardians Of The Galaxy
By Pete Rogers
In a new segment, we proudly present the splash page. Just like in the pages of your favorite comics, the splash page gives you an action packed, brief glimpse into the world of your favorite heroes and villains. The important bits of information, insight and intrigue will be laid out in an easily digestible format for the rookie comic nerd all the way up to those resembling the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. This week, we take a shot at Marvel’s newest movie team up, the Guardians Of The Galaxy!
First Appearance – Marvel Preview #4
Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, has a history that is bit of a complex web of ret-cons about who his father is and where he came from, but the important thing about Star-Lord is that he is friggin’ awesome. He started out as an orphaned, ex-NASA pilot and eventually became a renegade throw-the-book-out-the-window space cop. He uses both a wide array of futuristic technology and his wits to defeat his enemies. Despite what it might seem on the outside, Star-Lord is more than just an 80’s action moive Stallone or Schwarzenegger clone. His cunning and understand of the world around him allows Peter to maximize his resources and keep people alive, which I feel to be a positive attribute in my heroes.
By now, I imagine most people have seen the lineup for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and that’s where I would recommend starting if you are interested in Star-Lord. Although his older stories do have some intriguing plots about who his father is and battling aliens known as the Badoon, the newer Guardians of the Galaxy title in-which Star-Lord leads the team has a little more for a new fan to latch on to. Here they form a ragtag team of misfits that battle threats that could destroy the galaxy. I think that might be word for word the description of the movie. Oops!
First Appearance – Strange Tales #180
If you like your female leads with a little edge and grit, then look no further than Gamora. Her story starts with the genocide of her entire race of people and Thanos scooping her up to be raised as his padawan assassin. There have been better starts to a person’s life than that one. But like the mighty phoenix Gamora rises from the ashes to trium…wait…what’s this…beaten by thugs…raped…given the six million dollar man treatment to survive the damage. Ok so maybe it hasn’t all been the best for Gamora early on, but that is what actually makes her one of the better characters in the GotG lineup. She is touted as the “Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe”, and her treacherous past combined with her bloodlust for those who destroyed her people, it’s not hard to see why.
Gamora is also a key member of the newest GotG lineup that the movie is being based off, so if you want to see this vixen of vengeance in action, pick up some issues. But most importantly, I have to say the part that is refreshing about Gamora is that despite having some of the seemingly obligatory romantic relationships with her male associates, her love affairs never seem forced or out of place. She is definitely never “the girl” the guy gets at the end of the story to prove he is the hero.
First Appearance - Tales To Astonish #13
Groot in the original comic line was a tree monster who came to Earth to gather up human specimens for his experiments. Then the good people over at Marvel realized that Groot is frickin’ boss and decided to make him a good guy. Imagine the Ents from Lord of the Rings but not boring and not taking 17 hours before they decide to start kicking ass. Even though he can’t say anything more than “I Am Groot”, he still carries a gravitas that the Guardians just can’t do without.
Groot is one of the more creative characters in all of Marvel comics. When someone doesn’t know what to do with a new character they are given powers like flight, super strength, speed, agility, reflexes, etc until the end of time. They hand this stuff out like candy corn at Halloween, but señor Groot has the power of trees! Now that might sound lame, but he is durable in a fight and as long as a piece of him remains he can regrow from a sprig. This makes him tough to take out, and even if you do, who cares cause he just grows a new body. In addition to his physical prowess, due to his ancient nature, he has beyond genius levels of scientific understanding of the universe. So whether it is a galaxy splitting Terrigen Bomb or the plague of the Cancerverse, Groot has always got the teams back.
First Appearance – Marvel Preview #7
Laugh. Go ahead. I’ll wait… Now that we have that out of the way, Rocket is one of the hardest characters for novice comics fan to grasp on to, but once you do, oh baby will you be happy with your decision. Imagine the soul of Han Solo in the body of a genetically modified being designed only for action and adventure. You feel pretty dumb about laughing a minute ago don’t you? It’s ok, I still love you dear reader.
Adding awesome on top of kickassery, Rocket is a master of pretty much every fire arm that ever was or ever will be. His altered genetics also allow him to be a more than competent leader and tactician when the need arises for more delicate measure than a spray of laser death. His history has a bit of a complex back and forth with what was real and what was a mind game by his enemies, but much like the other entries here if you pick up the newest Guardians of the Galaxy title, you will find yourself kinda sorta wanting a raccoon as a pet. But don’t because they’s gots the rabies.
Drax The Destroyer
First Appearance – Iron Man #55
Imagine Liam Neeson from the film Taken, but then pretend his wife and daughter actually were killed. Well now you know what you need to know about Drax The Destroyer.
The fun little tid-bit here is that Thanos (you remember him right?) was the one who gunned down and killed Drax’s family. So you have a team comprised of a man who has sworn he won’t stop until he sees Thanos dead, and a woman who was raised by the big purple guy! No, I don’t mean Barney. Pay attention! To accomplish his task, Drax can fly in space, has enhanced strength and fighting skills and does not require food, sleep, air or water. Simply put, he is the perfect hunter for the baddest baddy in the entire cosmos.
So there you have it folks, the complete 101 on the Guardians of the Galaxy. Now go out and look at a few real splash pages from the comics. Until next time!