Guardians Team-Up #1 (Marvel)


CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 3.5/5 – I’ll Come Back for Art Adams’ Pencils, Not Bendis’ story.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas

Guardians of the Galaxy popularity is at an all-time high after the movie premiered last year. Marvel is capitalizing on that popularity with a slew of titles that keep on coming. We now have the Guardians of the Galaxy main title, Legendary Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, a just announced Groot series (which should be light on dialogue from the lead) and now Guardians Team-Up, with the popular space faring team co-starring with other Marvel characters. This first of a two-part story line is written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by the legendary Art Adams as the Guardians meet the Avengers. So does this first issue do enough to warrant a fifth title starring some or all of the GOTG cast? My answer is maybe.

Any time I see Art Adams on art it’s usually a must buy. This first issue is one of those must buys because of Adams, but his art isn’t as clean as I’ve been used to in the past since his pencils lack an inker. For the most part the art is fantastic, but there are certain panels where his pencils look muddied and off. Rocket Raccoon’s fur for example loses a lot of detail when Adams is penciling so much on the page, and whenever Adams shadows larger parts of backgrounds and characters, the pencil lines that are used for the blacks just don’t look as crisp as I’m used to. All that being said it’s still Art Adams and there are pages in this issue that left me smiling from ear to ear, much like a one-third of the page size panel that has Hawkeye grinning after taking down a Chitauri warship. The art is fun and there are memorable scenes throughout like the one mentioned above, as well as a full page splash that’s almost a reverse of the striking cover with the Avengers descending upon the Guardians amidst the rubble of their crashed ship.

Storywise, it’s clear that Bendis had Adams in mind when he wrote this story. As the Guardians enter Earth’s atmosphere they’re immediately attacked by a Chitauri warship for reasons that aren’t clear until the last page. After a failed attempt to save their ship, they crash land in New York and along come the Avengers to investigate. The rest of the issue has the Avengers and Guardians “teaming up” to stop the Chitauri. It’s a simple set up that will hopefully add some more depth in the next issue, but the simple story allows Adams to let loose by drawing a huge cast of characters.

The story isn’t the reason to pick this issue up,  Adams’ art is. The Guardians crash into Earth, the Avengers investigate, and a team-up ensues. Simple.  Although there’s not much depth, Art Adams still makes the story fun with his trademark style and ability to pack the page while never making it feel crowded. With a rotating cast of characters and creative teams, this series may not be a must-have monthly pull, being instead a title you jump in and out of depending on the creative teams and characters involved. Although Bendis’ writing didn’t make me eager to come back for the next issue, Adams’ pencils most certainly did.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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