Padding the Pull List: Get to know the Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Padding the Pull List is a monthly feature where Alan Smodic recommends which comics you should be adding to your regular reading list.

(Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven)

It may not be a new title, but I have to lead off this installment of Padding the Pull List with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Marvel made a massive push at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con to promote the names of the Guardians a little more. With the movie slated to hit the big screen next August, the company is busy trying to familiarize the general public with these cosmic characters as much as possible.

Having basically zero knowledge of the Guardians before the movie announcement, I like to think that I’m in Marvel’s key target audience for their latest ongoing adventures. Sure, Marvel would love to reintroduce old fans to an updated version of the cast, but it’s new readers they’re after here.

A brief synopsis for anyone who hasn’t heard of this team: The roster includes Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot and Rocket Raccoon. Together they form the Guardians of the Galaxy, which essentially means they are the Avengers of outer space.

In Marvel’s current title, penned by veteran Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers, New Avengers, All New X-Men), we’re first presented with the origin story of Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. Then the real fun begins when the Guardians are joined by a well-known presence, Iron Man, as he eases the storytelling into new worlds and characters. For me, Tony Stark has been a welcomed addition to the lineup, most notably for his back-and-forth with Rocket Raccoon on how out-of-date the Earth’s technology is compared to that of the Guardians’.

With Steve McNiven doing the penciling, the art is solid, as you’d expect from a top-shelf Marvel NOW book. But it’s Bendis’s dialogue that is really driving things home to the reader. You’ll laugh while reading, which is always welcome.

My only gripe thus far is that I hope the long-term plan isn’t to have Iron Man around as a fixture, because I’d love to see the actual crew break off and do its own thing. It’s fine for now, but the potential is much greater to launch the team as major heroes on their own.

Guardians of the Galaxy recently released its first trade, Cosmic Avengers, and has continued monthly with issue 6 reaching comic shops on July 31.

If you’re looking for something a little different or just want to get to know these characters a bit before the movie hits, I can’t recommend this enough. It’s been a fun read thus far, one that will leave you wanting more of Rocket Raccoon.

(Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples)

I’ve already filled you in on this and plenty others have recently offered their reasons as to why you should be reading Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’s masterpiece.

Put simply, it’s the best ongoing title out today.

Wednesday marked the return of single issues for Saga, so if you’ve been a trade reader now is the time to give your shop a call and get this added to your pull. Even if you prefer to read all at once, the added content in Vaughan’s letters column is enough to justify the expenditure. Plus, just owning pieces of what is sure to be a lengthy series is a must for any collector.