Comic Book Review – Star Lord #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“It’s not MY fault, I’m stranded on Earth with your STUPID drinking rules!.” Star-Lord

With the trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 both out and a huge success I thought I’d pick up with Peter Quill in the main comics this week. Marvel are starting a new solo run with this Guardian of the Galaxy, bought to us by:

  • Writer – Chip Zdarsky
  • Artist – Kris Anka
  • Colourist – Matthew Wilson
  • Letterer – VC’s Cory Petit
star-lord-cover

Cover by Anka

We pick things up after the events of Civil War 2. It’s not something you need to know the background on fortunately, we do find out early on though that the Guardian’s ship has been wrecked and Peter is stranded on Earth. Which he’s spending his time doing exactly what I plan to on Christmas Day – drinking far too much before lunch. He tries to make the best of things while he’s stuck on Earth by reconnecting with friends and getting out for a bit.

The scope of the comic is small, Star-Lord isn’t adventuring around the universe saving everyone but trying to cope with being bought down to Earth, literally. It doesn’t help that he is not the most popular vigilante amongst Marvel heroes. I wasn’t familiar with Zdarsky or Anka’s work before this comic, however their take on our hero trying to deal with day to day life is a great way to introduce new readers. We’re also treated to a couple of cameos which lighten the overall sombre mood of the comic.

star-lord-interior

Art by Anka, Wilson & Petit

The art at first appears simple but effective, but manages to match the fluctuating mood throughout the comic – light and fun to sombre and tense. The colouring feels very clean as well, Wilson and Anka teaming up to deliver a sense of texture and detail to the panels. Petit keeps the lettering minimalist to allow for broad and colourful scenes throughout the issue. Star-Lord also spends a fair bit of time shirtless if that’s your thing. However, although Anka and Wilson are great with chests, how are they with hands?

Can Anka draw hands? Being critical there are a couple of instances where the hands aren’t quite up to the rest of the art. That isn’t to say they’re bad as such, but simply aren’t quite as good as the rest of the art throughout the issue – one passer by caught in a cross fire and in a guest appearance by Wolverine his claws appearing to come out of his fingers Lady Deathstrike style, 7/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I really dug this as a start to a new series. Focusing on the small stuff and giving us a character in a more relatable environment helps make them more human and gives a surprising weight to the situation when things do go to hell. The writing and art team have also got off to a promising start and I’m looking forward to the rest of the work they can deliver.

Score: 8.75 Sarcastic Voice Messages out of 10

 

Comic Review – Secret Wars #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he reviews of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

This week saw the start of Marvel’s new Secret Wars event, an 8 issue mini series in which the regular Marvel Universe (Earth-616) and the Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610) collide, heralding the end of both worlds and the multiverse itself. Amongst the new tie in series that will be coming up, several comics will revisit old defunct or What if? stories too. Secret Wars is written by Jonathan Hickman, with art from Esad Ribic, colours by Ive Svorcina and letters from Chris Eliopoulos.

“The multiverse is dying. Only two universes remain. Today, Earths collide”

Secret Wars opens in Manhattan on Earth-1610 in the Ultimate Universe, and with the universal incursion imminent Nick Fury and Reed Richards plan to strike first – to save themselves by eliminating the other Earth. Little does Fury know, Richards is working with The Cabal, a group of villains from Earth-616 including Thanos, Namor, Black Swan and Terrax, for some alternate goal. Tony Stark leads the charge, with huge ships appearing above Manhattan in Earth-616. But despite the surprise attack and the firepower, the metahumans of the Marvel Universe start to fight back and win. The X-Men, the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Fantastic Four and an array of other characters slowly destroy the ships. But they also fear the incursion too, and Earth-616 Reed Richards (keep up) and the Fantastic Four have been arranging a ‘Resurrection Ship’ full of scientists to escape the collision of the two worlds, and to rebuild the human race elsewhere. This obviously goes wrong, and plan B seems to be to teleport certain choice heroes into the ship and escape in it. As the worlds collide, the universes glow white-hot and then die, with the final page simply:

The Marvel Universe

1961-2015

The Ultimate Universe

2000-2015

The story continues next week, but it’s a pretty explosive ending. Those who escaped on the ark/resurrection ship will presumably form the main cast of Secret Wars, including Thor, Reed Richards, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Star Lord, but where it will go from here and how it will end up is anyone’s guess. Somehow the universes will be smushed together and we’ll have a new Marvel Universe.

As a first issue this was pretty impressive. What I have read of Hickman’s work on Avengers or Fantastic Four is very much in line with this, if a little more high-concept, but I think that will be played up in the coming issues. This is an action packed introduction to the story (and the FCBD Secret Wars #0 isn’t totally necessary, though it was pretty good). To totally unfairly compare it to the start of DC’s ‘worlds colliding’ story in Convergence a few weeks ago this was a lot more fun and cohesive, but also much harder to follow if you are even a casual reader, let alone using this as a jumping on point. I dabble in Marvel, and currently only follow 3 books regularly, but consider myself to have a basic working knowledge of the universe. This was dense. Though the only thing that didn’t make a huge amount of sense to me is why Fury and Stark from the Ultimate Universe seem to be so easily and totally bent on taking out Earth-616 rather than working together to find a solution like superheroes would.

Ribic’s art was largely very strong, with the actual action and the scale of the attack looking stunning. The only shaky moments in the art were with a few of the faces of various characters, where they didn’t quite look like a face anyone would actually pull, the most obvious of which was She-Hulk about halfway through. But the bulk of the issue looks great, and Svorcina’s colours make the action and all of the many explosions look intense and vibrant.

If you’re a Marvel fan, you’re probably going to check out Secret Wars. This first issue was a lot of fun, the stakes felt high and I’m genuinely interested in where it goes next. If you don’t really follow Marvel at all… this might not make a lot of sense to you, but you may enjoy it anyway! I really did, so I’m going to see what happens to the survivors of the incursion and what sort of universe we’ll end up with at the end. Pick this up at your LCS or digitally!

Score: 8 Incursions out of 10

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 32 – Matt Berry Fancast

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Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we chat about the Fantastic Four and Game of Thrones Season 5 trailers, the new Ghostbusters cast and Chris Evans and Chris Pratt being generally nice chaps, while Gary makes awful puns and Adam talks about the Superbowl with all the clarity and understanding of someone that recently crawled out of a serious collision with a wall.

Short episode this week, because we forgot to set up any of our features! Weekly Argument, Gary in 60 Seconds and Main Talking Point will all be back next time!

If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions on anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.


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