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Book Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy: Creating Marvel’s Spacefaring Super Heroes: The Complete Comics History
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Guardians of the Galaxy: Creating Marvel’s Spacefaring Super Heroes: The Complete Comics History
Hardcover
Written by Mark Sumerak
Publisher: Insight Editions Insight Editions
Release Date: April 4, 2017

With this week seeing the release of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 in theaters, it seems prudent that I throw a little love towards the franchise by presenting to you Guardians of the Galaxy: Creating Marvel’s Spacefaring Super Heroes: The Complete Comics History.

With almost fifty years of history to draw from this oversized, nay…massive tome explores the various incarnations of the rag-tag universe-saving group of misfits that seem to have finally gotten the love and respect they’ve deserved for decades.

The group known as the Guardians of the Galaxy were previously a little-known band of heroes and anti-heroes that adventured throughout the universe saving existence time and again. The Guardians you know today are completely different from the original team of the same name, created in 1969. And while you may not be well-versed going in, author Mark Sumerak does a spectacular job of detailing the different lineups both in the comic and of the creative teams that put imagination to paper. Containing interviews, excerpts, artwork, and character backgrounds, this compilation is in every way an encyclopedia of the first order.

To be honest, I was ignorant of the details of the first group of Guardians. Charlie-27, Martinex T’Naga, Yondu Udonta, and Major Vance Astro were not part of my fairly comprehensive comic book knowledge. But as fate would have it, I was quickly immersed into it thanks entirely to this compendium. As more characters are added or replaced, a particular theme becomes obvious. This series is about family. In many cases, our heroes are the last of their kind or think they are, finding a home while feeling loneliness of epic proportions is no easy task. But against all odds, the Guardians manage to accomplish that, all the while saving us all from certain death and destruction. Another interesting side note here is that the original group actually existed in the future, the thirty-first century to be specific.

A decade later saw the return of this motley crew, still in the future but in a future that found them more in the role of explorers as opposed to warriors. Using the concept of cyclical history, the series mimicked to some extent the goings on in the twentieth century. Another interesting feature of this second series was the integration of the more immortalized mantles like the Sorcerer Supreme, Spirit of Vengeance, and even the Phoenix! By exploring these powers with new characters, it allowed another layer of continuity to be applied to the team. This, no doubt, engaged readers and made it easier to bring new ones on board.

As the years went by, more and more crossovers occurred, allowing writers the chance to explore newer Guardians including the ones modern moviegoers are so excited to see on the big screen. Coming from a variety of sources, the modern Guardians were given a bit more latitude and continuity within the modern age comics. As a matter of fact, a character from another comic company was acquired and inserted into the group. How often does that happen, you know? Even former villains turned heroes were drafted for various lineups. The Avengers, Fantastic Four, even various mutant comics are mixed into this new worldview that aligns a lot of the stories with the contemporary plots.

It would be a horrible oversight on my part if I failed to mention the crazy amount of art that this book contains. With oversized covers from issues throughout the nearly half a century of Guardians comics that are suitable for framing, it would not surprise me to find out that someone has taken one of these apart just for the badass paintings and drawings. The tome itself is 180 pages of art and literature that is a feast for the eyes and the mind. And while I would personally balk at the idea of disassembling this book, I can see where it would be enticing to some to have it hanging on their walls.

I seriously cannot even begin to explain it all, but luckily we have this book for that purpose. Gamora, Drax, Groot, Rocket, and Star-Lord all have a part to play in this well-detailed space opera known as Guardians of the Galaxy. You don’t have to be a comic fan to enjoy this book but it certainly doesn’t hurt. I encourage you to seek this out and bone up on some history from the Marvel Universe, especially if you love beautiful artwork. Enjoy!

Explore the greatest art from five decades of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy comics with this deluxe art book.

The Guardians of the Galaxy made their first appearance in the pages of Marvel Super-Heroes back in 1969, and while the team’s lineup has changed significantly over the years, its popularity with fans has continued to grow and grow. This deluxe book delves into the creation and evolution of the Guardians through exclusive interviews with the people who brought them to life, including writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and artists Al Milgrom, Valerio Schiti, and Skottie Young. Filled with incredible art from nearly fifty years of comics, Guardians of the Galaxy: Creating Marvel’s Spacefaring Super Heroes is the best way to experience the zany creativity and dynamic artistic talent behind fan-favorite characters such as Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Creating Marvel's Spacefaring Super Heroes: The Complete Comics History book cover

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