Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (Writers), Paul Pelletier (Pencils), Rick Magyar (Inker), and Guru FX (Colorist)

I picked up the first three issues of this series within the last week because I just had to see for myself whether or not it was deserving of the strong reviews it had been getting. As it turns out, Guardians of the Galaxy is more than deserving of all the critical acclaim. While I have never really been a fan of heavy science fiction and have very little familiarity with the cosmic characters of the Marvel Universe, I was instantly hooked after reading the first issue. Tight storytelling, great characters/team banter, and gorgeous artwork is what makes Guardians a fantastic read and that excellence continues in the start of what looks to be a memorable Secret Invasion tie-in.

The most impressive thing about the story is that it ties into all the main themes of Secret Invasion without feeling forced in any way. In fact, the invasion paranoia is a natural outcome considering the nature of the characters, how the team came together, and the strange appearance of Major Victory. In order to avoid spoilers let me just say that tensions run high when an explosion rocks Knowhere to its very core. This event brings out the worst in all of its inhabitants and the Guardians find themselves subject to internal and external paranoia.

It has all been said before, so I’ll keep this short. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are absolutely incredible writers. They have a firm grasp on how to make the team dynamic work while allowing each member a chance to shine and even manage to keep the peripheral characters just as important as the main characters. Their overall plot seamlessly fits into the Marvel’s big event while also managing to give hints as to where things may go once the invasion is contained.

As for the artwork, I have nothing negative to say. The book looks absolutely fantastic in every way. The characters look great, the action is well choreographed, the colors pop, and everything flows just as it should. I wish all books could look this good.

If you aren’t reading Guardians of the Galaxy yet, (but are following the Invasion) now is the time to get a taste of the awesome that is Rocket Raccoon and the gang. I highly recommend tracking down the first three issues if at all possible, but if the search is unsuccessful the summary page does a nice job getting the reader up to speed. So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself caught up and jump on board this incredibly entertaining series. (Grade: A+)

-Kyle Posluszny

A Second Opinion

I think Kyle’s grade might reflect his feelings of the series more than the issue by itself. While I enjoyed this story quite a bit, I feel it’s the weakest offering so far. There’s nothing bad about this issue, per se, it just failed to wow me. This is most likely due to me being spoiled with the team’s constant dealings with galaxy shaking events (Annihilation, those crazy fissures, etc).Here, they’re confined to the Knowhere and other than the constant back and forth between Rocket Racoon and Cosmo, I didn’t find much more to get excited about.The bomb Starlord drops at the end is definitely a big one, and with Drax pissed off you know things are about to hit the fan. This is one of those story arcs that’ll let things stew before coming to a full boil. And I can already feel the heat. (Grade: B+)

– J. Montes