WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
As a person who has never even heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy, I can safely say that, after reading this issue, I feel like I've known them for years. Brian Michael Bendis has always been one of the best writers at Marvel, and he proves that he still is with this issue. The comic opens with a romantic story between Meredith and J'Son. The story soon cuts forward about 10 years after Meredith is revealed to be pregnant, and J'Son has left her. Their child is called Peter, who later becomes Star-Lord. As a kid in middle school, Peter is fun to read about and is quite realistic compared to how other writers portray this time in a kid's life. In addition to this, he has a realistic, and completely relatable, personality as a grumpy teenage boy who can't seem to connect with his mother in light of the mystery surrounding his father's whereabouts. The mood of the book drastically changes as aliens from Spartax, J'Son's home planet, come crashing through the door and kill Meredith. The teenage Star-Lord turns out to be quite the badass when he grabs a double-barrel shotgun and kills both the aliens in one shot. After his house is destroyed, the original story ends and cuts to Star-Lord as an adult having a drink with Iron Man and the rest of his crew. After Star-Lord explains that he wants to find out about the mystery behind his father's identity, the issue ends with their spaceship flying off into the cosmos, searching for adventure. The story in this issue is nearly flawless. Bendis tells a deep and emotional origin story that hooked me from the very beginning. The dialogue between Meredith and J'Son was realistically written considering both of them are from different planets. As a teenage kid in high school, I can kind of relate to Star-Lord's school life, and after the surprise moment of Meredith's death, I couldn't stop reading. With all that being said, my favorite part of this issue was probably when Star-Lord makes his transition to an adult in outer space. It's interesting to see how he reacted to his past and what he is doing about it. The issue ends on a great note making me want to come back for more.
In addition to its great story, Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 has some of the best art I've ever seen. This isn't a particularly bold statement considering I've only been reading comics for a short while, but I think you'll agree with me that the art is pretty gorgeous. Steve McNiven's pencils are easy to follow and fitting to the story. In addition to the pencils, Justin Ponsor's colors are what really make this book standout. He composes every scene, from the romantic bonds by the fireplace, to the exchange in dialogue between Star-Lord and Iron Man, magnificently. To me, McNiven and Ponsor make me care about the characters even more than Bendis did with his writing, and that's something that I have never experienced before.
Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 is most likely my favorite comic of the month. From the spectacular cover to the great writing, the team of creators behind this book have created a bold new series that everyone should be reading, and the best part about it: This was only the backup story.
+ A gripping origin story that instantly makes me care about the characters.
+ Star-Lord coming of age and explaining his purpose in this series.
+ Flawless art that captures my attention from the beginning.
+ Reaches perfection within the first issue of the series.