REVIEW: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Annual,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

guardians of the galaxy annual - But Why Tho

Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Al Ewing and Jed Mackay, art by Flaviano and Juan Ferreyra, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, with letters by Joe Caramagna and Corey Petit. The Infinite Destinies continues to expand beyond the Earth as we find Hercules sitting down at a small watering hole in the depths of space preparing to enjoy a quiet evening when trouble falls right in his lap. Well, technically next to him, but you get my drift.

We sometimes get so accustomed to our own circles of the comic book industry that it is easy to forget just how big it is or how rapidly the characters it contains can change. I got reminded of this as I jumped into Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 to find a very different Hercules somewhere I did not expect to find him. Having never seen him in any guise other than his classic green ancient Greek outfit, the far more sci-fi look he bears here is certainly a change. And he doesn’t drink anymore? I mean, good for him, alcohol never agreed with the guy, but it was still just one in a series of surprises that awaited me. And even beyond the new look and location of this classic Marvel character, plenty more surprises were awaiting me in this humor-filled story.

The problem that so audaciously interrupts the Prince of Power’s drink is, awkwardly enough, another individual styling himself the Prince of Power. As the newcomer’s pursuers enter the bar, Hercules must aid the stranger in protecting the establishment from the attack. While they fend off the attackers, Hercules has his new companion explain to him where he came from, and how he came across his power. This is the crux of Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1. And it is hilarious.

I’m loathed to give any details away as to spoil a single joke. Suffice it to say this character’s back story provides one of the most hysterically pointed spoofings I’ve ever read. I’ve read several stories recently by Ewing and was already convinced the writer was a talented storyteller, but I had no idea that so much comedy would also be in the cards from this author.

The art throughout this story also builds on the lighthearted energy and riotous humor of Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1. Between Flaviano’s excellent lines and Rosenberg’s bright vibrant colors, the art delivers the over-the-top nature of the narrative perfectly. Wrapping up this story’s presentation is Petit’s letters. Petit utilizes big bold fonts throughout this story, delivering the energy that is found throughout the art to the reader through the words as well.

As with all the Infinite Destinies stories, Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 ends with another piece of Fury’s ongoing story. Here we see what has become of the spymaster after his initial run-in with Nighthawk. Mackay does a good job of delivering a fair amount of content within the short time frame this secondary piece has in this issue.

Ferreyra delivers some strong art for this story as well. There is even a rather unique layout for a double-page spread that, while momentarily confusing, delivers a visual style that makes it worth having to take a moment to figure out where to read next. Finally, we have Caramagna’s lettering. The letterer delivers this story well, guiding the reader through the unique layouts of the story as well as anyone realistically could.

When all is said and done, Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 brings a fantastic, light-hearted tale at its center, and follows it up with a strong secondary piece that continues the connective tissue of the Infinite Destinies one-shots.

Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1
4

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 brings a fantastic, light-hearted tale at its center, and follows it up with a strong secondary piece that continues the connective tissue of the Infinite Destinies one-shots.