I’m a sucker for comic books that take a team and mix up the roster. It’s a quick and easy way to create new character dynamics for the creators to play with. Marvel Comics is doing that doubly so with the new series Asgardians of the Galaxy since they’re not only throwing together a wild bunch of characters but also mixing up the “…of the Galaxy” team too.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Out this Wednesday, writer Cullen Bunn teams up with Matteo Lolli to deliver cosmic level action and craziness. This book feels like it’s taking a big chance with a roster consisting of some of the more obscure characters in the Marvel universe. It also has a purpose, tying into different series like Thor and Infinity Wars.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
At its core, this comic book is about Valkyrie and her dual personality. That’s apparent from the very first page, where we meet Valkyrie’s alternate human persona, Annabelle Riggs. Riggs is an archeologist who was having a nice date on Earth when Angela and The Destroyer show up to kick-start a new mission. What a drag. As the story progresses Bunn plays around with Riggs’ dual personality with Valkyrie while also using Riggs as the perfect surrogate for the reader. No matter how insane the makeup of the team, the battle at hand, or the craziness of the cosmic space drama Riggs is there to ground things.
That isn’t to say the rest of the team doesn’t get plenty of time to shine in the scenes. My personal favorite is Throg, who is so damn nonsensical, yet brings a certain level of fun and charm to the book. All the characters get plenty to do in the big fight scene as well as time to talk in the quieter moments.
Lolli’s art (colors by Federico Blee) plays well with the sci-fi and fantasy sensibilities of the story. It’s detailed enough to keep you engaged with the characters and to keep the action moving forward. There are some fun double page layouts here that play around with big splashy imagery with panels alongside to keep the story rolling too.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a major shift in time that threw me off in this first issue. It’s one of those customary scenes that drop you into action, cuts to scenes prior to show how we got there, and then finishes the action off. As a storytelling method it keeps you engaged, but here it felt slightly confusing. I had to page back and forth to make sure I wasn’t confused and it seemed somewhat unnecessary. Instead of invigorating the story, the comic uses it like a crutch.
Another element that throws you off is how this team was constructed. We learn who, but not really why, and that doesn’t quite jive with why these characters agreed to team up in the first place. It seems like an oversight that would help establish any kind of bond these characters might have with each other. As it stands that’s to be determined, but at face value, it seems like they’re thrust together simply because one character deemed it so and the rest shrugged and went with it.
Is it good?
A good first issue with an interesting cast of characters. This has a fun fantasy vibe with sci-fi sensibilities that should get action adventure fans excited.
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