Yondu is quite a curious new release from Marvel Comics. It’s by two of the hottest writers at Marvel, features a character that everyone adores thanks to the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and it appears to feature two different Yondu characters who go by the exact same name. If that doesn’t make sense, you probably haven’t read Yondu #1, which is out this week and features a familiar-looking Yondu of the 616 universe as well as the Yondu from the original 1969 comic who happens to live in the 30th century from Earth-691. If you’re confused, don’t be, as this first issue does a good job setting both characters on a course to save countless lives.
As the preview shows, Yondu comes across the fourth most dangerous item in the known universe known as the Herald’s Urn. This serves to give present-day Yondu quite a lot of cash, and boy does he need it. Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson do a great job introducing this pirate-type nobody likes as he backstabs and takes what isn’t his. He effectively has no honor, which is where Yondu of the 30th century comes in. This character is the exact opposite, and it’s fun to see how the creative team has them riff of each other. With the Yondu of today so firmly established in this issue, I can’t wait for more. He’s the embodiment of scum you love to hate. It’s not laid on too thickly, but you actually feel for the bastard. He lives a lonely existence, which we see quite clearly across a few well-timed montages accompanied by well-written captions.
The art by John McCrea with colors by Mike Spicer is grungy, expressive, and detailed in the alien characters and world around Yondu. I reflected more than once how the art style had a graphiti street style that suited the grimy nature of Yondu of the present. On the flip side future, Yondu is clean, calm, and drawn as if god-like in nature. There’s a lot of detail to enjoy while reading this in environments and spaceships too. I found myself lingering on panels longer than usual to take in Yondu’s ship, known as The Blue Moon, or marvel at the angular skyscraper that houses Yondu’s apartment.
As a first issue, there is a lot of promise here, although I did hope there would be more to the villain that’s introduced. There isn’t much there beyond them being a threat. I also found the Yondu meets the Yondu scene a bit short and following a formula one might expect. I’m dying for more of these two interacting and that’s thanks in part to the work done to establish Yondu being such a terrible jerk, but the Yondu of the future remains an enigma. Aside from his religious side and his endearing trust, there isn’t much to go on. Even how he enters the story is a bit confusing and vague.
I liked this first issue thanks to the grungy art and the equally grungy Yondu. This book feels important thanks to the connection to the films, but also a promise for more of this great character as Nadler and Thompson open up the character for many more comic book adventures.
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