Saturday, January 10, 2009

Marvel Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy #3-9 (1976)

I just finished reading Steve Gerber's neat run on Marvel Presents featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy. Gerber's whacked out ideas are here like always. In this run, they fight a frog-shaped cosmic devourer of universes (on the cover to the left), space pirates, and a universe sized humanoid the Topographical Man. TM is so large, there are entire civilizations on his body, and his arms span light-years. So yeah, pretty crazy. One of my favorite bits involved the Guardians teleporting down to a modern-seeming Earth (circa the 70s) filled with crazy aliens. The city is a run-down NYC rampant with crime and unrest. As the Guardians try to replace a part for their starship (the Captain America I) they get into more and more trouble. Eventually they are rescued by nearby aliens who explain that the world they were on is an insane asylum, and that they had developed the NYC environment themselves. The message being, of course, that the insane would come up with NY on their own!

Character-wise, I'm shocked at what a jerk Vance Astro is. He constantly makes fun of his teammates, calling Charlie-27 fat, Yondu a mystic idiot, and Nikki a stupid girl. It does seem he thinks highly of Martinex. In Gerber's last issue, Vance actually blasts Nikki full on because she tries to interrupt one of his tantrums. She responds by kissing him, of course. (Kind of interesting, I wonder how many characters have done what Hank Pym is still villified for in modern comics).

The art on the run is by Al Milgrom with a variety of inkers. I seem to remember Milgrom's later work as being kind of forgettable, but it looks great here. His space stuff especially looks really well done, and I like the feel of his aliens and monsters, they are very Killraven-y. This is a pretty neat run for the Guardians that lasts 3 more issues, but those are written by the newcomer Roger Stern. As Stern is one of my favorites, I'm looking forward to the conclusion.


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