Asgardians of the Galaxy #1

Angela is a strange character. Not strange in a bad way — I honestly love Aldrif Odinsdottir. But, as a character who jumped from Image comics to Marvel comics and then suddenly became Thor’s long-lost sister, “strange” is putting it nicely. Since her introduction to Marvel, Angela’s starred in three solo miniseries that have helped readers become familiar with the character. With ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1, Angela gets to lead her own team for the first time thanks to writer Cullen Bunn and artists Matteo Lolli and Federico Blee. But, with a character as strange as Angela, is that really a good thing? At the moment, I’m undecided.

ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Cosmic Battles and Warrior Women

If you’re like me and you haven’t read the huge INFINITY WARS crossover event, don’t immediately disregard ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1. Although it announces it’s connection to the crossover on the cover, you don’t necessarily need to read INFINITY WARS to enjoy it. Honestly, if you saw AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (which, if you’re human you most likely did), then you have enough prior knowledge.

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The series starts off with Angela collecting a team of superpowered Asgardians to fight a cosmic war against Nebula — the granddaughter of Thanos. Valkyrie, Skurge, and Thorg are a few of the heavy hitters on this Nordic band of misfits. Without getting into too many details, most of this issue is a long fight scene. Bunn definitely emphasizes the fact that this team is all about the battlefield. With a team leader like Angela, who’s much better with axes than words, I’m honestly not surprised.

Where’s Sera?

ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

If you read ANGELA: QUEEN OF HEL, you’re probably wondering where Angela’s girlfriend Sera is. In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #18, we saw Sera randomly disappear under suspicious circumstances. But strangely enough, we never saw Angela try and find her — even though Angela rescued Sera from Hel. She’d do anything for her…so where is she now?

Without Sera and her prolific wit, Angela’s character falls a little flat. Throughout her solo series, Angela always had Sera sort of narrating what she was doing. Together, the two made an amazing and entertaining team. But, in ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1, readers are really shut out of Angela’s thoughts. Angela is a quiet character, who’s all action and no words. A character like that needs a character like Sera to balance things out. Without her, I’m not sure how good of a leader Angela will be.

Return of (Kid) Loki

The biggest shock during this issue for me was the reappearance of Kid Loki. I’m sure everyone who saw adult Loki kill his younger self is also a little surprised by this development. He’s supposed to have never really existed, right? How does someone come back from never existing?

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Regardless, I still think the inclusion of Kid Loki on the ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY roster could be really beneficial to the series. Aside from the Annabelle Riggs, there isn’t anyone with a lot of book smarts. Or tactical smarts. Or any smarts beyond smiting people with swords and axes. As conniving as he is, Kid Loki could add that edge that this series needs.

Fine Lines

ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 has some problems that Bunn will definitely need to sort out in the future. The heavy emphasis on action over characterization is okay for a single issue, but readers will want more out of the series in the future. What they won’t be asking for, however, is good art. Matteo Lolli and Federico Blee do a fantastic job capturing what could have been a very confusing fight scene. Blee’s palette is appropriately colorful and cosmic while Lolli’s linework is both realistic and stylized.

My biggest issue with the art is probably the character redesigns. Nebula and Skurge look too much like their MCU counterparts for comfort. For some readers, that may be a good thing, but for me personally, I find it a little creepy.

ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Final Thoughts on ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1

As a big fan of Angela’s character, I feel a little biased in my review of this first issue. She’s a kickass character, and she’s always fun to read. However, at the moment, this isn’t my favorite incarnation of her. Without Sera voicing Angela’s thoughts for us, she’s too much of a closed book. It doesn’t help that most of this issue was straight action. Kid Loki could definitely change things in the future, but at the moment I’m slightly underwhelmed. For next month’s issue, I hope Bunn really digs into the characters and gives them more to say than the predictable, “For Asgard!”

ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 by Cullen Bunn, Matteo Lolli, and Federico Blee
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Bunn gives us exactly what we might expect from an Asgardian team of superheroes: tons of action. A long, cosmic battle takes up most of this issue, leaving little time for character development. I hope future issues give characters like Valkyrie and Angela a little more in-depth panel-time -- beyond just throwing axes.
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Onto the Battlefield
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