All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1
ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 BY CHAD BOWERS, CHRIS SIMS AND DANILO S. BEYRUTH
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
While it isn't much of a tie-in to SECRET EMPIRE, ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 still delivers an emotional yet exciting adventure for the Guardians. The artwork looks great, especially when it comes to alien races and constructs.
89 %
Nonessential Cosmic Fun

ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 is ostensibly a tie-in to the SECRET EMPIRE event. The true heart of the book, though, lies in showing the Guardians in an action packed salvage mission. Writers Chad Bowers and Chris Sims craft an emotional story about a man forced to work with someone he hates. Artist Danilo S. Beyruth also does an excellent job drawing the various alien races and robots the Guardians encounter throughout the issue.

ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1: Quill Versus Chitauri

ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 begins with the Guardians attempting to enlist the aid of various alien species. They need an army to defeat the seemingly endless Chitauri invasion force that continues to descend on Earth. Peter Quill desperately wants to help Earth, but his teammates don’t share that sentiment.

ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 page 4.
ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 page 4. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Bowers and Sims aptly portray Quill’s desire to help mixed with a deep-rooted cynicism. He speaks with the head of the anti-Chitauri forces -– Carol Danvers — about the Guardians’ failure to enlist any aid. Although he wants to help, Quill cynically tells Danvers that absolutely no alien species wants to help Earth. Danvers stays positive, asking Quill just to bring her back something. Bowers and Sims show that Quill cares about his old home world. The constant failures to find help beat him down, though. Quill even considers something he normally never would.

READ: Interested in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY? Here’s our review of the first issue!

A Ravaging Return

Later on, former Guardian of the Galaxy Mantis gives a sliver of hope to Quill. She tells him he must venture to a dangerous nebula to acquire something that can aid the Earth. Only one man can navigate this wild nebula: Yondu Udanta. This Yondu is the ancestor of the Yondu who lives in the 30th century. This movie-inspired version first appeared in Sam Humphries’ STAR-LORD #1 (2016).

Sims and Bowers add a strong emotional core to ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 with Yondu’s inclusion. Yondu, head of the space pirate group called the Ravagers, kidnapped Quill when he was a spacefaring teenager. He eventually allowed Quill to become a member of the Ravagers. Yondu treated Quill like a slave, forcing him to be the Ravagers’ personal janitor. Quill still resents Yondu for this, but he reluctantly teams up with him anyway.

One would expect Quill and Yondu to eventually bond during this team-up. They never do. Yondu only gets more selfish as the issue goes on. Eventually, though, the Guardians reconcile their differences about saving Earth in order to defeat Yondu. Once they defeat Yondu, the Guardians decide to help Quill save Earth by any means necessary, since they’re a family.

All-New GOTG Annual #1 p.10
ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 page 10. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

 

Movie-Inspired Shenanigans

Sims and Bowers skillfully include elements familiar to fans of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY films. They change the elements enough, though, so the books aren’t carbon copies of the movies. For example, in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, Yondu reveals that he didn’t steal Quill so he could have an extra set of hands, [SPOILER] he kept him because he cared about Quill and didn’t want to see him killed.

Meanwhile, in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1, Yondu is an unrepentant jackass. He constantly taunts Quill and threatens to kill him. Yondu eventually captures him in order to sell him to Danvers at a high premium. Quill is right to despise Yondu after how he treated him. Yondu used him as a lowly slave and had no remorse for what he did.

READ: Wanna know what we thought about GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2? Here’s our review!

Strange New Worlds

ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 page 2.
ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 page 2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Beyruth does a great job in portraying both the other-worldliness of the various aliens the Guardians encounter. One of my favorite alien races Beyruth draws in the book is the Makluans, the race of giant space dragons that Fin Fang Foom belongs to. Beyruth draws realistic textures on the Makluans’ hide as well as giving them expressive, Jack Kirby-inspired faces.

Also, on the planet the Guardians land on, Galactus’ former robot servants build a large statue in his honor. Beyruth draws the statue as a large Wicker Man-like monument that was obviously built with salvaged scraps. The detailed patchwork pieces are the best detail of the enormous faux-Galactus.

ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 page 18.
ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 page 18. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

READ: Here’s why we think GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is the perfect sequel!

A Few Flaws in ALL NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1

While I greatly enjoyed the annual, it ultimately did not feel like a story that needed to be told. Without going into spoilers, it ultimately added only a small bit to the ongoing SECRET EMPIRE story arc. It was a fun one-off story with touching emotional beats and exciting art. However, we didn’t end up much further from where we were at the start of the book, though.

Having said that, I would still recommend ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1 to Guardians movie and comic fans. It tells a heartfelt story about a team coming together against one of their members’ most hated enemies. I’d say the book isn’t a must-read for people following along with the SECRET EMPIRE event. If you’re collecting all the issues anyway, though, you won’t be disappointed by the art or the story itself.

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