Graphic Novel Review: Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Guardians of the Galaxy Reloaded

Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Guardians of the Galaxy Reloaded

Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Guardians of the Galaxy Reloaded - Credit: Archant

More greatest hits from movie stars the Guardians of the Galaxy...

(Panini Books)

Another compendium of stories released as a tie-in with the latest Marvel movie, this follow-up to the first Definitive Guardians offers a look at the team’s disparate characters both as part of the team and in their own solo stories.

As well as filling in on the back stories of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax and Gamora, this also allows for a spectacular journey through the Marvel Age of Comics, with issues taken from across the decades produced by a who’s who of comics talent.

So we see the debut of Groot in a Jack Kirby-crafted issue of Tales to Astonish, the beginnings of Marvel’s cosmic continuity in early adventures of Iron Man and Captain Marvel, and seminal space-faring instalments from Marvel’s black and white magazine line which would have major implications in their colour comics. The mad Titan Thanos is introduced, and subsequently comes into conflict with the Avengers, and the Hulk discovers a world of funny talking animals whose inhabitants include a gun-toting rodent…

Having revealed the early history of the Guardians, we flash forwards to their initial adventures as a team, as written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, before wrapping things up with a selection of instalments from current writer Brian Bendis, but then you can’t have everything I guess. If having his work presented alongside the likes of Jim Starlin, Steve Englehart, Bill Mantlo and D’n’A does anything for Bendis, it’s unfortunately only to highlight his shortcomings as a writer.

That said, this is still a spectacular line-up of stories, as anyone familiar with the Marvel Platinum line has come to expect, offering a diverse selection of strips you’re unlikely to find collected together elsewhere, but also offering a perfect taster volume for new comics fans attracted by the movie series.

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For too long the person responsible for this and other Definitive books has remained largely unacknowledged, when he’s actually putting together some of the most exciting and celebratory Marvel reprint titles ever produced – stand up and take a bow Brady Webb, and keep them coming!