Marvel Comics 2020
Written by Al Ewing
Illustrated by Juann Cabal
Coloured by Federico Blee
Lettered by VC's Cory Petit
The gods of Olympus have returned! However, their resurrection has left them war-hungry, and their path of destruction has led Richard Rider, A.K.A. Nova, to seek help from the Guardians. Although Gamora turned him away, Star-Lord and Rocket Racoon snuck away to join Nova, Phyla-Vell, Moondragon and Marvel Boy on a stealth mission to Olympus. But when Moondragon's psychic shielding failed, the Olympians launched a counter-attack. Desperate and on the ropes, the Guardians may be able to turn the tides with help of a surprising new ally.......
The last page of the first issue showed us who that surprising ally is and I am thrilled beyond belief to see Hercules! I'll be honest I had no real intention of reading this but when I saw the blank cover at the shop I picked it up and read and was pleasantly surprised and happy. I mean I love Moondragon, always have since her Avengers days, so that was another incentive for me. Then Hercules shows up and well I am not going anywhere. Considering he has a history with Rocket and is no stranger to space I am hoping he stays in this book for quite some time to come. Also it sure as hell doesn't hurt that Al's writing this because I am a fan of his work.
I am enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. I like how the bits and pieces are told but the bigger picture still isn't complete and this is how Al engages the readers' minds so that they try to find those missing pieces. It is really rather well done in my humble opinion. The character development we see is fantastic. While we know how most of them behave and have an idea of how they act the circumstances and situations the find themselves in continually make the grow and evolve. Then there's Marvel Boy he's the only enigma for me, I'd like it better if the original or whichever one Vance was be here. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way it helps to create this really strong and interesting ebb & flow to the story.
I am absolutely love the work on the interiors here! The linework is phenomenal and to see these nice strong clean lines and their varying weights being utilised to showcase this awesome attention to detail is stunning. The little things go a long way and a great example of this is on the first page when we see those lines in Marvel Boy's hair so you see the effect of the clippers or buzz cut on the side. The way we see faces and facial expressions not to mention body language really help further the characterisation and honestly they are just exquisitely rendered. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a stellar eye for storytelling. The colour work is magic pure and simple. The way the colours are rendered with their hues and tones creating space, power effects, you name it is completely and utterly captivating, mesmerising and enthralling.
I love the idea that an event like this could bring together a new team and without having it take up the entire Marvel U. while I realise it's impossible I want to keep this title as far away from crossovers as possible, they just muck things up. So far the direction of the book and how the characters are coming together is spectacularly well one. There is this fresh and exciting feel to the book and that totally bleeds into the reader.