Between comments from Kevin Feige about bringing Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen and the uber-cool post-Avengers credits reveal, it was clear to me that the franchise is leaning in a deliciously cosmic direction. But I really had no idea just how synergistic (calm down Jack Donaghee) the overall Marvel plan was. Considering what they've done with their films I shouldn't be surprised, but they have given me yet another joyous announcement.
Over at Comic Book Resources, Marvel publishing bigwig Tom Breevort shared some big news. Avengers Assemble, the limited series written by Avengers scribe Brian Michael Bendis in his final year as the architect of that team, as a comic I didn't really consider canon, just a throw away 12 issues meant to pander to the Marvel movie fan who doesn't read comics (but after seeing Joss' fantastic movie wants to start.) They used the cinematic team line-up and brought in some old villains and I just really thought it wouldn't count in the main universe, so I didn't pick it up.
But lo and behold, not only does it count, they are using it as a platform to not only set-up the future plots of the Marvel Avengers movies, but to return the personal favorite characters who recently comprised the cast of the Guardians of The Galaxy.
According to that exciting cover and some of Breevort's quotes, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord is alive and well and apparently now blond (three things that need some 'splainin') While I may have a problem with a teutonic Quill, I won't harp on it since I'm just glad he's still in this universe. Naturally his existence begs the question, where's Nova? If both Thanos (who is the main Big Bad in Avengers Assemble) and Quill survived the implosion/explosion/destruction of the Cancerverse, why didn't Richard Rider? Screw that new Nova who crashed to Earth in AvX, I want my Rich back.
Similarly puzzling is the presence of Drax on the cover, who Thanos atomized in the same adventure that led to Star-Lord and Nova's supposed deaths. Sure as long as Thanos exists, Drax' reason for existing...exists as well. But still, it's not like he's either the Avatar of Life or Death, so how'd he come back from that?
Gamora and Rocket Racoon are ALWAYS a welcome sight, but for some strange reason it seems Bug has turned into a giant praying mantis, rather than say a charming casanova mostly-humanoid with antenna and an insectoid speech impediment. This will doubtless hurt his chances with Mantis who, as a celestial madonna with her own set of antennae, was still a super hot chick.
The article doesn't give away much information. It's mostly Breevort talking about how Bendis never got to do any cosmic Avengers stories, preferring to set them on Earth when he can have the characters chat with each other for 15 pages without incident, and this being his final year he wants to get into all of it. No mention is made of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, to my chagrin, who are responsible not only for creating and brilliantly writing the Guardians of the Galaxy series, but for bringing back Thanos, and making the cosmic Marvel universe--the myriad of races and planets, of conflicts and characters, the revitalization of heroes like Nova and Quill, the return of the Phalanx and Ultron, the newest ridiculously powerful team of the Annihilators--in short about 6 years of truly remarkable exciting enjoyable comics about life beyond Earth in the Marvel U.
I know their sale numbers weren't fantastic, or else they'd still be going on, but they had such critical acclaim and fan support I can't imagine they were all that unpopular. Their cosmic stories where the best books on the stand, and I can only hope that once Bendis has played with some of their toys, and brought them back into the mainstream, DnA will get the reins back and share with us all the fantastic plans that have been simmering in their frontal lobes while they wrote their less-successful Earth-bound superhero stories. (I have some ideas of my own if they want to contact me and brainstorm.) :-)
Mostly I'm just excited the Guardians are coming back. Groot! Vance Astro! Jack Flag! Moondragon! What have these guys been up to? Is Adam Warlock still Magus and alive somewhere? Did Phyla-Vell REALLY die when Thanos woke up? (Cause her pops' is back alive, though possibly temporarily only, and her half-bro is a Young Avenger and there's just so many stories to tell there.) These are things I want to know.
Whether or not I get those answers, major kudos to the Marvel team for bringing these folks back.