Asgardians of the Galaxy #1

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Matteo Lolli
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Dale Keown
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Nico Sprezzatura

This week’s Asgardians of the Galaxy #1 poses the question, “Can some funny wordplay sustain an entire series?” And to that, I say… possibly!

As you probably gleamed from the title, Asgardians of the Galaxy is a play on Asgard, the home of Thor & Co., and Guardians of the Galaxy, the team of galactic rogues setting out to do some good in the cosmos. Put them together, and… you get the picture. But jokes aside, how does this introductory issue fare as a reading experience? Does its actual contents justify its existence? And most important of all, is the world ready for another round of Throg, the Frog of Thunder?

Technically (barely) a spinoff of the current event series Infinity Wars, Asgardians of the Galaxy is notable for the return of Angela —warrior angel of Heven, not-so-secretly-anymore illegitimate half-sister of Thor— in a leading role. For reasons unknown at the start of the issue, she’s put together a team of fellow Asgardians (the aforementioned Throg, Skurge, Valkyrie, Thunderstrike, and an unknown wielder of The Destroyer armor) who find themselves squaring off against none other than Nebula, who stands between Angela and her desired goal. Naturally, she’s not going to take “no” for an answer.

As a character who’s already been a Guardian (of the Galaxy) before, it makes sense for Angela to be the team leader, plus it’s just good to see her actually doing something again. This is especially true when you consider the fate of her girlfriend Sera, who mysteriously vanished towards the end of Brian Michael Bendis’ Guardians run. While Angela’s goal isn’t revealed by the end of this issue, it’s pretty easy to imagine that it has something to do with Sera, because what else would she want this badly?

(The identity of The Destroyer is revealed by the end, however, and while it’s already been spoiled by several major outlets, I’ll leave that for you to discover on your own.)

All things considered, writer Cullen Bunn does an admirable job of making a concept seemingly conceived as a pun work on its own merit. Asgardians of the Galaxy #1 is also impressively economic in its pacing and structure. While other team-based books often suffer from spending too much of their initial (and sometimes only) arc bringing the band together, the last member of the Asgardians who hasn’t yet been recruited by the issue’s start is Valkyrie — or, technically, archaeologist Annabelle Riggs, with whom Val shares a body. It’s a long story, and more or less a riff on the “secret identity” trope, but instead of a superhero pretending to be a different person by day, Valkyrie is literally a different person by day. That about sums it up.

Matteo Lolli’s art captures the kind of extravagant, cosmic flair you would expect from a book about Marvel’s preeminent alien Vikings. It’s action-packed, colorful (courtesy of Federico Blee), and easy to follow, which is really all you can ask for in times like these. For me, anyway, Lolli’s art here is a major hook for the series, since I’m not super into Asgard-adjacent stories. But with Angela, Nebula, and the iconic Throg involved, I’m definitely interested in seeing more.

The Verdict: Buy it.

Like Asgardian characters? Like Guardians of the Galaxy? If the answer is yes to both, then Asgardians of the Galaxy #1 is probably right up your alley.

Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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