Comic Book Review -Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 – The Final Gauntlet

A while back, I reviewed the first issue of Guardians of the Galaxy by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw. I recently completed the first volume of their run. I had this series on my pull list but like other fellow comic readers out there, I quickly fell behind reading it. Guardians of the Galaxy was relaunched AGAIN! I decided to read Cates’ run before diving into the new number one issue.

In The Final Gauntlet, the Guardians of the Galaxy are no more. Drax was killed during the Infinity Wars crossover, Gamora is the most dangerous and most wanted woman in the galaxy, and Rocket Racoon is MIA. Peter and Groot miss the opportunity to attend Thanos’ last will and testament, where a bevy of cosmic heroes and villains are gathered to hear Thanos’ final words. It’s revealed that Thanos has uploaded his consciousness into a new host body. Soon after this is announced, the Black Order attack the gathering and steal Thanos’ body.

Gamora becomes the number one target to Starfox and his ‘Dark Guardians’ (which include Gladiator, Wraith, Nebula, and Cosmic Ghost Rider). Their mission – to find Gamora and kill her. Groot, Peter, and the new members of the Guardians (including Beta Ray Bill, Phyla- Vell, Moondragon and Nova) must find Gamora first and protect her from being killed. It’s a race against time to not only find Gamora but prevent the resurrection of Thanos.

After reading this volume, I thought to myself, this is a perfect story to turn into the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The end of Avengers: Endgame sets up the death of Thanos and the past version of Gamora escaping to parts unknown. Volume 3 of the movie could have one final cameo with Josh Brolin as Thanos and introduce some cosmic characters we long to see on the big screen like Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, and Adam Warlock. Of course, there would have to be some minor tweaks since Batista will be back as Drax, for example.

Donny Cates’ run at Marvel has been hit after hit. He cut his teeth on Thanos and Venom before moving on to the Guardians. He has recently taken the reins of the Mighty Thor from Jason Aaron.

I would like to read Volume Two of Cates’ run before I give a final overall rating on his twelve-issue run. So far, I have enjoyed the new lineup of the Guardians and I am curious to see where exactly Rocket Racoon has been. This first volume is definitely recommended.