Monday, May 29, 2017

Star-Lord Annual #1 Review - Marvel Monday

The Man in Tan

Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Djibril Morissette, Mat Lopes and Cory Petit
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 24, 2017

It's an odd thing to jump into a book right at the end, but Weird Science has never been know to do anything the smart way.  Jesus, just look at the length of our podcast!  Besides stupidity, I have enjoyed Chip Zdarsky's run on Star-Lord and while it's a shame it is ending, at least he is getting the opportunity to go out in style.  Actually, I should say "stylish" because this is not a typical end to a series. It fits because Zdarsky is not a typical writer.  So, does all this add up to a proper sendoff to a book that should have been given more of a chance?  Let's see...

The issue opens up by getting readers up to speed with the messed up recent events of Peter Quill's life. Again, it might be odd for anyone to jump in for the final chapter of this short-lived series, but Chip Zdarsky makes it pretty easy and spoiler's well worth it.  Peter crashes on an unknown planet and when he wakes up, he finds him self smack dab in the middle of a classic western mirroring the Magnificent Seven, Unforgiven and a handful of others.  Believe me though, this isn't just a rehash, but more of a broad range homage.

After waking up from the crash, Peter meets the doctor/sheriff who saved him.  We then get a walking tour of the town. meet some of it's residents and pretty much see that everything is pretty simple in this "town with no name".  That is until things go wrong in a very appropriate way.

It seems that the town has their own version of Hopper from Bug's Life (hey, the reference works!) named Greylight and he's come to "negotiate a loan".  Yea, he's holding the town hostage and you just know that Star-Lord will have something to say about that!

He does, but Greylight knows exactly who he is (Peter's dream, right?) and proceeds to knock him out with ease.  After waking up (again!), Peter becomes the town's deputy, gives them water with his element gun and finds out he probably will be on this backwoods planet for a while.  It's then off to do some police work, but it's over quick as Peter thinks he recognizes a man named "Squeaks", but they are called back to town.

The pace picks up as they get back to town, find out that Greylight has killed a resident and his wife heads off for revenge.  Of course, Peter rounds up the townspeople and heads off to face Greylight with her.  It's the start of an epic battle that actually turns out to be pretty personal between Peter and Greylight...and Squeaks.

This is the part of the issue where we get a crazy twist that throws everything we've seen on it's ear.  I seriously didn't see it coming, but it's smart enough to recognize on a reread.  It's a Sixth Sense moment that really hit well.

Of course, I don't want to spoil it so I really can't tell you what happens next, but I will say that it is worth reading, even if you haven't read any of the six issues that proceeded it.  As long as you know a little bit about Star-Lord and what's been going on in the Marvel Universe up to this point, you are in.

I really liked this Annual as just a cool one-shot and also as an ending to the series.  Yes, it's an insane way to end a series, but that's why I liked it so much.  I said one-shot above because I do think readers can treat it as such and just jump in and enjoy it, but I do recommend going back and reading the series if you like what you see here.

Bits and Pieces:

Chip Zdarsky ends his run on Star-Lord with a western that is a lot more than it seems.  It's a strange and smartly written way to end a series and I recommend to everyone, even those who haven't read any of the previous issues.  Djibril Morissette's art fits the subject matter well, but it's all about the story, the characters and the crazy twist(s) at the end.


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