Writer: Nicole Perlman / Artist: Marco Checchetto / Marvel Comics

In advance of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Marvel launches two new comics featuring the series’ main stars – Star-Lord #1 following the solo adventures of Peter Quill, and the pre-Guardians origin of fan-favorite Gamora. Forget much of what you know from the movie though, as Gamora is set to build the character from her life before joining Star-Lord, Rocket Racoon, and Groot, back to when she was the adopted daughter of Thanos, a slave, a hated sibling, and a ruthless assassin. This isn’t your Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora, at least not in tone, but instead a grim entry point to her dark, lonely life. Much of her time is spent fetal-positioned on the floor, and you can’t blame her; it took Izzie Stevens like 3 episodes to get off the floor when Denny died, Gamora’s whole family was slaughtered and she’s the sole survivor of her entire race and slave-daughter to a galactic supervillain.

gamora-1-panel-1

So Gamora’s understandably living in deep depression, her voice cold and detached, which in isolation would give the wrong impression of this comic. How she deals with it, however, is what makes Gamora #1 the start of a badass series of action, relationships, psychological abuse, and revenge, as Gamora’s only solace comes from murdering everyone responsible for killing her people. And her definition of “everyone responsible” is of the Biblical variety – she will kill their entire tree, every descendant, every root and branch, until nothing can ever grow from them again. Issue #1 sees all that come to fruition – a birthday present from her father, Thanos, an opportunity for her to kill them all.

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Only she misses one, not to mention she’s faced with her jealous sister’s manipulation, plus their collective Stockholm from their surrogate father who trained them to do nothing but murder in the best-worst episode of Modern Family.

Artistically, Gamora #1 is beautifully laid out. Its colors, pacing, and lettering combine for a visually stunning comic that captures the sadness and drive of an emotionally destroyed character trying to find her peace. It’s a great start to a series, and a perfect jumping-in point for anyone who wants to learn about a character who will only continue to grow in popularity. Gamora is awesome. Meet your new favorite anti-hero on her way to becoming a hero.

9.2 out of 10

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  • Jordan Calhoun is a writer in New York City. His forthcoming debut book "Piccolo Is Black" is a celebration of the common adaptations we made while non-diverse pop culture helped us form identities. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and an M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. He might solve a mystery, or rewrite history. Find him on Instagram and Twitter @JordanMCalhoun

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