Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On #1

Mitch Nissen Mitch Nissen
Expert Contributor
April 23rd, 2017

Grew up reading comic books in the 90's. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel's cosmic universe are my favorites.

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On #1
Comics
0
Price:
Excellent

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On April 23, 2017
Last modified:April 23, 2017

Summary:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On #1 has come out just in time for the new movie. Writer Marc Sumerak takes time and care to make sure these great characters are written right and loads the book with references to the Guardians past stories. Artist Andrea Di Vito and colorist Laura Villari contribute one of the best looking and visually engrossing Guardians comics this year.

Price:
Excellent

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On April 23, 2017
Last modified:April 23, 2017

Summary:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On #1 has come out just in time for the new movie. Writer Marc Sumerak takes time and care to make sure these great characters are written right and loads the book with references to the Guardians past stories. Artist Andrea Di Vito and colorist Laura Villari contribute one of the best looking and visually engrossing Guardians comics this year.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Marvel is once again loading up on their Guardians of the Galaxy library in anticipation of the highly anticipated forthcoming film.  Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On #1 may be one of the most satisfying Guardians books since Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's seminal run.

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On #1

Ever since the success of the 2014 Marvel Studios film, Guardians of the Galaxy, this rather obscure Marvel Comics property has been put on the map like no one ever dreamed possible. Now there are countless Guardians comic books lining shelves, endless rows of merchandise, and a big budget film sequel. It's a dream come true for a select group of fan who loved these characters prior to 2014.

And the dream keeps on dreaming on.

Recently Marvel Comics released yet another Guardians of the Galaxy comic book, a one-shot self contained story titled: Dream On. Written by comic veteran Marc Sumerak and penciled and colored by the wonderful duo of Andrea Di Vito and Laura Villari. And as a bonus Marvel has included a reprint of Guardians of the Galaxy #1 from June 1990 written and drawn by Jim Valentino.

It's a double sized book at Marvel's regular $3.99 price tag.

Dream On tells a quick a tale of the current Guardians of the Galaxy team captured by the freelance peacekeeping agent Death's Head. The mechanoid bounty hunter has successfully subdued the Guardians, connecting them to a machine that lets them experience their wildest dreams and fantasies in very lifelike simulations. The Guardians soon realize that this perfect reality isn't all it seems and free themselves from the dream machine. It becomes a head to "Death's" head fight between the Guardians and the bounty hunter, winner take all.

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In the tradition of classic comic books, Dream On is merely a quick one-off story about the Guardians. A filler issue from the days of old. It's a solo story unaffiliated with current story arcs or continuity. Writer Marc Sumerak delivers a story thematically identical to the second feature story from last year's Guardians of Infinity #2. Where that story was good, Sumerak's story soars. And the devil is in the details.

The book opens with Drax's dreamworld. In the fantasy Drax fulfills his purpose and destroys Thanos. Then he goes on to be a successful musician playing the saxophone. Drax playing the sax is a fairly deep cut from Warlock and the Infinity Watch issues 12 and 13. As written by Jim Starlin, before becoming Drax the Destroyer, Arthur Douglas was a talented saxophonist. It's an obscure detail for sure, but it lends an amount of credence to the writer and the story.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On

Credit: Marvel Comics

The scene is followed with a tiny panel featuring the character Bug, a Guardian of the Galaxy from Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's run. Sumerak even nails Bug's peculiar speech pattern. Also speaking of peculiar speech patterns, Sumerak flawlessly executes Death's Head's voice as well, a unique and endearing quality of the bounty hunter's. If Death's Head didn't speak the way he does, he wouldn't be Death's Head, yes?

Again, these are little details and obscure character facts. But added all up it shows the level of research and care Marc Sumerak has taken in writing this story. And this is just some one-shot special, not even in the core Guardians title. In the hands of a lesser writer this could've easily been a forgettable and shameless money grab from Marvel.

As it is, this single story was perhaps the most enjoyable Guardians book Marvel has published in the last five years, outside of Dan Abnett's Guardians books. And this issue is perhaps more true to the characters than any issue has been in the last few years. If this is Marc Sumerak just doing a Guardians story for the fun of it, I'd love to see what he could do with a Guardians or Death's Head ongoing title. After this one issue I trust him with these characters I've followed over the years.

As for the artwork, this book couldn't look better. Andrea Di Vito and Laura Villari are no strangers to the Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel's cosmic heroes. The duo are responsible for the gorgeous art of Annihilation, ten issues of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's Nova, Stormbreaker: the Saga of Beta Ray Bill, and more.

Just like Marc Sumerak's writing, Di Vito fills the panels of this book with characters and details to keep your eyes scanning. From obvious cameos like Adam Warlock, Richard Rider, and Charlie 27 to more subtle easter eggs like Phyla-Vell, Moondragon, Cosmo, and Mantis. Di Vito provides plenty to feast one's eyes upon, especially if you're a Marvel cosmic fan.

Each of the Guardians look incredible. Drax and Gamora especially have a quality about them in the artistic rendering that channels the intensity of characters. This is the Drax who could rip Thanos' heart out. This is the Gamora who is the deadliest woman in the universe. But of all the characters in this book, Death's Head stands as the most imposing and impressive.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On

Credit: Marvel Comics

All in all, this is the kind of Guardians of the Galaxy book I want more of.

And to top it all off there is a bonus reprinting of Guardians of the Galaxy #1 from 1990. Written and drawn by one of the authorities on the Guardians of the Galaxy, Jim Valentino, the issue showcases the original team from the future. Vance Astro, Charlie 27, Martinex, Nikki, Starhawk, Aleta, and Yondu are locked in an intense and action heavy story. It is also the first appearance of the villain Taserface, a favorite of director James Gunn.

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If you haven't yet acquainted yourself with these wonderful classic characters, here's another chance.

So if you're thinking Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On is just another attempt by Marvel to cash in on the buzz around the forthcoming movie... you're probably right. But even so, this book has top shelf art and treats the characters with respect and love.

Don't pass on it.

Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche

Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On #1

  • 5

Excellent

Guardians of the Galaxy: Dream On #1 has come out just in time for the new movie. Writer Marc Sumerak takes time and care to make sure these great characters are written right and loads the book with references to the Guardians past stories. Artist Andrea Di Vito and colorist Laura Villari contribute one of the best looking and visually engrossing Guardians comics this year.

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