Sunday, October 14, 2012

NYCC Comic News: Bendis & McNiven Protect Space With Guardians Of the Galaxy

  Brian Michael Bendis has become one of Marvel's biggest draws. The writer has revolutionized Spiderman with his non stop Ultimate Spiderman run. He has brought back a lot of shine and prominence to the Avengers. He is starting his journey with the X-Men. But now, he is going to conquer space. Yes, as announced during New York Comic Con, Brian Michael Bendis will be relaunching a new Guardians of the Galaxy title alongside fan favorite artist, Steve McNiven. McNiven is mostly known for his recent work with Captain America and the face changing Marvel mini series, Civil War.

   The duo will start the new title with a brand new 0.1 issue this coming February with a new #1 hit stores in March. Part of the Marvel NOW relaunch initiative  Bendis plans to give readers a look into the Marvel Universe itself.  Brian Michael Bendis commented to CBR about the book:

"A lot of people know they're making a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie, and one of my part time jobs is to work with the Marvel Creative Committee. That work involves projects that everyone knows are in development, plus a bunch of stuff people don't know about, where Marvel is deciding if it's something they want to do," Bendis told. "One of our first projects was 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' and we were doing a lot of research and really thinking about this book and these characters. I had read a lot of the material already as a fan, but not as a writer. So I was rereading it, and I really started to dig Peter Quill (AKA Star-Lord) and Gamora in particular. I liked who they were and what they were about -- especially Peter Quill's origin story and what it meant for him as a character. It's not something a lot of people are familiar with.
"I would get all hyped while we were talking about these characters during the movie meetings and how cool it was that Peter had this very little known origin story that is up there with Spider-Man's origin story if you really lay it out," Bendis continued. "I knew they wanted to get the book going again, and when I was wrapping up 'Avengers' about a year ago, [Marvel Comics Publisher] Dan Buckley said to me, 'You should do the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' comic. You've already done all the research, and you really love the characters.' So I said, 'Let me think about it.' He replied, 'What if we got someone like Steve McNiven to do the book?' And I said, 'Yeah -- if you get Steve McNiven, I'll do it.'

Guardians of the Galaxy will boost a roster that includes Starlord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Bug and brand new member, Iron Man. Yep. Tony Stark will become a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.  With such a group of diverse characters, McNiven commented to CBR about the book and drawing it:

"I love the contrasts within the group, from Rocket to Groot, to Drax and Gamora -- they all bring something unique to the mix," McNiven continued. "That's when you know you have a good team book. For instance, working on Rocket Raccoon is teaching me a lot about drawing as he's essentially a talking Disney cartoon, something I have never worked on before. My art tends to move more along the realistic line of illustrating. So Rocket is a challenge, and anytime I get a challenge it makes me very interested and engaged in the work. I set out to find the challenge within all of the characters; that something you can hang your art hat on so to speak, and so far so good! . . .  I love to tinker with designs. Usually I tend towards simple designs as they usually become more iconic, (and they are easier to draw!) but for the Guardians, I am going more complex. I've also figured they need different sets of costumes, because, well, you can't eat lunch in battle armor. As you go about designing things for the characters, you get a better handle on them and how they differ from one another. Getting them to stand out as individuals is the ultimate goal for me."

With Iron Man on the team, the book will connect much more with the rest of the Marvel Universe.  One of the biggest reasons that connect Iron Man with the Guardians is that the team will decide that Earth is now off limits to any other alien species. Bendis commented that they will feel that after everything has happened with all the aliens showing up on Earth, that they will make sure that Earth stays off limits. Plus, Bendis stated that it ties in with the direction that Iron Man writer Kieron Gillen has set up with Tony, who wants to know the secrets of the Marvel Universe itself. Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 will hit shelves this February.

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