Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett and Lanning

Guardians of the GalaxyAfter seeing the 2014 film of Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy (a team I did not become aware until an episode of the The Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series) I became very interested on knowing the Marvel Universe beyond Earth. Whilst trying to get original copies of the 2008 series by Abnett and Lanning would cost you a huge bit of money, with the release of the movie Marvel has released all the 2008 comics into two separate volumes.

The comic opens up with the Guardians getting tangled with some form of an alien religious cult (though they still haven’t settled on a name yet) alongside the battle you get some panels on the side where each member gives their thoughts on the team. Whilst the comics does feature the same members from the film it also has a few members that I haven’t herded of, Adam Warlock, Phyla-Vell and Mantis.

The team is based on floating celestial head of Knowhere where the base is run by Cosmo the Russian Space Dog who we saw a bit of in the film. The team then later find a hero who seems to be in possession of Captain Americas shield who says his names is Vance Astro and he is a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

At this point you will find out that Marvel did have many years back start up a series called Guardians of the Galaxy but it was set up in the future, but there was never meant to be a team formed in the past and has caused a flux in time, where upon a member of the Guardians from the future tries to resolve this.

This comic is a good read though some might be a bit confused as to where these characters came from. The series also crosses over with it’s own events of the Skrull’s Secret Invasion Event. The series looks pretty awesome and I would like to get my hands on the second volume and would also recommended people who have seen the film to give these comics a read as well.

Matthew King

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by Wilson and Alphona

Ms MarvelKamala Khan is probably the best character to happen to Marvel comics in 2014. Having read the first issue of the new Ms Marvel series back in February, I was pleasantly surprised by how believable and well-rounded G. Willow Wilson had made Kamala. She’s just such a charming character, as she tries to manage her life in New Jersey with the sudden appearance of super powers while being a young Muslim woman.

I’ll admit that I haven’t stuck through the series this year, but looking at the write-ups for the subsequent issues, it’s obvious that Kamala’s adventures are definitely worth our time. After all, it’s not very often that you get a female character within one of the big two’s universes who is incredibly powerful and from such a detailed background that just upping sticks and becoming a superhero isn’t an option. So long as you’re cool with, “With great power, comes with great responsibility,” being one of the running plotlines of the series, then this is a TPB that should be worth your while.

Emily King

Saga by Vaughan and Staples

sagaThe first time I ever heard of a comic called Saga was when it was pulled from sale on iOS. This happened because one of the characters’ heads is a TV, apparently, and for one panel of one page, for absolutely no reason, that TV happened to be showing gay porn. This comic, I thought, sounds really weird.

The second time I heard about Saga was when someone told me that there’s a character called The Lying Cat, who is a cat that never speaks, except to announce, without fail, whenever anyone is lying. This comic, I thought again, sounds really weird.

The third time was when I actually saw a screenshot of the thing, and discovered that Saga looks sodding gorgeous. The art, by Fiona Staples, is a mix of bold lines and pastel colours and it’s fantastic. It’s also filled with crazy multicoloured space-people with horns and wings and, yes, TVs for heads. This comic, I thought for a third time, looks really weird.

But I mean that in a good way. It’s an inventive and intriguing kind of weird that I can’t quite shake from my mind. Everything I hear about Saga makes me that little bit more interested in checking it out and seeing what the fuss is about. I want to experience this mad-sounding, beautiful-looking sci-fi epic for myself.

But the main reason I want Saga for Christmas is that everyone who’s read it tells me it’s amazing. Also because, as an added bonus, the front-cover is perfectly designed to upset Nigel Farage!

Matthew Hurd

Doctor Who: The Blood of Azrael by Gray and Geraghty

Blood of AzraelThe thing is Doctor Who comics are a teeth grinding medium for the show, people aren’t keen due to the canonosity of the stories. This may be a bone of contenion with our readers, but I remain resolute, some of the tales are bloody awful.

But some days, they get it so very, very right.

My favorite story of the book is ‘John Smith and the Common Men’. It’s only a short story in this collected voulme, but it shines out. It has a weird and dark feeling that the current series is sadly lacking. It involves the Doctor in a new world working an admin job with… Harry Sullivan? This is the kind of script that needs to turned into film script. So dark you could design a new form of black after it.

The main story ‘Azreal’ is a solid Who story involing the Tardis taken over by a malevolant enity who glories in the joy and majestic art that is death.

So standard Who villain then?

As a volume its very enjoyable and an excellent gift for the Dalek Enthusiast in your life.

Also Mike Collins art work. All the Mike Collins artwork.

Tim Hart

Looking forward to a comic or graphic novel next year? How about something you’ve liked from 2014? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.