Back Issue #119 April 2020 (magazine review).

As writer William Colosimo points out in the first of his articles in the latest issue of ‘Back Issue’, you would have to be of a particular age to recognise the earlier ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ which appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes # 18 in 1969 as drawn by Gene Colan and written by Arnold Drake. I know, because I picked it up at time and not realising it was ultimately a one-shot but liked the characters, especially set in the future and the Earth was over-run by the Badoon.

When I returned to comics in the mid-1970s, seeing their resurrection in ‘Marvel Presents’ showed developments from that, including the presence of Starhawk/Aleta. The interview with Al Milgrom fills in the odd gaps like Dave Cockrum created their new costumes although as in Roger Stern’s interview when he took over as writer from Steve Gerber wanted Charlie-27 not to have a bare-chest. Considering the new team started over 40 years ago, there was every indication that it was a loved team but not enough to gain more sales.

Retrospectively, I think that also applied to all of the ‘future’ based stories such as Deathlok and Kilraven as it set defining moments as to just where did they fit in with the Marvel Universe reality. Of all of them, the Guardians were the most likely to be linked into the past. For the first two, they had to be alternative futures to make sense of them.

The history of StarLord, with and without a hyphen, had several interpretations not connected with the Marvel Universe starting with Steve Englehart, Chris Claremont and Doug Monech. I have the best memory of the Claremont version, simply for Star-Lord’s relationship with his Ship.

Jim Valentino has a lengthy interview with William Colosimo about his run on the 1990 version of the ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ comicbook. It’s rather interesting seeing that he treated the title as a ‘What If…’ of the future until he also points out how many stories he contributed to that title as well. His analysis of the team members is interesting and he always treated Starhawk as a jerk and didn’t really like him despite his popularity. Back then, there was always a jerk in most teams. I think their popularity was more to do with having their comeuppance at some point.

The interview with Tom DeFalco, who was editor-in-chief at the time, gives an interesting look at how he ran the company with deputy Mark Gruenwald, which looked like a good practice of stepping back until sales were dropping rather than mess with something that was working.

The most significant current team member is Rocket Raccoon, although he was originally created by Bill Mantlo back in 1982, first appearing in The Incredible Hulk # 271. He was originally going to be called Rocky Racoon, based off a Beatles song. Rocket Racoon kept popping up over the years and even had a mini-series. He was a fun character sort of but, as I remember it, no one ever compared him to Howard The Duck. Looking at the various illustrations of the Racoon, there’s a wide variation in style but no one can mistake who he is.

Finally, there is a break in the time protocol of ‘Back Issue’ with an interview with editor Andy Schmidt about the current team that was used in the two ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ films. As its current time, no one seems to raise the point that the future teams are still prevalent.

This truly is an unusual issue focusing entirely on a single subject. If you are fans of the Guardians Of The Galaxy then this will fill you in on all of its history and a worthy addition to your collection. Don’t rock the tree, it might be Groot.

GF Willmetts

April 2020

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 9.95 (US))

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2 thoughts on “Back Issue #119 April 2020 (magazine review).

  • Finally found someone else in the UK that reads back issue!

    Great magazine and I’m amazed how many comic stores don’t know it even exists.

    Luckily my LCS does (thanks Strange Apparitions!) And I have it on order now.

    Thanks for the great e-magazine, always find plenty of interesting stuff.
    Btw, didn’t you used to run the cerebro fanzine?

    • Hello Cliff
      We review most of TwoMorrows’ publications. The best source on the history of American comicbooks.
      As to Cerebro. Yep. Guilty as charged.


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