Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the thievin' adventures of the baddest ex-Ravager in the galaxy, YONDU UDONTA!
After making good with some stolen fuel, Yondu responds to a signal from his compatriot Kraglin. What he finds aboard his associate's ship is something else altogether...
Amidst the carnage, Yondu makes off with an item called the Herald's Urn, said to be a cosmic trinket on par with the Infinity Gauntlet or the Ultimate Nullifier. It's a hot item, though, and will sell it fast. Yondu - by both his very unsavory nature and by the fact that he has such a cosmically powerful item - has a lot of parties interested in him.
But none more so than... Yondu Udonta?!
Nobody asked for it, but Yondu is here! The MCU-ification of the Marvel Universe proper continues, as the fan-favorite character from Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel – he’s Mary Poppins, y’all! – gets his time in the funny-pages spotlight at last. Although this isn’t Yondu’s first appearance in the Marvel Universe – that would have been in 2016’s Star-Lord #1 – it’s his first run at a solo series.
Of course, there’s an inherent problem to all this – Marvel already has a Yondu, and he’s been around for decades! He’s also from the future, heroic, and a member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. So begins the reconciliation of what happens when the desire to make the comics world look more like the cinematic world bumps headlong into reality.
So, how does it all actually shake out? I won’t spoil the exact details, but it’s actually fairly logical. In the end, the case is made for the two Yondus to coexist. Grumpy old fans, you can relax!
Writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler – who have made a respectable reputation for themselves as weavers of breezy, fun tales starring characters who might not be immediate candidates for A- or even B-list status. But although the general plot isn’t the most original endeavor – it’s a basic heist story, with the twist of two Yondus for the price of one – it’s decent enough. I don’t need Watchmen Starring Yondu – sometimes, simpler is better.
What is a little disappointing is that, without Michael Rooker’s twinkle in his eye, Yondu himself falls flat. He’s a stereotypical tough guy, with a cliched patois to match – think Lobo lite, but with a golden grill that reads, ahem, “Bad boy.” Sheesh… even ’80s Stallone would flinch at that. No amount of spin can redeem that level of cheese.
Then there’s the art by industry legend John McCrea. As a huge Hitman fan (Tommy is tattooed on my shoulder, for cryin’ out loud!), I was hoping for a bit of that old “Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium” magic, but to no avail. The art, while not bad by any stretch, has a scratchy quality that looks too rough for finished product. None of the classic McCrea playful exaggeration is really present – and the story would have been a perfect vehicle for it. Instead, he favors a rough-hewn inking style that brings a deliberately ugly look to everything and everyone – a deliberate choice, to be sure – but maybe not quite what the book should have had.
Bonus: props to whoever designed the comic’s logo! It has a real ’80s fantasy movie feel to it, invoking memories of yore.
Ultimately, readers' opinion of this book is probably going to come down to how much love they have for the MCU version of the title. It's relatively by-the-numbers, but fun at heart - the very definition of a disposable good time.
Yondu #1 (of 5): A Pirate’s Life for Me
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 6.5/106.5/10
Art - 5.5/105.5/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 6.5/106.5/10
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