The biggest question anyone will have for Marvel / Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy animated series is will it re-create the magic of the movie? In the first couple of minutes the answer, not really. It has the feel of a Marvel Animated Universe product instead of a James Gunn directed film. While there are moments in direct reference to what made the film great, like when Peter Quill aka Starlord turns on his Walkman to listen to “Hooked on a Feeling,” this motley crew has very few issues to iron out between themselves after the events from the film. After a tidy new reintroduction of the main cast, the title card comes on. This series is not a direct continuation of the movie because a few reveals say too much about Quill’s possible future.
In a statement to Empire magazine, Director James Gunn stated that Quill will not be the son of J’son of Spartex.
When this series is compared to past appearances in the Disney XD universe, the character designs have changed. If any new crossovers are going to occur, it will most likely happen in the Avengers Assembled series. Hopefully these new designs will take precedence over prior appearances, otherwise someone will cry foul in terms of continuity. At least no one will have to stare at the freakish Groot of old.
The story that’s introduced unveils nothing new that was already known from the minted team. Not like there was much to draw on, but the spark really could not be felt in the pilot. Hopefully later episodes can show why this series is being made than to just grab onto interest like Drax and not let go. The team were far more engaging in their last appearance, where the Avengers and Guardians paired up to stop Galactus from eating Earth (again). In this new series, Quill’s past life on why he stayed on Earth for as long as he had might get addressed as he explores his alien heritage. As for how far that will go, it depends. I’m more interested in seeing some intense character development than sci-fi action.
So far the premiere episode is a miss. The action is nothing new that followers of the animated universe is not familiar with. The story sees the gang going to rescue the outlaw Yondu (who has the most interesting motives to track in the series) and learning about a new device that Thanos, destroyer of worlds, wants. Only time will tell if what happens in this episode has long ranging consequences.
The artistic direction is no different from other Marvel products on Disney XD. The characterizations are okay but Quill feels no different from Peter Parker on an intrinsic level. There’s an immature element that’s unneeded (it’s like the character did not grow any since the film) and a bit of fan service is included to acknowledge the life cycle of the immortal Groot is forever. Hopefully there will not be far too many young groot sequences. At least for this tree and his partner Rocket Raccoon, maybe its best to see them leave and have their own series. Out of all the shorts made to introduce this latest entry to the Marvel block of animations on this network channel, these two are the most interesting out of the group. Fans can see just how tight the pair have formed prior to meeting the humans.