Look, if you’re over thirty (oh hell, if you’re over forty!) years of age, and you were a comic book reader as a kid, you’ll remember the old Marvel What If and Team-Up comic book titles. Boy, they were fun!
DC had them too. Remember The Brave and the Bold and DC Comics Presents? They were great!
Sometime during the 1980’s, those kinds of comic books fell out of favour with their publishers, and, it must be said, their fans. I won’t dwell on the why’s in this particular column. Sure, comics like that were still being published, but not to the same degree and certainly not to the fanfare of those earlier decades. Maybe it had something to do with comic books stories becoming more “realistic”. Maybe it had something to do with the end of the “one and done” single issue stories. Maybe it had something to do with the comic book audience growing up and getting old.
In any case, there’s been a particularly fun team-up comic book being published for eight months now and it’s high time you, or your young son or daughter, turned an excited eye towards it.
I’m talking, of course, about issue #8 of the Guardians Team-Up monthly comic book series!
Follow me after the jump for a modern take on our love of nostalgia!
Guardians Team-Up #8
Written by: Ray Fawkes
Illustrated by: Bengal
Published by: Marvel Comics
Although I had already read various comic books (borrowed off of a best friend in grade school) I actually bought my first comic book in the early 1980’s at the local Towers department store – a smaller, less successful precursor to Walmart. Towers had them displayed on a magazine rack, polybagged with two – count’ em! – two comics in each bag for the low price of one! It was a great way for a young and voracious reader to be introduced to comics and comic book characters that they wouldn’t necessarily buy on their own: Batman bagged up with Fury of Firestorm, Amazing Spider-Man with ROM Spaceknight, Uncanny X-Men with Dreadstar!
Some titles, like the previously mentioned What If and Team-Up, gave you a double shot of characters inside one single comic! My friends and I would read, collect and trade those sorts of comic books and we’d have a blast talking about our love for new characters who we’d come across within those pages.
With the incredible popularity of last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy film, Marvel Comics looked to bring back that sense of wonder and fun and began publishing Guardians Team-Up. Each month, one of the Guardians of the Galaxy would partner with another Marvel Comics character: Drax and Ant-Man, Gamora and She-Hulk, Rocket Raccoon and Deadpool. It’s a little like a dealer giving out that first hit for free.
This week, it’s everybody’s favourite three-word vocabulary plant, Groot, and Marvel Comic’s famously sleek herald, the Silver Surfer, together in a deep-space rescue mission!
The team-up couldn’t be more obtuse – and that’s what makes this kind of comic book storytelling so much fun for those of us that remember them from our childhood – and for our children that are just now beginning to discover comic books.
Make the run to your local comic book store and pick up Guardians Team-Up #8 for your own sense of wonderful nostalgia – or for the one you will plant within the imagination of your child. In fact, go pick up the previous seven issues as well – the serious business of comic books can be a rollicking fun time!