Review: Marvel Presents #3

Marvel Presents #3 cover
Cover by Al Milgrom and John Romita

Marvel Presents #3
Published and © by Marvel, February 1976

Title: “Just Another Planet Story!”
Synopsis:  After leading the liberation against the Badoon, the Guardians of the Galaxy struggle to fit in on a rebuilding Earth.

Writer: Steve Gerber
Penciler: Al Milgrom
Inker: Pablo Marcos

Review: It’s no secret this reviewer isn’t the biggest fan of Steve Gerber’s rather eccentric Bronze Age work, but his Guardians of the Galaxy run in Marvel Presents is a notable exception. A childhood favorite, this debut issue holds up remarkably well today. The Guardians’ dystopic future proves to be the perfect backdrop for Gerber’s trademark commentary on the human condition, and his prose, though thick, is excellent. Al Milgrom delivers probably the best work of his career on this series, with clean storytelling and detailed, powerful rendering. This series should have been a hit.

Grade: A-

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: Cool characters, strong concept, great cover. But, ultimately, Al Milgrom deserves some love here. Usually not a fan, but this is inspired work from him.
Not-so-cool factor: The Badoon. Nasty lizards, anyway!

Notable: This issue includes a text feature about the Guardians on the “Readers’ Space” letters page.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 9p British variant of this issue, as well as a 2019 facsimile edition. … Beware, this issue contains Marvel Value Stamp (Series B) #35.

Character quotable: “Harsh though it may sound, your race’s period of oppression cannot be permitted to excuse whatever excesses it may commit.” – Starhawk, offering some pointed, post-occupation commentary

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on July 3, 2010.

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