Yondu (#1) – Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler

2 out of 5

Marvel and DC have… a lot of characters. Your fan-favorite my get the chance to star in the their own series, when the time is right, but often, lately, that “time” can be dictated by external factors… such as the MCU, and Guardians of the Galaxy prompting a Yondu mini-series. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, of course, but it can mean applying creators to a scheduled need as opposed to finding those with a want to write for such and such character. It’s possible that writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler had such wants, though if so, it doesn’t show through much on Yondu #1, in which the character is written much with his same movie personality – standoffish, grizzled, Lobo-lite – and is given a plot that is all MacGuffin-y and not exactly very grabbing on its own terms. Regarding the characterization, this is something that works fine as a movie side-character juxtaposition – the grumbling foil to Chris Pratt’s snark – but doesn’t offer anything to stand out as a lead character for a comic, especially in the Marvel U where there are a handful of casual tuff dudes already on display. To the plot, Yondu’s stumbling across an artifact which he plans to sell, whilst being tracked by some other bounty hunter type and a member of his own race, is structured in a loose format that doesn’t do its potential intrigue or sense of tension any favors – we’re just stumbling from one conversation to another – and Thompson / Nadler construct a flow that ultimately undermines the appearance of that other Centaurian; it’s an issue that just starts, and just ends, with no real peaks and valleys – not offensive, but not interesting.

The main bright spot, then, is John McCrea’s art. I admittedly haven’t checked in with McCrea in years, since appearances with Garth Ennis, but working on a mainline-adjacent Marvel book has seemed to rein in his excesses (as compared to what I’m familiar with) for some really sharp work. His jagged style is definitely a good fit for a character like Yondu, it’s just a shame it’s not matched to a more unique representation of the character, or a more driving story.