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"Annihilation: Conquest -- Star-Lord" (2007) #1-4
Written by Keith Giffen
Art by Timothy Green II
If you want a little bit of an appetizer before enjoying the 2008 series as a main course, then this miniseries will serve you well. Set during the sprawling "Annihilation: Conquest" event, this relatively self-contained story follows Peter Quill as he reclaims his Star-Lord title and joins up with the crew that will go on to become the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Pros: Giffen's script is as zinger-filled and emotional as Abnett and Lanning's, and Green really turns in some gorgeously offbeat artwork. And as this marks the first time that future Guardians Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket, Bug and Mantis all work together, it works as a great prequel to the 2008 series.
Cons: Since it has a different writer, a few inconsistencies between this mini and the 2008 "Guardians" ongoing pop up in places; for example, Groot speaks in complete sentences and not solely in his signature "I am Groot" speak. The series also takes place in the midst of a big event, and while it can be enjoyed on its own, that might be a turn-off to readers wishing for a pure "Guardians" experience.