In Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind #1, Star-Lord & Co. find themselves in a retrospective hot seat — all the while saving the universe.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind #1 cover

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind #1 is a one-shot inspired by the Walt Disney World ride of the same name, which just opened in Epcot earlier this year. This isn’t the first comic book released to promote a Marvel attraction in a Disney park; Guardians of the Galaxy —  Mission: Breakout and W.E.B. of Spider-Man both served this purpose for their associated rides. Like those titles, Cosmic Rewind takes a “Schrödinger’s continuity” approach, set in a world that’s nominally, but not explicitly, the mainstream 616 timeline. You don’t really need to know the Guardians’ current status quo to follow this story, but it expects you to be familiar with the team as they existed in their first movie from 2014. 

(Some additional context: whereas Mission: Breakout and W.E.B. Slingers are both located exclusively in Disneyland’s California Adventure park, Cosmic Rewind is the first Marvel attraction in Florida’s Disney World, due to preexisting red tape with Universal Studios’ own Marvel-themed land. Copyright law!) 

As mentioned, the story of Cosmic Rewind is (somewhat) inspired by the ride: Xandar is preparing to open an informational tourist pavilion on Earth, and they’ve recruited the Guardians to help them understand Star-Lord’s home planet through a series of interviews with them. Unbeknownst to them, a Celestial is preying on them all, waiting for an opportunity to wipe out humanity from existence.

I actually got to experience the Cosmic Rewind ride for myself on a Disney trip with my family last month —it’s really fun!— but I have to say this tie-in feels very unattached to its source material beyond the basics. I understand why the comic doesn’t dwell on the details of the Xandarian pavilion (i.e. that it’s specifically in Epcot, which leads to some fun dialogue from Star-Lord in the ride queue) but the how and why of the pavilion’s inception are still left too vague. But perhaps my biggest quibble with the comic is that it doesn’t really deliver on the strengths of the attraction, which could have made for a fun story. In the ride, the Guardians find themselves escorting civilians to safety while they try to stop Eson the Searcher from going back in time to destroy humanity before it flourishes. That’s somewhat true of the comic, but instead of actually following the conflict as it happens in the ride, it spends most of its page count presenting each Guardian’s interview in-between scenes of them in an unrelated space battle. When the Guardians are finally called upon to fight the Celestial —this time Arishem, the one who appears in the Eternals movie— readers are greeted by two inconvenient little words: The End. It’s just an unsatisfying conclusion to a comic that never really gets going after it starts. 

The interview device is a clever way to reflect the title (“rewinding” time through memories and recollections) but I wonder if there were a better way to implement a dialogue-heavy subplot like that amid more propulsive, interesting action. That’s ultimately why Cosmic Rewind feels like such a disappointment, because it’s not like there’s nothing good here. The characters feel like the characters as they exist in various media under Kevin Shinick’s pen, and I personally love exaggerated Gerardo Sandoval’s art style, so no complaints from me there. I just wish there was more to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind beyond it serving as internal brand synergy.


Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind #1











  • Writer: Kevin Shinick
  • Artist: Gerardo Sandoval (penciler), Victor Nava (inker)
  • Color Artist: Israel Silva
  • Letterer: VC's Clayton Cowles
  • Cover Artists: Paco Medina & Jesus Aburtov

Credits (cont)

  • Editor: Ellie Pyle
  • Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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