Before he began his transition from the wrestling ring to the Ultimate Fighting Championship octagon, former WWE Champion CM Punk started writing for Marvel Comics, another of his non-wrestling dreams. Ironically, the Straight Edge Superstar’s first foray into comics was a short story for the Thor Annual #1, released in February of 2015, in which a brash young Thor guzzles gallons of alcohol. Punk’s first ongoing series for Marvel is a solo outing for the character portrayed by Batista in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie (who, in another twist of irony, won the 2014 Royal Rumble match that ended up being Punk’s WWE finale) beginning in October of 2015.
With issue #11 being released later this month, Marvel recently collected the first five issues of Drax into a trade paperback. Co-written with the accomplished Cullen Bunn, Drax Vol.1: The Galaxy’s Best Detective sees the Destroyer going solo as the rest of the Guardians begin their own adventures. With nothing better to do, his first objective, of course, is to find Thanos and exact revenge for the loss of his family.
Despite his tragic motivations, Drax’s journey becomes comical after the Space Sucker — the hunk-of-junk spaceship Rocket Raccoon loans him — crash lands on a desolate moon. Thankfully, Drax soon finds a bar where he can drown his sorrows. It is here that Drax meets an unlikely ally in former foe Terrax, and an equally unlikely mechanic in Ora, the hot pink bartender. Ora offers to repair the Space Sucker if Drax will find out who has been stealing valuable pieces of technology from her and others around town.
Drax, with his impeccable investigative skills, tracks down the thief, who has also been kidnapping the town’s children and using them as slave labor. This monster ends up being a bigger problem than anyone anticipated, but Drax ain’t scared, especially with the help of a disembodied robot head and other new allies. Together, they are able to free the kidnapped children and figure out why this larger-than-life threat has been absconding with random mechanical gadgetry. This story arc comes to a comically anticlimactic climax that is just as quirky as the rest of the story, leading right into the issues that will be collected in a second volume later this year.
Punk and Bunn’s writing is complemented by Scott Hepburn’s illustrations to create a fun new sci-fi adventure serial. Say what you will about his other post-wrestling endeavor, but Punk was always a good storyteller in the ring. Though he wasn’t able to escape a clobbering in his UFC debut, his work here is delightful antihero escapism.