Marvel Presents 6

Marvel Presents 6 was cover dated August 1976 and was on sale May 1976, sharing the spinner racks with Action #462,  Avengers # 150, Brave & the Bold #129, Captain America #200, Green Lantern #90 and Thor #250.

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Marvel Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy 6 was written by Steve Gerber with art by Al Milgrom & Terry Austin and opens with a now fully functional ship Captain America flying towards a giant creature identified by Yondu as Karanada which is  devouring a nearby planet. Nikki loses patience with watching it happen and flies towards the creature despite the objections of the rest of the crew. The ship fires on the creature with no effect whatsoever and as they pass through the creatures energy field, suffer spacial distortions with affect all but Martinex who has different visual receptors. The ship passes through the creature and lands on a landmass, but Martinex has no idea where they are. Nikki defends her actions and is backed up by Yondu, much to the chagrin of Vance, who when he learns of the crews intention to explore storms off into his room.

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Nikki follows Vance who seems to be having some kind of existentialist crisis. He talks about the ludicrous nature of his own existence and behaves erratically, at one point picking Nikki up. Charlie-27 interrupts and demands that Vance drop her and the two leave with Vance becoming less coherent.

The remainder of the Guardians walk out onto a desert. Nikki comments on how it feels like she’s stepping on someone’s face each time they take a step and Martinex points out how strange the life form readings are. More complex and intense forms are ahead and the team find a group of nomadic reptiles, primitive in some ways, fearing them as demons and threatening them with knives. They are made short work of, by Charlie and Yondu, leaving the nomads to change their attitude and invite them into the largest tent. One of the nomads calls for his son Hadji, who turns out to be a surviving Starhawk.

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Meanwhile on the ship, Vance finds himself attacked by minature copy of the Karanada creature which begins to drain his life force away. Using his pyschokinetic powers he holds it off and examines it to see it’s a tiny mote of matter projecting an energy field, it’s as big as a grain of sand in reality and the desert outside could be entirely composed of these creatures. Vance and Charlie speak over the communicators and Starhawk’s instructions are relayed and Vance pilots the ship through the desert and sees the planet, which is shaped as a man.

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Vance is then confronted by his younger self and Starhawk leads the rest to a hidden temple.

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Notes: I’m  finding these issues a bit of a hard sit to be perfectly honest. The story is a little plodding and Karanada so far just seems like a variation on Galactus. No one in this comic is as far as I can see an sympathetic character. The only interesting characteristic seems to be Vance’s post traumatic stress disorder-like breakdown, but without any sympathy for them, this doesn’t really add much to the story. The art is the saving grace here, with the topographical man being a very striking visual image. It does get better though as the team and the comic struggle with what to do in a post Badoon world.

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