Marvel Presents #11 was cover dated June 1977 and was on sale in March 1977, sharing the spinner racks with Action Comics # 472, Amazing Spider-Man #169, Green Lantern #95, John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1, Metal Men #52 and The Man Called Nova # 10
At war with Arcturus was written by Roger Stern and pencilled by Al Milgron. The story opens on the Captain America, mere seconds before the destruction seen in the previous issue. The Guardians manage to escape in a section of the ship jettisoned by Vance Astro’s psychokinetic powers and crashes into the Arcturan ship Kammar. The Guardians of the Galaxy board the Kammar and attack the crew.
The regular Arcturans, having neither the strength of resilience of their androids do not last long against the battle ready Guardians.
Once in command of the Kammar, Martinex accesses the ships computers and we’re treated to a brief summary of Starhawk’s origin and two other entries, one being 500 years ago, when Starhawk prevented the Reavers from acquiring and alien ship and the other showing the Reavers capturing Tara, Sita and John, Starhawk & Aleta’s children and them being returned the Arcturus IV for debriefing.
The scene then shifts to Arcturus IV, where Starhawk arrives and confront Ogord who brings in the children and tells Starhawk that he has unleashed the children’s latent powers and changed them into energy vampires. The children attack Starhawk draining him of his life’s energies and this doesn’t change when he swaps places with Aleta. The children are now starting to age. As Aleta nears her end, the Guardians of the Galaxy burst in after landing on the planet in the Kammar and they help turn the tide. Yondu notices that the headbands worn by the children hold them in thrall and Vance quickly zaps the children.
The headbands fly off and it becomes apparent that the headbands are actually containing the children’s powers and without them, the children are aging quicker and quicker and then they age to dust in front of Ogord and a returned Starhawk. The two enemies are left broken and this drama meets it’s melancholy climax.
Notes: A satisfying conclusion to a gripping and enjoyable story very much of it’s time, with a ending that seems a bit rushed. This is the last multi part story, the series has one more done in one story and then the Guardian’s stop being headline stars and go back to being guest stars.
Extra Note: An advertisement for one of my favourite 70’s characters: The Man called Nova.