Marvel Presents 12 was cover dated August 1977 and was on sale May 1977, sharing the spinner racks with Action Comics #474, Amazing Spider-Man #171, Blue Beetle #1, Captain America & The Falcon #212, DC Special #29 and Godzilla #1. The Shipyard of Space was written by Roger Stern and pencilled by Al Milgrom.
The issue picks up right after the last, with Ogord breaking down over the death of his grandchildren and Charlie-27 carrying a comatose Starhawk back to the captured Kammar. The Guardians get to the ship and depart, looking for assistance.
The crew send out a distress signal and it’s responded to by an Earth Federation ship long thought lost during the Badoon invasion: Drydock.
The Kammar is taken aboard and a full repair crew come to help to Guardians. Yondu, Martinex and the unconscious Starhawk are taken to sickbay, whilst Charlie-27, Nikki and Vance are directed to Drydocks C.O. Hollis-12 as they leave the landing bay, all the crew vanishes as if they were never there. Hollis-12 is a legendary Jovian solider, a hero to Charlie-27. Hollis tells them of the Drydock departing the solar system, but their warp drive had a fault, stranding them in deep space. It’s at that point Charlie realises Hollis is a hologram. Before anyone can act on this, Vance and Nikki are gassed and Charlie is grabbed by the ship’s systems. Due to Charlie’s great size and strength, he is able to get free and is loose in the ship
The person using Hollis-12’s face and voice is a construct of the ship’s main computer. The system couldn’t handle not having a person in command to give orders, so it made one. The ship tries several times to stop Charlie who piece by piece destroys any obstacle between him and the ship’s main computer systems.
At the last minute, the Hollis-12 construct changes into the form of Charlie’s father in an effort to save itself, but to no avail, to save his team mates Charlie starts randomly smashing computer components and finds the hologram control systems.
The team are reunited and with Starhawk on the mend, the team realise that there are possibilities on Drydock, maybe a new ship to replace the destroyed Captain America. For now, the end.
Notes: A weird mix of 2001 and Die Hard, this was a great little Charlie-27 centric issue. It had action, sci-fi coolness and left the Guardians of the Galaxy in a different place from where they were at the start of this Marvel Presents run. This was the last story for more than ten years in which the Guardians were they stars of the book, there were some guest star stuff before then and before that…. Korvac.