Guardians of the Galaxy #7 was cover dated December 1990 and was on sale in October 1990, sharing the spinner rack with Hawkworld Annual #1, Incredible Hulk #376, L.E.G.I.O.N. 90 #22, Quasar #17, Superman #50 and X-Men Animation Special #1.
This is an oddly laid out issue. There are two running stories here, which dovetail at the end into one story. Since that’s an odd read I’m going to look at each story seperately and then the finale, so it’s sort of a three part analysis.
The Nikki & Charlie Part
Vance Astro, Aleta, Nikki and Charlie-27 are on the bridge when an old ship is detected drifting. Vance taking command whilst Martinex in in sickbay, asks Nikki & Charlie to check it out, Aleta also volunteers, but Vance asks her to stay as Yondu is in the ‘twilight zone.’
Charlie and Nikki find a ship full of suspended animation chambers with tubes leading to another room. The beings in the chambers look gaunt and drained.
In the other room is another chamber containing a red skinned woman in red clothes, looking dark and devil-like. She wakes and rises and seems to drain energy from Charlie. She demands the child from Nikki once she learns they are the Guardians of the Galaxy, realising they don’t know what she means she flees the ship in a halo of flame and lands on the Captain America II.
She attacks Vance and Aleta who the red woman describes as her rival. She then flies towards sick bay. Nikki and Charlie return and with a cry of lets go Guardians, the team (now including Yondu) try to head her off. That’s where the story joins up with.
The Martinex and Starhawk Part
Martinex is critical in sickbay and Starhawk is using his light powers somehow to heal him. While this happens Martinex asks about the nature of Starhawks knowledge, why he is One Who Knows.
Breaking with tradition, Starhawk tells him. We’re treated to a recap of the previous origin of Starhawk, Martinex even mentions that Stakar and Aleta are sort of related, because NO ONE EVER MENTIONS THAT FACT. He then fills in the gaps relating to his and Aleta’s children.
He tells Martinex that in the near future he will be expelled from the Guardians for a crime he will have no choice in committing and that after this, the team will travel to the 20th Century. It is at this point, that Starhawk’s consciousness will leave his body and re-inhabit his infant body, with all of his memory intact. Starhawk remembers he life as he has lived it several times over. There are variations, there are things that happen that he doesn’t remember, like Aleta and Starhawk separating so soon, but that is how he is One Who Knows, he remembers.
When the tale is done, he stands and moves to the door, telling Martinex that a woman named Malevolence has come seeking someone. Starhawk intends to tell her that he isn’t there and believes that will send her on her way.
The Last Part
The red woman, whom we now know to be called Malevolence, gets to the sickbay and is driven back by the light of Starhawk, who informs her that the child she seeks isn’t with the Guardians, yet. Malevolence calls out to her father and scolds him for sending her too soon and with another fire effect, she is gone. Starhawk tells the team that the future will reveal all and once again, no one is listening, until a healed and different looking Martinex appears at the door and says that the rest of the team trust Martinex and that they should trust that he believes Starhawk and this isn’t the end.
Notes: Yondu is still very much feeling the effects of his encounter with Photon.
Vance Astro seems to have taken back command whilst Martinex is in sickbay, while few seem happy, no one seems to challenge it.
Why does Vance need Aleta on the ship? I can think of a reason, but not a tactical one.
Much of the origin recap is from Marvel Presents 9 to 11 with some added information filling in the gaps.
The origin of his knowledge makes a lot of sense, especially relating to the things he doesn’t know. But it means that he knew how his life was going to go throughout all of it, including what would happen between him and his ‘sister’. Well that’s more than a little creepy isn’t it?
Malevolence’s appearance gives a lot of clues as to who her father is, which is confirmed later.
There is a reference to a child, also confirmed later, this issue is doing a lot of set up.
Final note: I appreciate the split story structure, but felt it was a bit disjointed, the scenes with Martinex and Starhawk being a far stronger story. I do like Martinex’s new look, which although crystalline, is more organic and makes him more human in his expression. This was a fill in issue a little bit and serves as a sign of stories to come. I wouldn’t recommend this as a first issue, but it works as a companion piece to earlier and later issues.