Guardians of the Galaxy 11 was cover dated April 1991 and was on sale February 1991, sharing the spinner racks with Action Comics #663, Avengers #391, The Demon #10, Excalibur #36, Justice Society of America #1 and New Mutants 100.
Once and Future Phoenix was written and pencilled by Jim Valentino and once again Steve Montano did the inks. The Story picks up seconds after the last one ended, with Giraud of Haven being used as host to unleash the Phoenix. The Phoenix devours the volcano which housed him and Starhawk watches, remembering how this has all happened before, but it still quite afraid.
Giraud revels in his new power as Charlie-27 tries to stand up after being floored by the battle sphere in the last issue. Phoenix decides to end Rancor’s tyranny by ending her life and moves towards to tower, despite Starhawk’s words of caution.
The battle sphere turns on the Phoenix, who destroys it with a wave of his hand forcing Side-Step to teleport away. She opens a portal to get Rhodney and Batwing away as well, but before that can happen Charlie manages to get a shot off and Rhodney falls.
There’s the a scene change and we are on Force’s ship. Brahl is walking through walls trying to sneak a pervy look at Broadside, but instead of her being in the shower, she’s on her bed fantasising about Charlie-27, who’s image is on her holo-tv sort of thing. They go to the bridge, fuming at eachother and Interface comments that an object too small to be anything but a person and too hot to be anything but on fire is heading there way.
Back on Haven, the attacking Guardians Vance & Nikki, face Rancor, Blockade & Shaddo, From behind Yondu, Aleta and Martinex as well as Replica attack with Yondu firing an arrow into Rancor’s leg. Seeing that Blockade can’t be stopped, Nikki instead fires her wristguns at his eyes, blinding him. He smashes her into the ground in front of a distraught Vance and then retreats with Rancor and the rest of the surviving mutants via Side-Step’s portal. Aleta then reveals that Nikki was always protected and is unharmed. Charlie runs in and everyone’s happy to be together again… and then the Phoenix shows up.
As this happens, earthquakes are ripping through the planet as Rancor de-activates the seismic restraints, she is reminded by Mindscan that this will destroy the planet, Rancor could care less. Starhawk arrives and hits everyone’s g-stars and teleports them to the Captain America II against their will.
Before the ship can depart, the planet explodes, seemingly killing everyone on the surface, even Starhawk. Charlie points out that the ship can’t leave, since all the power is being used by the transporters. The planet’s remains are quickly devoured by the Phoenix, who then departs.
Starhawk signals them from Mainframe’s world, telling the team that the inhabitants of Haven are safe, teleported to safety at the last second and the Phoenix has agreed to be placed inside psionic dampeners to keep in under control. No one’s pleased that once again Starhawk has played chess with the Guardians of the Galaxy, but are thrilled with the result that while the world of the mutants is gone, the people are safe and will be cared for by Mainframe, who is looking forward to the company after many years alone. Just as they Guardians of the Galaxy brief a sigh of relief, Nikki tells them that Firelord has sent a distress signal.
Notes: This is a fast paced conclusion and as a result almost feels a little rushed.
How tough is Charlie-27, all those hits he took in #10 and not only is he still alive while the entire crowd seemed killed, but he can get up and fire that cannon before running to join the rest of the team.
Once again, Starhawk acts like the team works for him and does his own thing, without telling anyone what’s going on.
The Phoenix is a character/force of nature long familiar to the X-Men, with it’s arrival always seen as a bad sign, it was a little deus ex machine, but worked for the purposes of the story and the costume design was excellent.
The Force subplot moves their particular story along and Broadside’s infatuation with Charlie-27 is a nice little bit of colour to what could be a very bland character, much like the rest of Force has been.
Overall a satisfying issue ending the Guardians of the Galaxy’s original mission. This is also a bit of a milestone issue for me. This is the last back issue, from this point on, I picked the comic up off the rack and read it until it’s cancellation at issue 62.
Next ish: Firelord returns and he isn’t the only one.