Guardians of the Galaxy 12 was cover dated May 1991 and was on sale in March 1991, sharing the spinner racks with Armageddon 2001 #1, Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1, Emerald Dawn II #1, New Warriors #11, Twilight #1 and X-Factor #66.
There’s nothing like a little Overkill was written and drawn by Jim Valentino and inked by Steve Montano and opens on Firelord in mid battle with an as yet un-named foe, who seems to be beating Firelord convincingly. On the next page it’s clear to see that this a Stark in an unknown and war-like armour who boasts about getting his revenge, but Firelord has no idea who this Stark is, or how he is able to do so much damage to the former herald of Galactus. As Firelord starts to work out who his attacker is, the scene shifts to the Captain America II, on fast approach to Firelord’s location.
On board Replica, the non-mutant shapeshifter from Haven appears after spending the gap between issues 11 and 12 as a flea on Yondu’s shoulder. She pleads to Martinex to let her on the team and before he can even think about it Nikki starts shouting about there being something wrong with Replica and storms off. Martinex as Replica to stay close to him for the time being and that her joining will be discussed later, while Charlie-27 points out how shaky the condition of the ship is.
On Haven Starhawk places Giraud, now possessed by the Phoenix force into stasis and decides that even with the gaps in his memory related to coming events (See issue 7’s recap), he needs to be with his friends. The Guardians by this time have arrived in Tilnast and see Firelord and the as yet unnamed Stark in fierce combat. The Stark fleet, hidden within the system see their arrival and prepare to send over an espionage agent. The Guardians’ ship fires on the Stark battling Firelord. The team leave Replica (a 13 year old girl) in charge of the guns, put on their transparent space suits and get outside.
There is where we learn that this was Taserface (Still Funny) and has now been given the name of Overkill. He keeps all of the Guardians at bay, seeing them as no match. While all this is going on, Starhawk arrives and flies Firelord straight into the Tilnast’s system’s sun.
The Scene changes to a planet in orbit of this star called Sarka, where the populace are told of solar-flare activity and a starship in the asteroid belt, before brining up that several of ‘Holy Knights’ have been killed by the flaming demon. One of the people in the street walks away determined to learn more.
Back on the Captain America II, Replica see’s a Stark spy who has planeted a bomb somewhere on the ship and is now looking through the computer files, Replica changes into some kind of green monster and punches the Stark who claims victory and leaves. Back outside, Firelord has returned, fully charged from his visit to the sun and the whole team face off against Overkill.
Overkill showing a great deal of restraint, decides to leave the Guardians to the Bomb and teleports away.
On Sarka, the man on the street from earlier, remarks that the beings on the ship will soon face the Spirit of Vengeance, his eyes showing a flaming skull sign. On the Stark ship, Overkill revels in his victory and the Stark High Sister makes plans to use the Overkill armour as a prototype for an unstoppable new army.
In space, Eon the cosmic entity and mentor to Firelord appears and calls him away to deal with another problem. He has enough time before he leaves to reject Nikki’s advances and flies off somewhere unknown. A heartbroken Nikki is then handed a flaming rose by Charlie-27 who passes it off as a gift from Firelord. As the team seem to pose for a picture, Martinex realises that Firelord didn’t have time to get the flower and that Charlie did it to make Nikki smile without getting credit for it. Below the picture, the next issue box reveals Ghost Rider is coming.
Notes: This is quite an action packed issue, bringing back the Stark and adding Replica to the cast, if not the team. The end of the last story seemed to be a lot of the Guardians of the Galaxy just watching stuff happen and it was nice to see them in action together again, however ineffectual.
Firelord is at this point protector of the universe, a title held my Captain Mar-Vell and Quasar and was once a herald of Galactus.
Once again, I have to note, the Guardians left the ship in the care of a TEENAGE GIRL to go save Firelord. When did that sound like a good idea?
The Stark return at last, that subplot sort of went on for a while there didn’t it?
No more Taserface, I’ll miss that name, but Overkill does tend to be taken more seriously as a name, as well as a comment on the early 90’s in comics.
The church subplot starts to advance with more and more worlds being seen to be under this church’s influence and it’s hinted that there’ll be a Ghost Rider. Who if memory serves was doing very well at this point.
This is the issue that I collected Guardians of the Galaxy from and I bought every issue until it’s untimely end at issue 62 and re-reading it again, found it still was as good as I remembered.
Next time: Guardians of the Galaxy return to their guest star roots as we begin, the Korvac Quest.