Guardians of the Galaxy 31 was cover dated December 1992 and was on sale October 1992, sharing the spinner racks with Fast Forward #1, New Warriors #30, Ravage 2099, Spectre #1, Timber Wolf #1 and X-Force #17.
Prelude to a Kill was written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Captain America and Major Victory enjoying a sparring session with Cap being very clear that he believes himself ready for anything Vance can throw at him. Dr Druid tells them of the risk of chronological chaos that would result from their shields touching, since their shields are the same object from different timelines (no I didn’t get that either) and puts a polarising spell the two shields to prevent them from touching.
On Drydock, Nikki, Charlie-27 and Talon have learned that the Badoon have learned that they are on their way and offer an alternative to all out war. The crew wonders how the Badoon knew they were coming and how they know exactly where to send the transmissions to. Even if Vance warned the Badoon that the Guardians were coming, he had no way of telling them when or even what course they’d take. The team wonders where Starhawk is and wish he were with them.
Inside Starhawk, Stakar and Aleta talk about their situation. Aleta promises to stop fighting, as long as Stakar admits that all she’s seen since being reabsorbed, the Hawkgod, her children were all illusions to weaken her resolve. Stakar admits, hoping to end this fight. It does as now devoid of mercy and sympathy Aleta strikes Stakar down and he simply screams.
But this is a comic about the 31st Century, so lets see what’s happening there. The Commandeers are defeated and tortured to death by the Retox gang who want Realitee-Vee restored as they are suffering addiction withdrawl, only Old Redd and Tarin are left. In Latveria Doctor Doom suffers the wrath of Rancor, for about a second before he encases her head in an airtight forcefield before telling her lieutenants that he doesn’t want her dead, but wants their help in also restoring Realitee-Vee. He releases Rancor, who decides to bide her time before taking her revenge.
Back in the 20th Century, Cap and Vance run rooftops in New York to get to Dr Strange’s townhouse, so that Vance can return to Drydock and resolve his issues with the Guardians. The Guardians are having new issues now as the Brother Royal of the Badoon talks to them and offers a deal, one on one combat with an appointed champion. If the Guardians win, Moord is theirs and their homeworld’s devastation can be stopped before it starts, if their chosen member loses, the Badoon take Drydock and all of it’s weapons. The team agree once they are given the location of the Brotherhood’s hatchery, feeling they are on the level, the Guardians agree then spend the rest of the issue fighting amongst themselves to see who is to do the fighting on the Guardians behalf.
The Badoon have one more trick up their sleeve as L’Matto, the Badoon from the last issue walks into the Brother Royal’s chambers and we see why the Badoon like this plan, L’Matto is possess by the power of Captain Universe.
Notes: Captain Universe is the construct of the Uni-power a sentient power source that possesses random people in the universe and gives them powers as needed. The first comic where that happened was Micronauts #8 from August 1979. He has appeared several times since, at one point possessing Spider-Man, another was one of Star Lord’s team from Annihilation Conquest and the current Captain Universe is part of the Avengers.
The fact that the Guardians of the Galaxy are in the traditional marvel universe (called 616) and not their own is still puzzling to me. After Marvel Two in One 69, the timeline’s split off after Vance Astrovik didn’t become an astronaut, leading to him not travelling to Alpha Centauri.
There is a mistake of sorts when discussing the situation with the challenge, Talon points out that the Badoon already know how to deal with Mercurians and Jovians, but not Inhumans. This isn’t right, since Mercurians and Jovians won’t exists in the Guardians timeline for 600-700 years and there’s no reason that they will exist in the 616 universe as explained above.
Seeing Captain America and Major Victory together is visually confusing, both wearing the same costume nearly and using the same shield as a weapon, but you can clearly see Vance’s hero worship of Cap as he listens. Gallagher’s Cap is a little preachy though.
The stow-away subplot continues.
This is the first appearance of Retox and they don’t get less annoying, but serve a purpose later on.
All Hail DOOM!
Dr Druid is in this issue and I can honestly not tell you why or even where the magic comes from, I’ve always seen him as a psychic character and not a mystical one, if you need a mystical one, use Dr Strange, who is in the next issue.
Over all I like this comic and it is starting to get better.