Guardians of the Galaxy 32 was cover dated January 1993 and was on sale November 1992, sharing the spinner racks with Batman: The Blue, the Grey and the Bat #1, Doom 2099 #1, Justice League America #70, Stryfe’s Strike File #1, Superman #75 and X-Force #18.
We who are about to die salute you was written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Nikki and Talon being attacked by Charlie-27 in retaliation for her attack on him last issue. Charlie overpowers Nikki after accidentally knocking Talon out and in response Nikki pushes her flame/hair into Charlie’s face.
Back in the 31st Century, the Retox gang torture Tarin to get the information about the destruction of the Saltex refinery in the Bronx, meanwhile Dr Doom tells Rancor and her lieutenants his role in Realitee-Vee. It’s revealed that the Badoon’s involvement, the Punishers creation and Realitee-Vee itself was all the plan of Doom.
Doom forces Rancor’s assistance is restoring Realitee-Vee by addicting her and her team to Realitee-Vee itself and as a sweetener, gives her the broken claw of Wolverine lost in issue 23’s battle with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Back in the 20th Century Captain America and Vance ‘Major Victory’ Astro meet with Doctor Strange and he agrees to help Vance get to Moord, once Strange realises that Vance has met Strange’s older self.
On Moord, Charlie-27 arrives at the arena and faces L’Matto. Nikki’s attack on Charlie has cost him the hair on his head, but nothing else and he is ready to meet his opponent. He is unprepared for Captain Universe, who begins to pummel Charlie visciously.
Nikki and Talon have at some point been strapped to their chairs and are facing the screen watching Charlie take on L’Matto, but are blasted from behind by the unseen stowaway. Vance and Doctor Strange travel through the Dark Dimension and run across some of the Mindless Ones and after blinding them to escape appear over Moord. Charlie is doing well against L’Matto, but he really has no chance, fists have failed, he tries a gun, the gun fails and he tries Yondu’s dagger. The Badoon is interested in the dagger, but is ready to kill Charlie before analysing the weapon. Vance and Strange appear just as Charlie is about to be slain…To be continued.
Notes: Whilst in-team conflict is often a good thing in comics, for me it just seems like the previous writer spent months bringing the team together and then the new writers just throws a hang grenade into the mix. That said, seeing how much of a pounding that Charlie-27 can take reminds you how tough he is and the bald look stays for a while.
Again it’s mentioned by the Badoon that Charlie-27 is a Jovian, a race that as yet doesn’t exist. That’s two issues now where that’s just washed over.
Dr Strange only helps Vance because he knows he’ll still be around in over a thousand years, which is dubious reasoning to be honest.
Vance hands a disk to Captain America to give to the 616 version of Vance Astrovik, who at this point is in prison for the negligent homicide of his abusive father, this story was detailed in recent issues of New Warriors. It’s not really relevant to this series, but worth noting.
Dr Doom is awesome in this comic, as arrogant and scheming as he has ever been, he’s now seasoned by the centuries that have passed and far more in control. He has Rancor’s people by the throat and Rancor at bay for the moment and just accepts that it’s how it should be. Of all the things in this series that Michael Gallagher took time to get, Doom is not one of them.
The cliffhanger here leads into next issues climax of the Badoon Homeworld story and it’s only getting better.
Next Time: What happened to Starhawk.