Guardians of the Galaxy 43 was cover dated December 1993 and was on sale October 1993, sharing the spinner racks with Children’s Crusade #1, Cyberforce #1, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy #1, Josie & the Pussycats #1, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi #1 and Vanguard #1.
How far the Mighty have Fallen was written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Dale Eaglesham and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Sif and the Guardians of the Galaxy watched Woden, son of Thor battle his uncle Loki. As the two gods battle above Asgard, the Guardians deal with the remaining Inhumans, with Charlie-27 taking Stupor apart and Yellowjacket blasting Imprint whilst Nikki chases Phobia.
Far from there, Heimdall and Aleta are trapped on Remora’s world and are slowly regaining their strength after losing many memories. The two are clearly becoming closer, as Starhawk, Aleta is closer to what Heimdall is, that she is to Vance Astro and the attraction is clear and mutual. Remora enters and tries to take memories again, Aleta then forces memories into him, the memory of watching her children die, whilst Stakar could do nothing and him being in control of the Starhawk body, her being in limbo at the time. Remora screams in pain. Aleta frees herself and Heimdall and she mentions that she wishes she had more time with him.
Back in Asgard, Phobia is torturing Nikki with the horrors she witnessed as a child until the Guardians rescue her and put all of the beaten Inhumans, including Composite and Wormhole in an energy dome created by Talon’s amulet. Loki and Woden are still fighting, Woden lacking the skill and experience to beat Loki. Loki makes the mistake of insulting Thor, which enrages Woden, who tells Loki that Thor possesses that which all gods need, humanity. Thor looks on, filled with a father’s pride, when his father Odin comes to talk to him about forgiveness.
There is an interlude with Malevolence and the Protege, trapped by the Beyonder, they bicker, but Malevolence can sense the approach of her father Mephisto. Starhawk and Heimdall leave Remora’s world after destroying the tower that held the prisoners and transmitted the memories and they return to Asgard. They arrive at Asgard in time to prevent Loki from freeing the Inhumans from Talon’s energy dome after he teleports to his allies. Before he can succeed he faces the three men of the house of Odin, Odin himself, this son Thor and Thor’s son Woden. All three have their hand on Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor and they use it to send the Inhumans and Loki to the Black Canyon, caught halfway between the deathly cold of Niflheim and the fiery torment of Muspelheim.
Thor, his father and his son are reunited once more, with Loki gone and Heimdall returned, all is well in the kingdom of Asgard, Talon jokes about the team being designated Asgardians of the Galaxy before they are led to Bifrost by Heimdall. There is another moment between Starhawk and Heimdall, which upsets Vance to the point where he simply wants to get back to the ship. Starhawk demands they stop and when Vance objects, she ignores him and takes him and the rest of the team Beyond!
Notes: This is a somewhat lacklustre ending in regards to action. The battle between Woden and Loki happens mostly off panel and Eaglesham struggles to put the power into the battle for Asgard that an artist more familiar with Thor would.
I got very tired of the Remora story before this issue started and taking nearly half the book up with it really didn’t help. Also the budding romance between Heimdall and Aleta/Starhawk is laid on so very thick that it feels forced and uninteresting. It’s there to create more tension and conflict between Vance and Aleta and it does that, but in a ham-fisted way.
The Inhumans are dealt with really quickly and it’s nice to see the Guardians win one, in particular Charlie-27 has a great issue, paying Stupor back for his earlier defeat.
The one thing about this issue I really did like was the reunited house of Odin. Seeing Odin, the fallen, but still noble Thor and the heroic Woden was a great scene and watching their judgement of Loki gives the story a satisfying emotional ending.
NEXT TIME: Now we’re finished with that story, next time we go beyond and there is a welcome return from an old friend.