Guardians of the Galaxy 44 was cover dated January 1994 and was on sale in November 1993, sharing the spinner racks with Aquamana: Time & Tide #1, Hawkeye #1, Hawkman #1, Iron Man #300, Lobo #1 and Marvels #1.
A Dagger of the Mind was written by Michael Gallagher, inked by Steve Montano and guest pencilled by Jeff Moore and opens with Aleta as Starhawk, towing the Guardians of the Galaxy on a quest Beyond. Angered at this unilateral action, Vance Astro confronts Aleta, who tells him that she knew of his meeting with the Beyonder and that they must do what they are doing. She also points out that they need to go through the Scar of Eternity (last seen in GOTG #35) but Vance notices that they are in fact heading for the Centauri system, home of Yondu Udonta. In a place Beyond, Malevolence and the Protege are still trying to escape the Beyonder’s grasp. A being known as the tracker appears destroys the prison holding Malevolence and the Protege and is seemingly destroyed for doing so.
The Tracker is really Mephisto, who survives the Beyonders attack to watch the Protege fight back against his captor. Somewhere else in space, Simon Williams, also known as Hollywood is looking for Dr Doom and not getting very far, he is being overheard by some unknown being
On Centauri IV, Aleta lands the energy sphere in front of Yondu and the rest of the team are overjoyed to see him. And he doesn’t share this. It transpires that time has been re-written for all except the Guardians. When Charlie-27 battled L’Matto, the Badoon Captain Universe, back in issue 32 he carried Yondu’s knife, when he was evacuated in issue 33, the knife was left behind. Thus the Badoon learned about the knife’s alloy Yaka over ten centuries too early. They invaded Centauri IV in the 1990’s and through genocide and interbreeding, the half Badoon/half Centaurians are the majority. Yondu, quite understandably, blames the Guardians for this.
Despite not remembering any of this, Talon checks it out and sees the vast numbers of half breed Badoon and the state of the planet’s eco-system. Yondu points out that he knows his knowledge will be of use, but he has told Starhawk that he wants the true timeline restored before he agrees. When Aleta comments that she made no such deal, Yondu angrily points out that he referred to Starhawk and points to the sky where Stakar, the original Starhawk has returned.
Notes: Yondu’s back…. now for the bad news.
With another guest artist, we’ve been left with an art team ill suited to this team and the book itself. Fortunately Kevin West returns in the next issue.
While not a particular fan of this new Starhawk version of Aleta, it is interesting to see her react to the return of the Starhawk version of Stakar.
Yondu is a welcome addition to the comic, it has been too long since he was in it and this more angry version makes sense in the story rather than some forced conflict.
The Doomquest starts making headway and that’ll get more interesting later on as does the Beyonder/Protege storyline, but not in this issue.
The timejolt theory used to explain how different people remember different things is a bit of a stretch, but as time travel theories go, there are worse. The biggest problem I have is that even within the story, this is impossible. If you recall from issue 27, the Guardians travel back along their own timeline (Earth 691), but find themselves in the present Marvel Universe (Earth 616) due to the effects of the Infinity War. So that means that the knife that started this whole mess was in Earth 616 and the Guardians went to their future which is Earth 691, which broke away from the 616 back in Marvel Two in One 69 which is before the Infinity War. So the knife should have stayed in the 616 universe and effecting that timeline and not the one that the Guardians live in. This might seem a bit of nit-picky problem, but to be honest, it took me out of the story and once you’ve done that, it’s hard to really care about what is happening.
A more positive note is that the issues after this do get better and there’s more exciting stuff coming, for that I can forgive a lacklustre issue.
Next Time: Guardians of the Galaxy vs the Halfbreed Badoon, Hollywood vs a big lizard, Protege vs the Beyonder and Starhawk vs Starhawk and the stakes only get higher from there.