Galactic Guardians 3 of 4

Galactic Guardians 3 was cover dated September 1994 and was on sale June 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Action Comics Annual #6, The Edge #1, Moonshadow #1, Spider-Man #50, X-O: Manowar #1/2 and Zero Hour 4.

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Let him who desires peace prepare for war was written by Michael Gallagher, with Kevin West on pencils and Steve Montano on inks and opens with Spirit of Vengeance battling Hazmat and Martinex battling Ganglian. Martinex is on the run, but Spirit beats Hazmat then leaves, Hazmat is then comforted by a mysterious figure.

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Vision and Hollywood battle each other to exhaustion under the control of Savant, who leaves with the mysterious figure from before, now shown to be a female humanoid.

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Silverback and Woden finish their battle, with Woden using Mjolnir to cast lightning onto Silverback and the sea creature. Silverback falls and is then berated by this mysterious figure again.

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Meanwhile, Spirit of Vengeance and a rejuvenated Firelord deal quickly with Ganglian. Spirit of Vengeance returns to his mortal form of Minister Wileyadus to take an unconscious Replica back to Med-Lab. Replica wakes and attacks Wileyadus, throwing him from the building in a fit of feverish rage. Hollywood returns to find Wileyadus falling and catches him, then sees him become the Spirit of Vengeance again who retaliates against Replica.

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Mainframe re-establishes control of the planet, thus releasing the Phoenix and once more the Galactic Guardians are together. Martinex ends the in-fighting, just in time for the villains they had defeated to rise up again and join them in Med-Lab, under the command of their leader Ubiquitor.

To be continued….

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Notes: This was the point between the 2nd and 3rd act where the hero(es) stand back up and are ready to face their challenges and the stakes are raised again. When they are split up, they are faced with individuals, now back together as a team, they face a team and the architect of this plot (whatever the plot may be) is revealed.

Replica battling Wileyadus makes little sense, she refers to Sarka as a pagan planet, but when we last saw Sarka, at the introduction of the Spirit of Vengeance, they were very much under the control of the Universalites as was Replica. This is explained away as a reflex action, but does take me out of the story a little. Her battling Spirit of Vengeance in his fiery form makes a lot more sense.

Woden battles Silverback and when he beats him, makes sure he doesn’t drown and just flies off, uninterested in the where and whys of it all. It’s a nice reminder that it’s really his experiences with the Avengers that made Thor a super hero, it’s not the Asgardians’ way of thinking and was a nice little touch.

They two teams are back at full strength and it looks like an all out battle is ahead of us. Maybe the questions we have will be answered.

NEXT TIME: The Conclusion.

 

 

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Galactic Guardians 2 of 4

Galactic Guardians 2 was cover dated August 1994 and was on sale June 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Aquaman #1, Deadpool #1, Ironman 2020 #1, Judge Dredd #1, Machine Man 2020#1 and Superboy Annual #1.

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I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night was written by Michael Gallagher, drawn by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Silverback battling Woden on the Bifrost bridge. After a brief fight, Woden decides to move the fight to Earth and is followed by Silverback.

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Back on Mainframe’s world, Martinex is rejoined by replica, who is holding a peace of the creature from inside Mainframe’s internal systems, which now seems to be infecting her. She changes shape in panic and Martinex rushes to get her to the Med-Lab facility after asking Phoenix to power it up.

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In orbit, Firelord has encountered an almost liquid being calling himself Hazmat who bathes Firelord in some kind of extra dimensional chemical. Firelord is struck down by it and is only saved by the arrival of the Spirit of Vengeance.

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On Earth, the battle between Silverback and Woden increases in ferocity and they battle through the Scorched Zone in North America, which is noticed by the President of the Northern Territories, Tarin and her VP Old Redd. The battle then moves into the water and they are both attacked by some mutated sea-creature which is big enough to see them both simply as food.

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On Neptune, Hollywood is punching his way through the planet to work off his anger at the Vision. Their argument is interrupted by the crash landing of an escape pod. Inside is a diminutive blue man calling himself Savant who quickly absorbs the knowledge and skills of both Hollywood and the Mainframe built body of the Vision. Savant wakes them up, with only the physical skills and emotions left and they start to battle one another.

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Back on Mainframe’s world, Martinex tries to help both Firelord and the increasingly angry Replica, but to little avail. Then Replica falls to the ground and starts to vomit up some kind of veined mass. It escapes her body and ‘stands’ before them as the Emissary of Extinction, Ganglian.

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To be continued.

 

Notes:

This was a better issue, more stuff happened and the feeling or urgency was increased. Introducing the villains and splitting the team up into smaller groups does give this whole comic a bit of a silver age feel to it.

The art is better also, Martinex looks back in his old multi-facet look and the art on Replica and Ganglian is particularly impressive.

Mainframe’s world is once more called Klaatu and his interaction with Hollywood does feel quite sibling.

The villains introduced are all working for some big bad who is not mentioned and it does explain why they are all working against the Guardians like this, making far more sense than whatever reason the Galactic Guardians have.

The idea of Skrulls shapeshifting when they panic is an interesting one, which makes a lot of sense, given that it’s their primary form of defense.

Ganglian makes a great last page reveal, despite most characters in this series being alien, most are the traditional humanoid type and to see such an odd looking creature is actually quite welcome.

The first issue sort of put me off, but this has brought me back in and am glad of it.

NEXT TIME: Part 3 The Big Bad revealed.

Galactic Guardians 1 of 4

This post is dedicated to my long suffering wife, the Mighty Rosie, without my usual method of scanning pages in, she stepped into help. Thanks love. Now on with the silly stuff. Galactic Guardians 1 was cover dated July 1994 and was on sale in May 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Adventures of Superman #514, Force Works #1, Legionnaires Annual #1, Quasar #60, Valor #21 and Violator #1.

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Amid the Encircling Doom, was written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Martinex, Spirit of Vengeance, Firelord, Phoenix and Replica (in the shape of a butterfly-like insec, rushing towards an emergency alarm sounded by Mainframe. Mainframe warns them that he must take himself offline and asks that the team look after the planet and the people, the former inhabitants of Haven. Phoenix offers to provide the raw power to keep the planet’s systems running. He is installed into the planet’s power supply while Martinex gives the rest of the team their assignments.

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Spirit and Firelord are sent to patrol the planet, while Replica is sent into the machinery of Mainframe to see what’s stopping him from detecting this anomaly, or as Martinex puts it, the intruder.

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Then we see Hollywood return to deal with the snitch who delivered him to Overkill, but is teleported away before he can get anywhere. Inside Mainframe, Replica finds some kind of organism and is told by Martinex to get a sample. Replica really doesn’t want to, but is reminded that the Guardians are not a democracy, he is in charge.

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On Neptune, Hollywood materialises next to Mainframe, once more in the form of the Vision and there is a tense argument between them, that Hollywood quickly turns to violence. It seems that during the War of the Worlds, Vision teleported Simon away to save his life, but cost him the chance to help the rest of Earth’s heroes during their last stand. Vision sent him back immediately, but Simon arrived back on Earth days later due to the light speed limitations of the earlier version of the teleporting machinery of Mainframe’s world. Simon felt he could have made the difference and Vision not believing the same caused their 1,000 year long rift. Vision points out that the origins of the War of Worlds was a mystery, even now. The aliens who launched the attack from Mars had help, now there are leads to this mystery and Simon may be able to forgive, not the Vision, but himself.

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We end the issue on Bifrost, the rainbow bridge to Asgard, where a large blue and grey creature called Silverback is sitting on the bridge, before being challanged by Heimdall. Heimdall is knocked down, but so is Silverback straight after as Woden, son of Thor has arrived.

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Notes: This is not the great first issue it could be. Gallagher doesn’t have the same handle on this cast as he does on the main team. The dialogue as a result comes off as either corny of overly dramatic.

The art is still of a high standard, Hollywood’s new costume design and the character work on other characters is excellent. I particularly enjoyed the different forms of Replica and the organism inside Mainframe.

Martinex jumps to the conclusion of an intruder with no outward signs in this issue until Replica makes her discovery and so his using Replica seems to make no sense at all really.

The Soap Opera level disagreement between Hollywood and Mainframe is really enjoyable and fills in the gaps of their relationship well. Having a brother you don’t speak to for 1,000 years makes no sense without some inciting incident and this makes so much sense.

This Vision is very much the one used in  John Byrne’s run on West Coast Avengers and while I am a fan of that era Byrne, this more logical and cold version of Vision is not particularly very interesting. The machine with a human heart and soul was so much more engaging to me. Not every android needs to be Data from Star Trek.

Bringing in Silverback means a welcome return to Woden, son of Thor and that alone made me want to read the next issue.

NEXT TIME: Issue 2, more action more bad guys and more cool stuff to look at.

Guardians of the Galaxy Annual 4

Guardians of the Galaxy Annual 4 was on sale June 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Adventures of Superman Annual #6, Incredible Hulk Annual #20, Robin Annual #3, Tom & Jerry Annual #1 and World’s Collide #1

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Wrath of a Woman scorned was written by Michael Gallagher. The pencils were split between Jim Hall, Kevin West and Ed Lazellari. The inks were done by Tom Christopher, Mark McKenna, Jim Amash, Micky Ritter, Bob Almond and Rodney Ramos. This is one of the few Guardians comics that has no inks by Steve Montano, but he does pencil a pin-up later in the issue. The story opens with Rancor and her lieutenants conquering the Inhumans on the moon.

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Then comes the second part of Rancor’s plan.  She has SideStep teleport to the Icarus whilst the Guardians aren’t there (they have yet to return from their adventure with the Beyonder) and rig some sabotage with MindScan’s astral assistance. When the Guardians do arrive, they are sedated and the Icarus moved towards it’s new destination. While this is happening, Rancor and her lieutenants take the entire Inhuman population and transport them to a new, uninhabited world which she calls Haven II. By the time The Guardians are awake, they are on the planet, without their stars, facing one of the mutants.

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Talon awakes in some sort of sick bay, strapped to a table with Rancor taunting him. His amulet is gone, but he uses his projectile claws to hurt Rancor so he can free himself. There is then a brief battle, which  does not go well for Talon. Rancor enjoys herself, but muses that it’s time for the examination.

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On another part of Haven 2, Blockade faces Yellowjacket and it seems like an unfair match, until Yellowjacket uses her pym particles to match Blockades giant size and to shrink him down, but it doesn’t end well for her as her heart suffers for the stress of changing size.

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Batwing is searching for Vance Astro, who is being held by some of the Inhumans, including Exemplar, the father of Composite, who possesses the powers of all the Inhuman royals, save for Blackbolt. Exemplar points out what Rancor has done and that they wish to rebel. Batwing sees this and takes an Inhuman child hostage. All this does is give more reason for Vance to knock him down. Only to be faced with his Inhuman captors.

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Somewhere else, Yondu faces Mindscan, who rather than fight simply plays with his mind. She shows him his deity Anthos as a statue with his name under it, then forces him to demolish it and it is rebuilt, the th from the middle is moved to the front and the statue of Anthos is now a statue of Thanos. Yondu is outraged, but this plagues him, making him question and doubt until finally his faith is broken. In a rage he punches Mindscan and takes his dagger hoping to kill himself to retain his honour. But he can’t, he can’t pray for the strength to do it either, because he no longer believes.

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Next we have Rancor explaining what she wants from Talon, a baby. Talon is not interested, but a brief recap of Rancor’s history underlines what she says about herself, what she wants, she takes.

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Sidestep takes on Aleta, there’s a brief jaunt to the realm of the mystical villain Nightmare, before Aleta simply loses her temper and blasts Sidestep in the face. Then we have one of the bigger parts of Rancor’s plan as Charlie-27 is arrested by the constabulary for being the planetary serial killer Ripjak. Using tranquilising gas, Charlie is dropped after punching out several of their troops.

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Nikki is left to Shaddo, who underestimates Nikki’s unarmed skills. Shaddo leaves her an unloaded gun and when it doesn’t fire, Shaddo drops her shadow cloak tendrils inside Nikki’s mouth. As imprint learned several issues ago, there’s a reason that Mercurians’ heads are on fire. Their internal temperature would burn most other life forms, including Shaddo’s cape. Nikki burns the cape and bows her head, projecting the fire towards Shaddo, almost killing her. Vance shows up and berates Nikki for her lack of restraint and then the two of them are teleported somewhere.

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Back on the Icarus, Talon  appears, followed by all of the team, except Charlie-27 and tells them that they are leaving. Vance objects, but Talon (now in possession of his amulet) teleports the whole ship to Lunar orbit.

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On Haven 2, Rancor is content, ruler of all she surveys and now, mother to be.

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There’s also another future history chapter, all covering stuff we have already covered and a pin up of Aleta, drawn in this case by Steve Montano, showing that he’s as good a penciller as an inker.

Notes:

This isn’t a great issue, offering nothing new or interesting to the Guardians of the Galaxy lore. It seems to serve only to give Rancor a happy ending and set up the Ripjak arc. The splitting the team to set up several fights is a retread of issue 6 and isn’t as good as that issue, which makes it a negative comparison.

The art is somewhat inconsistent and lacks the smooth quality of other issues, the colours are a bit too thick and the inks are heavier in places than they need to be.

It was good to see Charlie-27 get to kick some @$$. The constables having to sacrifice some of there number just to slow him down.

Rancor’s motivations start making more sense and the scenes between her and Talon are packed with tension and unease. She ends up getting what she wants out of it all and no one knows the price Talon pays for it.

This is the start of Vance Astro and Talon’s rivalry and how is fractures the team, Vance’s command of the Guardians is shaking and it’s only going to get worse.

In the end, it’s not a great issue, but it is important to set up the next stage of the Guardians of the Galaxy as they entire their final year.

NEXT TIME: We’re taking a break from the Guardians of the Galaxy and are taking a look at the 4 issue series of Galactic Guardians, to see what Martinex’s team has been upto.

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol1) 50

Guardians of the Galaxy 50 was cover dated July 1994 and was on sale in May 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Action Comics #700, Disney’s the Lion King #1, Flash #92, Star Slammers #1, Steel Annual #1 and Warstrike #1.

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Coldly sublime, intolerably just was written by Michael Gallagher, with art by Kevin West and Steve Montano and opens with Talon being tortured by Mephisto and Malevolence, with specific attention being paid to his lower back in an effort to force him to surrender the amulet he wears around his neck.

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After a momentary gap in blasts, Talon is able to free himself and strike back against the two, he also magics himself up a brace to support his back.

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The scene shifts to Yondu in prayer, having a vision of his people’s god Anthos. The vision is vivid, but confusing, leaving Yondu with questions, the only reply from Anthos is “Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are. The answers lie within the sacred flames.” He wakes from this vision to find himself with the Guardians of the Galaxy who are all transfixed, as is the Beyonder, by the Protege who has become so powerful as to be a threat to the multiverse itself.

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The Protege seeks to gain the support of the Hawkgod, knowing how he rankles as the way the abstract entities treat him, but the Hawkgod rejects this and blasts the Protege for the greater good, but not before stripping the powers from Stakar and Aleta, this ending their joint existence as Starhawk.

 

 

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Somewhere else, Sidestep and Blockade return to Rancor, telling her that all is in place. Rancor reveals a clone of Charlie-27, a key part of her plan, which doesn’t stop her from butchering him in front of her lieutenants.

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We are then back with the Protege who brings Mephisto and Malevolence to his side, inadvertently bringing Talon as well. The Guardians see this and with the Beyonder’s help attack the trio to stop the Protege and free Talon.

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The fight is quick, with Charlie-27 and Yondu going straight for Mephisto, who fights back using mystical fire. Seeing the flames, Yondu knows who he is and where he stands and fires an arrow into Mephisto’s chest.

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Angry with the poor showing from his allies and fully aware of their intended betrayal, the Protege banishes the two to some unnamed place where they can atone. As the Protege prepares for his final attack, Scathan the Celestial responds, he does not approve and contains the Protege in an opaque muzzle so that judgement can be made.

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The first thing to deal with is Starhawk, the Hawkgod decides that there should only be one of them and Aleta withdraws from contention, retaining only her light powers. Stakar becomes Starhawk alone and is taken back to the stars, only to be told by the Hawkgod that those he thinks of as his parents were just going to eat him and he still doesn’t know who his mother and father were. Aleta is elated at being free from being Starhawk, but is heartbroken to see Vance, once again cut off from her inside a containment suit.  The Beyonder is also judged and is sent back to his own universe, the rift between the two universes sealed. The Beyonder laments that this will lead to his earlier ennui, but remembers that he left Vance’s new containment suit in the other universe and he can monitor it from where he is.

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The Protege is also judged and is entombed within the hourglass within the chest of the Living Tribunal.

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Talon, on the Guardians’ behalf objects, but the team find themselves back on the Icarus. The only thing left is to answer the question of Yondu. Yondu is glad to count himself a Guardian of the Galaxy and so a new era dawns.

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There is also a back up strip regarding the history of the Guardians’ timeline, but much of this has already been written about and to be honest you miss nothing by skipping it.

Notes: This brings to an end the saga of the Protege and Malevolence and the end of the Beyonder’s story also and it does so in an interesting, if not exciting manner.

The Guardians are for the most part sidelined, with the introduction of Mephisto and Malevolence to the Protege’s side being the only thing they have to do, so it feels very little like a Guardians’ story, which is shame for a milestone issue. Although after Galactus in #25, you can really only go to the universe itself to top that.

I did like Charlie-27 and Yondu punching out Marvel’s equivalent of Satan and Yondu rejoining the team by shooting an arrow through him, but that’s really their main contribution.

Rancor makes an appearance, looking very cat-like and her murder of the Charlie-27 clone is a nice reminder of not only her savagery, but her cold cruel demeanour as well.

Finally we have an end to the Starhawks story as well, with Stakar as the sole Starhawk and Aleta free of both her ex-husband and the burden of being one who knows. Neither of them have anything like a happy ending. So I suppose it’s back to Vance and Aleta’s forbidden love.

Apart from Martinex, the entire team is back together again and we’ve another year of adventures to look forward to.

NEXT TIME: Rancor is back and she wants revenge amongst other things.

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 49

Guardians of the Galaxy 49 was cover dated June 1994 and was on sale in April 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Avengers #375, Books of Magic #1, Shadow Cabinet #1, Shadowman #0, Star Wars: Droids #1 and Thor #475.

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Time is the Rider that breaks us all was written by Michael Gallagher with Kevin West and Steve Montano on art and opens with the Guardians of the Galaxy giving a single page exposition dump, before trying to find out where they are and how badly Talon’s back has been hurt. Talon isn’t keen to let on how bad it is, but Vance has noticed.

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Mephisto schemes to get his hands on Talon’s amulet and then we are back with the cosmic beings. Where the Protege and the Beyonder are biding their time whilst the two Starhawks arrive and are berated by the Hawkgod who decides to strip them of their power, before being reminded of his trial and how that came about. There’s then some flashbacks about the Hawkgod of Arcturus’ rampage, including the extinction of the Watchers

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There was a trial, with Galactus defending the Hawkgod and the prosecutor (Ulig, last of the Watchers) bringing up the Hawkgod’s connection to Bubonicus. The Hawkgod was banished to the world of Arcturus to remain silent and unmoving until he was freed by Stakar and Aleta and then went on another rampage. To make up for this, he created the entity known as Starhawk, to do good works with his power.

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Then the Beyonder notices something, but we are left wondering what fills his face with such horror. Wherever the Guardians are, they are able to follow the trail left by the Beyonder. Talon locks on and begins a spell to teleport them to wherever the Beyonder is, but as they go, Mephisto is able to grab Talon mid-teleport and when the the Guardians appear behind the Beyonder, Talon  is gone.

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Elsewhere Mindscan, one of the lieutenants of Rancor, has arranged for an interstellar police force known as the constabulary to acquire some evidence leading to the planetary level serial killer Ripjak. For her own amusement, Mindscan forces the constables to fight for this evidence, with one killing the other, setting up a new subplot for the future.

Next to the Beyonder, on the hand of the Celestial known as Scathan, the Guardians of the Galaxy look in awe at the cosmic beings, but notice that Talon is missing. Talon is being tortured by Mephisto and Malevolence to induce him to surrender the amulet. When Nikki of the Guardians asks the Beyonder where Talon is, but the Beyonder could not care less. He points upward and they all turn to see the Protege, who having observed the powers of Eternity, The Living Tribunal, the Beyonder, the Hawkgod and Scathan the Celestial has become the most powerful being in existence.

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Notes: This is another part of the story that seems stretched to make sure the story ends at issue 50, so very little happens and much of what does is recap and flashback, this does leave the story a little thin.

While the trial of the Hawkgod does give us a nice image of many of the abstracts and other cosmic level entities, I recognised Order, Chaos and the Stranger in one panel alone and it does answer the question about why the Hawkgod was on Arcturus and how Stakar and Aleta became Starhawk in the first place.

The interlude with the Constabulary does sort of begin the next big story, the Ripjak saga and it shows Kevin West’s skills when he is in space and on planets rather than the abstract areas he’s been dealing with recently.

It’s also nice to see more of Rancor’s people, who will be returning in the next annual.

The subplot of Talon’s back starts here too and carries on for quite a while.

Overall an okay issue, but nothing more than that, it’s all building towards something and now, we are almost there.

NEXT TIME:  Issue 50, the fate of Starhawk and the fate of the Protege.

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 48

Guardians of the Galaxy 48 was cover dated May 1994 and was on sale March 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix #1, Damage #1, Kindred #1, Magnus Robot Figher/Nexus #1, The Ray #1 and X-Men: The Early Years #1.

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It ain’t over till it’s Overkill, was written by Michael Gallagher with art by Kevin West and Steve Montano and opens with Overkill standing over Hollywood, who is standing up to face him. After a brief tussle, Hollywood is given Overkill’s origin, history with the Guardians of the Galaxy and the tale ends with Overkill showing that his armour has been augmented and Hollywood is pushed back with the sheer fire-power of Overkill.

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What follows is an epic fight, the armoured Stark against the Ionically powered, but unarmed Earthling. The battle is brutal and unforgiving.

Meanwhile the two Starhawks fly through the Scar of Eternity and appear in the abstract realm before the Arcturian Hawkgod, Eternity, the Celestial and the Living Tribunal. While they are distracted by this sudden arrival, the Beyonder and the Protege plan their next move, with the Protege becoming more powerful and more arrogant.

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Meanwhile in the Beyonder’s universe, Mephisto and Malevolence amuse themselves by battling the Guardians of the Galaxy. Mephisto is interested by Talon’s amulet, when Talon uses it to teleport the Guardians away, to who knows where.

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While this is going on, Hollywood and Overkill continue their fight, then Overkill mentions the War of the Worlds and Wonderman’s absence from the final days. Full of rage, Hollywood presses forward and brings Overkill to his knees. Realising he is lost, his cannons lost and his hand crushed, Overkill activates his self destruct, hoping to take Hollywood and a number of nearby planets with him. The blast is tremendous and in the end, Hollywood flies free, determined once again to find Doom.

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Notes: Most of this issue was a fight scene. To be honest it was a good fight scene, but it doesn’t leave you with many things to say. The scenes with the Guardians are a little superfluous, really just marking time till issues 49 & 50, so the main focus of the issue is Overkill and his unsuccessful attempt to kill Hollywood.

As a sometime Avenger, Wonderman hasn’t always had many great moments in the spotlight, even his solo series focused more on him being an wannabe actor and not a prominent superhero, so this issue did something, it made him a 1,000 years into the future a bad-ass.

Hollywood’s reaction to the legacy of Tony Stark was well handled and it was a fitting way to put a bit of a full stop on the Stark story.

Next time: Back to the main story, the Beyonder, the Protege and more.

 

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 47

Guardians of the Galaxy 47 was cover dated April 1994 and was on sale in February 1994, sharing the spinner rack with Danger Unlimited #1, Gen 13#1, Green Lantern #51, Nightwatch #1, Ninjak #1 and Power & Glory #1.

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Climb far, your goal the sky, your aim the star was written by Michael Gallagher, is pencilled by Kevin West and had Steve Montano on inks. It opens with Martinex’s Galactic Guardians querying where the Guardians of the Galaxy have disappeared to and recapping the situation in regards to Hollywood’s Doom Quest. It also introduces a problem with Mainframe, leading in to an upcoming Galactic Guardians mini-series. (Since it stars two ex-Guardians, I will be covering it, either as four separate entries, or as one big one, I haven’t re-read it recently, so I do not know yet.)

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As this is going on, the Guardians of the Galaxy react to the changes from last issue to Major Victory. Gone are his Captain America inspired clothes, replaced by a black all in one with white gloves and a white star outline. Only his eyes and inside his mouth are visible. Yellowjacket points out the similarity to Spider-Man’s black costume and Talon wonders if he needs a new name. The team heads away from Mephisto and Malevolence and watch as the planet, without the Beyonder on it, start to lose stability and begins to suffer severe seismic stress. At this point, Charlie-27 falls into a newly formed chasm and is saved by Yellowjacket, using her Pym particle launcher to reduce Charlie’s size to make him small enough to carry in one hand.

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Near Centauri IV, the two Starhawks arrive in orbit, seeing that the timeline has been restored and at Aleta’s insistence fly off the the Scar of Eternity (first seen in issue 35) in order to help the Guardians, who are now under attack by Mephisto and Malevolence. In the space outside of reality, the Celestial Accuser, Living Tribunal, Arcturian Hawkgod and Eternity, stand in judgement over the Beyonder and the Protege. Incensed at their treatment of them, Beyonder and Protege grow in size to match Eternity and then blast him into nothing-ness.

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An instant later, it’s as if nothing has happened. Eternity points out that he is the universe itself, their perception of him is simply how they respond to his existence as an abstract. Blasting him, is like blasting their idea of what the universe could be as a person. The gathered entities point out how much the Beyonder and Protege abuse their power and that it equates to cosmic treason and they will be judged.

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Meanwhile Mephisto has gown in size and battles the Guardians of the Galaxy, while the odds are against them, Vance and his team are determined to make this a real fight to the finish. Elsewhere Hollywood is drawn to an underground cavern on an abandoned asteroid and is then blasted back into orbit by the person who lured him there, the Stark called Overkill.

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Notes: I don’t have too much to say about this one as it seems a bit of a filler issue. The plot is barely moved along at all, with only a couple of pages really having any impact.

The Starhawks’ bickering is getting tiresome now and am anxious for all that to be over.

It was nice to see one of the Stark again, the villains from the earliest part of the series have been conspicuous by their absence in the last couple of years.

This being a bit of a filler issue, there’s a bit of room to add scenes, the scene were Yellowjacket saves Charlie-27 is very good, reminding me of a big movie set piece and the Mephisto changing form was visually quite interesting.

The Beyond and the Protege believe for a second that they have destroyed the universe itself, it’s a silly bit, but does allow that exposition of what Eternity actually is and why it can appear next to the Living Tribunal and one of the Celestials.

Next Time: Overall, the story is building up to issue 50 quite nicely, but stops dead in it’s tracks to showcase Hollywood and Overkill.