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