Guardians of the Galaxy 56 was cover dated January 1995 and was on sale in November 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Batman: Castle of the Bat #1, Cyclops: Retribution #1, Man Called A-X #1, Ninjak Yearbook #1, Star Trek Generations #1 and Tales of Suspense #1.
Show me a hero and I will write your tragedy was written by Michael Gallagher, with Kevin West pencils and Steve Montano inking and opens with the Guardians of the Galaxy tele-porting back to the Icarus. Aleta is sent with Yondu and Yellowjacket to sickbay while the rest of the team are put on the task of finding where Ripjak went. As Vance is left alone, the holo communicator is activated and Martinex’s image appears before him. There is mention of Martinex looking like his old self, which the Galactic Guardians mini-series didn’t mention, although it’s how he looked there too. Martinex points out that he knows that the Guardians broke the quarantine and he is keeping an eye on them. To help? To stop them? It’s not made clear.
The intergalactic media points out that Aran IV has fallen to Ripjak and Talon goes in to tell Vance, mainly to rub his nose in it and warn him that he wants Vance’s job and will go through Vance to get it. While this is going on Charlie-27 and Nikki admit that this whole Stockade thing has made them both realise how much they feel for one another and there is a passionate kiss.
Meanwhile we learn what Ripjak has been doing. He is actually chasing sightings of the plague that depopulated Mars and when he finds that there’s no way to cure it, mercy kills the populace to prevent the infection spreading, not too different from a culling to prevent a cattle based virus moving off the farm.
In sick bay on the Icarus, Yondu helps Aleta recover and Vance is visibly relieved that she is awake and in recovery, then they find Ripjak, the Tombaugh system.
The team intercept Ripjak and battle with him, allowing him to show of the armoured spider-legs on his back, the battle is fierce, with the Martian holding his own and then Ripjak shows them the population of Tombaugh, all dying of the plague and their pain is there Guardians of the Galaxy’s fault.
This was a better issue than the last one or two with more on point characterisation and a better paced plot.
We get a great “Well that was close.” Resolution to the cliff hanger and the re-introduction to one of the team’s founders Martinex.
The scene between Nikki and Charlie-27 is as touching as the one with Talon and Vance is annoying.
We finally learn why Ripjak is killing worlds, it’s meant to prevent the spread of the plague that each world has fallen victim to. Put like that, the villainous view of Ripjak seems not as clear.
The fight between the team and the spider-legged Ripjak is fun and a entertaining and shows Ripjak as a true threat when he just pushes away the whole team and shows them what he was trying to do.
NEXT TIME: If they villain isn’t Ripjak, who is it?