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.

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.

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 36

Guardians of the Galaxy 36 was cover dated May 1993 and was on sale in March 1993, sharing the spinner racks with Blood Syndicate #1, Cable #1, Icon #1, Incredible Hulk #405, Supergirl/Team Luthor #1 and Web of Spider-Man #100

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Taste the Deathless Life was  written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Kevin West with Steve Montano on inks. It opens where #35 finished with Drydock being destroyed. Seconds later, Martinex uses the Icarus’ teleport system to beam the crew of Drydock aboard, bringing together the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Galactic Guardians together for the first time and reuniting Martinex with his old team for the first time since #17.

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Whilst Hollywood carries the unconscious Charlie-27, Yellowjacket follows, unsure how Hollywood even knows who she is. Aleta (all of a sudden cold and distant) teleports outside along with Firelord, Phoenix and the Spirit of Vengeance to battle Dormammu. Hollywood is ordered by Martinex to join them as he, Replica, Nikki and Vance replace him in the sick bay, with Nikki showing that she still holds contempt for Replica for her being a Skrull, brushing against Nikki’s hatred of reptilian beings of any stripe. Yellowjacket continues to question Hollywood getting her nowhere, but she is starting to work it out. Unseen Talon also makes an exit in an EVA suit hoping his mystical knowledge will be of use against such a powerful mystical entity.

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Back on Earth, Doom and Rancor are becoming friendlier towards one another, causing friction between her and her lieutenants, she viciously punishes Batwing when he brings this to her attention, going as far as to scalp him.

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On the Icarus, Charlie-27 has awoken and Hollywood has engaged Dormammu and things are looking up for the collected Guardians. But this isn’t to last, Krugarr the 31st Century’s Sorcerer Supreme has already fallen before Dormammu and the Spirit of Vengeance has his  flame extinguished.

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As all looks lost, the Ancient One, mentor to Krugarr and the man once known as Doctor Strange, arrives and using the powers of the Guardians currently in space, blasts Dormammu with enough force to destroy him.

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But the fact is that Dormammu isn’t alone, the Marvel 616 version of Dormammu escaped the Dark Dimension and merged with the 31st Century Dormammu making himself a self-symbiote and giving him far more power than Strange expected. He points this out as he absorbs the energy from the attack and redirects it at Strange, killing him, leaving the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Galactic Guardians alone against the power of the Dread Dormammu.

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Notes: The team is never this strong again with 13 members and still they need help to hold their own against this new All-Powerful Dormammu.

Nikki’s reptile-ism makes an unwelcome return, bringing her into conflict with Martinex.

Charlie-27 is back and will soon return to the team.

Talon sneaks out to help the team in space, despite how outclassed he must be, showing a strong heroic streak in this happy go lucky inhuman.

Aleta becomes cold and practical, but that might simply be the situation they’re in.

I’m glad to see Martinex back as am always a big fan of the original team.

This issue is almost all action, yet some characterisation occurs and subplots move along.

How is Doctor Strange still alive in 3018? Well at least till the end of the issue.

It’s nice to see a high powered mystical threat to showcase all the teams’ members  and powers.

Can’t wait for the next issue.

Next Time:  The Conclusion

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 35

Guardians of the Galaxy 35 was cover dated April 1993 and was on sale in February 1993, sharing the spinner racks with Bloodshot #1, Hardware #1, Lance Barnes: Post Nuke Dick #1, Legionnaires #1, Sandman Mystery Theatre #1 and Stormwatch #1.

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Biological Warfare was written by Michael Gallagher, drawn by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with a brief recap of the current situations of the Guardians of the Galaxy before switching focus to Martinex’s Galactic Guardians and the decaying area of space seen in the last issue. Giraud, the current Phoenix, flies ahead of the rest of the team into this decayed space, falling victim to Bubonicus, who infects him with some sort of disease.

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He flies back to his team, with his power raging and the flaming raptor effect grows so large it dwarfs the Icarus and engulfs a nearby uninhabited planet.

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Firelord, as a protector of the universe and the spirit of vengeance are enraged and fly after Phoenix, despite Martinex’s warning, while Mainframe gives us some exposition on Bubonicus.

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As this happens, Bubonicus infects Firelord and the spirit, both collapse (well they’re in space, so they sort of fold over, but don’t actually go anywhere) and Martinex orders the ship de-cloaked and the two retrieved. Replica argues, which doesn’t sit well with Martinex.

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Meanwhile it seems that Bubonicus’ actions may have a larger consequence as Mainframe communes with Eternity, the being whose body encompasses the universe itself. The decaying space is actually a malignant cancer in the body of the universe and unless the Phoenix can help, the universe is in danger. On the Icarus, Bubonicus attacks Martinex, only to learn that Martinex was behind him and Replica is unharmed, she changes form into a Jadroxxian the beats Bubonicus into unconsciousness.

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Giraud burns the infection from himself and then does the same for Eternity and all living things take notice. Phoenix returns to the Icarus and does the same there, causing Bubonicus himself to vanish, but allowing the rest of the infected team members to recover.

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Replica sees that Bubonicus has gone and the Galactic Guardians head to rendezvous with Drydock, just in time to see it destroyed by the Dread Dormammu.

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Notes: That is a hell of a cliffhanger.

This is a disjointed story, feeling at once rushed and also padded.  The threat of Bubonicus is consdered so great and yet he is taken out by a teenage Skrull. It seems a little too easy.

I enjoyed seeing Eternity as part of the story and his being injured was interesting. Using Phoenix to cauterise the fabric of the universe is very much in keeping with it’s earliest use in the 70’s X-Men.

West’s art style has fully taken hold now and it’s looking like a good fit, with the not quite so human looking characters still having personality and features.

It feels very much like a fill in issue, but by the main creative team and am it feels like a getting the pieces in place for later issue, than a fully fledged story, that said I do like seeing the Galactic Guardians again and Martinex has been missed from this title for the last 18 or so issues.

Next Time: The Galactic Guardians vs Dormammu and what happened to the Guardians of the Galaxy?

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 34

Guardians of the Galaxy 34 was cover dated March 1993 and was on sale in January 1993, sharing the spinner racks with Action Comics #686, Amazing Spider-Man #375, Death: The High Cost of Living #1, Fantastic Four Unlimited #1, Justice League America #72 and Secret Defenders #1.

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A Hitchhiker’s guide to the Guardians of the Galaxy was written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Charlie-27 choking on some blood in his throat which has congealed. Nikki standing beside him can only panic until the female Yellowjacket, last seen in issue 29 offers to help. She shrinks down to ant/yellowjacket size and flies into Charlie’s open mouth and dislodges the clot with a energy blast from her stingers.

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She returns to regular size as Martinex, the former Guardian leader notifies her that he and the Galactic Guardians are enroute and ready to help any way needed. Vance and Aleta are still kissing from the last issue and the weird energy on the starboard hull from last issue has now grown a smoking face.

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On Earth, Dr Doom uses Realitee-Vee to control the slaves brought there by Rancor and her people to finishing repair the Realitee-Vee refinery. Under the RTV control they will work themselves to death. When MindScan asks “We’ve imported thousands of labourers, what happens when they die?”

“Then you shall bring me thousands more.” Even Rancor is suprised by this cold bloodedness.

On Drydock, Rita DeMara (Yellowjacket II) is commissioned as a Guardian of the Galaxy, just as the ship is attacked by some unknown force.  The Galactic Guardians whilst flying to Drydock’s location see a section of space decaying through some unknown means. There’s then a quick recap of the events of issues 30-32, where Vance mentions that he passed through the Dark Dimension. This sets alarm bells off with Talon who rushes off to contact his former mentor, Krugarr, the sorcerer supreme.

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Drydock is circled by the seven rings of Ragadoor, Aleta/Starhawk dissolves the rings, but Talon already knows they’re in great danger and Krugarr is ambushed before he can assist.

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On Earth, Doom and Rancor meet, whilst Doom is looking at the Moon, trying to find the Inhumans. He is stumped by the fact they remain hidden, but we are shown that this is by someone else’s design and soon this person will have their revenge, on who and why we’ll just have to wait.

Back on Drydock, the nameless threat announces himself. The Guardians of the Galaxy now face The Dread Dormammu.

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Notes: Well that was different. Most of the Guardians’ threats have been scientific in origin. They’ve dealt with aliens and their technology/powers and so on and less with any mystical threats and the first one they come across is Dormammu?

West’s art is well established now as the look  of the title and his design of the characters is looking better.

It’s nice to see Martinex back, as well as the Galactic Guardians and the decaying space plot will materialise next issue.

The Doom/Rancor moments are really enjoyable in a Game of Thrones sort of way, both need each other for the moment and respect one another, but very eager also to kill one another. They are also both supremely confident, giving the scenes an added edge of scenery chewing. The Inhumans subplot hinted at before and started here will go one for several months, but is a welcome addition and will also flesh out the origin of Talon when we get to it.

Gallagher was more keen as a writer to continue with Talon’s mystical side. In each issue he either does something magic related or makes reference to magic.

Yellowjacket is a welcome addition to the team, giving the character something to do and once again connecting the title with Marvel’s present.

I liked this issue and reading them one by one am getting more out of them, unlike a lot of more recent comics runs.

Next Time: We take a break from this story to see what the Galactic Guardians are getting up to.