Haven’t decided one way or another so far, so wondering what other’s may think.
From 1969 to 1996, they guarded the galaxy. During that time, they did it all, time travel, evil twins, epic losses and victories and high adventure. They travelled to the past, lived in the far future and kicked ass in both. They met everyone from Spider-Man to Adam Warlock, from Quasar to the Thing. They helped the Fantastic Four, worked with the Defenders and at one point joined the Avengers. Their enemies ranged from the Stark to the Badoon, from Dr Doom to Galactus and at one point, the devil himself. They were the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The great advantage they had, by not having their own title for much of their early years, was that they were passed around from creative team to creative team and were worked on by some of the best around.
They were written first by Arnold Drake, but were also written by Chris Claremont, Gerry Conway, Tom DeFalco, Michael Gallagher, Steve Gerber, Mark Gruenwald, Len Kaminski, Ralph Macchio, Ron Marx, David Michelinie, Jim Shooter and Jim Valentino.
Drawn first by the excellent Gene Colan, but he was followed by pencillers Jerry Bingham, Sal Buscema, John Byrne, Howard Chaykin, Colleen Doran, Dale Eaglesham, Don Heck, Ron Lim, Bob McLeod, Al Milgrom, the legend that is George Perez, Mark Texeira, Herb Trimpe, Jim Valentino, Mike Vosburg and Kevin West.
There were from where I sit 5 distinct eras for the Guardians.
1969-1975: The guest star years, their first appearance, the war with the Badoon and adventures with the Defenders.
1976:-1977: The solo adventures, their post war years with strange adventures and a new member or two.
1977-1980: The second guest era, including both the Korvac Saga and and the point where the Guardians’ timeline diverged from the 616 timeline.
1990-1992: The Valentino years, where the team came into their own and had their own adventures in their own really entertaining title.
1992-1995: The post Valentino years, where Michael Gallagher and Kevin West blazed their own trail taking the series to it’s conclusion.
My favourite will always be the Jim Valentino era, he brought me into the series and it stills hold up. The other eras have their high points and all of them are worth having a look. In a time when the only Guardians of the Galaxy anyone remembers include a talking tree and a ill tempered raccoon, I wanted to fly the flag for the first team:
Captain Charlie-27: Last of the soldiers of Jupiter.
Martinex T’Naga: Last of the scientists of Pluto
Nicolette Gold: Young survivor of Mercury.
Yondu Udonta: Last warrior of Alpha Centauri
Aleta Ogord: Lady of Light
Starhawk: One who knows
Vance Astro: Survivor of the 20th Century.
These guys guarded the galaxy and they did it with style.
They guarded the galaxy. They entertained and inspired me, check them out, back issues or the recent reboot Guardians 3000.
Now, in case it wasn’t apparent, the Guardians of the Galaxy and all associated characters are trademarks of Marvel Entertainment and all rights are reserved to them. No infringement is meant and this blog is simply my way of thanking Marvel for all the entertainment they have given me and so many others.
Before I go I want to say a thankyou to Al Sedano, who’s podcast about Adam Warlock, (which I mentioned in an earlier post about Podcasts, the link’ll be there) inspired me to start doing this. He deserves plenty of credit, or blame, maybe it’s blame. The person I have to thank most is my most excellent wife Rosie, without her support and encouragement, many things, including this blog, would not happen. She is my north star, when I see her, I always know where home is. Also a bit of shout out to my son Sam, for being awesome and the greater online fan/podcasting communities, keeping the flame alive for so many things we loved once and loved still.
New Warriors 68 was cover dated February 1996 and was on sale December 1995, sharing the spinner racks with Askani’son #1, DC vs Marvel #1, Firebrand #1, Phoenix Resurrection: Genesis #1, Storm #1 and Vamps: Hollywood & Vein #1.
Future Shock 1: Just Yesterday was written by Evan Skolnick, pencilled by Patrick Zircher and inked by Andrew Pepoy and opens with someone falling through time in a very painful manner, landing in 1947. The scene then shifts to a wharehouse in New York in 1995, where the New Warriors are having a games night together playing risk. Team members Robbie (Speedball) Baldwin, Mickey (Turbo) Mushashi, Rina (Timeslip) Patel, Alex (Powerhouse) Power, Angelica (Firestar) Jones and Carlton (Hindsight) LaFroyge are joined by former members Mike Jeffries and Richie Rider, the former Turbo and Nova, also present is Laura Dunham, Richie’s girlfriend. Rounding off this group is Justice, the team leader, there in his civilian identity of Vance Astrovik (Wow, that’s a familiar name isn’t it?) enjoying the game, which Carlton has taken very seriously.
Also in attendence is Helix, who the team have taken in, who is unable to speak a word of english and the team having no spanish speakers on it, are unable to determine his identity and as a result. he’s just been hanging out with the team. There is a blackout, then a flash of light and seven beings appear inside the Warriors’ headquarters.
They are Vance (Major Victory) Astro, Yondu Udonta, Aleta Ogord, Captain Charlie-27, Nicholette Gold, Martinex T’Naga and Simon (Hollywood) Williams, the Guardians of the Galaxy. They are looking for some kind of temporal anomaly that is in the room with them. Vance talks to younger Vance while the rest of the team start scanning and then everyone starts looking at Timeslip.
Convinced the anomaly is her, the Guardians try to take her out, then the readings change and we learn that the actual anomaly is Speedball. The Guardians attempt to take Speedball and that’s when things kick off.
There is a fight, with Helix joining in and the Warriors seem to be doing well against the Guardians. Timeslip feels she isn’t contributing enough and concentrates and in so doing, finds herself transported back in time, to before the Guardians arrived and only she has notice this.
She tries to tell them about what happened, but time seems somehow reset. The blackout and flash of light happens again and we expect this to be the arrival of the Guardians of the Galaxy. But it isn’t, it’s one of Nova and the New Warriors’ greatest threats, the Sphinx.
The Guardians of the Galaxy:
This was the last appearance of the Guardians as we know them. Any future appearances were alternate versions, where Vance was called Major Victory before being freed from his protective suit and other minor variations.
For the first time is so many posts, this is not a Guardians centric story, they are guest characters in this book and actually act and are treated like the villains, until their appearance is retconned away and the Sphinx returns.
This was an action heavy issue and was quite enjoyable.
The New Warriors:
The New Warriors first appeared in The Mighty Thor #412 back in October 1989 and got their own title in May 1990: The original line up was Dwayne (Night Thrasher) Taylor, Angelica (Firestar) Jones, Vance (Marvel Boy) Astrovik, Robbie (Speedball) Baldwin and Namorita Prentiss, Night Thrasher left the team and Namorita was MIA at this point and the series by Fabian Nicieza was a decent enough series with some excellent early work by Mark Bagley and Darick Robertson.
The team and the title had several ups and downs with members including Avengers Rage and Darkhawk and even the original Scarlet Spider at one point. This was a fun title that I loved when it was coming out and if not for the Guardians getting to me first, this maybe would’ve been a New Warriors blog.
The Sphinx first appeared in The Man Called Nova #6 in November 1976 (Ironically, November 1976 is my first appearance too) and was an enemy to Nova and the Fantastic Four before settling as a New Warriors villain several times. His most recent appearance was in the 4th volume of Nova in 2010.
NEXT TIME: … We say goodbye to this era of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy 61 was cover dated June 1995 and was on sale in April 1995, sharing the spinner racks with Fantastic Four: Atlantis Rising #1, Gunsmith Cats #1, Kill your Boyfriend #1, Loose Cannon #1, Mantra: Spear of Destiny #1 and X-Men: Omega
Father, why have you forsaken me? Was written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Starhawk being consumed by the Abrogate. He awakens in a white room, surrounded by unfamiliar beings. This is the White Room, last stop for all the wearers of the Quantum Bands. There he encounters Quasar, his father.
He tells Quasar he is leaving and asks if there is anything Quasar wants said to anyone, including any offspring. Quasar, angry for this being brought up, tells Starhawk about his offspring.
In the dying days of the War of the Worlds, Quasar and his girlfriend Kismet are trying to save as many civilians as possible, but Kismet is fatigued. Quasar’s family is gone and all that is left is Kismet, who is pregnant. Quasar decides to get Kismet to safety on the planet Vesper. The Sisters of Mercy there welcome Kismet and agree to care for her in her pregnancy, but urge Quasar to rest, he too is fatigued. He disagrees and flies off, only to fall victim to the Abrogate. He didn’t make it back to Earth, which fell to the martians and as a result be blames himself for the millions of deaths that followed. He doesn’t want to know about his child as it would make it all worse.
Starhawk holds his tongue, instead decides to blast out of the White Room and escape. He does this, leaving the former Quantum Band wearers alone with the plant in the middle of the table. The plant grows and shows itself to be Eon, who points out that his own son’s agenda begins to concern him.
Now aware of his parentage and having met his father, Starhawk decides to go after Kismet his mother and bring this quest to an end. He arrives at Vesper, to learn Kismet’s fate and is confronted by a robot called Pathbreaker, who is there to prevent trespassers, by destroying them.
This brings to an end the search for Quasar and it’s a bit of a damp squib of a story.
Kevin West’s art is not as great in some panels and it’s only the revelation that the Eon we met earlier was in fact the son of Eon that makes this issue of any real interest beyond the flashbacks.
This is the next to last issue and I’ll be honest, my interest has all but expired.
Back Up Feature:
The Me Nobody Knows was written by Michael Gallagher, with art by Michael Bair and opens in the planet Lem, where Talon of the Guardians of the Galaxy seeks his former mentor Krugarr, the Sorceror Supreme.
Talon is there to get the amulet Krugarr took from him, to solidify his position within the Guardians. Krugarr points out that by devaluing his mind and enhancing his body, he is no longer worthy to wield it’s power. Talon disagrees until he comes face to face with his older self. The more jovial and mystically minded Talon is quickly gutted by the newer model, who still can’t use the amulet.
Shown the futility of his quest, Talon humbles himself before Krugarr, who to further bring Talon back to his former self shows him the birth of his son to Rancor. The child Talogan is born on Haven II and Talon’s rage at this leads him to try and restore the spiritual balance he once had and earn what he feels is his. Krugarr contacts the Icarus to tell Vance Astro that Talon is undertaking a grand and glorious journey and will be gone for quite some time.
I’ll be honest I wasn’t a fan of the new and improved Talon and am glad to see both the end of his involvement in this title and the start of his journey towards redemption.
I found the art scratchy and a little inconsistent, but enjoyed it more when I saw it as a reflection of the state of mind of the characters.
Overall not a great issue, but it was nice to see something of a happy ending for Talon.
NEXT TIME: Time to go and Endgame. The Guardians of the Galaxy’s title comes to an end.
Guardians of the Galaxy 59 was cover dated April 1994 and was on sale February 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Amazing Spider-Man #400, Flash #100, Impulse #1, Preacher #1, Visitor #1 and Web of Spider-Man #123.
Orphan in the storm was written by Michael Gallagher, with art by Kevin West and Steve Montano and opens with Starhawk finding the Keeper near death and about to be eaten alive by a pack of Saturnian Hound-hawks. Starhawk zaps one of them to distract the pact, only to attract a larger group in a feeding frenzy, some feed on the wounded Hawk-hound and the rest chase Starhawk, who flies off, shortly followed by the Keeper’s reformed surfboard.
Starhawk flies off at lightspeed and lands with the Keeper on a nearby uninhabited planetoid, then uses his light to heal him. The Keeper awakens and tells Starhawk of the events that occurred since Guardians of the Galaxy #25.
Basically Galactus got sick of eating the planets without people and wanted to eat planets with people, when the Keeper (probably having had this conversation several times already) was a bit snotty in reply and Galactus just attacked him, viscously wounding him and leaving him where Starhawk found him. Starhawk tells him to rest and heal and then help Starhawk with his problem and then go after a rogue Galactus, before looking at the Quantum Bands on the Keeper’s wrists and wondering if maybe he could use them himself.
As soon as he touches them, the cosmic entity Eon appears and admonishes Starhawk for his greed. He reduces him in age, until Starhawk reverses this.
Supposedly impressed by Starhawk’s resolve, Eon grantes custody of the Quantum Bands to Starhawk, which is fitting, since they also belonged to Wendell Vaughn (Quasar of Earth) who just happens to be Starhawk’s true father.
None of this story makes any sense.
The Keeper is lying somewhere in space and I will concede that Starhawk will be able to find the Keeper, but the Hawk-Hounds (Last seen in #26) just happening to be there in some random solar system?
Both the Keeper and Galactus seem quite out of character, arguing like a married couple or a parent and teenager before getting into a fight, I found this a little difficult to go along with.
The Keeper being able to help Starhawk research his past is a stretch, the Quantum Bands being able to help him falls under the grasping at straws catergory.
Starhawk seems unaware that the Quantum Bands cannot be forcibly removed from their wielder, so he would have to cut the Keeper’s hands off just to get at them.
The fact that Quasar is Starhawk’s father does remind us that Starhawk is over a thousand years old and could have ties to the modern era of heroes.
Back Up Feature:
The Fire Down Below was written by Michael Gallagher and pencilled by Jeff Moore with Steve Montano on inks and shows us Nikki on her sabbatical from the Icarus on a remote planet. She is cornered by three alien creatures who are like the song goes, up to no good. They grab her and she fights back using her hair to burn them. Doesn’t really go well since they’re lava miners and so she tries to blind them with a solar flash. While their eyes recover, a new player enters, Captain Charlie-27. Charlie wastes no time in expressing himself, the aliens recognises him as a Jovian before trying to escape. One of them finds himself face to face with Nikki’s pistol when he tries and she asks him how so far from our solar system, 12 years after the species was known to be wiped out, how he can recognise a jovian at all.
It turns out that there may be an enslaved colony of Jovians and Charlie-27 wants to check it out, he tells Vance who tells him that he shouldn’t do it alone, but as we see in his bedroom, he isn’t. Their G-stars are left outside the room, so another adventure can begin.
This was a nice little story with Nikki and Charlie-27 getting a bit of spotlight.
Charlie’s one liners and he general bad-assery is very entertaining.
I don’t know how much of this Jovian mystery is resolved if any of it, but this story does serve to put Nikki and Charlie back together. If nothing else, these two deserve a happy ending.
NEXT TIME: More searching for answers by Starhawk and Yellowjacket too.
Guardians of the Galaxy 58 was cover dated March 1995 and was on sale January 1995, sharing the spinner racks with Absolute Vertigo #1,Lobo/ Deadman: Brave and Bold #1, Power of Shazam #1, Superman: Kal #1, Astonishing X-Men #1, Factor-X #1 and X-Man #1.
The Final Solution was written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Talon recapping the recent events in a very clunky manner before jumping at the High Evolutionary. This doesn’t do too well and it’s leads to the rest of the team attacking, until the intervention of a giant sized Yellowjacket.
Yellowjacket points out that the High Evolutionary was once a human being and petitions for reason. High Evolutionary, Ripjak and Vance Astro talk about finding and stopping Bubonicus and the three of them tele-port over to Ripjak’s ship (currently held in a tractor beam) to pool resources. After some technobabble, the next destination of Bubonicus is the pilgrim planet Sanctuary. With the risk to the other Guardians, Vance agrees to accompany the other two alone.
To say the team takes this badly is an understatement. Charlie-27, Yellowjacket and Talon all voice their objections and as Vance leaves, Talon uses this chance to sow more discontent amongst the team over Vance’s leadership.
On Sanctuary, Vance and Rijak engage Bubonicus, whilst the High Evolutionary attends to diseased pilgrims. Vance is knocked out and when he awakens, he learns that Bubonicus has gone and that Ripjak has followed him and the High Evolutionary is about to follow, but Vance is to be left behind. Dejected, Vance contacts Icarus, but there’s no one there.
Once back on the Icarus, Vace learns that the team has been temporarily disbanded, before an election can be called for a new leader upon the team members’ return. Everyone except Yondu agreed to this, but he also left. The only person left on board with Vance is Aleta who wants to renew her relationship with Vance, reminding him that they are still engaged.
As the two reunite, Starhawk flies past on his search for the former Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd, whom he finds floating in space, beaten and left for dead.
Now for some reasons we have the High Evolutionary?
Talon’s recap before his attack is just plain awkward.
Yellowjacket growing to giant size to prevent the fight, despite the very real risk of heart failure is a reminder of how criminally under-used she has been in this series.
The High Evolutionary invites Vance along because of his black body suit, then he’s considered a liability for the EXACT SAME REASON….Wtf?
It was nice seeing Vance in action.
This issue brings to an end the period of Vance being the leader, which started in #17.
This is also the end of the saga of Ripjak/Bubonicus and this starts the last phase of the series.
NEXT TIME: Starhawk’s quest and a back up feature.
Guardians of the Galaxy 57 was cover dated February 1995 and was on sale December 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Angela #1, Babylon 5 #1, Cyberforce Origins #1, Gargoyles #1, Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix #1 and X-Men: Alpha
Evils draw men together was written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Ripjak trying to blame the Guardians for the carnage seen in the last page of the last issue.
The Guardians don’t want to listen and there is a brief battle before Yondu tries to make peace. Because of his empathic spiritual powers (I’m sorry What?) he can sense the truth in Ripjak’s words, but he wants to know what happened after all the martians died.
After years of research, Ripjak determined that the plague was synthetic and searched the galaxy to try and find more instances of this plague. More and more worlds had fallen to this malady and the ethics of Mars dictated that they shouldn’t be allowed to suffer like this, when there was no hope of a cure. This is why he has been destroying whole worlds, to spare them the pain of their final days. This isn’t serial murder as much as it is euthanasia. He points out that there has been a name attached to this recently and Vance interjects with Bubonicus.
Bubonicus was the creature battled by the Galactic Guardians back in issue 35 and afterwards a report was produced by Martinex, which it looks like only Vance read, but as Talon points out, no one else knows about. Ripjak demands this information and after some more mutinous growling from Talon, they take him aboard.
In the far reaches of the Galaxy, Starhawk finds a brooding Hollywood on an uninhabited planetoid. After hearing a tone from Starhawk he found similar to Mainframe, Hollywood attacks Starhawk. After a brief fight, Hollywood listens to Starhawk, who still seeks his family history and directs him to Norrin Rad, the former Silver Surfer. Starhawk leaves, but in gratitude tells Hollywood that Doom has returned to Earth.
In a tense conversation on Icarus, Ripjak learns more about Bubonicus and asks for more of the Guardians’ aid. As this is considered, Icarus is breached by the arrival of a new player, the High Evolutionary.
The High Evolutionary was a marvel universe supporting character first introduced in The Mighty Thor #133 and had a long history of popping up here and there before his starring role in the 1988 crossover Evolutionary War.
Since Stockade, Charlie-27 has had a tee-shirt under his vest, which does make more sense.
Yellowjacket has this whole attitude about Ripjak being a martian, despite the War of the Worlds not being part of her history.
More fracturing of the team as the wheels start to come off the Guardians of the Galaxy.
This is the real beginning of Starhawk’s story, which will run to the end of the series, but the who is Starhawk’s parents mystery being related to the Silver Surfer is a hell of a stretch.
A decent enough issue, but its not just the team that looks to be coming apart.
NEXT TIME: The hunt for Bubonicus.
Guardians of the Galaxy 55 was cover dated December 1994 and was on sale October 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Backlash #1, Classic Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #1, Giant Size Prototype #1, Hulk 2099 #1, Mobfire #1 and Timewalker #1.
An eye like Mars to Threaten and Command was written by Michael Gallagher, inked by Steve Montano and pencilled by a returning Kevin West and opens with Ripjak kicking Talon who was hunting him.
After a brutal tussle which injures both Talon and Yondu and leaves Aleta with her light energy ripped from her, Ripjak simply leaves, Yondu had already called for help, but Ripjak is already on his way to Aran IV.
Vance uses the Martian technology to look at Ripjak’s history and how the plague tore through Martian society, leaving them desperate enough to remove the corpse of Spider-Man (first mentioned last issue) and attempt to use his radioactive blood to immunise their people. After being horrifically mutated by Peter Parker’s spider DNA infused blood, Ripjak awoke to find all of his people already dead.
After the Guardians learn this, Ripjak contacts them and tells them that they can’t survive with this information and blows up the facility remotely.
Ripjak lands his ship on Aran IV and proceeds to destroy the whole planet in an extended four page sequence, before his ship flies away.
Another filler issue, but at least there were a couple of nice moments.
More subplots are furthered with the Talon’s insubordination thing becoming more of a defining character trait.
The connection between Ripjak and Spider-Man is interesting and the plague story gives a bit of pathos to Ripjak.
There’s a return the idea that Yondu’s crest relates to his people’s mating, when Yellowjacket touches it, he freaks out and refers to her as an immoral woman,
Ripjak blows up both the building the Guardians are in and the planet of Aran IV for a reason we still do not know and there is a painstaking description of the planet’s ultimate destruction, it’s an odd place to take such a long time and it costs some drama.
Overall a good issue, there are a few nice moments where Vance can’t show too much concern for Aleta and Yellowjacket watching it all unfold.
NEXT TIME: Guardians of the Galaxy vs Ripjak: Round 2
Guardians of the Galaxy 54 was cover dated November 1994 and was on sale September 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Action Comics #0, Fantastic Force #1, Guy Gardner: Warrior #0, Psi-Lords #1, Timecop #1, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Yearbook #1 and X-Factor #108.
The spiders of mars was written by Michael Gallagher, guest pencilled by Scott Eaton and inked by three inkers, none of which were Steve Montano and opens with Icarus orbiting the quarantined planet of Mars. There is some bickering on the bridge, including questioning of Vance by Yondu, who is still very disturbed by the idea of his god being Thanos.
As peace between the old friends is restored, the ship is attacked by Sentinels. The ship takes care of them fairly easily and the Guardians tele-port down to the surface of Mars.
The team find a museum for the War of the Worlds, as the aliens who attacked Earth had retreated to Mars. Vance finds a hall of fallen heroes, artifacts that have been there for over a millenium. Amongst these is the mask of Captain America, which crumbles as Vance reaches for it, to replace his lost Captain America memorabilia. At the end of the hall, they find a monument to the last to fall, Spider-Man. The display also includes his corpse, which was removed to help with plague immunisation.
The team then decides to search for Ripjak, there are two paths leading Vance to split the team. Yondu, Talon and Aleta take one path, whilst Vance, Charlie-27, Nikki and Yellowjacket take the other. Talon again butts heads with Vance over there and it’s only when Charlie steps between them, that this is ended and the teams split up.
Yondu’s team is being observed, just as the whole team was as they arrived. As Talon becomes more animal like, he can smell someone and heads off, the other two following. Their target, the armoured Ripjak, waits for them, they will be the next to die at his hands.
Notes: Now we’re very much inside the Ripjak saga which will take up this and the next four issues and is the last big story before the title’s end.
With a guest penciller and three guest inkers, the art is a little inconsistent as are the character’s looks and it would normally be a problem, but the tone matches the art and it all seems to work out.
The cracks are starting to show in Vance’s leadership and at least three of his team get on his back for his actions in this issue alone.
We have more mention of Yondu’s spiritual crisis and there’s also the start of Starhawk’s quest to learn his true history.
We’ve had FF villains, Avengers and mentions of the X-Men, but this issue is the first real mention of Spider-Man. Of all the heroes in the Marvel Universe, the one you would expect to last beyond the rest is Spider-Man, he’d never give up and would keep fighting long after it would cost him his life.
This mention of plague immunisation plays into the Ripjak story later.
The atmospheric nature of the story, makes it a bit like a horror story in space, I liked that idea, very Dr Who.
The design of Ripjak is…. not what I was expecting.
NEXT TIME: Guardians of the Galaxy vs Ripjak
Guardians of the Galaxy 52 was cover dated September 1994 and was cover dated July 1994, sharing the spinner racks with Animal Man #75, Concrete: Killer Smile #1, Giant Size Matra #1, Solo #1, Spider-Man 2099 Annual #1 and Wetworks #1.
And ye came unto me was written and drawn by the usual suspects, words by Michael Gallagher, pencils by Kevin West and inks by Steve Montano and opens with an alarm getting Yondu, Vance, Nikki and Yellowjacket out of their beds and the crew racing to find Cuchulain being thrown through a bulkhead by a ferocious Talon, enhanced by the Trans-Molecular Reconstitutor. Vance steps in and splits the pair up, the girls take Cuchulain to make sure he’s ok and Yondu offers to help the almost feral Talon while he is in such an agitated state.
Vance then tries to find Aleta who is training. After showing off her new costume, she rebuffs him. Tired of this hot and cold from her, he tells her to man her station and prepare to enter orbit of Stockade.
Meanwhile on Stockade, Charlie-27 is still getting beatings from Tork and his goons and the guards are still keeping him from the infirmary till he signs the confession of crimes he did not commit. Dropped back in his cell, Charlie-27 is in a bad way, Diablo, his clearly unhinged cell-mate offers him potions to make him good as new, or maybe even better.
The Guardians speak to the Warden of Stockade, who agrees to allow a delegation to come to Stockade, on the condition that there are no women. The women on the Icarus are enraged, but Vance decides to make use of this. Nikki, Aleta and Yellowjacket are to remain on the ship at battle stations, while Vance and Cuchulain go down and talk with the Warden.
Elsewhere on the ship, Yondu is having a hard time calming the increasingly hostile Talon, Yellowjacket tries to give Talon his amulet back, thinking it may be a calming influence. Instead it makes him more power hungry and with this in mind he grabs the amulet. Krugarr, the Sorceror Supreme appears before them and admonishes Talon for his intent with the amulet. Talon is having none of that and grabs Krugarr by the throat. Krugarr swats him away, clearly furious with how Talon has changed and ends their association, taking the amulet and tele-porting away before Yondu can ask for his aid. Yellowjacket offers to shrink Talon down to make him more manageable.
On the bridge, Nikki is surprised by the appearance of the mutant SideStep, who holds her in place and tells her that she has had enough of Rancor’s treatment of her and wants to ruin her plans to frame Charlie-27 for the crimes of Ripjak. She gives her one clue. “Think about the scar.’
On Stockade, the Warden shows Vance the proof her has, including a recording which shows Charlie blowing up a planet and the DNA records which match Charlie’s military records. Cuchulain has had enough and grabs the Warden, as he does so he is set upon by the Jadroxian Gladiator guards. Rather than feeling worried, Cuchulain is thrilled and asks Vance to go get Charlie, while he has some fun.
The Warden calls down to one of the sub-levels and orders a double D alert. A frightened guard presses a button to turn the TV off, pointing out that Cuchulain has ordered the cartoons turned off. This enrages the person watching the cartoons and we have the first Guardians of the Galaxy appearance of Drax the Destroyer.
The Charlie-27/Ripjak story finally steps into high gear, it’s been a slow build up, but it’s been worth it.
The team is fracturing even more now, with several tensions bubbling away.
It was fun to see everyone running out of bed to see what the problem is, Nikki in slippers, running is just hilarious to me.
The scene were Krugarr washes his hands of Talon is a nice poignant moment, almost wasted in the way this issue flows, but it does put Talon firmly on this new beast-man path.
The no women on Stockade seems oddly sexist for the future in space, but it does give Cuchulain reason to be on the prison planet.
Diablo having seemingly lost his mind, makes a lot of sense, over a thousand years old and he wasn’t mr stable to begin with, but his helping of Charlie tells you that there’s something else going on in his head.
This is the first appearance in the Guardians of Drax the Destroyer, who has since become very famous in the relaunched Guardians of the Galaxy team. At this point in the main continuity, he had been resurrected by his daughter Moondragon and had come back damaged, most of his intelligence had been lost and he was quite child-like. This is the version we got here and the idea of him being a last resort weapon is kind of funny and leaves you with a great to be continued.
NEXT TIME: It kicks off.