Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 61

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Notes:

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.

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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.

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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.

Notes:

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 (Vol 1) 45

Guardians of the Galaxy 45 was cover dated February 1994 and was on sale December 1993, sharing the  spinner rack with Batman: Mask of the Phantasm #1, Codename Stryke Force #1, Fighting American #1, Freak Force #1, Sin City: A Dame to Kill for #1 and Uncanny X-Men #309.

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He that Dies Pays All Debts was written by Michael Gallagher, inked by Steve Montano and pencilled by Kevin West and opens with both Starhawks ready to battle in the skies over Centauri IV. (For the sake of clarity I’ll refer to them as Aleta and Stakar rather than Starhawk.)

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They battle fiercly while the Guardians look on and far off in space, others are looking. Eternity (the universe itself) and the Living Tribunal, a sort of supreme judge of the multiverse. They are both berating the Arcturian Hawkgod for the shameful actions of both of his avatars, the Starhawks. The Hawkgod decides to intervene, while the other two look in on the Protege who is chasing off the Beyonder, before Mephisto introduces himself and attempts to bond with the child.

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Back on Centauri IV, the Hawkgod appears before Stakar and Aleta and ends their fight, pointing out their need to atone for their actions. As the Guardians witness this, some Badoon/Centaurian half breeds attack and Yondu for the first time in 20 issues is back with the Guardians of the  Galaxy.

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In an ongoing sub-plot, Hollywood beats up a giant alien informant in his search for Dr Doom, reminding the creature that old he may be, he is not to be trifled with. Also Eternity and the Living Tribunal have decided that the Protege is too powerful and has to be dealt with once ‘He’ arrives.

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Back with the Starhawks, Stakar recaps his origin to show how he is alive and well now, using the power of Starhawk. The Hawkgod notes that Stakar has some of his history wrong, but he’s not going to point that out just yet. Aleta is still furious with Stakar and the two blast at one another. The Hawkgod is even more angry and uses their power to pull them together.

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The Guardians run off the Badoon/Centaurians with the help of the battle above them and see Aleta and Stakar hand in hand, ready to fix the time jolt mentioned in the last issue together. Then they see why, the Hawkgod has fused their hands together.

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Notes: I have missed Kevin West’s pencils and it’s a welcome return.

The Protege/Beyonder story is getting a little tiresome now and am glad we’re only a few issues from this being resolved. The Hollywood sub-plot isn’t as long in the tooth, but am still curious about where it’s going.

As annoying a character as he was, I’m glad to see Starhawk and also glad to see Yondu, West makes it look like he’s always drew them, even though, non-flashback this the first time he’s drew them.

Yondu rebuffs Vance’s attempt to talk to him, reminding the team of the consequences of their trip to the past.

Overall a solid issue, again leading in to a larger story, the tension is mounting.

Next Time: The Starhawks go back in  time, the Guardians of the Galaxy go Beyond.

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 30

Guardians of the Galaxy 30 was cover dated November 1992 and on sale in September 1992, sharing the spinner racks with Batman Adventures #1, Daredevil #310, Darkstars #1, Excalibur #56, Eclipso #1 and Spider-Man 2099 #1.

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Arguing a called Strike was inked as always by Steve  Montano, but this issue started Michael Gallagher on full scripting duties and the new penciller of Kevin West. The story opens with the team arguing over their reason for being in the 20th Century, a pre-emptive strike on the Brotherhood of the Badoon, 1,000 years before their attack on the solar system and the genocide that followed. Vance is clearly against this and as a result, the team leaves him behind and leaves orbit in Drydock, course set for the Brotherhood homeworld of Moord. Onboard, the remainder of the team wonder how things are going in the 31st Century.

In answer to that, Rancor and her lieutenants are being held somewhere in eastern Europe (*cough* Latveria) after being held for several weeks, by a familiar looking figure in grey armour and green robes, a person Shaddo believes has been dead for centuries.

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On 20th Century Earth, Vance signals the Badoon, but sends no message. He wants to prevent the genocide Starhawk and Charlie-27 have planned, but can’t bring himself to hurt his team. But by sending the beam at all, something journeys to Moord ahead of Drydock.

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On board, the team is arguing about the attack and Nikki goes over the events of her childhood and Starhawk and Aleta battle for control of their shared form and Charlie tells them to leave, before the ship is destroyed.

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This ends all dissent and the team are united in their desire to wipe out the Badoon. Inside Drydock, there is a stow-away.

On Moord, the signal and it’s passenger arrive and latch onto a Badoon radio operator called L’Matto, changing him forever and just maybe the universe itself.  Only the passenger arrives though, the signal contains no information as Vance cancelled the call as soon as L’Matto went down, not knowing the damage is already done.

In the 31st Century, the Comandeers have broken the remnants of the Punishers, but rumours of a new faction called Retox, addicted to RTV that was destroyed in issue 20. Tarin and Old Redd lament the absence of Hollywood and the Guardians of the Galaxy

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Later on, the Badoon contact the cloaked Drydock and demand to speak to it’s captain Charlie heads for the bridge. In Avengers Mansion, Vance is wandering around and mentions out loud to no one in particular that he wishes he could speak to Captain America. A hand rests on his shoulders and Captain America stands before him. To be continued.

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Notes: Kevin West and Steve Montano are the regular art team pretty much till the comic ends, with the exception of annuals and fill ins, but their look for the characters define the rest of the Guardians tales until the title’s cancellation. His is a different style to Valentino, but it’s clean and pleasant to the eye and remains consistent.

Doctor Mutha-F*@#in’ Doom is in this issue, this series just got better.

Talon is now wearing his hair in a pony tail, which to be honest does sort of work for a character who leaps about so much and West’s look of the character is better than Valentino’s in my opinion.

There is a great panel with the team as it looked in the first issue, showcasing both West’s take on the team as it was, plus how much every character has changed visually since then.

The stow-away plot is resolved in a couple of months, but had my interest from the start.

It is great to see the Badoon again and the fate of L’Matto is revealed in the next issue.

Next Time:  The Guardians vs the Guardians and the plans of the Badoon.