New Warriors (Vol 1) 68

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Notes:

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 (Vol 1) 32

Guardians of the Galaxy 32 was cover dated January 1993 and was on sale November 1992, sharing the spinner racks with Batman: The Blue, the Grey and the Bat #1, Doom 2099 #1, Justice League America #70, Stryfe’s Strike File #1, Superman #75 and X-Force #18.

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We who are about to die salute you was written by Michael Gallagher, pencilled by Kevin West and inked by Steve Montano and opens with Nikki and Talon being attacked by Charlie-27 in retaliation for her attack on him last issue. Charlie overpowers Nikki after accidentally knocking Talon out and in response Nikki pushes her flame/hair into Charlie’s face.

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Back in the 31st Century, the Retox gang torture Tarin to get the information about the destruction of the Saltex refinery in the Bronx, meanwhile Dr Doom tells Rancor and her lieutenants his role in Realitee-Vee. It’s revealed that the Badoon’s involvement, the Punishers creation and Realitee-Vee itself was all the plan of Doom.

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Doom forces Rancor’s assistance is restoring Realitee-Vee by addicting her and her team to Realitee-Vee itself and as a sweetener, gives her the broken claw of Wolverine lost in issue 23’s battle with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Back in the 20th Century Captain America and Vance ‘Major Victory’ Astro meet with Doctor Strange and he agrees to help Vance get to Moord, once Strange realises that Vance has met Strange’s older self.

On Moord, Charlie-27 arrives at the arena and faces L’Matto. Nikki’s attack on Charlie has cost him the hair on his head, but nothing else and he is ready to meet his opponent. He is unprepared for Captain Universe, who begins to pummel Charlie visciously.

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Nikki and Talon have at some point been strapped to their chairs and are facing the screen watching Charlie take on L’Matto, but are blasted from behind by the unseen stowaway.  Vance and Doctor Strange travel through the Dark Dimension and run across some of the Mindless Ones and after blinding them to escape appear over Moord. Charlie is doing well against L’Matto, but he really has no chance, fists have failed, he tries a gun, the gun fails and he tries Yondu’s dagger. The Badoon is interested in the dagger, but is ready to kill Charlie before analysing the weapon. Vance and Strange appear just as Charlie is about to be slain…To be continued.

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Notes: Whilst in-team conflict is often a good thing in comics, for me it just seems like the previous writer spent months bringing the team together and then the new writers just throws a hang grenade into the mix. That said, seeing how much of a pounding that Charlie-27 can take reminds you how tough he is and the bald look stays for a while.

Again it’s mentioned by the Badoon that Charlie-27 is a Jovian,  a race that as yet doesn’t exist. That’s two issues now where that’s just washed over.

Dr Strange only helps Vance because he knows he’ll still be around in over a thousand years, which is dubious reasoning to be honest.

Vance hands a disk to Captain America to give to the 616 version of Vance Astrovik, who at this point is in prison for the negligent homicide of his abusive father, this story was detailed in recent issues of New Warriors. It’s not really relevant to this series, but worth noting.

Dr Doom is awesome in this comic, as arrogant and scheming as he has ever been, he’s now seasoned by the centuries that have passed and far more in control. He has Rancor’s people by the throat and Rancor at bay for the moment and just accepts that it’s how it should be. Of all the things in this series that Michael Gallagher took time to get, Doom is not one of them.

The cliffhanger here leads into next issues climax of the Badoon Homeworld story and it’s only getting better.

Next Time: What happened to Starhawk.

 

Marvel Two-in-One 69

Marvel Two-in-One 69 was cover-dated November 1980 and was on sale August 1980, sharing the spinner racks with Flash #291, Ghost Rider #50, House of Mystery #286, Moon Knight #1,  New Teen Titans #1 and Thor #301.

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Homecoming was written by Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio, with pencils by Ron Wilson and opens with Ben ‘The Thing’ Grimm and Sue ‘Invisible Girl’ Richards talking in the Fantastic Four’s kitchen in the Baxter Building. Ben is making pancakes for Sue and her young son Franklin, who is sitting there playing with toys. Ben is griping about relationship problems with Alicia when Starhawk of the Guardians of the Galaxy teleports onto the kitchen table. Starhawk tells Ben that Vance Astro has vanished from Drydock, just after the repairs have been completed to allow the team to return to the 30th Century. This is a problem since Vance is over 1,000 years old, there is a younger version of himself in Saugerties New York called Vance Astrovik and if the two meet, there could be time related catastrophe.

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Turns out that is exactly what is happening. Vance Astro ambushes his younger self and then proceeds to warn him about the life he will live if he continues on this path to be an astronaut. As this is happening a large thick fog begins to blanket the New York area. The Fantastic Four investigate and after learning that this is no ordinary fog, Ben lands a portion of the Fantasti-car and checks out what’s happening at the fog’s centre.

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Vance Astro is distracted by the increased fog, giving young Vance a chance to escape. Vance Astro gives chase until Ben catches up with him. Vance says that he’s trying to stop the younger Vance from being an astronaut, thereby altering history. Ben tells him that that idea won’t work, since he’s tried it himself. Vance asks that Ben help him try again and Ben agrees. Having met himself before, Ben doesn’t see the temporal catastrophe as being as likely as Starhawk does.

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At the Astroviks’ home, Vance tries to find his younger self and only finds Charlie-27, Martinex and Yondu. After a brief tussle, Martinex freezes Vance’s life support suit, meaning he cannot move without risking tearing it and ending his own life. Ben tackles Charlie-27 and beats him and whilst Yondu keeps Ben at bay with one of his special Yaka arrows (called Yucca arrows here) the Guardians retreat, confident that the fog will now lift.

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But it doesn’t, the problem is that Vance Astro and Vance Astrovik have identical mutant brains and the fog is likely to be young Vance’s powers manifesting. The Guardians return to the Astroviks’ and try to trigger young Vance’s powers. That works and young Vance develops strong telekinetic powers.

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The Thing talks young Vance down and the crisis seems to pass. Just as the Guardians are about to leave, Vance Astrovik’s father walks over and berates Vance for ruining his son’s life. Vance Astro in a fit of pique, pulls off his mask to show Vance’s father that he’s his father too. He immediately puts it back on and leaves. The team returns to Drydock. When asked by Nikki whether or not it was worth it, Vance points out that in one reality, he didn’t become a Guardian and that was enough.

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Notes: This is one of those issues that is more important than good. This one act seperates the marvel universe, from the reality of the Guardians of the Galaxy. From this point, anything can happen. Vance Astrovik doesn’t become an astronaut, in fact he becomes a superhero. The Guardians of the Galaxy leave the 20th Century and return to their own time and only had one other cameo appearances between November 1980 and June 1990 and that was in Sensational She Hulk 6, from October 1989 written and drawn by John Byrne. It’s a one panel cameo of the Guardians getting directions and that was that.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy would return in June 1990, but that is for another day. The Guardians guest star days are over and the epic is about to begin.