Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 58

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 (Vol 1) 52

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.’

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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.

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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.


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) 42

Guardians of the Galaxy 42 was cover dated November 1993 and was on sale September 1993, sharing the spinner racks with 1963 #6, Avengers West Coast #100, Demon Annual #2, Outsiders Alpha #1, Outsiders Omega #1, Prophet #1 and Transformers Generation 2 #1.

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The Sins of the Father was written by Michael Gallagher, inked as always by Steve Montano and guest pencilled by Dale Eaglesham and it opens with the Guardians of the Galaxy, well everyone but Starhawk teleporting to Asgard to see the Inhuman taskforce demolishing Asgard piece by piece. Yellowjacket and Charlie-27 advance on the Inhumans while Vance Astro and Nikki follow Talon after their leader.

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Loki is actually face to face with Thor, now aged and out of shape. Loki is enraged and blasts Thor to the ground and walks away. Now aware of Loki’s involvement, the Guardians help this wounded Thor to his feet. Talon picks up the hammer and throws it to Vance, who is astounded until Sif arrives and points out that it is not the true hammer Mjolnir, but a copy and she then tells them of the last thousand years or so.

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After centuries more of adventure and glory and a long and loving courtship, Thor married Sif and Sif settled down to be a wife and mother. She gave birth to a boy whom they named Woden and waited for Thor to also settle down. He didnt’. Woden became sullen and belligerent and in desperation Sif asked Woden’s grandfather Odin to get Thor to be at home and be part of their family. As a father with a difficult son himself, Odin commanded Thor to stay at home and commit to family life. For a while it all worked, Woden became better behaved and a proud part of the family. Sadly Thor was still unhappy, instead of spending too much time on adventures, he simply spent too much time reliving them at the mead hall. Woden dispairing of this lack luster father moved out and when Sif took him to task for it, he tried to hit her. She mentions that he still bears the scar from that day. Humbled, disgraced and for the most part broken, the final rejection came from Mjolnir, which Thor could no longer wield, since he was for obvious reasons, no longer worthy.

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Charlie-27 finds the Inhumans and along with Yellowjacket proceeds to demolish them. With Yellowjacket keeping Phobia at bay, Charlie takes out Wormhole, Imprint and Stupor, with Composite unable to do more that throw a strand of hair at him. Observing this is Mephisto, who from his realm sees Vance Astro’s new black undershirt and recognises it as the Beyonder’s work. Swearing vengeance on Vance, Mephisto leaves for the Beyonder’s universe to go get his daughter back.

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On a far away world Heimdall and Starhawk awaken in the clutches of Remora, a tentacled creature who strips them of memories, Heimdall of a great victory and Starhawk of her reunion with Vance, an act which further removes her from her feelings for Vance. Remora intends to strip them of all their memories, so they can join his followers, a race who became so uninterested in their way of live began to live it vicariously through the feelings and memories of others.

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We’ll get back to that in a little while (or next issue) but we’re back with Loki who has joined his taskforce and is about to open up the muzzle keeping Composite from using the vocal power of Blackbolt. This will allow the entire city to be destroyed at once, before this can be done lightning fills the sky. Loki is shocked by this and looks towards the source  of this new attack and sees a full grown Mjolnir wielding Woden, son of Thor.

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Do we need to say to be concluded?


The knowledge that Loki is behind the Inhuman slavery is almost completely ignored here, focusing instead on Loki’s endgame which seems to be just breaking stuff at his dad’s place.

The Guardians teleport to the gates of Asgard? I thought the only way to get there was Bifrost, except for that time when it was in the negative zone and when it was on Earth.

Vance orders Charlie-27 not to engage and enemy, this enemy put him to the floor and used him to hurt his team, how likely is Charlie to obey this order?

It is great to see Charlie-27 just take the Inhumans to pieces. Vance has the shield and Nikki has her guns, but the fighter of the team is certainly Charlie.

The Remora is an interesting idea for a villain, but he seems oddly out of place in this story and it serves only to keep Vance and Aleta apart by pushing her more into the Starhawk role.

Thor’s fall from grace happens over an indeterminate amount of time, but it is good to see that even heroes fall. This issue glosses over the domestic violence, but it is good to hear the “He still bears the scar from the attempt.”

Ok, Woden sort of came out of nowhere, but I want to see what happens next all the more.



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.


Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 1) 29

Guardians of the Galaxy 29 was cover dated October 1992 and was on sale in August 1992, sharing the  spinner racks with Batman: Sword of Azrael #1, Cable: Blood & Metal #1, Cyberforce #1, Eternal Warrior#1, Shadowhawk #1 and Youngblood #0.

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Let lose the Dogs of War was plotted by Jim Valentino, scripted by Michael Gallagher, guest pencilled by JJ Birch and inked as always by Steve Montano and opens with the Guardians of the Galaxy facing off against the 2nd set of Masters of Evil from the last page of issue 28.

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Holding onto Nikki and Yellowjacket, Dr Octopus’ team seems to have an advantage. The Guardians hold their own, but make no headway until Nikki and Yellowjacket wake and start to turn the tide.

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Then dopplegangers arrive (this is an Infinity War tie in after all)  and reluctantly the two teams start to join forces and elsewhere in the building Starhawk and Aleta do the same whilst struggling with Starhawk’s doppleganger.

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Even after a second group of dopplegangers attack, the team triumph and Dr Octopus tries to have his team take out the tired Guardians. This doesn’t go well with the grateful Masters of Evil, who decide to turn on Doctor Octopus rather than start another fight with their one time allies.

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Yellowjacket stays behind and whilst everyone is congratulating themselves, Jarvis returns and points out how much of a mess is left and tells the Guardians to pitch in as they “Can’t leave the mansion looking like this”. So after travelling over 1,000 years into the past, crossing timelines, meeting the Inhumans, beating the Masters of Evil and the dopplegangers, the Guardians are then left cleaning up. And an era ends.

Notes: This was the last plot submitted by Jim Valentino before leaving the title for good. Shortly after this he left Marvel altogether and devoted his time to Image Comics which he co-founded with Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larson, Todd McFarlane and others.

While still not a fan of the art (with Vance’s vanishing jacket vest) it’s still a better fit than Herb Trimpe.

One of my favourite moments in the comic is Vance vs Puff Adder “the name is Major Victory. Remember it when they’re filling out your report in the Emergency Room.”

This is the end of an era and Valentino’s absence will be missed, but there are still adventures to be had.