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Guardians Of The Galaxy #2: Review

May 2023
?, Kev Walker

Story Name:

A fistful of mysterium

Review & Comments

4 stars

Guardians Of The Galaxy #2 Review by (May 26, 2023)
This issue was jointly written by Colin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing again.

Peter Quill was raised by his Earth mother Meredith but his father was J'Son, heir to the throne of the Spartoi. Peter had many dealings with his father, now Spartoi Emperor, in our 2013 series which ended with him being elected the new Spartoi leader. The end of the multiverse and Secret Wars got in the way, but he was still King of Spartax in our 2015 series until he was ejected. Sometime later his half-sister Victoria took over as Queen. In the last series the Spartoi rediscovered astrology.

The Krakoan mutants mined mysterium from the White Hot Room and used it to bribe alien galactic powers to support them. Since then it has become a galactic currency.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Guardians Of The Galaxy #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue begins with a brief history of the Manifold Territories that the Guardians Of The Galaxy now find themselves living in. It is described as an expanse of 1000 dead worlds on the edge of known space that factions from civilised space expanded into and are now involved in a protracted war between Sectors United and the Whitecaps. While we get this infodump we see the Guardians doing routine stuff. Nebula is doing some repairs to their spaceship, Gamora is polishing her sword, Mantis is washing her costume (which most superheroes never seem to have to do) and Star-Lord is looking wistfully at the uniform he wore last series when they were an official galactic police force. (We don't see what Drax was doing but he does head out with them (at least initially) on this issue's mission.)

They leave their spacecraft and then split up. Gamora and Nebula head off in 1 direction, but disagreeing about what they should do. We follow the other 3 to a meeting, but Drax decides not to accompany them because he's not good at talking. So Peter Quill and Mantis go to the Sectors United Forward Operating Position known as The Fort on Planet Standoff to meet its Primus Commander, an alien Krakeen Toreth who Peter knows from an old mercenary campaign on Morricon 4. This is a quiet period locally in the war. The Whitecaps are rumoured to be experimenting with exotic matter while the SU boffins are aiming for bigger weapons to counter that.

But before they start their meeting Krakeen hands over a message tube which arrived for Peter 2 days ago from his home planet Spartoi. This was before he knew Peter was here, but the messenger said Quill's arrival was predestined. Peter takes the message but then states his purpose. He tells his old friend that SU will have to abandon their war and evacuate the Territories or they're all going to die.

Meanwhile Gamora and Nebula have gone to the Whitecap Forward Entrenchment and are having communication difficulties. Nebula tries every known galactic language but the aliens don't seem to understand any of them, and *their* 'speech' is equally unintelligible. During her attempts Nebula lets slip that the duo are here to steal the Whitecaps' mysterium, without getting any angry response. Gamora reminds her that they *aren't* here to steal mysterium (this is the disagreement mentioned above). Mysterium was recently discovered by Earth's mutant nation and has become the most valuable commodity in the galaxy, and Nebula knows that the Collector will buy whatever they can get. Gamora would like the money too but she doesn't want to ruin Peter's plan.

Peter tells Krakeen about the GOTG's ex-member Groot who has become a cosmic menace that they call Grootfall which is consuming the worlds in the Manifold (like Galilee IV last issue) and nothing can stop it. But Krakeen is committed to the ideals of the SU Republic, free from domination by the likes of the Skrulls and the Shi'ar. They're not leaving the Territories and they're not backing down from the Whitecaps. Quill says his allies have gone to negotiate with the enemy, but Toreth retorts that the enemy *never* negotiate. Quill says that an arms race can only lead to mutual destruction and the GOTG can't let that happen.

Krakeen appears to see reason and shakes claw with Peter, but empath Mantis can tell he's lying. Toreth attacks as M morphs into her battle configuration. She comments that Nebula *knew* this was a bad plan.

Nebula sees an explosion in the Fort, orbiting in the asteroid zone of a large planet. She gloats to Gamora that she was right. She morphs her cybernetic hands into big guns as G draws her swords (and drops her ubiquitous bottle of booze). N sprays the place with bullets but the alien they were 'talking' to reveals itself to be a technopath who disassembles N's cyborg body (or maybe just makes her think it's happening). But G solves that by slicing the foes head in half (looking suspiciously like a melon), and N is reassembled. Gamora approaches the chunk of mysterium.

Mantis and Quill are being shot at and are taking cover behind an asteroid. Peter calls Drax for help but the Destroyer opts to continue sitting the 'negotiations' out. Mantis throws a bomb a long way through space to destroy an attacking spaceship. She mentions to Peter that she learned  from Toreth's mind that the exotic matter is mysterium (so apparently only Gamora and Nebula knew about that). Peter guesses that she 'mentioned' it because in the old days they would have been here to steal it. Drax who's listening in thinks fondly of those days.

Just then G & N turn up with the mysterium, propelled by Nebula's jetpack. They cause some space fighters to explode on the way and knock Drax's asteroid out of orbit, which he rides like a rodeo steed. Peter calls for them all to rendezvous at their own, miraculously unscathed, ship and they leave the area. Krakeen calls off the chase because the Guardians have done them a favour by stealing the enemy's mysterium.

Nebula admits to Peter that her plan was always to steal the loot so they can pay for stuff like fuel for their spacecraft, but at least she waited until *his* plan fell apart. Gamora points out that wasn't a plan it was just a naive hope. Mantis thinks about Groot and gets angry, but then turns into her Buddha form to calm down. Drax agrees that Peter will never reach inner peace until he accepts that the universe is just chaotic.

The issue ends with Peter reading the message from Spartoi.

Kev Walker
Kev Walker
Matt Hollingsworth
Marco Checchetto (Cover Penciler)
Marco Checchetto (Cover Inker)
Marco Checchetto (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Darren Shan. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Drax the Destroyer)

(Peter Quill)

Plus: Nebula.

> Guardians Of The Galaxy: Book info and issue index

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