Guardians of the Galaxy #150: Review

Jan 2018
Gerry Duggan, Marcus To

Story Name:

Don't fear the reaper

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Guardians of the Galaxy #150 Review by (May 12, 2018)
This is the last issue of the Legacy run of Guardians of the Galaxy numbered #146-150, which continued immediately from All-New GoG #1-12 and followed plotlines from there. #151 was cancelled but the Guardians adventures flowed seamlessly into the Infinity Countdown series. The proposed cover of #151 was used for IC: Adam Warlock.

I believe regular artist Marcus To does the Guardians of the Galaxy part of this issue while Aaron Kuder does the Adam Warlock beginning and end.

Warlock's initial costume is from Jim Starlin's tenure in the '70s. In his memory we see the original 'naked' Him version, the costume from the Power of Warlock series and Starlin's Infinity Gauntlet era 1, plus the head of Adam's evil self Magus and a female. Marvel Wiki identifies her as Her/Ayesha/Paragon, Warlock's female 'twin' created by the same scientists. It would make more sense if she was Adam's good self Goddess from Infinity Crusade but she doesn't look like her.

This is the 1st appearance of Adam Warlock in the post-Secret Wars III multiverse. Jim Starlin's previous sequence of graphic novels and mini-series ended in the Thanos: The Infinity Finale GN where an alternate Warlock became the Living Tribunal of the new reality, and at Thanos' request he brought the main Warlock (or at least a version of him) back to life in that reality. Which doesn't explain how he wound up back in the Soul Stone here. (The Infinity Gems have been reborn as the Infinity Stones in this reality, amazingly the same name as they have in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.) (Warlock refers to the Soul Gem several times here. A slip by the scripter or is this really the Warlock from the previous multiverse?)

Scott Adsit is an actor/commedian whose friend Gerry Duggan copied as a SHIELD Agent character in Deadpool. When Gerry started writing All-New GoG he transferred the character from SHIELD to the Nova Corps.

The helmet Rocket uses appears to be that of a Centurion, the highest Nova Corps rank, which allows maximum access to the Nova Force. I don't remember that Centurions wore a red uniform. But noticeably Eve Bakian also has a Centurion helmet and red uniform.

Nova (Richard Rider) was trapped in the Cancerverse with Drax, Star-Lord and Thanos in Thanos Imperative #6. The Original Sin issues (#18-20) of GoG (2013) explained how Nova sacrificed himself to free Drax and Star-Lord (and accidentally Thanos). Nova (Sam Alexander) freed RR in #10-11 of *his* 2016 Nova series.

Warlock doesn't possess the Soul Stone because when the new multiverse was created the Infinity Stones were scattered across then universe. However it seems to still contain stuff left over from its previous existence, in particular the aged fragment of Gamora somehow left behind when she and Warlock escaped from the Soul Gem way back in Silver Surfer (1987) #46. Aged Gamora contacted her current self in dreams in All-New GoG which is why Gamora is so intent on the GoG finding the Stones - she wants to free aged G.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Guardians of the Galaxy #150 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
We open with Adam Warlock in 1 of his old costumes standing in a barren landscape. He remembers some of his many previous costumed versions as he skips a stone across a large pond. The stone reaches the other side at the feet of a new version of Warlock who thinks he's dreaming. He also thinks he's witnessing creation but the other Warlock tells him he's witnessing destruction. New Warlock looks down and sees some Marvel characters floating dead in the water (The corpses we see are Nova (Richard Rider), Drax, Groot, Rocket and Star-Lord along with Cable and Hulk.)

He *is* dreaming and he awakes, but he doesn't recognise himself in the mirror. He blasts his way outside and *does* recognise Soul World, so he must be dead again. He goes out to see what's what.

Now back to the regularly scheduled Guardians of the Galaxy storyline in the Nova Corps HQ the Rock. The GoG signed up in #146 at the start of this Legacy story 'Infinity Quest'. Agents of the Fraternity of Raptors have infiltrated the Corps. Rocket Raccoon, working for Nova Commander Scott Adsit, has arrested all the Corps members involved in petty crimes. But last issue he sprang a surprise. *They* are the ones who are actually loyal. The apparently squeaky-clean Corpsmen are the Raptor spies. And now Raptor forces are attacking thinking the base is undefended. But Adsit and Rocket have freed and armed the prisoners.

The enemy Corpsmen don their Raptor talons and prepare to slaughter the defenceless prisoners, but instead they face they face the armed troops and Guardians led by Rocket in the Centurion helmet he donned last issue (and the red uniform he found with it). Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Gamora, Groot and Star-Lord (Peter Quill) are in the fray. As is Drax whose pacifist stance only forbids him from killing - except accidentally.

As the enemy are subdued and captured the Raptor fleet starts firing on the Rock. Rocket taps into the Nova Force at the superior rate allowed by the Centurion helmet and flies out to zap Raptor ships. But there is 1 large ship with shields even the Nova Force can't punch through.

Ant-Man has a plan. The shields allow light through, and he can shrink himself to a single photon. Adsit programs the forward laser to emit only light and Scott Lang hitches a ride. And returns to full size in the big ship's control room where he knocks out a couple of goons and then triggers further growth and becomes so large he breaks open the spaceship. Then he shrinks to human-size and Adsit tells Rocket to bring him back.

As usual after a trick like that Scott is almost wiped out. Rocket is full of praise, but when he realises that Ant-Man can't remember what happened he tells Scott that he got knocked out and Rocket had to blow up the ship himself and rescue him.

The Raptor Talonar survived the attack and is contacted by an uncaptured spy Talon-M who tells him that the Nova Corps have the Power Stone on 1 of their research facilities. He overheard the Earthman Nova telling Star-Lord about it (#148). Talonar assumes that Nova is the young Sam Alexander - he doesn't know that Richard Rider has returned from the Cancerverse. And Gamora beheads Talon-M before he can correct him.

Nova (Richard Rider) himself now arrives at the base. Star-Lord tells him the Raptor emergency is over and now they can get back to dealing with the Ultron virus infecting aliens (since #146). But Nova has news of a new problem - giant trees attacking planet Telferina led by an old man. The Guardians already fought some of his trees on Knowhere in #148-149 and they figure that the man behind it is the Elder of the Universe known as the Gardener. (They learned in All-New GotG that he had stolen most of Groot's wood and was probably the reason why Groot was currently unable to grow taller than a sapling.)

Gamora wants to leave the Ultron-aliens to the Nova Corps and continue their search for the Infinity Stones. But Peter Quill wants to go to Telferina because they might find a cure for Groot. Adsit takes the Centurion helmet back off Rocket (who was hoping to keep it). And Drax says he quits (probably partly because he accidentally killed a Raptor spy in the fight). Gamora says they need Rider for raw power then, and he only agrees if they go to Telferina. Quill persuades Drax to come with them because he has somewhere he thinks Drax should be ...

... which turns out to be the Nova Corps place which is hiding the Power Stone, which is very very much bigger than it was in the old reality. Star-Lord introduces Drax to pregnant Nova Centurion Eve Bakian who is guarding the Stone and suggests he stay there for quiet contemplation while also guarding the place when Eve leaves for the birth. Drax comments that the Power Stone didn't used to be purple, he thought that was the Reality Stone, but Peter gives him some proof. And also admits that he hasn't told anyone else including Gamora about this.

But the word is getting out. A Skrull spy in the Nova Corps tells his people. A member of an unidentified group tells an alien called Talinda that they monitored a transmission (presumably the 1 from Talon-M) from the Rock during the Raptor attack and heard about the Power Stone. Talinda broadcasts an offer to other criminals to sell the location to the highest bidder. Ultron-infected aliens overhear that as do the Chitauri, and their Warbringer has Talinda kidnapped and makes *his* bid - he'll let her live if she tells him where the Power Stone is. He'll use it to free the Chitauri homeworld from Thanos (which he conquered in his (2017) #13 and presumably still ruled in #18 after his return from a trip to the future in between).

We finish the issue back with Adam Warlock who doesn't remember how he got back inside the Soul Gem. Is he hiding here or did someone such as Thanos imprison him? He comes across an aged version of Gamora who asks him to help her escape like he did before. He claims that's impossible and she blames him for trapping her here in another life. He admits that he and his friends found refuge here a long time ago but now claims not to recognise her. He says he no longer owns the Gem, but as he leaves this place he says if he regains it he might return here.

What we see is Warlock emerging from 1 of his cocoons facing Kang the Conqueror in his hall of trophies.

Adam Warlock's story continues in INFINITY COUNTDOWN: ADAM WARLOCK. He has awoken at the end of time. Kang explains the Thanos problem and sends him back in time to his earlier self Rama Tut in ancient Egypt who sends him forward to the present by suspended animation.

(Note that Warlock's costume in the current issue is plain black across the chest. An energy bolt on p1 of IC:AW adds a yellow lightning symbol like the 1 on his Power of Warlock costume which he will sport in later IC apps.)

Then Warlock and the Guardians will have bit parts in IC PRIME which introduces all the players in IC.

Then the Guardians story itself continues in full in IC #1.


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> Guardians of the Galaxy: Book info and issue index

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Marcus To
Marcus To
Ian Herring
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Jordan D. White. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Drax
Drax

(Drax the Destroyer)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)

Plus: Eve Bakian, Fraternity of Raptors, Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Nova (Richard Ryder), Nova Corps, Scott Adsit, Talonar (Robbie Rider), Warbringer.