Starlord Mopes Through a War – Annihilation #1

The cover to Annihilation #1
At least Silver Surfer is having fun!

From Series: Annihilation

What Happened:

The good guys are losing the war. The Annihilation Wave, a name the marketing bug-people of Annihilus’s army came up with, is moving across the galaxy destroying all who resist. Many alien races have been wiped out. The Skrull empire is basically gone. The Kree are have been humbled so many times they don’t remember how to war a war. They forgot the war part!

The cause of this attack would be the our ever-expanding universe itself. When our universe started spilling into the Annihilus ruled Negative Zone, Annihilus considered our universe just another part of his. He got to work taking over and one of the first things he did was destroy the Nova Corps home world.

There are some cosmic heroes left doing their best to hold the line but the growing bleakness of the war they’re fighting is wearing on them. The last surviving member of the Nova Corps, Richard Rider, has found himself in charge of the resistance to Annihilus. Along with Gamora, Drax The Destroyer, Ronan The Accuser, and a real bummer of a Star-Lord (Peter Quill) Nova is trying to stop the Annihilation Wave. Stop it or at least learn from their many, many horrible defeats.

When the Wave breaks through their latest defense, Nova orders the retreat and flies off the save Drax. He manages to do this and then throws the dude away at high speed and calls for an orbital bombardment of the area, killing some of the Wave and a lot of his own injured soldiers. Drax survives because he is not a background character.

This was a completely unnecessary sacrifice because minutes later, the heralds of Galactus manage to take out one of Annihilus’s Queens. Since the Queens control the troops telepathically, this renders the Annihilation Wave almost useless.

So all those injured men died for no reason. One even gave Nova a thumbs up before the bombardment hit and he perished in the flames. Thumbs up aren’t given freely, they carry weight! I hope that weight drags Nova down for the remainder of his days!!

Anyway, Nova deals with the guilt of his decisions by having sex with Gamora.

Annihilus is pretty mad things in this galaxy aren’t as easy for him as they are back in the Negative Zone. The fact that one of his queens was captured really gets the green space grasshopper man… hoppin’ mad! Yes! Stuck the landing!

Thanos and his pixie best friend Skreet (comic books are weird) inform their boss, Annihilus, they now now has enough data to unlock the power cosmic within Galactus’s heralds. Speaking of Galactus, he and Silver Surfer were smooshed by Tenebrous and Aegis, allies of Thanos. Which leads you to question, if Thanos has friends who can bop Galactus around like a balloon losing its helium why is he working for the king laser bug?

Because Thanos is up to something!

What I Learned From This Comic:

Even Star-Lord hated the name Star-Lord for a while.

Creators:
Writer: Keith Giffen
Pencils, Inker: Andrea Di Vito
Colourist: Laura Villari
Letterer: Cory Petit
Cover Artists: Gabrielle Dell’Otto
Editors: Andy Schmidt
Editor-in-Chief: Joe Quesada

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #5

The cover to Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #5
Caught between a racoon and a hard place. The hard place is a giant angry head.
Drax the Destoryer has gone missing. This is cause for concern first and foremost because his last name is “The Destoryer” and that’s a name you have to earn rather than get from your mother and father. Secondly, this is a concern because everyone on Knowhere has reason to suspect there are shape-shifting skrulls aboard the space station trying to enact sabotage.

The Knowhere council draws the appropriate conclusion and thinks Drax is a skrull. They are tracking him down. The Guardians of the Galaxy are ordered to stay put instead of assisting the search for their teammate.

Adam Warlock is inside the Celestial’s brain using it to scan for more skrulls. This is gross because the Celestial is dead. This is also gross because Knowhere is made out of the Celestial’s head. So Knowhere has a dead brain hanging out somewhere behind the walls. Adam gets a ping from the giant space god’s brain and is shocked when he learns where the skrulls really are.

The Guardians argue with each other. Tensions are high because of worry for their missing teammate and because of the potential threat that any of them could actually be a skrull now.

Quasar (Phyla-Vell) goes in search of Drax after Gamora encourages her to. Gamora is also currently healing from running into a sun. So maybe she’s not the best to assist with risk/reward conversations?

Adam Warlock confronts Cosmo who is the one hiding the skrulls. Adam is really hurt by this because Cosmo is a dog, thus supposed to be loyal. Cosmo assures Adam he does not know what he is talking about but does it in the adorable Russian accent Cosmo has. Adam and Cosmo start to battle.

Quasar finds Drax setting up bombs. He tells her the only way to be sure a skrull is a skrull is to see if they turn back into skrulls when they die. Can’t argue with that logic. So he pushes the ignition on a bomb that will kill everyone.

What I Learned From this Comic:

Groot thinks drinking coffee is a really sexy time.

The Creators:
Writers: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Penciler: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Rick Magyar
Colorist: Guru eFX
Cover Artist: Clint Langley
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Editors: Bill Rosemann

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #4

The cover to Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #4
Those masks can really dry out the skin.
From Series: Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2)

What Happened:

Star-Lord (Peter Quill), Cosmo, Mantis, and Rocket Raccoon are interrogating the amnesiac from the future Major Victory (Vance Astrovik) on his recent battle with Starhawk. Since Major Victory can’t remember anything from before he traveled back in time, but DOES remember Starhawk, his story is starting to not make sense to the Guardians of the Galaxy.

The team leaves it be for the moment but Rocket is particularly skeptical. He’s skeptical of everyone though. He’s even skeptical of Cosmo and he’s a dog in a cute astronaut costume!

An explosion rocks Knowhere, the scientific space station the Guardians use as a headquarters, and destroys what’s left of the teleporters. Now the Guardians are stuck on Knowhere and are unable to continue their mission of repairing tears in the fabric of the galaxy. This really gets stuck in Adam Warlocks craw. Repairing tears is all that guy ever wants to do!

Bodies found in the explosion suggest it was an act of sabotage by the shape changing alien race known as the Skrulls. Further suspicious rises between the team members as to who else might secretly be a skrull working against them.

Star-Lord breaks up a fight between the residents of Knowhere and Major Victory and agrees to keep the team in lock down for the time being. Unknown to him, Starhawk has returned and is watching from the shadows.

To further add to this spicy suspicion gumbo, Drax the Destroyer overhears Star-Lord and Mantis talking about how Mantis used her mental powers to nudge the members of the team into joining. This sort of explains why everyone is on this team despite hating each other a teensy-weensy bit.

The council of Knowhere is starting to grow tired of the Guardians of the Galaxy living there. They don’t pay rent. The break a lot of stuff. They’re bad roommates! So the council calls a meeting. During the meeting there is a lot of evidence that the person who blew up the teleporters is actually Drax. Drax has been there alooot and we all know he’s not some casual fan of scientific achievements. The dude like bombs, guns, and knives!

He likes them so much he goes into storage and loads up on a bunch of all three while the council is still in session.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Everybody wants to give Groot mulch.

The Creators:
Writers: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Penciler: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Rick Magyar
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Cover Artist: Clint Langley
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Editors: Bill Rosemann

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #3

The cover to Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #3
Sorry grumps, the body modification subculture never really goes away in the future.
From Series: Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2)

What Happened:

The Guardians of the Galaxy were investigating a missing population living in an artificial environment surrounding a sun (a Dyson Sphere). There they were ambushed by the evil Universal Church of Truth. The cardinals of the church are able to tap into the belief energies of their followers. So they can do anything by just believing they can. This makes fighting them a lot like fighting four-year-olds.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are being beaten up pretty badly by these menacingly overconfident villains when the population of the Dyson Sphere show up. They’ve been transformed by a genetic experiment gone awry into a single consuming mass. The mass quickly absorbs two of the Church’s cardinals.

Back at Knowhere, the Guardians base of operations. Mantis, Groot, and the time displaced Major Victory (Vance Astrovik) are discussing why Groot’s so cool when they are attacked by Starhawk. One of Mantis’ powers is precognition so the fact that a person from the future can show up without her knowing ahead of time freaks her out a bit. Major Victory and Starhawk, both teammembers of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, battle throughout Knowhere.

Adam Warlock and Star-Lord (Peter Quill) are discussing options for dealing with the Dyson Sphere’s tortured population when they are ambushed (again) by the Universal Church of Truth. C’mon guys. Eyes in the back of your head from here on out! The church injures Star Lord and stabs Adam Warlock with a special blade. Then they leave.

Since Adam Warlock is too injured to now perform the magic needed to destroy the monstrous genetic mass, the team settles on a new plan. They’ll remove the shield protecting them from the sun’s heat. This will burn up the monster. Plus it’s a perfect plan since all the team members have bracelets which will let them instantly teleport back to the teleportation pads in Knowhere.

In Knowhere, Major Victory and Starhawk just destroyed the teleportation pads.

Starhawk then disappears, leaving Major Victory very confused.

Unable to leave the sun’s violent rays and with Quasar’s quantum shield quickly losing energy, Gamora runs out from under of its safety and turns the sun shield back on. She survives the sun’s energies, but looks like hamburger meat. Her healing factor will come in handy for that.

Drax the Destroyer is the first to say she is awesome. Eventually agrees and it is caught on tape.

Meanwhile, the Universal Church of Truth’s cardinals have returned to their headquarters with the blade they stabbed Adam Warlock. It collected his blood which they used to see if he really way Adam Warlock. He is! So then what is Adam Warlock’s unopened cocoon doing in The Universal Church of Truth’s building?

What I Learned From This Comic:

Gamora is a do it yourself-er

The Creators:
Writers: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Penciler: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Rick Magyar
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Cover Artist: Clint Langley
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Editors: Bill Rosemann

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #2

The cover to Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #2
If you’re going to be playing in the snow remember to bring your clawed mittens and bushy tail.

From Series: Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2)

What Happened:

The (still as of yet untitled) Guardians of the Galaxy are sent to investigate a time rip by their talking dog astronaut friend Cosmo. Comic books! Since the damage done to the galaxy after the annihilation wave (annihilation) this has been happening more and more. Once there, they find themselves on a block of frozen time. Sure!

Quasar (Phyla-Vell) uses her powers to melt some time. (Sidenote: pocketing “Melt Some Time” for a future dime-store Sci-Fi novel title.) Within the melted time, they find the gate to the Avengers Mansion. That’s mysterious! Then they find another mysterious thing: a monster.

The monster from another dimension breaks out of the time-ice and attacks them. Quasar has a bit of a freakout when the giant tentacles come for her as any sane person who’s been to the wrong websites would. She accidentally destabilizes the time-ice asteroid with a blast from her quantum bands. The team needs to get off that thing quick!

Major Victory (Vance Astrovik) is also unfrozen from the block of ice and with Captain America’s shield helps them fight the monster before fainting. Way to uphold a hero’s legacy, dude.

Walking deus ex machina Adam Warlock, uses a spell to blow up the ice while the rest of the team leave.

Back at the Guardian’s home Knowhere, Quasar tries to bound with her dead girlfriends sort of dad Drax the Destroyer using the mystic powers of macaroni and cheese. It kind of works when Drax agrees to eat the food. Baby steps!

Guardians of the Galaxy support member and resident nutcase Mantis studies Major Victory, who has traveled to this time for an important reason but he can’t remember what it is. Ty. Pi. Cal.

Rocket Raccoon hears Vance call his own team “The Guardians of the Galaxy” and decides he likes that name enough to steal it.

Gamora finds another tear in space and they run after to investigate only to be attacked by the universal church of truth. Blindsided. Like by a bake sale after the grocery store checkout. All churches are the same!

What I Learned From This Comic:

You can make macaroni and cheese in space so any astronaut who eats paste from a tube is a fool.

The Creators:
Writers: Dan Abnett,
Andy Lanning
Penciler: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Rick Magyar
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Cover Artist: Clint Langley
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Editors: Bill Rosemann

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #1

The cover to Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2) #1
A better strategy would be to put the people with swords up front and the people with guns in back but, hey, you’re right, this is your show. Have at it.
From Series: Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2)

The still unnamed Guardians of the Galaxy are fighting the evil Universal Church of Truth like some sort of space Pussy Riot. They’re made up of Star-Lord (Peter Quill), Quasar (Phyla-Vell), Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and Rocket Raccoon.

There are frequent flash backs and personal interviews/confessionals. The flash backs focus on how the team was formed. After the Annihilation Wave and the Phalanx almost destroyed the galaxy on two separate occasions, Star-Lord gets it into his head that maybe some preventative care is in order. He reaches out to Nova (Richard Rider) and Quasar but only Quasar agrees to join. Nova suggests looking for lost souls who need something to do now. Like how some people start getting really into crosswords when they’re laid off.

A drunk Rocket Racoon joins. He brings the slowly regrowing Groot, who is currently too small to be help with anything besides provide additional cuteness.

Quasar, the girlfriend of the diseased Moondragon gets Drax to join. Drax is the physically augmented father of Moondragon. So team dynamics are already pretty weird. Drax is pretty down in the dumps since he’s already done the one thing he was created to do: kill Thanos. So maybe being on a team with lunatic space people could help thaaaat?

Nova gets Gamora to join the team after bargaining with sexy times.

Back in the present: the team has managed to break something important on the Universal Church of Truth’s space ship. It releases a horrible monster from another universe but the team kills it with fire and blow-em-ups. Sure hope that’s the last we see of that other universe!

The team returns to their base which is in the decapitated head of a space god called “Knowhere”. Mantis, a support member of the team has precognitive power so she knows that the team will eventually decide on the name “Guardians of the Galaxy” and that in 9 months a member of the team will kill them all. She keeps this a secret because its not nice to place with destiny.

BACK IN SPACE… a temporal distortion opens up, releasing a chunk of ice. The chunk of ice contains a figure and the shield of the currently deceased Captain America. What could this mean!?

What I Learned From This Comic:

There’s a demand for any type of reality show.

The Creators:
Writers: Dan Abnett,
Andy Lanning
Penciler: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Rick Magyar
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Cover Artist: Clint Langley
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Editors: Bill Rosemann