|"Guardians of the Galaxy" #6 on sale now|
The two almost back-to-back interstellar “Annihilation” wars left the cosmos of the Marvel Universe beaten, battered, and in desperate need of heroes. In “Guardians of the Galaxy” #1, a team of heroes came forward to bring justice and order to the chaotic spaceways. The Guardians broke up at the end of last month’s issue #6, and with the fires of interstellar battle about to be re-lit for a “War of Kings,” the galaxy is -- screwed!
CBR News spoke with series writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, collectively known to their fans as DnA, and editor Bill Rosemann about “Guardians of the Galaxy” #6 and what’s next for the series.
The Guardians broke up because, in a way, they had never really come together. In issue #4, Drax the Destroyer learned he and his teammates had joined the Guardians because of a psychic suggestion implanted in their minds by Mantis, one of the team's support staff, at the behest of Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord, the Guardians' leader. When the team confronted Star-Lord about his actions at the end of issue #6, he defended himself by saying though he regretted the move, he was acting in the greater good.
“Peter does feel remorse over this, but he felt he had little option,” DnA told CBR News. “There was too much at stake, and he was still suffering huge guilt over the Phallanx invasion [in ‘Annihilation: Conquest’]. He thought that by using Mantis, he was just 'nudging' the characters in a direction they were already going, and Mantis's intervention just speeded their decision up. Peter is a moral being but it remains to be seen if there are any lines he'll refuse to cross in his pursuit of cosmic salvation.”
|"Guardians of the Galaxy" #7 on sale November 26|
His teammates’ lack of trust in their leader may have caused them to quit the Guardians, but Rocket Raccoon is not about to give up on his new team. “Rocket is the only recruit left who is holding onto any scrap of their original motivation,” DnA explained. “This is probably because Rocket didn't require any mental manipulation as such, Peter just got him drunk!”
“Rocket was more wounded and disappointed than confused at the break-up,” added editor Bill Rosemann. “His questioning of Peter on page 22 of ‘Guardians’ #6 was rhetorical in nature (not actually questioning what happened) -- he still holds tight to the dream, almost as tightly as he holds on to Groot’s pot!” [Editor’s Note: Groot, Rocket's friend and comrade, is an alien life form that resembles a living tree]
This month’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” #7 picks up less than a day after issue #6 and finds Rocket Raccoon doing something about the dissolution of his team. “Rocket's pulled together an emergency substitute team very quickly,” DNA revealed. “The nucleus of this team is the familiar team from the Star-Lord miniseries who Rocket has worked with before. Major Victory is the wild card, though his actions so far have led them to believe they can trust him. But if the original Guardians team was put together in a hurry, this one's a complete improvisation.”
Long time Guardians of the Galaxy fans recognize Major Victory as one of the founding members of the first Guardians, a team that formed in one of the Marvel Universe's many alternate futures. In issue #2 of the current “Guardians” series, an amnesiac Victory was found in the present day by Star-Lord and his team. Then in issue #3, one of Victory's comrades from the future, a powerful androgynous being known as Starhawk, appeared seemingly out of nowhere to attack Victory and the Guardians. Starhawk claims that his/her actions are honorable and that in order to preserve the future, both Major Victory and the current crop of Guardians must be destroyed. But the being's sinister smile at the end of issue #6 has many fans wondering what his/her agenda really is.
|Page from "Guardians of the Galaxy" #7|
“Is Starhawk a hero? A villain? or something even more complex?” DnA remarked. “This could pretty much sum up what our upcoming story lines are going to explore.”
In the months ahead, DnA will also pick up on another plot thread they wove into “Guardians of the Galaxy” issue #3. The climax of the issue had the heads of the Universal Church of Truth wondering who was inside a stasis cocoon that looked very similar to the one from which Adam Warlock emerged. “It will be picked up very soon,” DnA confirmed. “And the revelations will have cataclysmic consequences not only to the Guardians but to the greater cosmos as well.”
The new story arc beginning in “Guardians of the Galaxy” #7 focuses heavily on Rocket Raccoon's new team, but they're not the only characters appearing in the story. “We also spare a thought to the rather mysterious predicament that Peter finds himself in,” DnA stated. “And we'll also be keeping tabs on the other members of the team and what they are up to.”
With the action following both Rocket's new team of Guardians and his former comrades, readers can expect to visit many different locales in the next few issues of “Guardians of the Galaxy. “Amongst other places, we'll be visiting Hala and the Negative Zone and taking in their abundant wildlife, historic places of interest and vibrant entertainment!!” DnA said.
Rosemann added, “You know how Tony Stark and his allies built that big freakin’ prison in the Negative Zone? Seems a dangerous place to house convicted superhumans, right? Yeah, that’s what we thought too.”
|Pages from "Guardians of the Galaxy" #7|
DnA has peppered the upcoming issues of “Guardians” with some very dangerous people. In the months ahead, the writers will pit their cast against a number of obstacles and adversaries including Blastaar, the Living Bomburst. “Blastaar is a brilliant creation; we've used him as a character before and think he's great fun,” DnA said. “In this story we get to see what he's been up to since 'Annihilation Conquest.’ We're also going to be featuring the Badoon in a major way to discover that they are significantly more of a cosmic threat than they used to be.”
Rosemann says readers only need to look at Blastaar's early “Fantastic Four” appearances to see what makes the character such a great foil for the Guardians of the Galaxy. “Take a look at some of Blastaar’s first appearances by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby,” he said. “They imbued him with pure barbaric power — almost like a cosmic version of King Conan-- who could shoot explosions out of his big meaty hands! That’s the energy and regal strength that DnA are pumping back into the veins of the Living Bomburst!”
With the team fractured and a new one up and running in its place, readers can expect the tone of the next arc of “Guardians” to be dark, but it won't be oppressively so. “For Star-Lord, it's going to get very dark indeed before there's any light,” DnA explained. “The Negative Zone is not known for its sunny climate. That said, this book is never going to be a million light years away from a snappy come back or a witty quip!”
|Pages from "Guardians of the Galaxy" #7|
January's “Secret Invasion: War of Kings” one-shot will be of particular interest to “Guardians of the Galaxy” readers, and not just because it's being written by DnA. “The War of Kings event will have major repercussions on the entire Marvel cosmos, and as a result all the cosmic books will tie-in to the series and will play a part in the over all story,” DnA confirmed. “The 'SI: War of Kings' one-shot sets the scene for the ongoing story and should be required reading for anyone with an interest in Marvel's cosmic heroes as well as anyone who enjoys epic, blockbuster action/adventure with a healthy dose of Skrull slaughter thrown in!”
“The cliffhanger ending of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' #7 may be of great interest to those following the build-up to 'War of Kings,'” Rosemann added. “It’s also one of the coolest things that Paul Pelletier has ever drawn.”