Issue(s): Quasar #35, Quasar #36
The latter point, especially, i think is a good move. As far as i can tell, Quasar only had a secret ID and a day job because Mark Gruenwald thought that it's what super-heroes are supposed to do. It was obvious from the beginning that Quasar had no time to run a company, and it didn't really make sense as a storytelling engine for a guy that is supposed to be dealing with world- or universe-level threats.
In a continuation of the subplot from the past few issues, Kayla talks to the police after the attack from Angler. She can't explain the explosion that knocked him out, and she doesn't know why Angler attacked her. But her father hasn't been happy about her working at Four Freedoms Plaza, and to him this is proof that he was right all along, so he kicks her out of his house. The good news is that (the new) H.D. Steckley shows up to give Kayla some support.
The poses that Kayla gets put in annoyed me, but i know that most people think i'm oversensitive to this stuff so i tried to ignore it, but then i turned the page and saw more of the same.
It's worth remembering that Kayla was attacked while she was in the shower. She was wearing a towel the last time we saw her. So we're saying that after that, she changed into a skimpy nighty for her interview with the police?
Meanwhile, Quasar goes to Makkari to tell him that he's leaving for deep space, but Makkari surprises him by asking to go with him. Quasar and Makkari then go to say goodbye to Kayla, but she's already gone. Then Her catches up with Makkari, still insistent on following Quasar wherever he goes.
Quasar quantum jumps himself and his two companions back to Hala, where they find some signs of life, including a repair of Hala's rings and the fact that the Supreme Intelligence's organic matter, the part that the Black Knight stabbed, has been removed. They then come across Deathbird, who is leading what is now called the Shi'ar Starforce.
Starforce attacks, but Quasar just quantum jumps away instead of engaging with them. He decides to go to a different Kree planet to see if he can offer to help, but instead Epoch directs him to a huge spaceship / church.
The ship contains the Mourners, a group that Quasar previously met at Eon's funeral. This time they are mourning the death of the Kree galaxy. But they've noticed something odd: the souls of the Kree are not "dead".
Quasar, being not religious, wonders if it's all some "well-meaninged [sic?] mumbo-jumbo". But he gets Epoch to check it out and Epoch locates a being of "unidentifiable power" nearby, so he goes to investigate.
Earlier, we had some Who's On First jokes regarding Her's name...
...and while investigating this new threat, Her thinks to herself that following Quasar around is her "kismet".
That will lead up to Her choosing a new name for Herself, but we're not there yet. They get to the threat that they are investigating, and oh my god, you guys! It's Surtur!
Ok, it's not really Surtur. As the caption says, it's Soul-Eater. The reason it looks like Surtur (to me, anyway) is because Soul-Eater was also designed by Walt Simonson, in his days on Thor when he was just the artist.
The idea is that Soul-Eater, whose name is self-explanatory, has gobbled up all the Kree souls and prevented them from going to "heaven".
Quasar has to fend it off and/or chase it around while waiting for Epoch to access information on it (a common occurrence; in these issues alone, Quasar is constantly requesting more info from Epoch)...
...and he eventually follows it to where a giant embryo is floating in space.
Quasar goes with the "fight it from inside" option, but hesitates when he realizes that he'll have to kill the Soul-Eater to stop it. Noting that he opposed the killing of the Supreme Intelligence, he wonders how this is any different. But he reasons that the difference is that the killing of the Supreme Intelligence was punitive, while killing Soul-Eater would be preventative.
Eventually Quasar locates the souls of the dead Kree. One thing that i've found interesting is that a couple of times now when we've been shown Kree in the aftermath of the Nega-Bomb explosion (the other panel i have in mind was in Avengers #347, while the Supreme Intelligence is talking to Captain America and Deathbird), they are not all simply the pink and blue humanoids that we know as Kree. We see all different kinds of aliens (is the plant guy a Cotati?). In fact, it seems the majority of these souls are not traditional Kree.
This makes a lot of sense. The Kree are a conquering race, and their empire would of course include many different species. But i wonder what the Supreme Intelligence thought of this. Were these non-Kree citizens just collateral damage to him? Or are all of these races genetically stagnant? I assume the former. But i wonder if there was any interbreeding going on between these aliens, and whether that might have been a more peaceful way to get around the Kree being at an evolutionary dead end.
Anyway, the souls believe that they are already in heaven, but Quasar convinces them that that's not the case, and they eventually rebel, causing Soul-Eater to get indigestion and explode.
Meanwhile, the Angler is taken to the Vault. As he's led to his cell, we see a dome-headed shadowy figure approach another prisoner, Quagmire.
Later, he attacks Kayla and H.D..
Kayla and H.D. are protected by Antibody, the New Universe character that followed Quasar home.
But Quagmire is able to catch Antibody with his goo, and he stomps him with his boot.
Quagmire then forces Kayla through a black portal that looks familiar to fans of 1980s video game tie-in comics. H.D. follows.
Bite your lip to turn into the Hulk, guys.
I like the refocusing of the character of Quasar so that he's truly going to be focused on cosmic things. And i love seeing a Walt Simonson creation like Soul-Eater showing up again, even if i think he's a bit silly as a concept. I don't know what exactly Gruenwald is saying about religion (in real life or in the Marvel universe) with the Mourners and the Kree souls, but i like at least the attempt at pitting Quasar's skepticism against the existence of actual souls. The biggest problem is that the battle with Soul-Eater gets pretty boring and generic very quickly, similar to Quasar floating around scooping up bits of anti-matter last issue. There has got to be a way for Quasar to deal with giant cosmic threats in a way that isn't so... clinical, i guess. Still it's a decent arc and potentially a good new direction for the book. It's also nice to have Greg Capullo back on the book after the recent fill-ins. I think he does a good job with the cosmic weirdness of Soul-Eater when he's allowed to zoom out enough for us to see it.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Issue #35 is labeled as "Operation: Galactic Storm Aftermath", a little different than the the "After The Storm" logo on Captain America #401. Issue #35, coincidentally, takes place concurrently with Captain America #401; both issues have a scene of Quasar quitting the active Avengers team (no one tells him that the roster pretty much already changed and he wasn't on it).
Halfway through issue #35, when Quasar gets back to Hala, he says that it seems to have been significantly repaired since he left "less than a week ago". I noted in Captain America #401 that the Avengers were said to have been away in space for about three weeks, and as noted above, Quasar #35 takes place concurrently with Cap #401. I don't think more than a day passes between Quasar leaving the Avengers in the concurrent scene and Quasar arriving back on Hala (via quantum jump), so i'm assuming that it took the Avengers "less than a week" to return home from Hala via a slightly more conventional (so to speak) form of space travel that is slower than Quasar's quantum jumps. Of course i could interpret "less than a week" to mean "a day" but that probably wasn't the intent.
Kayla Ballantine's father and mother appear in issue #35. It's the only appearance of the mother but there are a few more of the father. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to have a first name, so i'm following the MCP and calling him Mr. Ballantine.
Note that in the scene with Angler being brought to his cell, a Guardsman says "Shut the face, Lansky". I'm assuming that's Edward Lansky, aka the Lightmaster, and i've listed him as a Character Appearing.
Epoch tells Quasar that H.D. Steckley is not Moondragon, and says that "Moondragon is currently aboard a ship in..." before getting cut off by Quasar. That might refer to the ship that Moondragon is seen stranded in at the beginning of Warlock & the Infinity Watch #2, but it might also be the ship that Moondragon and Gamora are in during Warlock & the Infinity Watch #4.
Next issue begins with Quasar, Makkari, and Her still (or perhaps, again) floating near the embryo, which has hatched. But that issue ends with a tie-in to Infinity War #3. And since these issues pivot directly off of Galactic Storm, some time must pass between issues #36 and #37, with Quasar and friends either sticking around to observe the birth of the creature in the embryo or coming back to check on it. The problem with that is the subplot with Kayla and Quagmire. The Kayla side i wouldn't worry about, since she and H.D. come out of the portal onto another planet next issue and i always allow indefinite amount of time to pass when teleporting. But the scene with Quagmire and Antibody seems to continue directly, with Quagmire searching for Antibody. One option is that Quagmire went away for a while after getting Kayla and H.D. in the portal, and then decided to return later to look for Antibody. Another is that a lot of time passes while Quasar is chasing Soul-Eater in space, and then we can assume that this series ends circa Infinity War #3. From my point of view, the difference is just about where i place these issues. I generally place an entry where the story ends. If i go with the latter option, then i should place this soon before Infinity War #3. But i think it reads better as a direct follow up to Galactic Storm, so i'm going to assume that Quagmire went somewhere for a beer, and then later remembered that little guy that he stomped and decided to go back and try to find him.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAngler, Antibody, Captain America, Chief Examiner, Deathbird, Devon Ballantine, Epoch, Erishkigal, Fath, Kayla Ballantine, Kenjiro Tanaka, Kismet (Her), Korath the Pursuer, Lightmaster, Makkari, Mr. Ballantine, Origin, Quagmire, Quasar, Shatterax, Soul-Eater, Ultimus, Wayopex
Was the word "Gay" so bad they had to stick a speechbubble in front of it?
Posted by: Berend | February 2, 2016 8:32 PM
I wonder if "Lansky" was supposed to be the 616 version of Lamprey; he has the same laugh. Mind you, they eventually gave him a different real name, but I wonder...
Posted by: Thanos6 | February 2, 2016 8:36 PM
Berend, the use of the word "gay" on-panel would still have been pretty rare--and controversial--in mainstream comics at that point. Its actually somewhat impressive that they showed that headline at all, acknowledging Northstar's coming-out story outside of ALPHA FLIGHT.
I do find it a bit amusing that it is also done in a scene with Wendell and Makkari, given the gay speculation about their relationship (both among readers AND on-panel, since Kayla wondered back in #19 if they were boyfriends). It seems Gruenwald was well aware that he was writing a hero who put out a bit of a vibe, and didn't mind acknowledging it.
Posted by: Dermie | February 3, 2016 12:20 AM
I still like to think that Wendell goes both ways, and there was some fun with him, Monica, and Miguel when they were all aboard the Avengers' space station... ;)
Posted by: Thanos6 | February 3, 2016 12:32 AM
Yeah, I'd say Wendell's orientation is still up for grabs--he has yet to really have any significant romantic relationship. The closest he's come so far is Kayla; and they spent more time apart than together during the course of the QUASAR series (and even *she* wondered if he was gay). He was briefly engaged to Dr. Jeannine O'Connell from Project Pegasus--but that clearly didn't last long, and the relationship (which was entirely off-panel except for ONE scene where Quaze introduces her as his fiancé) has never been referenced again since.
He tends to get hit on by a lot of beautiful women--and consistently rejects their advances (Moondragon, Her, and even up to more modern comics with Ikon).
As for the Avengers Asteroid Base--yeah, I always figured all those months living in such close confined quarters with Wendell had something to do with Miguel coming out of the closet. Either Quasar or Starfox, who we were told was going to drop by the base from time to time to party. ;)
Posted by: Dermie | February 3, 2016 2:42 AM
Hell, even if Wendell is straight--which as you pointed out, isn't a settled question--his mere presence probably had an effect on Miguel. Those bishonen, pretty boy looks may have sparked his first conscious same-sex attraction. Going from liking girls to liking girly guys...
Posted by: Thanos6 | February 3, 2016 3:50 AM
Don't go giving Marvel any ideas...
Posted by: AF | February 3, 2016 6:51 AM
The baby turns out to be Origin in issue 47, so it should be listed as a Character Appearing.
Posted by: Michael | February 3, 2016 7:56 PM
Added Origin. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 3, 2016 8:50 PM
@Dermie: That's kinda why I was surprised. Having characters wonder if people are gay is okay, as long as the word itself is not used?
Ah well, homophobia doesn't make sense anyway, so it doesn't have to be internally consistent either.
Posted by: Berend | February 4, 2016 5:12 AM
Yeah, its the same sort of principle behind writers knowing Northstar was gay and writing him that way right from the start, but not actually being allowed to state it outright. I think it is a plausible deniability thing--people can see it and know that it is there, but if Marvel doesn't use the word directly they can claim innocence if angry parents try to sick the Comics Code Authority at them.
Posted by: Dermie | February 4, 2016 6:17 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|