Guardians of the Galaxy annual #1
Issue(s): Guardians of the Galaxy annual #1
The previous three parts of the story had the Guardians chasing after energy that Korvac sent to one of his ancestors as he was dying at the end of the original Korvac saga. In each of the three previous parts, the Guardians would catch up to the person who had the power but the power would slip away. Aside from the set up in part one, there's nothing in the previous parts of this story that have any direct bearing on what happens here. The Guardians are now nearly at their present day (it's said to be while most of them were toddlers and before Nikki was born), and have tracked the Korvac energy to the latest ancestor. It actually turns out to be the real Korvac's father.
Starhawk transforms himself into Aleta for this fight, and notice that she's managed to make a new costume for herself in between her appearance in the Fantastic Four annual and this issue.
It's still pretty revealing, though.
General Ross seems to be alive and well in the 31st century (although he's called Ambassador Jacques).
Korvac's mother is giving birth while his father is fighting the Guardians, but as soon as he's born, the power is ripped from the father, killing him, to baby Korvac. So the Guardians get to fight a nigh-omnipotent baby.
The good news is that Dr. Strange, who is now the Ancient One, and his current snake-demon pupil, the current Sorcerer Supreme, arrive.
The wizards are able to catch the baby in a magic bubble, and they bring Korvac to Galactus, who takes his power back.
That is one big newborn.
The Guardians then have a brief "should we kill baby Hitler" debate, and ultimately rule against it. They bring baby Korvac back to his mother. But she blames the Guardians for the death of her husband, and promises to make sure that Korvac grows up hating them. You would think that the Guardians wouldn't be too worried about this, since all of Korvac's attacks have already "happened", or will have once the Guardians travel all the way back to their present day. But this is why time travel stories are so painful.
Jim Valentino will leave Marvel as part of the Image exodus in 1991. But his art style is nothing like the other artists that are part of that movement. His art is clean and clear, closer in spirit to what Ron Lim and Mark Bagley are doing around this time. He's also got a good handle on the cosmic and magic elements, making him a good fit for this story. Storywise this Korvac Quest remains underwhelming, but at least this final part is executed well.
There is only one back-up feature in this annual, which i won't be covering since it takes place fully in the future. In addition to that are a number of bonus features like little clip-art trading cards and fold-out figures, and info sheets like this one explaining the divergence between Vance Astro and Marvel Boy's timelines.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: From the point of view of the Guardians, this takes place directly after Silver Surfer annual #4.
Crossover: Korvac Quest
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAleta, Charlie-27, Korvac, Major Victory, Martinex, Starhawk, Yondu
Trapping Korvac in a dimension where his powers don't work always seemed like a deus ex machina to me. Maybe if the previous chapters had hinted that there was a dimension where his powers don't work it would have worked better.
Posted by: Michael | September 22, 2015 6:15 PM
"Ambassador Jacques" is a Legion of Super-Heroes in-joke; he's drawn to resemble Rene Jacques Brande, the rich dude (and secret alien shapeshifter) who funded them.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 1, 2015 8:00 AM
It's a shame this is the issue that fnord will read because the Korvac Quest storyline sucks. And the 3 issues during Infinity War with bad Liefeld-inspired Herb Trimpe art that bring the team to 616 briefly (and then 1 or 2 issues after by the next writer).
Valentino's Guardians of the Galaxy is surprisingly a treat. Consistently good and readable (bar any time Korvac is a plot point). I really enjoyed the trades of the run and this is after slogging through their 70s appearances and failing to ever really feel any interest for the characters or stories (and even Roger Stern for 3 issues was underwhelming).
He probably spends a bit too much time doing "What happens to Popular Mainstream Marvel Hero XXXX over a 1000 years later?", but Valentino really adds voices and characters to these formerly flat and bland characters. Although most of his villains are unfortunately named or the exact sort of cardboard characters the Guardians used to be, he definitely brings the stars to life.
I've only read the one issue of the next run wrapping up the Infinity War story that's in the trades, so I have no idea if the follow-up writer keeps the book alive. It's cancelled 30 issues later which might be an indication but at the same time it's hardly like Guardians of the Galaxy could sustain a longer book back then. And at the rate Marvel continue to relaunch their titles, they apparently can't now either.
Posted by: AF | February 17, 2016 11:42 AM
I think the continued meddling of Korvac is just a sad element of what happens to a good story when its popular and notable, like the Phoenix Saga with the X-Books. Korvac as a character was complete: a weird concept who by the right circumstances becomes a "God" and tries to use his powers to make a better universe only to fail. This is really just picking it apart both at the expense of Korvac as well as Shooter who made him what he became in the classic story. Its like there is this eternal grudge just because Shooter did what he did to make Marvel as successful creatively and financial as it was in the 80s that no one wants to let go of...and Korvac's the whipping boy among other things.
Posted by: Ataru320 | February 17, 2016 12:45 PM
I don't know that Korvac was being butchered just to spite Shooter. The character was created by Gerber and Starlin and most of the Korvac Saga was only plotted by Shooter whereas Star Brand and Beyonder were basically wholly his and largely seen as meant to be inserts of himself. And Star Brand and Beyonder were both trashed pretty quickly upon Shooter's departure whereas this was a fair bit after. I WANT to think DeFalco and co. would be above just running down a list of different Shooter "characters" to screw over, especially to still be doing it years after...
Plus most of the names attached to Korvac Quest (other than DeFalco on Thor) are not the usual culprits for the anti-Shooter agendas. Did Marz and Valentino even do any Marvel work under Shooter's reign?
I think it's just a consistent desire to recreate the success of Korvac Saga. Korvac is one character who should NEVER have been used again but every idiot thinks they are the ONE writer who can finally do it. Korvac is also brought back in the next Guardians annual and that time it has even WORSE Herb Trimpe art than the Thor annual from this story.
The retcon that Korvac revenge killed Carina is absolutely dreadful though and the story that spins out of that is fittingly poor (although the Silver Surfer issue is the closest to something quality, mostly due to Ron Lim's art).
Posted by: AF | February 17, 2016 1:44 PM
What was the 27 in Charlie-27's name meant to represent?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | March 13, 2016 8:51 PM
Known Relatives: Charlie-26 (father, deceased), Mabel-17 (mother, deceased) - See more at: http://www.writeups.org/fiche.php?id=4046#sthash.24U2HhvV.dpuf
I would guess that he's the 27th person to be named Charlie in his family line.
Posted by: clyde | March 13, 2016 10:02 PM
@clyde: Ah but could the names and numbers instead be all about ensuring genetic drift doesn't cripple the Jovian population? Maybe the original group of volunteers wasn't quite large enough? And when later colonist projects came along, the people in charge knew they needed a much larger group of breeding pairs to ensure continuing viability. Martinex doesn't have a number (or does he? "Martin-X"), and Nikki may never have known if she had one or not!
Posted by: Nathan Adler | March 14, 2016 4:26 AM
In Marvel Super-Heroes 18 and Marvel Presents 3, Martinex was touchy about being considered an alien even though Pluvians have human origins, an analog of contemporary race relations. I always assumed Arnold Drake had created the name Martinex as a play on Malcolm X.
Posted by: Andrew | March 14, 2016 10:45 AM
@ AF -
I think what supports the idea that this is designed to be a dig at Shooter is that the last panel, of the live baby, is so similar to the end of Secret Wars II, except that time the baby was dead, so it's like they're deliberately re-writing what Shooter has written before.
Posted by: Erik Beck | November 9, 2017 5:21 PM
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