Are you ready for a bro-tastic issue filled with Vance Astro and Captain America doing eachother’s hair and swapping stories about growing up in the thirties/living in the thirty-first century? No? Well good, because that’s not what this issue has in store for you anyway.
We do open on a training session between the two abovementioned best buds, which devolves into full-on weirdness when Dr. Druid shows up to make the claim that the shield that Cap has and the shield that Vance has “can never touch” because if so it will rip a hole in time and space, etc. While this is a decent plot-point to have if it went somewhere, this is the Guardians of the Galaxy, where plot points go to die.
Ok, bear with me because there is so much going on in this standard 22-page issue that we’ll be jumping around a lot. First up we check in on the remaining Guardians as they are now parked outside the Badoon homeworld. Unfortunately, the Badoon know they are there and of their intention to blow them up, so they have their missiles trained right on the Guardians’ ship. Any small power surge by the Guardians’ ship (signaling the firing of a missile) will cause the Badoon to release their arsenal on the Guardians.
Next we make a quick jump to Starhawk, who is out in space, struggling with the fact that Aleta is kicking his ass from the inside. Could she actually win this time and assume the form of Starhawk? We’ll see.
Another quick jump to New York City (in the thirty-first century) where the Comandeers are all but wiped out by Retox, the gang that took over once the Punishers were wiped out. The whole goal of Retox is to have Realiteevee turned back on. They know that the Comandeers know where the command center was and how it got knocked offline to begin with, and they’re torturing the last two members, Old Redd and Tarin, until they give up the location.
Back in the past at Avengers Mansion, Dr. Druid is casting a spell on the two shields so that they don’t touch, ever. Basically he polarized the shields to prevent contact, kind of like if you have two magnets that refuse to touch.
Back on the Guardians’ ship, the Badoon have called up the Guardians, proposing gladiatorial combat in order to settle their differences. If the Guardians win, they get to conquer the Badoon homeworld, if they lose then their ship and lives are forfeit. To show the Guardians that the Badoon mean business, they even disclose the location of their egg hatchery. The Badoon are reptiles, so this basically means that if anyone tries any funny business then the Badoon will lose an entire generation.
Now we’re back on Earth in the thirty-first century, where Doctor Doom an Rancor are getting into it, as Rancor is not a fan of being held against her will, or doing anyone else’s bidding. Doom persuades her with force, and she goes back to brooding.
Now it’s time for some bro-fun as Captain America and Vance Astro are pretending they’re Ninja Turtles and running along rooftops while having a (seemingly) meaningful conversation on what it is to be a leader. They stop outside Dr. Strange’s house as Cap knows that the Doc will be able to transport Vance to the Badoon homeworld easier than a spaceship can. Now, I have no idea about Dr. Druid’s powers, but can’t he do that to? And he was right at the mansion…
Back on the Guardians’ ship, Charlie, Nikki and Talon are having a conversation as to who should be the one to go down and fight mano y mano with the Badoon champion. Obviously they all make a pretty strong case for themselves, and of course, they can’t come to a consensus, so it devolves into violence. Nikki knocks Charlie out and threatens to do the same to Talon unless he calls the leader of the Badoon and proclaims that Nikki is the challenger. He does, and honestly, the leader of the Badoon doesn’t care because he has a Badoon who possesses the power of Captain Universe on his side. Remember last issue, that red squiggle of energy that hitched a ride on Vance’s transmission? That was the Captain Universe energy.
Next Issue: The Guardians fight for their lives against the power of the Universe, and Vance goes to the Doctor (Strange, that is).