will remember, last issue ended with Talon becoming a werewolf version of
himself. We are not yet sure how this
affected his personality though (a personality that was shitty at best
anyway). One thing we do know is that
that transformation set off alarm bells that have the rest of the Guardians
awoken from their slumber and running to see what the problem is. The choice of sleep attire is odd for the
Guardians as Yondu wears a skirt and boots, Yellowjacket wears a long button
down t-shirt and what look like high heels, and Nikki wears a half shirt, bunny
slippers and the weirdest looking underwear I have ever seen (are they really
supposed to go that high?)
get to the medbay (I’m assuming that’s where Talon is) in time to see Talon
throw Cuchulain through the wall. Talon
comes strolling out of the hole in the wall and is immediately reprimanded by
Vance, who he proceeds to backhand, something we’ve all wanted to do to Vance
for the better part of a year. Yondu
breaks up the squabble and removes Talon from the room before any more damage
can be done.
new costume time! Aleta couldn’t let
Talon have all the fun when it came to a new costume, so she decided to get one
of her own. Unfortunately, Aleta’s
fashion sense is right in line with her taste in boyfriends as her new costume
is silly and downright ugly. I like that
Gallagher has given her the new suit because the black suit she had before
reminds her too much of the containment suit that Vance wears. This is a sound reason for changing costumes
that most heroes rarely possess. The
fact that she comes right out and says that to Vance shows a distinct lack of
tact, however it seems like all of the characters that Gallagher writes have
that trait, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
Stockade, Charlie has got his ass kicked by Tork and his jailers, and is near
death. Luckily, the psychopath that is
his roommate, Diablo, has something for Charlie that will apparently make him
“good as new”. We stay on Stockade as
the warden of the prison planet speaks to the Guardians. They try to get Charlie released, stating
that he is not Ripjak. The warden agrees
to meet with a delegation of the Guardians, as long as there are no women
involved (apparently no women are allowed on Stockade because Gallagher already
wrote one rape scene and doesn’t feel like writing another). Vance and Cuchulain head down to Stockade
while the women handle things on the ship, including manning the torpedoes in
case something goes wrong down on the prison planet (what could go wrong,
check in on Talon who is resisting any attempt by Yondu to tame the savage
beast. Yellowjacket attempts to give
Talon’s amulet back to him, but Krugarr, the Sorcerer Supreme will not allow
it. He takes the amulet and knocks Talon
out in the process, claiming that Talon is no longer “worthy” (kind of a
Thor-Mjolnir relationship I guess).
Yellowjacket then uses her Pym particles to shrink Talon down to a more
to Nikki in the torpedo bay, who is visited by the mutant Sidestep. She tells Nikki about how she is becoming
disenchanted with Rancor’s rule and she offers a clue to help Nikki down the
road in the form of a riddle. “Think of
the scar” she says. It’s an ominous
warning that you can’t really make much out of at this point, but will be
revealed in due time I’m sure. She then
Stockade, Vance and Cuchulain are treated to the evidence that the Warden has
of Charlie’s guilt, including a video and dna evidence. Cuchulain decides he’s going to start a fight
in the face of overwhelming evidence, one that spills out into the halls as
more prison guards join the fracas. The
warden decides to use his backup plan, to unleash Drax the Destroyer on
Cuchulain. How does he do this, you ask? By turning off Drax’s cartoons of
Next Issue: Drax vs. Cuchulain, and the winner gets to watch
Ren and Stimpy (this was the 90’s after all)!
This is by far the best album of the Bon Scott era in my
opinion. Everything just feels like it’s
hitting on all cylinders with the music and the vocals. Scott is not as smarmy as he was in the
previous albums and the music is a tad more accessible because of it. Angus is just Angus.
Tracks you may
High way to Hell – You can’t get any better than this for a
Bon Scott track. The chorus, the guitar
solo, it’s AC/DC at their best, and a spiritual successor to the entire Back in Black album.
Girls Got Rhythm – Just a great groove, one of the best
songs on the album.
Tracks you should
Night Prowler – This is just a creepy, heavy way to end the
album, and it’s something you should definitely listen to on the regular.
Touch Too Much – It’s a fun track with a good “Highway to
Hell” kind of beat (as do a lot of the songs on this album) but it’s still
clean and solid all around.
My personal favorite:
Girls Got Rhythm – Such a good track with a great beat. The guitar work is still as good as ever, and
it’s one of the tracks that doesn’t sound like a tweaked “Highway to Hell”.
that on the cover? Could it be? The return of Cuchulain? Thank Kirby, I’ve been waiting for this since
the third annual…
now that we got the sarcasm out of the way, this issue opens with the
Guardians’ ship appearing above a village on Earth, one that just happens to be
the home of Shamrock and Cuchulain (who made their first appearance in this
book in the third annual issue). While I
give Michael Gallagher a lot of crap for his lazy writing, and terrible
characterizations, the fact that he is treating the Annuals as if they are an
important part of the overarching story is great to see. Many writers use these issues for giant
throwaways, or at the very least, a filler tale that has little significance on
the overall story. Gallagher has not
only introduced characters that he brought back into the comic (the
aforementioned Cuchulain and Shamrock) but he has also introduced big,
overarching plot devices that need to be addressed in the regular series
(talon’s impending forced fatherhood and Charlie’s disappearance). This makes the annual more of an issue 50.5
than a regular annual, and for someone that loves collecting the complete
story, I appreciate that.
the issue at hand. When the ship appears
above the village, it is not known by the inhabitants that the Guardians come
in peace. In fact, even those that have
dealt with the Guardians before are unaware of the fact that they are the
inhabitants of that spacecraft. It
doesn’t help matters that Vance, in his new black suit, is the first one to
touch down on Earth. His is unrecognizable
in his new getup and everyone reacts as you would expect they would, including
Cuchulain going on the offensive and outright attacking him. The rest of the Guardians make their way down
to the surface, after letting Vance and Cuchulain duke it out for awhile. This seems like a silly re-introduction to
the characters but I have a feeling at this point Marvel was just letting
Gallagher do whatever he wanted.
some more mistaken identities, where Talon gets manhandled by Cuchulain
(causing him to complain about his back…again) we cut to the heavy exposition
portion of the program. The Guardians
then learn that Charlie’s whereabouts are actually on the prison planet known
as Stockade, as he is being accused of being the interplanetary serial killer
known as Ripjak.
on schedule, we head out to stockade, where Charlie is getting some pretty poor
treatment from the guards, which only gets worse when he refuses to sign a
confession. He is then thrown into
General Population (which is akin to a cop being placed in the same circumstance
nowadays) with the insane villain known as Diablo. It doesn’t take long for Charlie’s presence
to be noticed though as Tork, the Tokka clone comes in and makes his presence
known. He apparently “runs” the floor
and is hell-bent on making Charlie’s stay a painful one.
Earth there is more exposition as Cuchulain says goodbye to Shamrock (he has
been asked to join the Guardians for this mission given the fact that their
“heavy hitter” is the one they are rescuing).
They all get onboard the ship and Cuchulain freaks out because he has
never seen anything like this before (remember, he is a medieval character who
is now in the future). While the ladies
are calming him down, Vance and Talon fight once again over command of the
Guardians. That is broken up by request
for aid from Nikki to help control Cuchulain.
they deal with that mess, Vance sits down with Aleta to rekindle his
romance. He pulls back the symbiote
around his mouth to reveal his old man face, which Aleta finds appealing for
some reason, and they begin to kiss, until the symbiote gets an alien boner and
tries to latch on to Aleta. She runs in
fear and Vance begins to cry.
to Talon and Trans-Molecular Reconstitutor, which has helped save Martinex and
Charlie in the past, both times not only saving their lives but augmenting
their existing powers. Talon wants to
use it to help his ailing back but he know that no one else will assist him in
doing so. He then drafts Cuchulain to do
this for him because he knows no better.
After the machine does its job, Talon comes out looking more like a
werewolf and less like a kitty-cat.
Next Issue: we see if Talon’s latest hairstyle sticks and
Vance gets all emo.
AC/DC went even deeper to their bluesy roots with Powerage, which, in my opinion, is a
great album. Powerage is one of the most complete albums with one of the least
known tracklistings in the band’s discography, but it is one you should know.
Tracks you may
Down Payment Blues – Just a great bluesy tune, kind of
Rolling Stones-ish but with the Bon Scott sleaze.
Sin City – This is more of a traditional AC/DC track, but it
is still a good one and would belong on any of their previous albums.
Tracks you should
Riff Raff – Kind of like “Rocker” in its speed and ferocity,
just an all around great track that other bands may try to imitate but no one
My personal favorite:
What’s Next to the Moon – A great song with a good chorus
and a nice riff. This is one that is not
a well known song, but a good one nonetheless.
The opening riff sounds incredibly familiar, but beyond that it’s one of
the best songs on the album.
It’s not their best album, but a solid return to form. The final three songs end on a poor note, but
the beginning is as good as any other album.
(the final one of the series) centers around the mutants. We open with the mutants running rampant
through Loki’s Moon mine, killing Inhumans left and right. We get the stunning revelation that
underneath Mindscan’s hair is a creepy-looking head, kind of like The Leader,
or a Conehead with tumors. Somehow,
removing her hair-piece allows her the ability to synch up with equipment
(though that’s not explained at all) which triggers a recording from Loki. Rancor brings in the highest ranking Inhuman
in order to kill him and send him back out as a message to the others in the
tunnels. Pretty shitty and a waste of
time if you ask me, but Rancor has never been the brightest.
enters the Guardians’ ship, a video of Martinex shows up basically telling her
that she is an intruder and to get off the ship. Mindscan shuts it up and allows Sidestep to
do her thing…which will be revealed later.
We get a quick history lesson from Ulig, the Last Watcher before the
Guardians return to their ship (this all happens after the events of #50). Sidestep has apparently altered the ship’s
security system to not only recognize the Guardians as intruders and gas them,
knocking them out, but also to fly to a world of Rancor’s choosing.
chapter opens with Talon strapped down while Rancor regales him with her grand
plan of pitting one of her mutants against one of the Guardians in a death
match. Talon tries to escape but Rancor
thoroughly kicks his ass (he hurt his back after all) before turning to her
video monitor to watch the melee unfold.
three consists of the fight between Yellowjacket and Blockade. Yellowjacket gets the upper hand early by
using her Pym particles (do these things ever run out?) to shrink blockade
down. Unfortunately, Blockade’s power is
to change his size, so he counteracts that by growing. Yellowjacket decides the best way to fight
him is to just grow larger than him and continue trying to kick his ass. She does this, but it comes at a price as she
has grown too big too quickly and is suffering from a heart attack out in the
middle of nowhere.
Yellowjacket to her fate and focus on the next chapter which shows us Batwing
vs. Vance Astro. We get a brief history
lesson of what happened while the Guardians were asleep and en route to the
planet they wound up on (apparently all of the Inhumans were moved to this new
planet where they were tasked with building a new civilization). There are only a few Inhumans that are not
under Mindscan’s control and they are trying to get Vance to work for them and
lead a rebellion. He defeats Batwing
quickly, but then, inexplicably, the Inhumans turn on him.
chapter focuses in on Yondu as he battles Mindscan. However this battle is not on the physical
plane but on the mental one as Mindscan shows Yondu that his “God” Anthos is
nothing more than the despotic tyrant Thanos in disguise. Because religion and spirituality are at the
core of Yondu’s being, it shatters him completely, harming him more than any
kind of physical attack (especially from the relatively weak Mindscan) could
chapter involves Talon and Rancor, and the basic premise, and apparently the
basic premise of this entire story is that Rancor is feeling motherly and wants
to have a child. She would never have
one with a human, and the mutants available all suck, or are female, so that’s
a non-starter. She has settled on
Talon. Yes, all of this is an excuse to
get Talon in the sack. When Talon
resists her advances, apparently homicidal maniacs are not really his type, she
straight up rapes him. How she is
guaranteed that he’ll impregnate her I have no idea, but I guess we’ll just
chalk it up to “she’s a mutant” and let it go.
to keep going once one of your main characters has been raped but Gallagher
pushes along, setting up the next battle between Sidestep and Aleta. Aleta is underpowered but still formidable. When Sidestep goes to transport her into the
dimension of Nightmare (the old Dr. Strange villain) Aleta takes Sidestep with
her. They work together to defeat
Nightmare and get out of the dimension, where Aleta straight-up blasts Sidestep
right in her stupid half-shaved head.
that chapter, we see Charlie being confronted by the same police officers we
saw in the regular Guardians book, the ones looking for Ripjak. Charlie resists arrest and looks like he has
the upper hand until the officers flying the spaceship gas him (and their own
men at the same time).
we’re almost done as Nikki takes on Shaddo.
They fight, with Shaddo getting the early upper hand until Nikki sets
her on fire. This was about to be the
end of Shaddo until Vance shows up, extinguishes her and then bitches Nikki out
for trying to survive (good lord I hate Vance as a character). They blink out of existence and are instantly
transported onto their ship, along with the rest of the Guardians, by
Talon. Vance gets all butt-hurt that
someone else is doing something productive and Talon straight up slaps him
before teleporting the entire ship far away.
The fact that he did all this without a direct order is what really
sticks with Vance, proving that he may just be the worst leader in the history
the story by focusing in on the mutants once again and see that Rancor is very
much pregnant with her rape-baby. This
can’t be good.
and final part of Future History follows and basically fills with everything we
already know but weren’t told in the first two installments. It was teased that we would finally get to
hear about Spiderman’s fate as well…which basically amounted to he died but the
body wasn’t recovered. Talk about
Next Issue: Back to the regular
series and more douchey Vance Astro than you can shake Talon’s stick at….too
to wrap up the Galactic Guardians miniseries, the first (and only) spin-off for
the Marvel 3000 line.
starts with a proclamation from Mainframe that the main villain that was
revealed to us at the end of last issue, Ubiquitor, has appeared on every world
simultaneously. This obviously raises
the stakes for the Guardians in that if they fail to defeat her and her
footsoldiers, the rest of the galaxy will fall.
Hollywood gets the action started by attacking Silverback.
quick aside where we learn that Hollywood and Vision regained their
consciousness and memories (Vision used a separate body to go wake Hollywood up
and replace his memories, which were absorbed and transferred into his mind
from the memories scattered on the ground) we see Mainframe attack Savant and
overload his mind, knocking him out of the fight.
phone…it’s origin time! This time we
learn that Ubiquitor is a member of a race known as the absolutes, one of the
last of her kind, that thrives on the creation and destruction of universes
(which is where her team of baddies comes from, former universes that she destroyed). While it’s an interesting origin, part
Galactus, part Phoenix, it’s still pretty boilerplate stuff and shows why
Ubiquitor hasn’t made some kind of comeback.
Phoenix, Ubiquitor sees the potential power in him and whisks him away to a
separate plane of reality. While they are
gone, a little teamwork by Replica and Martinex takes care of Hazmat, while
Ghost Rider disposes of Ganglia by sending it to Hell. Out in space, Hollywood and Silverback are
still going at it when Mainframe teleports them both to the edge of a black
hole. Even though Hollywood isn’t being
sucked into the black hole, Silverback sure is.
Hollywood tries to hold on to him and not let him die, which is very
Avenger-y, but he cannot and Silverback is gone. Hollywood then flies back to the ship, pissy
that he couldn’t save the bad guy.
check in on Ubiquitor and Phoenix as she makes a pitch to him to join forces
with her. He rebuffs her advances
though, as we all assumed he would, and really that is the best idea, look what
happened to all of her other minions.
They fight back and forth, neither combatant gaining an upper hand, that
is until Woden shows up and offers his hammer’s power to be combined with that of
Phoenix. Together they dispatch of Ubiiquitor
pretty handily. In the grand Guardians
of the Galaxy tradition, Woden is offered membership in the Galactic Guardians
to which he declines. As he flies back
to Asgard, Phoenix returns to the ship.
As we close the series we see that the only individual happy that
everyone is still alive and working as a team is Martinex. No one else is remotely satisfied with this
outcome, just like no one else should be satisfied with this limited series. The artwork was generally better than that of
its parent title (having Kevin West pencil the whole thing instead of providing
breakdowns alone helped immensely) but the story was still pretty silly and
Back to the Guardians of the Galaxy!
Before we get to the regular series though we have one more stop to make
in the fourth and final annual, and this one’s a doozy.
One of the knocks on AC/DC throughout the years is that the
music is very derivative of itself. The
band is not going to stray too far from what they do best, which is why all of the
Bon Scott songs sound like they could come off any album, regardless the era
(even though his era was short) and the Brian Johnson songs follow that same
pattern. I personally don’t care that
much as the catalogue is so large that I usually just shuffle them all on
Google Play anyway, but I completely understand the argument. This album follows that mold very closely,
but is a bit more cohesive in my opinion, with less filler.
Tracks you may
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – It’s not as overplayed as
T.N.T. but it’s damn close. Still, a
great opening song for the album.
Big Balls – The song that makes every teenage boy giggle
until he’s blue in the face. Bon Scott
packs more innuendo into this one song than the rest of the songs in the whole AC/DC
catalogue combined. It still holds up
well even if it sounds sillier the older you get.
Tracks you should
Rocker – I love the beat, the speed, the guitar, it’s all
there. It sounds like something
Motorhead would play, just without Lemmy’s growl.
My personal favorite:
Ride On – This could be the slowest song in the entire
discography, but it is so smooth, so rich of a blues tune that I can’t help but
stop what I’m doing when it comes on and just listen to it. This may in fact be my favorite AC/DC song of
all time (and that’s saying a lot as I am a pretty hefty supporter of the Brian
Johnson era as the best era of AC/DC).
It’s a great sophomore effort and produced some of the best
songs of the entire catalogue. There is
very little filler as even songs like “There’s Gonna Be Some Rockin’” and “Love
at First Feel” are quality tunes.
There are some messed up things that happened back in the day (like the above story) that would have made social media lose it's mind if it happened today. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing, but at least we know that the present is no more or less fucked up than the past.
this issue with Ghost Rider, one of the two remaining Galactic Guardians that
is not injured and out of commission, fighting against Hazmat. Hazmat tries to pull the same trick on Ghost
Rider that he did on Firelord, shooting him with the acidic material that
burned Firelord (and you know that’s powerful if it can burn a guy that is
literally made of fire). This doesn’t
hurt Ghost Rider at all, and instead leaves him open to be taken out by Ghost
Rider’s space-motorcycle. As Ghost Rider
speeds off back to the Guardians’ ship a mysterious figure comes to retrieve
Hazmat. The original Guardians of the
Galaxy series has made its living on shadowy figures in the background. I’m curious to see how this villain stacks up
to the likes of Doctor Doom and Loki.
At the end
of last issue, Replica fell prey to Ganglia, the Mother-Brain looking villain
that gestated inside her long enough to become relevant. With Replica down, Ganglia now turns its
attention to Martinex, the last remaining Guardian on the ship that can do
anything. Surprising everyone that has
ever read a Guardians comic in the past, Martinex actually proves useful and
freezes Ganglia before taking off and getting Replica to the med-bay. On the way there, he is ambushed by Ganglia’s
tentacles, proving that maybe he isn’t nearly as adept as we thought.
time to check in on Hollywood and Vision as they duke it out. You’ll remember that last issue, Savant wiped
their minds and then pitted them against one another in combat, for his
amusement I assume. A break in the
fighting (because they are both knocked out) provides the perfect opportunity
for the mysterious figure to come collect Savant, ordering him to scatter the
memories of the two combatants among the rocks.
we’re here, let’s check in on Woden, who is fighting Silverback on Earth. Last issue they came face to face with a
giant crab/octopus creature in a lake.
Woden electrocutes the creature in order to escape its clutches and
drags Silverback out of the water. Woden
then flies off as that mysterious figure comes to collect his fallen champion.
Back on the
ship, Martinex is about to be infiltrated by Ganglia when Ghost Rider shows up
and sets it ablaze. As Ganglia tries to
retreat, Firelord wakes up, renewed from his nap and sets Ganglia on fire even
more, supposedly killing it. Martinex
then suggests that Ghost Rider transform into his native form of a priest in
the Universal Church of Truth. Martinex
thinks this will help keep Replica calm when she wakes up…boy was he
wrong. She goes nuts and attacks him. Knocking him out of a window so that he can
plummet to his death, and he would have too if Hollywood hadn’t showed up right
then to catch him. He then turns back
into Ghost Rider and goes back to confront Replica. Hollywood stops the confrontation and it is
revealed that Mainframe is back online as well.
This means that Phoenix can finally come out and play. Everyone thinks that they are done with this
mission and that the last issue of their miniseries will be about that time
they went out for tacos without Martinex and he called them all jerks because he
likes tacos too. They are dead wrong
though as all of the villains have returned as one team led by the mysterious
figure known as Ubiquitor. Not as cool
as Doom or Loki, but we’ll see.
Next Issue: this series comes to its painful conclusion as
everyone fights yet again. I think they should go out for tacos afterwards, but
that’s just me.