Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by Wes Craig
Last issue ended with the decapitated Celestial head that makes up the Guardians's Knowhere base coming to life and giving an ominous message to Adam Warlock about how he must save the universe. I thought this was just a simple extension of the cosmic tears the team has been fixing since the series launched, which it technically is, but the twist is this message is actually from the future and from Starlord's team of Guardians that were "kidnapped" by Starhawk. Confused yet? Read on.
Basically, Starhawk is from the future Guardians of the Galaxy. She's been travelling back in time with a Dr Doom time platform trying to prevent the rifts in space in the past from destroying the future and failing over and over. On the last trip, she learned of Black Bolt's T-Bomb and linked that to the destruction of the universe.
As time travel and the rifts left her weak and disoriented, she ended up taking Starlord's team to the future last issue so she could show them what is happening and get their help in preventing it. Of course, as soon as they get there, the time platform is destroyed by the last remaining threat in the universe, the Badoon, who have conquered the universe, or what's left of it as space has collapsed in on itself, leaving only our solar system in tact. This is due to the Badoon enslaving the Celestials and using them as a power source for a force field keeping the rifts at bay.
Our team, now stranded in the future, go on a suicide mission to access a Celestial. The Celestials, as we're told, are linked telepathically through time and space, allowing them to communicate with each other in the past. This allows Cosmo to send a message back in time to the remaining Guardians, which ends up being the message Adam Warlock received last issue.
Phew, talk about complicated. I tried my best summarizing this convuluted development, but I probably could have went on for a few more paragraphs and still not be completely clear in telling you what happened and I think the issue fails in that regard. Every new development in the future is quickly explained away with a new overly complex solution, such as the time travel/Starhawk explanation followed by the Badoon who then lead to a Celestial chat and so on and so forth. Nothing really flows so much as we're battered with more and more complex reasons for each new plot point.
That said, this isn't a terrible issue either. I did enjoy it, but more so because I know these characters, see where Abnett and Lanning are going with the story and liked the twist with them sending that ominous message back in time to Adam Warlock than this being a great issue that anyone will love. The only thing that really keeps this story moving is the great dialogue and character interactions, particularly with Cosmo and Mantis.
Verdict - Check It. It's dense, overly complicated and deals with many obscure characters, making this a tough sell for anyone not already following this title. For those that are, you'll likely enjoy this issue, but I don't know if it will be regarded as the best in the run.