Guardians of the Galaxy #4 (Vol. 2)

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“Damages” by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, and Paul Pelletier

With the identity of one of the Guardians in question (Adam Warlock?), we begin the first of the three-issue arc, “Secret Invasion.”

Back on Knowhere, Major Victory still can’t remember anything beyond Starhawk’s name, which Rocket Raccoon seems to find incredibly convenient. Star-Lord and Cosmo believe Starhawk may have have piggy-backed on the signal of the continuum cortex to transport himself on and off the ship. Before they can check, Mantis tries to stop them because…

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The blast killed thirty-eight, wounded 15, and destroyed the entire cortex chamber, putting all of Knowhere on lockdown. Among the dead, three of them were Skrulls in disguise, one of them a “Super Skrull” warrior. Only three were found, but Rocket Raccoon believes there could be more. Finally, the tension that’s been building between them since the beginning reaches a head.

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With the Guardians under suspicion of the administration council, Star-Lord assures them they will fully cooperate with any investigation, but this doesn’t sit too well with Adam Warlock. He believes their responsibilities are far too important for them to be sidelined like that.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on Knowhere, Major Victory just can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

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With all of the hostility toward the Guardians from the council and, evidently, everyone else, Cosmo sends them to their quarters until further notice, where Star-Lord gets a piece of Adam Warlock’s mind and a shocking revelation comes to light.

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Later on, Star-Lord and Quasar meet with the council, who believe one or more of them is responsible for the attack. Gamora, an assassin, and Drax, the Destroyer, two known killers, are at the top of their list.

Unfortunately for them, the council has security footage of Drax taking unauthorized trips into the continuum cortex chamber. Twenty-six trips, to be exact. Star-Lord radios Gamora to bring Drax to the council chambers ASAP, but he is nowhere to be found. His room is empty.

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Uh oh. Drax is pissed.

In this issue, Abnett & Lanning threw in a tiny curveball in what’s more or less a familiar plot. Peter Quill is not the squeaky clean leader he appears to be and I love that. Not only are the Guardians all struggling to work together, but their own leader is kind of a sleaze bag. I’m curious to see how Quills amoral actions impact the group as a whole.

No appearances from the Universal Church of Truth to be found in this issue, but I like that they took a step back from that story to let the characters breath a little bit. So far, they’ve been involved in one adventure after another and we’ve only really seen them in the heat of battle (literally). This time, we really get a look at them on a more personal level.

One thing that worries me a little bit is just how many balls Abnett & Lanning are trying to keep in the air so early in this run. So far, we’ve got the Universal Church of Truth and their vendetta against the Guardians, there’s the fact that Adam Warlock may not actually be Adam Warlock, there’s Major Victory and Starhawk and whatever’s bringing them into this time period, and now Skrull infiltrators. It’s a lot to keep track of. I’m assuming the Skrull arc will be contained to three “Secret Invasion” issues, but there’s still a lot left over. I hope they don’t try to do too much too soon with this book because it really thrives when it’s not trying to be overly complicated.

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