Guardians of the Galaxy #8 (Vol. 2)

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“Past Mistakes” by Abnett & Lanning, and Walker

At the end of the last issue, we found Star-Lord as a prisoner on some alien planet. Issue 8, the first of the “War of Kings” cross-over event, backtracks a little and explains just how Star-Lord finds himself in that predicament.

Feeling guilty about allowing the Phalanx to effectively destroy the Kree empire (see Annihilation: Conquest), Star-Lord returns to Hala, the Kree capital, to atone for his sins and, hopefully, prevent an attack from the Skrulls. Unfortunately, the Kree haven’t forgotten his mistake and are still pretty bitter about it.

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Star-Lord, outclassed and outmatched by Ronan, is then banished from the Kree empire, and sent into “the zone,” a place where he can never be found should anyone come looking for him.

This is where we first saw Star-Lord at the end of issue #7. He is suddenly faced with an enormous hulking creature known as Blastaar, (“King Blastaar, if you please”), a former acquaintance of Star-Lord’s, who now rules the Negative Zone.

Meanwhile, back at Benthus Colony, things are going about as well as you’d expect for Rocket Raccoon and the Guardians of the Galaxy…

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Just after Groot destroys the big bad zombie robot monster, they are interrupted by a Badoon transmission. It turns out these Badoon are some bad mothers. The Guardians were “interrupting” their weapons test against a peaceful colony world. Well, Rocket Raccoon isn’t about to stand for that, so he declares Benthus Colony off limits to the Badoon as it is now under protection by the Guardians of the Galaxy. The Badoon pack up and leave without another word.

Back in the Negative Zone, Star-Lord discovers that Blastaar (who, by the way, can “blast kinetic force from his hands like a living bomb”) has been appointed by the Kree to rule the Negative Zone.

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Elsewhere in the universe, at the Dyatom Shrine, an outpost for the Universal Church of Truth, Adam Warlock is making his presence known.

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In the Negative Zone, Blastaar starts to make his master plan a little more clear…

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Whew, okay, now we’re getting into some really cool stuff. Of course, I’m sure for anyone who read Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest the majority of what’s going on here makes a little more sense, but Abnett and Lanning do a pretty great job of fleshing out the important bits of the backstory through context clues for those who haven’t (like me). For those of you who may not have read the Marvel Civil War event, that’s where “42” was introduced.

I’m really glad to see that every major thread was touched on in this issue. In Issues #1-6, I think they struggled a little with setting up a bunch of potential conflicts and then trying to balance them all, but now that the original group has disbanded, it’s a little easier to focus on each thread since they are each being dealt with by the different parties.

This is the first issue without Paul Pelletier and, I have to say, there’s really not much of a difference. It feels very much like Brad Walker trying to emulate Pelletier’s style, though he does seem to use ten lines where Pelletier would use one or two. Overall, not too much to comment on.

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