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Guardians Of The Galaxy #15: Review

Jun 2021
Al Ewing, Juan Frigeri

Story Name:

15: Hope you survive the experience

Review & Comments

4 stars

Guardians Of The Galaxy #15 Review by (June 26, 2021)
The Hellfire Gala is a massive party spread across all this month's X-titles including:- Planet-Size X-Men (#1) where they show that they have begun rapid terraforming of Mars. SWORD#6 where they announce a new superior metal which only the mutant nation of Krakoa know how to produce. 1 of its uses is that it could become a Galactic currency (and most alien species have been economically devastated by the Knull War). They will make it available to any alien political power that accepts their terms which are that Mars is considered the capital planet of the Solar System and the mutants, in the person of Storm, speak for Mars.

Mantis has been an on-off member of the Guardians Of The Galaxy since they were formed. She was lastly involved with her son the Celestial Messiah in the Emypre event which birthed the Kree/Skrull Alliance and its new Emperor Hulkling.

Dormammu is (usually) the ruler of the Dark Dimension and has often set his sights on conquering the normal universe, usually stopped by his arch-enemy Dr Strange. Their last clash was in DrS(2019)#13-15 where Strange became Herald Of Galactus and led him into the Dark Dimension, and Dormammu was killed. But he was still around (with loads of her other foes out for revenge) for Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vol 2 #47-50.

Nova here describes pulling Annihilus inside out to save the universe - it happened in Annihilation #6 at the end of the Annihilation event. He says Annihilus later saved his life. This could have been in Annihilation - Scourge: Nova #1 when Annihilus helped him escape the Cancerverse, but more likely refers to Annihilus bringing him back to life in Annihilation - Scourge Omega.

Lots of SWORD/X-stuff is mentioned here besides the Hellfire Gala:-
Abigail Brand of SWORD ended the latest Snarkwar Of Succession by having all but her chosen candidate assassinated (SWORD#3-5).
The X-Men saved the Shi'ar throne in their #17 by rescuing the kidnapped Empress-to-be Xandra.
They also control the Brood because X-Person/Avenger the mutant-Brood Broo is now the king of that alien species (since #9 of the current X-Men series).
I don't really know why Super-Skrull thinks there's "bad blood between Krakoa and the Kree/Skrull royal family". The only person who could truly claim to be a Kree/Skrull Royal is hybrid Emperor Hulkling. But that could make his grandmother ex-Empress of the Skrulls R'Klll a member of such a family, and she tried to destroy Earth during the Empyre event to get rid of the Cotati. And non-Royal Kl'rt supported that plan.

Nova here describes pulling Annihilus inside out to save the universe - it happened in Annihilation #6 at the end of the Annihilation event. He says Annihilus later saved his life. This could have been in Annihilation - Scourge: Nova #1 when Annihilus helped him escape the Cancerverse, but more likely refers to Annihilus bringing him back to life in Annihilation - Scourge Omega.

So after the Annihilation, Annihilation: Conquest and Annihilation - Scourge events we're now going to have The Last Annihilation (until the One-After-The-Last Annihilation).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Guardians Of The Galaxy #15 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
10 days ago (ie last issue) some of the Guardians Of The Galaxy saw Ego The Living Planet covered by a black shell by worshippers of an ancient Skrull fire cult. (Actually their priestess sacrificed them all to cause it.) Now Drax, Gamora, Groot, Hercules, Quasar (Avril Kincaid) and Rocket Raccoon (who's back in his own body after the swap with Dr Doom last issue) in their spaceship the Almond (named after Marc Almond of Soft Cell) are waiting with a lot of craft from the Galactic Rimworlds Collective to see what will hatch from the egg, which resists all scans and weaponry. Gamora updates us with where the rest of the team are. Moondragon's involved in the Korvac affair by long-distance telepathy with Phyla-Vell as her anchor here (see Iron Man #8 where she helps her protégé Hellcat). Nova and Star-Lord are off on a diplomatic mission. And Mantis is coming to join them on the Tennant (continuing the British 80's pop theme of their spaceships this is probably named after Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys rather than say Dr Who David Tennant). (She says nothing about Marvel Boy.)

Peter Quill and Richard Rider are in the shuttle-craft Sommerville (see what I mean, Jimmy Sommerville of the Communards) bickering. Nova questions the wisdom of recruiting long-time major super-villain Dr Doom (again last issue), but Peter counters with Super-Skrull who the new officially sanctioned team sort-of works for. Rich points out that the Kree/Skrull Alliance Emperor Hulkling has *him* under control, while *no-one* can control Doom. Quill asks what other options they had:- Stick him in a jail he'd be bound to escape from? Kill him while he was in Rocket's body?

But what Rich is really irked about is that his pal didn't tell him about the son he had during his century-plus stay in other-dimensional Morinus (all in #9). And his irk increases when he hears that Peter named the boy Rocket, with Richard not even a middle name. Peter changes the subject to remind Nova that his time in Morinus gave him cosmic senses and he knows that Doom was telling the truth (last issue) - there's something very bad coming.

They now arrive at the SWORD satellite above Earth where they've been invited to the Hellfire Gala. Nova's concerned about the way the mutant nation of Krakoa has been making big moves in space politics even though they're good things:- Ending the Snarkwar. Saving the Shi'ar throne. Controlling the Brood. He also wonders why Peter's sister Empress Victoria of Spartax allowed *him* to represent her world here. Quill says the Royal Astrologers seem to like Star-Lord's star charts these days (possibly something to do with the astrological feel to his Morinus adventure) but *he*'s just looking forward to catching up with ex-lover Kitty Pryde who he hears is now a pirate (in the Marauders). Apparently Doom and Marvel Boy will be at the party, though we won't see them this issue. (Noh-Varr is representing the non-Alliance Utopian Kree.) Super-Skrull won't be there for the Alliance because of bad blood between Krakoa and the Kree/Skrull royal family.

After bitching about having to make nice with villains like Doom and Kl'rt, Nova isn't happy to see Magneto with SWORD commander Abigail Brand as their welcoming committee. Magneto declares that (most of) the nations of Earth having granted him amnesty for his past crimes but Nova claims that doesn't absolve him from crimes against aliens. He refers specifically to the symbiotic duo tiny Mister One and large Mister Two, who Magneto remembers dying (way back in 1977's Captain America Annual #4) in 1 of his schemes. Nova now reveals that they were Shi'ar Subguardians (trainee members of the Imperial Guard), an early prototype of the Warstar combo, and he intends to arrest Erik Lensherr for their murder.

Brand and Quill try to calm things down but a fight commences. Magneto magnetically hurls a dropship at Nova who uses the Nova Force to cut it in 2. But then Magneto scrunches the 2 halves up and slams them together around Nova, who just switches his Force to electromagnetism and separates them again. Then he rockets in for a high-speed punch on the jaw. Brand has called in security (Marvel Fandom Wiki lists Forearm, Random, Risque and Slab as recognisable members) and orders the pair to stand down. She also suggests to Nova that he's clutching at straws if he thinks the Shi'ar will risk their friendship with Krakoa over this ancient event.

Everyone leaves Magneto and Nova to admit to each other that they both were too quick to anger. Erik asks Richard about the Guardians new role (since #13) as 'Avengers of space'. Rider says the cash-strapped Galaxy can't afford a new Nova Corps now (and *he* can't afford to see another 1 destroyed) so the cheaper Guardians are in. Erik wonders if there's another reason why the Guardians agreed to do the job. He recalls earlier times when people with powers like himself used them in service of what they believed were the right causes. But they learned that things were more complicated and usually compromise was the best solution. Rich agrees that maybe he's hankering for the simpler life of a super-hero. And for compromises he mentions Dr Doom and Super-Skrull and adds Annihilus who he killed to save the universe but who then saved his life.

So now they prepare for the next day's Hellfire Gala where Nova and Star-Lord will appear in SWORD #6 with Dr Doom and Marvel Boy.

2 days later we find that the Almond is still orbiting Ego and the Guardians (Gamora and Rocket with Quasar (Wendell Vaughn) replacing Avril Kincaid) are discussing the news from the Gala (in particular SWORD #6) about Mysterium and something they don't name. Mantis is in the Tennant on the other side of the planet with Drax and Hercules. Then Ego starts to hatch and out pops a planet-sized head of Dormammu - heralding the event called The Last Annihilation.

Juan Frigeri
Juan Frigeri
Federico Blee
Brett Booth (Cover Penciler)
Adelso Corona (Cover Inker)
Guru-eFX (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Darren Shan. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Drax the Destroyer)

(Richard Rider)

(Wendell Vaughn)

(Peter Quill)

Plus: Abigail Brand, Quasar (Avril Kincaid).

> Guardians Of The Galaxy: Book info and issue index

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