Guarding the Galaxy: The Black Vortex
The Guardians team with the X-Men, Nova, and more against a pan-galactic threat!
What happens when GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, ALL-NEW X-MEN, NOVA, GUARDIANS TEAM-UP, LEGENDARY STAR-LORD, CYCLOPS, and CAPTAIN MARVEL team up? The Black Vortex, of course, which also included a pair of issues called GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY & X-MEN: THE BLACK VORTEX ALPHA and OMEGA.
Over in the pages of LEGENDARY STAR-LORD, writer Sam Humphries laid the groundwork for this crossover as Peter’s dad, J’Son of Spartax, now going by Mister Knife, stole the strange Black Vortex artifact. That didn’t sit well with his son and Kitty Pryde, who infiltrated his ship and made off with the object after witnessing how it transformed Knife’s Slaughter Lords. The Vortex proved to be a mirror-like structure created by a Celestial that allowed a person to reach their full potential, whether that be good or bad.
This kicked off the story proper as the Guardians headed to Earth to chat with the X-Men, mostly the All-New variety, but also Storm and the elder Beast. Almost immediately, the assembled heroes started arguing over whether they should destroy the Black Vortex or use it to power-up and then defeat Knife and the Slaughter Lords. Gamora, Angel and the older Beast decided to do exactly that, which raised more than a few eyebrows.
Despite losing his chosen weapon, J’Son continued his own schemes, trying to manipulate Thanos’ son Thane, making deals with the Brood and selling out his own planet, Spartax, in the process. Ronan even jumped into the fray after grabbing the mirror for the Kree and Supreme Intelligence, which did not sit well with the converted or J’Son. The good guys also found themselves joined by fellow heroes including Nova, as well as the time-traveling Cyclops and his dad Corsair.
Throughout the rest of the series, everyone from Nova and Captain Marvel to the bad guys gained control of the Black Vortex for a time. Ultimately, the heroes met with the ancient Gara who wanted to destroy the object. To save the people of Spartax, Kitty subjected herself to the Vortex and used her newfound abilities to save an entire planet, sending the attacking Broodlings away in the process.
After winning the day, Gara agreed to watch over the Black Vortex, noting that it could not be destroyed. She also offered to change some of the altered heroes back to their normal forms, saying that they might find themselves changed in various ways. Beast, Cyclops, Groot, and Iceman all asked to revert resulting in unseen changes in the first two and physical ones in the latter. Gamora, Kitty, and Angel decided to stick with their power-ups. At the very end of the story, Peter proposed to Kitty and she said yes!
Transmissions from Knowhere
If you’re looking for even more Guardians goodness, be sure to check out the spinoff series GUARDIANS TEAM-UP which ran for 10 issues. In addition to Ronan appearing in #3, which played a part in Black Vortex, the book also saw the Guardians teaming up with the Avengers, She-Hulk, Nightcrawler, Ant-Man, Deadpool, and others. In addition to Brian Michael Bendis and Sam Humphries, amazing creators like John Layman, Andy Lanning, Bill Willingham, Paul Scheer, Javier Pulido, Tim Seeley, Mike Norton and others contributed the book as well!
Next, how will Peter Quill and his pals respond to his surprise election as President of Spartax?!
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