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By Jim Beard
An intrepid team of heroes discovers a dynamically-garbed man with a colorful shield, floating frozen and slumbering-sound familiar?
If you cited the events of the just-released GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2, by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Paul Pelletier, you'd not only be right, you'd be in on the ground floor of the coolest and strangest meeting of present and possible future yet.
The frozen man goes by the name of Vance Astro, and the new Guardians will never, ever forget it.
"Readers of the old GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY series will know Vance Astro, but that doesn't mean they'll know everything about him now
," notes co-writer Dan Abnett. "As our incarnation of the Guardians is an entirely new team, we wanted to establish some connection to the title's legacy.
"This is more than a name check and a useful guest star."
Astro first appeared in 1969's MARVEL SUPER-HEROES v1 #18, then graduated to the ranks of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. An astronaut from a possible future with potent psionic powers, Vance eventually led a quest for the lost shield of legendary hero Captain America. Once recovered, the priceless artifact enabled Astro to recreate himself as Major Victory.
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Now, history repeats as the new Guardians play Avengers to Vance Astro's Steve Rogers and the hero finds himself timelost once again.
"How, why, where, and what that means are going to be major-pun intended-elements of the Guardians' ongoing story," forecasts Abnett. "Though he doesn't know it [because] his memory is fractured, Vance has been followed through time not only by the legacy of his original team but also the disastrous threat that may have destroyed them!"
If that wasn't enough to whet the appetite of space saga fans young and old, Abnett and Lanning bring forth another original Guardian in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3, due July 9-and that gentleman soars by the handle of Starhawk!
But could this mysterious and violent bird of prey be the genuine article, the authentic Starhawk first seen in the classic DEFENDERS v1 #27, and too long absent from the printed page?
"We can tell you this much: Starhawk is
Starhawk," vows Abnett. "He is-was? will be?-part of the original Guardians team. What we're not at liberty to say is where he's appearing from, and why he's driven by such murderous, destructive wrath.
"We're pretty sure you're going to love the answers when we reveal them. One thing's for sure: poor Vance and the Guardians had better watch their backs. Starhawk is a force of implacable destruction you do not want to cross!"
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Abnett and Lanning promise to weave their cosmic tapestries tightly, following a plan that treads the star lanes in intriguing fashion, allowing present to meet possibility and pits Guardian against Guardian.
"The original Guardians of the Galaxy were very different from the contemporary team," reminds Abnett. "The originals were a bunch of freedom fighters turned 'conventional' galactic super heroes. The new team, under the direction of Star-Lord and Adam Warlock, has a very particular remit.
"Both Star-Lord and Adam believe that our universe can't handle another catastrophe like the Annihilation Wave and the Conquest War. The fabric of space-time itself has been damaged."
With a mandate to prevent future wars and disasters from escalating, stem further weakness, and shore up damage, the Guardians face the likelihood of "extra-cosmic" beings.
"As we've already seen, entities that previously had no access to our universe are using the damaged areas of space-the fissures-to encroach upon us," warns Abnett. "And that's really bad news!"
Fortunately, we have the men, women, and sentient plants and raccoons of the Guardians of the Galaxy to watch our backs.
Join the Guardians on the galactic front lines in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2, on sale now, and #3, on sale July 9! Check out more cosmic goodness with Abnett and Lanning with NOVA on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.