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Comic Book / Guardians of the Galaxy (2020)

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Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2020 relaunch of the Marvel Comics team, written by Al Ewing and art by Juan Cabal.

It's a tough time for the galaxies. The Kree are divided with a civil war, the Shi'ar are trying to put a new Empress on the throne, and the Skrulls are acting weirder than usual. And there are a bunch of angry space gods rampaging around killing everyone they come across. The galaxies need heroes, they need guardians...

Unfortunately, the Guardians of the Galaxy are split up about it. They've had a rough time of it lately. Some of them just want to sit down and recuperate, and some of them don't. But there's not anyone else around who could do it, so it looks like it's up to them.


Guardians of the Galaxy provides the following tropes:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Phyla, in issue 4 and 5, is dressed is a suit with her chest exposed.
  • Alien Lunch: Inverted, with the non-humans of the Guardians finding Quill's serving of turkey weird and disgusting.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Speculation is raised whether the Master of the Sun is one for the galaxy.
  • Arc Words:
    • "The wheel has turned."
    • “Things can always get worse.”
    • "Super hero from the super hero dimension."
  • A Wizard Did It: Said verbatim by Prince of Power to brush off Gamora asking about his origin.
  • Badass in Distress: Hercules has been captured by his fellow Olympians. Turns out Jerkass Gods don't take well to people telling them to cut it out with the pillaging.
  • Blatant Lies: "When you hire Blackjack O'Hare, you don't hire some bum living in a used escape pod living with a disgraced aristocrat." Except that's exactly what he is.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bond One-Liner: Noh-Vaar blows Hermes's head off, while commenting "No gods. No masters."
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Castor Gnawbarque, the villain of Rocket's 2017 miniseries, returns in issue 3, looking to get back at Rocket, as does Blackjack O'Hare, who's still blaming Rocket for his divorce.
    • After being presumed dead during Infinity Wars, 616 Heather Douglas reappears in issue 3.
    • Bug returns for a flashback in issue 5.
  • Call-Back:
    • Seeing the description of the Olympians, Peter notes the Guardians have just fought a rogue religion.
    • Noh-Varr notes he helped create the Kree Utopian faction, as happened in Royals.
    • Richard isn't at the top of his game, still recovering from the events of Annihilation: Scourge.
    • Back in Infinity Wars Phyla and Heather theorized that the reason their Gamora became the violent and deadly Requiem was because their Peter died in The Thanos Imperative. Peter’s death in issue 2 seems to be kicking off a start of darkness within Gamora in this series.
    • Issue 5 begins with a flashback to the final issue Guardians vol 2, showing when the Dragon of the Moon began corrupting Heather again.
  • Came Back Wrong: The Olympians came back a lot darker and edgier than they previously were.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In issue 1, Peter notes he's now upgraded his ship so that he can control it remotely via his helmet. This becomes pertinent at the end of issue 2.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The discussion of Rocket's status as a raccoon comes up again, and how he was previously written as tetchy about being called such. Here, he's okay with it (or at least, identifies as a "raccoon-like individual").
    • Rich quietly notes the loss of his brother, Robert.
    • Peter is tormented by a vision of the Master of the Sun, the being that first made him Star-Lord, while noting the retcon that it was just a false memory.
    • Peter and Rocket have a flashback to their first meeting, back in Annihilation: Conquest.
    • Summing up the big three empires, Richard states the Shi'ar are rumoured to be trying to replace Gladiator with a kid. That'd be Xandra, as is happening over in New Mutants.
    • In issue 3, Gamora flashes back to various conversations she's had with Quill, starting with an argument they had waaaay back in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 (issue 5, specifically).
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The first issue begins with a Kree kid being reassured by his parents that his dreams of fire and destruction were just that. They were not, as later that day Zeus comes visiting.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Moondragon, specifically the one native to Earth-616, shows up wearing an entirely black outfit, rather than her traditional green. She's being influenced by the Dragon of the Moon.
  • Evil Gloating: Artemis is too busy savouring the thrill of the hunt to kill Quill quickly. She ends up paying for it.
  • Exact Words:
    • Hercules tries to talk Gamora out of attacking Noh-Varr, pointing out lashing out at her friends in grief isn't the way. Gamora agrees... unfortunately, Hercules isn't her friend.
    • When Herc manages to talk his way out of that, Gamora states she won't shoot him. Didn't say nothing about the Prince trying to bludgeon him, though.
  • Foil: Prince of Power acts a lot like pre- No Road Home Hercules (if slightly more amoral). His name is even one of Herc's old titles. This is exemplified in their fight in #5, when Herc calmly dodges Prince's attacks and uses his momentum to destroy the D-Type.
  • Foreshadowing: In issue 4, Gastor Gnawbarque is grumbling about some hippy types who came complaining about his terrible deeds. In issue 5, it turns out Hercules was that "hippy".
  • Fusion Dance: 616!Heather and her alternate end up fusing into one being after their confrontation.
  • Gaia's Lament: Castor Gnawbarque is selling devices that he claims are geothermal power sources, but which are Galactus-based tech designed to suck the life out of a planet.
  • Gemstone Assault: Peter uses his Element Gun's earth setting to cover Artemis in diamonds. Rocket then asks why Quill never used a gun that shoots diamonds to help them with their money problems. Peter admits he'd never thought of it.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Noh-Varr's ridiculous powers of exploding fingernails return.
  • Heroic BSoD: Gamora takes Peter's apparent death pretty badly, spending two days just lying completely still.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Peter Quill stays behind to make sure the black hole bomb destroys Olympus.
  • Humans Are Bastards: When Noh-Varr expresses confusion that anyone would destroy a planet just for a cheap buck, Nova asks if he's even been to Earth.
  • Jerkass Gods: The reborn Olympian gods are on a rampage, attacking planets, demanding tribute, and generally burning the crap out of anyone who says "no" to them. Also, if Hermes is any indication, the rest of them are just generally jerks anyhow.
  • Jumped at the Call: Phyla and Moondragon, not being satisfied with time off, are the first to accept when Richard Rider stops by to say there's trouble. Rocket follows soon after.
  • Large Ham: The Prince of Power! Several pounds of corn-fed ham packed into some tight pants.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Castor Gnawbarque is done in by Noh-Varr dumping him inside of the very device he was using to ravage planets just as it's about to go boom.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Issues 4 and 5. See, Rocket and Nova's team of Guardians are trying to stop Castor Gnawbarque's corrupt practices, and Gamora's team have been hired to stop and / or kill them. Gamora's too angry with grief to give a damn about which is which, and Moondragon would very much like a word with her alternate dimensional counterpart.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Faced with an angry Zeus asking if he thinks he'll survive what's about to happen, and thinking back to the Master of the Sun asking him about his life, Quill answers "yes", evidently to both.
  • More Than Mind Control: Going around in issue 5. Moondragon isn't being controlled by the Dragon of the Moon exactly, but it is using her jealousy and resentment at her more happy and successful counterpart. Heather herself says that she did push Gamora's mental state after Quill's death to arrange a confrontation with Alt Heather, but it was also just a gambit on her part.
  • Mushroom Samba: Noh-Varr's hallucinogenic spit returns.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Rocket starts panicking when Hephaestus' robots start getting into the ship. Then they stop, because they've stolen the singularity bomb.
    • Blackjack O'Hare's reaction to learning his client's job is to try and kill Rocket Racoon.
  • One Steve Limit: Sort of. Noh-Varr introduces himself by noting that since there's a Nova in the room, he'll just call himself Marvel Boy.
  • Pokémon Speak: Issue 3 opens with a scene from Groot's POV - so everyone else is doing this while Groot speaks perfectly normally.
  • Put on a Bus: Many of the allies the Guardians had with them when they went to Halfworld in the previous volume have gone by the start of issue one.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Moondragon gets one while hiding some of the Guardians from the Olympians.
  • Reading Your Rights: Nova helps distract Zeus by telling him he's under arrest.
  • Refusal of the Call: When Rich outlines the Olympians and what they're doing, Gamora refuses. Rich at least understands and accepts her reasoning.
  • The Remnant: After the Universal Church of Truth's massacre, Richard Rider figures the Nova Corps consists of him and maybe Sam Alexander. That's another Continuity Nod. Sam had his helmet confiscated in Infinity Countdown, and Rich doesn't know if he got it back (which he did, in Champions (2019)).
  • The Resenter: Earth-616 Moondragon shows up in issue 3, and (somewhat understandably) turns out to be not a fan of her much more successful, heroic, happier and just generally better alternate counterpart, who for added insult is happily married to her reality's version of Phyla-Vell (still very much dead in our reality).
    Moondragon: Imagine spending your whole life fighting darkness - and then finding out you've been replaced with a version of you from some perfect parallel universe. A Moondragon who never knew what darkness was. A hero wearing your face. How would you feel?
  • Rule #1: "No Rocket ever." Blackjack O'Hare's only rule.
  • Space Pirates: Since their rebirth the Olympians essentially acting as this; they raze space colonies in their base rotating in and out of the dimension, demanding tribute in blood and looting rather than worship.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Despite being a cosmic based team, the Guardians aren't involved in Empyre, which the solicits for issue 6 even comment on, dubbing it "not an Empyre tie-in".
  • Tarot Troubles: Athena reads off a series of tarot predictions to Hercules.
  • Tears of Blood: Athena's new design makes it looks like she has these.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: Discussed by Drax and Moondragon in issue 3, when Drax wonders, what with the various resurrections and the Soul Stone and what have you, whether he is the same being as the previous Draxes and Arthur Douglas, and whether he owes anything to them.
  • True Companions: Rocket notes Quill is his best friend. Also the team as a whole.
  • Unwilling Roboticization: Hephaestus's automatons were once the people of the colonies they plunder, after surgery that sews their eyes and lips shut and fits them into a metal shell. It's this that convinces Quill the Olympians really need to be destroyed.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Athena claims the Olympians came back the way they are in response to an upcoming, cataclysmic war.
  • We Need a Distraction:
    • In order to get into Olympus, the team has Phyla and Nova get Zeus's attention.
    • Rocket goes around one of Gnawbarque's casinos, making as much of a scene as he can (which is a lot) so Gnawbarque will focus on him, while Noh-Varr sneaks into his facility. It sort of works.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Artemis takes out one of Quill's Element Guns, leaving him down a gun when he really needed one.

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