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Comic Book / Guardians of the Galaxy (2020)

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The wheel has turned.

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 universe. 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.

Issue 13 sees the team being deputized by the Galactic Council in the wake of major cosmic upheavals with a significant expansion in the roster, including Wiccan, Hulkling and Doctor Doom, among others. Juan Frigeri also takes Cabal's position as the regular artist.


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.
  • Adaptive Ability: The Progenitors adapt their multiple stolen superpowers to the level of threat they're facing. Gamora's a little insulted the Guardians only merit napalm-barf.
  • The Ageless: Quill spends over a hundred years in someplace else, and yet he doesn't age a day.
  • 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: Tons.
    • "The wheel has turned."
    • "Things can always get worse."
    • "Super hero from the super hero dimension."
    • "Do you feel the basis for your life is wrong?"
    • "Then it's us."
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Captain Val-Lorr, second diplomat for the Kree-Skrull Alliance, who thinks it's a good idea at a diplomatic meeting to threaten to eradicate everyone who threatens the Alliance, and is clearly not enthused at having to spread his boss's message of peace in the first place. Even Kl'rt, his boss and not the most diplomatic of beings himself, mutters how undiplomatic he is.
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  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: In issue 11, Richard is asked how he feels about Peter's death and return, and admits he's got mixed feelings. On the one hand, he's relieved, but on the other, he wants to know something. We don't hear what because that's when Gamora makes an appearance, asking "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?"
  • Arc Welding: Issue 15 retcons Mister One and Mister Two, introduced in a conflict between Magneto and Captain America, from being mutants but a prototype Warstar of the Shi'ar empire that somehow ended up on Earth. Apparently their deaths were transmitted back to their people, and this is used by Nova as pretense to arrest Magneto.
  • A Wizard Did It: Said verbatim by Prince of Power to brush off Gamora asking about his origin. Also, "uh..." It turns out that he was empowered by bonding with the Power Gem, as Rocket reveals in issue 12.
  • 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.
  • Badass Boast: Delivered by the Doctor Doom at the end of Issue #13:
    Doctor Doom : "'King of Space.' 'Master of the Sun.' You claim such vast dominions. Is it to balance your small souls? Could I not lay claim to the light and the void, if I wished it? Have I not earned such titles? I, who have mastered all arts, all sciences, all secrets? Whose technology and magic cross the stars as easily as they scramble an alpha telepath's mind? Who would dare to say I have not earned the right? Yet I am king of only a simple nation. On a simple planet. A beloved garden tended by iron hands. And the only title I have ever claimed... is doctor."
  • Black Box: Quill admits in issue 9 he has no idea how his Element Gun works. He's had it since he was a teenager, tinkered with it, even made a duplicate, and he still doesn't really get how it works, it just does.
  • 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.
  • Bond One-Liner: Noh-Vaar blows Hermes's head off, while commenting "No gods. No masters."
  • Boom, Headshot!: Quill shoots his Element gun at the Knull avatar's head, severing his connection to the dragon and rendering it inert.
  • 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.
    • Issue 7 features the return of Victoria of Spartax (and Peter Quill's half-sister) and Mentacle the Rigellian, a former member of Grandmaster's Lethal Legion.
    • The Progenitors (another Al Ewing creation, appropriately enough) from Royals make their return in Issue 13, being the first major threat the new Guardians are called in to defeat.
  • 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.
    • Issue 6, among other things, explores Pete and Rich's relationship, and Peter and Gamora and Richard's love triangle, including Richard's pre-death confession to Peter from the Original Sin tie-in.
    • Rich states his friendship with Quill was cemented with a flashback to Annihilation issue 4, when Quill told Rich he was going with him to get Annihilus.
    • In issue 11, Star-Lord, Nova and Gamora reunite on the planet Daedalus 5, the world Annihilus used Galactus to kill, and which effectively signaled the end of the fight against the Annihilation Wave, back in Annihilation.
  • Came Back Strong: Star-Lord comes back from Morinus with enough power to take out a planet-wide symbiote dragon. Rocket and Nova both comment on it.
  • Came Back Wrong: The Olympians came back a lot Darker and Edgier than they previously were, becoming ruthless space pirate gods.
  • 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.
    • Noh's pocket battlefield dimension: he uses it in the first arc to construct a black hole bomb, and in issue 12 he uses it to rescue himself and some of the other Guardians from getting blown up by Zeus.
  • Conflict Ball: In issue 15, Peter brings Rich along to his meeting with S.W.O.R.D.. While there, Rich takes exception to Magneto being there over something he did in his "bwa-ha-ha" days (over forty years ago our time). Magneto takes exception to that, and they start fighting, only stopping when Brand threatens to have the pair of them zapped by station security. Afterwards, both sides admit they handled the situation poorly, Rich admitting his reaction was a response to various people getting away with awful things.
  • Conflict Killer: The Guardians and the Western Spiral Arms Guardians stop fighting when Castor Gnawbarque's security comes to kill both of them.
  • 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).
    • Rocket compares Knull's symbiotes to the Venom one and "that Thompson kid", who was briefly part of the Guardians back in vol 3.
    • In issue 13, Kl-rt the Super Skrull is seen monitoring crisis situations throughout the galaxy, including Iron Man chasing down Korvac and a team of mutants getting involved in Shi'ar internal politics.
    • In issue 16, Rich and Pete discuss Pete catching up with his ex, Katherine Pryde. Peter absently notes he never got to see her pirate ship, since she was called away from reasons he didn't pry about. Namely, Wanda Maximoff's murder.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The Guardians seriously consider just keeping Doctor Doom stuck in Rocket's body, while Rocket gets to keep Doom's. Peter comes up with a different idea: Drafting Doctor Doom.
  • Costume Evolution:
    • Inverted for Drax, who goes back to the purple ensemble that he hasn't used in the comics since his miniseries leading up to Annihilation.
    • Star-Lord gets a new costume after his stay in Morinius, with combat boots, finger rings and a new black jacket with some sort of insignia on it.
  • Covers Always Lie: While it's not exactly bleak, there's way more devastation and despair than what the bright, peppy cover of the first issue would imply.
  • Cult: A cult sets themselves up on Ego the Living Planet. They do a blood sacrifice to summon He-Who-Waits, aka Dormammu.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than Rocket (2017) Ewing's previous Guardians-centric title.
  • Death Is Cheap: Groot gets killed by the Olympians shooting down Ship in issue 11. Fortunately, Rocket and the Power Gem mean he's back on his feet within a few minutes.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The very first arc is quick to stress that the much looser, goofier "mercenary" iteration of the team reminiscent of the one in the live-action movies is an untenable constitution for a fighting force that has the audacity to call itself the Guardians of the Galaxy, with them barely able to repel the Olympians rather than defeat them. Still, they're far from helpless, and subsequent arcs have the remnants of the group restructure into a more serious yet decidedly lighthearted form.
  • Demonic Possession: Dormammu takes over Ego the Living Planet.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Zeus vows to kill a billion lives for every second of the hundred and change years he and the gods were imprisoned by Quill.
  • 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.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: On seeing the image of Knull, Richard snarks about his edge-lordness by comparing the guy to an old metal rock album he had. Representative Gupa, whose planet has just been destroyed by Knull, asks if he could not. Rich apologises.
  • 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.
    • The Chitauri diplomatic representative is named "Peacemaker". Given the Chitauri's attitude, this should've been a bit of a tip-off... they want peace, alright. Peace in death.
  • Exotic Extended Marriage: Peter becomes stranded with Mors and Aradia, a male and female alien couple, for one hundred and forty-four years. After the first year, the two of them invite him to be part of their "bond", but he refuses because he's still trying to find a way back home to Gamora. After the twelfth year, a way home is finally found but he accepts the alien dimension as his new home and indeed joins the pair in their relationship. After more than one hundred and forty years, the corrupted Greek Gods come looking for him in his new home and he reluctantly chooses to return back to his original home, leaving his lovers behind.
    • Issue 13 then reveals that Peter had fathered a son ("Rocky") with Aradia.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Noh tries defending his ambassadorial get-up, before caving and admitting that, yes, he does look like Adam Ant.
  • Eye Scream:
    • At one point during his adventures in Morinus, Quill loses an eye. Three years later, he seems to have recovered from that.
    • During the fight in issue 12, Quill shoots out Zeus's eye. It doesn't seem to have any real effect.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The stealth team failed to notice the suspiciously perfect planet they are on is none other than Ego, the Living Planet. (It probably helped he'd been pretty quiet up until they figured it out.)
  • Fish out of Water: The alternate Phyla is not especially taken with Earth-616, which is far more crappier than her home reality.
  • Foil: Prince of Power acts a lot like pre- No Road Home Hercules (if slightly more amoral, and significantly less intelligent). 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, Castor Gnawbarque is grumbling about some hippy types who came complaining about his terrible deeds. In issue 5, it turns out Hercules was that "hippy".
  • Frame-Up: Van-Lorr stumbles on Noh-Varr standing over the body of a murdered ambassador, and immediately tries to kill him. His gun conveniently backfires, killing Van. As Noh investigates the gun, finding it's reconfigured itself to look like nothing was ever wrong with it, Kl'rt bursts into the room, having heard the gunshot. And since Van and Noh are on different sides of the Kree split, and Noh's holding a smoking gun, even Richard Rider has to admit he looks very guilty.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Doctor Doom uses the Ovoid mind swap technique to swap his mind with Hulkling's. Moondragon and the Guardians then trick him into swapping back, but sabotage the results so he ends up in Rocket. ... who is actually surprisingly okay with this.
  • Freudian Excuse: Rich keeps flashing back to a time when his father yelled "you shouldn't need help with this" at him, apparently the reason for Rich's desire to work alone.
  • 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.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The threat of The Last Annihilation is enough for Hulkling to decide it's time to let Captain Glory out of jail. It won't be enough.
  • Have a Nice Death: Peacebringer is a suicide bomber, planning to explode and take out everyone at the diplomatic conference. As everyone else scrambles to defuse their bomb, they become increasingly apologetic for the delay, and ask everyone to keep calm.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Noh-Varr's ridiculous powers of exploding fingernails return.
  • Heroes Unlimited: As mentioned earlier, issue 13 sees the Guardians become the galaxy's preeminent superheroes, which adds a lot of characters to the rosternote .
  • 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.
  • His Name Is...: The murdered ambassador at the conference is just about to say who killed him when he croaks.
  • 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.
  • Identity Amnesia: A hundred-odd years in Morinus leaves Peter Quill with a case of clinical identity amnesia. He can remember the things he did before he wound up there, but he doesn't remember being the person who did them.
  • I Gave My Word: Peter uses this to force Doom to join. The Guardians refuse to allow him back into his own body unless he swears to stop the oncoming threat their way.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Rich insists he wasn't a hero during the Annihilation Wave. His psychiatrist disagrees.
    Doctor: I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, Richard, but that absolutely is what you are.
  • Insult Backfire: Rocket declares the Profiteer the worst person he's ever met. She's not remotely offended.
  • It's All My Fault: Richard Rider holds himself solely responsible for Quill's apparent death.
    Richard: I blame me. I... I shouldn't have needed help.
  • 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.
  • Kirby Dots: The Olympians are usually accompanied with a red background that dissolves into black dots.
  • Kneel Before Zod:
    • Knull demands the Guardians kneel before it.
    • Zeus demands Hercules falls before him. Hercules's response? "No."
  • 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.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Issue 6 has Rocket offhandedly tell Nova about the events of Empyre and when Richard asks for more information Rocket basically tells him to just look at the summary on the newsfeeds. It's almost as if Al Ewing were telling readers that the event isn't required reading and they can just look up a summary so that they can understand the next arc which deals with the event's ramifications in space politics.
  • 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.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: Quill pulls Artemis' arrow out of his leg and uses it to stab Hephaestus in the throat.
  • Loving a Shadow: Given by Gamora as her reason for breaking up with Richard Rider - it was easier to actually be in love with him when he was dead. When he came back, it became a lot harder, since Richard can't and won't stop being a hero.
  • Madness Mantra: "It's all up to me." for Richard, and his Chronic Hero Syndrome
  • Magitek: The Progenitors, as Hulkling figures out when he stabs one with his space sword.
  • 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.
    • In a flashback, 616!Moondragon tells Mantis she's not okay and denies the Dragon of the Moon with one "no".
  • Meaningful Echo: "You really think I'd let you get yourself killed without me being there to say 'I told you so'?" "Never crossed my mind."
  • Metaphorgotten: The Prince of Power has the grasp of bombast, but sticking to the point... err, not so much.
    Prince: I shall soon return the gift of battle - at the customer service desk of conflict! For the Prince of Power always keeps the receipt!
  • Mind Rape: Hermes inflicts it on Moondragon in issue 12. Unfortunately for him, the two Heathers aren't the only beings in their mind. They've also got the Dragon of the Moon along for the ride as well.
  • 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.
  • My Significant Sense Is Tingling: In issue 16, Wiccan absently notes he's got a weird feeling about Earth, but doesn't know why. He's probably sensing Wanda Maximoff's death on Krakoa.
  • Nerves of Steel: Galactic Rim Collective's representative Zoralis Gupa remains surprisingly calm and rational despite being informed Knull has destroyed his planet and everyone he knew and loved is probably dead now.
  • Not Me This Time: In issue 13, the team fights the Progenitors, then get attacked by Doctor Doom. In the next issue, they accuse him, not unreasonably, of being the one behind the former, but Doom admits that it wasn't actually him.
  • No, You: Of all people, Doctor Doom does this during his fight with the Guardians, when Rocket complains about his armor.
    Rocket: Can you shut your guy up already, doc?
    Doom: Why don't you shut him up?
  • 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.
  • Only in It for the Money: What eventually convinces the Profiteer to flee. Turns out while everyone's scrambling not to die, something far worse is happening elsewhere, and the various species are facing financial ruin, so they can't afford guns. So she leaves, since if everyone's dead, they can't buy anything.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Issue 13 ends with Doctor Doom stealing Hulkling's magic space-sword. Issue 14 has Teddy take it right back, because it's his. Unfortunately, this is bypassed by a simple mindswap.
  • Painting the Medium: The recap page for issue 9 gets a little screwy, as it covers Star-Lord's origin story. Any mention of the Master of the Sun is struck out, replaced with the modified story of Quill being adopted by Yondu and his gang, then telling the reader directly the Master of the Sun does not exist.
  • Polyamory: While stranded on Morinus, Quill eventually entered into a polyamorous relationship with Mors and Aradia and started a family with the pair.
  • Power Incontinence: A zap of the Progenitor's mutating gas causes Hulkling's shapeshifting to go out of control. Fortunately, there are advantages to a magic husband around.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    Quill: Sun's out... gun's out. *Boom, Headshot!*
  • Pokémon Speak: Issue 3 opens with a scene from Groot's POV - so everyone else is doing this while Groot speaks perfectly normally.
  • Power Nullifier: Even wielded by Doom in Teddy's body the Excelsior doesn't harm Billy when run through with it. However it's magic disrupting abilities still temporarily negate his reality warping power.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: DO. YOU. RE. MEM. BER. ?
  • 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.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Hercules and Noh-Varr find themselves suddenly smooching, mid-fight with security robots.
  • 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)).
  • Reality Ensues: Alt!Moondragon's Fusion Dance with 616!Moondragon does seem to help the latter's issues, but it pushes Phylla away since she's not sure how much of the new Moondragon is "her" Heather.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: The Kree-Skrull Alliance may have gained respect for each other, and Hulkling may be instituting sweeping reforms, but they remain a highly militarized and potent union of two already dangerous space empires. Should Hulkling die or be deposed, the worst case is they turn that new sense of unity against the rest of the galaxy, starting with the pacifist Utopian Kree splinter group.
  • 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?
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Hulkling and Wiccan join the team after the time skip, inbetween ruling the united Kree-Skrull races. Issue 16 has Teddy helping with some construction work, which is noted to help his standing among his people, since it shows he's willing to get his hands dirty.
  • Rule #1: "No Rocket ever." Blackjack O'Hare's only rule.
  • Running Gag: Everyone in issue 7 commenting that Noh looks like Adam Ant. Even the space ambassadors.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Element Gun trapped the Olympians inside of it before New Olympus exploded. Every time Quill used it afterwards he let a little of their power out.
  • 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.
  • Spotting the Thread: Rocket figures out one of the diplomats is someone is disguise, namely the Badoon ambassador. As he points out, the Badoon are total xenophobes, and would never bother responding to a polite invitation, much less send someone. From there, it was the fact she didn't flinch when Peacemaker turns out to be a suicide bomber, and then it was a matter of working out who'd be able to avoid detection and survive being at ground zero.
  • Superhero Team Uniform: The Guardians get a new blue-and-red ensemble, in the similar vein to their 2008-2010 team uniforms, with the "New Age of Space" soft relaunch.
  • 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". Though a few events show in this book do end up becoming significant in said event.
    • Justified with the King In Black tie-in. While Peter's new power-up could significantly improve the situation on Earth, he realizes that he should go somewhere empty so nobody will get hurt when the Olympians come for him. The last thing Earth needs is a war between the Olympians and Knull with its inhabitants either getting caught in the crossfire or being co-scripted.
  • 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.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Nova goes to see a therapist in issue six at Hercules' insistence, and while it doesn't solve all of his lingering issues and traumas, he is able to realize that it's okay need help once in a while. He decides to continue the sessions on a weekly basis.
  • 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.
  • Time Skip: The end of issue 12 skips ahead three months after the climactic battle with the Olympians and sees the Guardians respond to a distress signal as the Galactic Council's new deputies.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Quill's stay in Morinus gives him and his Element Gun a serious boost in power. He has become a Star-Lord.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The Prince of Power's relationship to the Power Gem is only revealed in issue 12, but was spoiled weeks in advance thanks to the marketing for the "Infinite Destines" storyline.
  • Tricking the Shapeshifter: The Guardians manage to trick Doctor Doom into initiating another body swap out of Teddy's body by slighting his ego. Of course he'd want a body with actual powers, and he sure seems to be doing a lot of stretching with it. Doom falls for it hook line and sinker.
  • 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.
    • Doctor Doom arrives on Throneworld for Hulkling's Space Sword because he can tell something is coming. For once, it's not just Doom being deliberately vague, he really doesn't know what the problem is. It's Dormammu.
  • War for Fun and Profit: The one really causing the murders at the diplomatic conference is the Profiteer, hoping to kick-start a massive war she can use to make money.
  • 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.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Issue #10 ends showing the Olympians using the pool that Peter used to leave Morinus.
    • Issue #13 ends with Doctor Doom descending on the Kree/Skrull Alliance throneworld and ready to fight the Guardians.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Phyla is understandably a little pissed at her wife merging with her alternate universe counterpart, without even bothering to tell her beforehand, and refuses to speak to her.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • For all his boasting about how strong he is, apparently the Prince of Power went down in about ten seconds into the fight with the Olympians.
      • This is perfectly explained by the Prince being incompetent/inexperience in the use of the Power Stone after it bonded with him, much like how Star with the Reality Stone and Hector Bautista with the Time Stone have considerable trouble properly channeling and utilizing the capabilities of their Infinity Stones.
    • Doom easily subdues all of the Guardians present when he teleports in.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Artemis takes out one of Quill's Element Guns, leaving him down a gun when he really needed one.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Wherever it is Quill gets to in issue 9, he's there for over a hundred and forty years, but he's gone less than a year from everyone else's perspective. This ultimately causes a massive strain in his reunion with Gamora as by this point, Quill had actually started a new life and family before returning.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Zeus is defeated by chanelling the Dragon of the Moon and Peter's Master of the Sun powers into a black hole bullet.


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