Guardians of the Galaxy (2nd series) #14

Issue Date: 
July 2009
Story Title: 
To the Death

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (writers), Brad Walker (penciler), Victor Olazaba (inker), Jay David Ramos (colourist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Salvador Larroca (cover artist), Michael Horwitz (assistant editor), Bill Rosemann (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Adam Warlock battles Vulcan aboard his flagship. He then fights the Imperial Guard and escapes, though Magique places a witch-mark on him so they can track him anywhere.  Meanwhile in Attilan Crystal comes to the Guardians’ aid, only to be taken hostage by Martyr.  Star-Lord orders her to let Crystal go but as they teleport back to Knowhere she brings her hostage along.  Star-Lord’s team and Warlock arrive back at Knowhere at the same time. A moment later the Imperial Guard and the Inhuman Royal Family both teleport in to Knowhere simultaneously and attack.

Full Summary: 

Hammer II, Flagship of Emperor Vulcan, Edge of the Disradi System:
Adam Warlock is face to face with Vulcan aboard his flagship and says he’ll only tell Vulcan this once; stand his fleet down now and end the war. Vulcan is incredulous and attacks Adam on the spot.

The Imperial Guard rush to their emperor’s aid. Oracle senses that Adam is a mage, which concerns Mentor, who demands Guardsman Magique come at once.

Warlock and Vulcan grapple and the Majestor finds he can manipulate Adam’s magic just like any other energy. Adam pleads with Vulcan to stop the war because it is threatening the very fabric of space-time.  He explains it could rip creation apart at the seams, and that he’s talking about the fate of the universe! Vulcan ignores his pleas, screaming he is the universe!

The Royal City of Attilan, Hala:
Star-Lord and his team (Gamora, Bug, Jack Flag and Martyr) stand before the Inhuman royal family, having just delivered their plea to cease the war. Medusa states that she speaks for her husband, and that they don’t recognize the Guardians’ authority. She tells them they have no business there and orders them to leave.

Martyr responds rudely to Medusa but Star-Lord interrupts her, asking her to let him handle it. Bug however steps up and offers a heartfelt, albeit bumbling speech, capped off by hitting on Queen Medusa, which angers Gorgon.

Medusa responds that they are responsible for the Kree and do not have the luxury of considering the needs of the rest of the galaxy. 

Martyr responds angrily and draws a sword on Medusa, then blasts Gorgon away when he attacks. The Guards respond quickly and surround the Guardians.

Knowhere, Guardians HQ:

Cosmo, Mantis and Moondragon are concerned they have lost communication with both teams. Moondragon asks the team what’s a Star-hawk, which surprises the others.  She explains the words been in her head since she came onboard Knowhere and asks if either of them put in there.

Hammer II, Flagship of Emperor Vulcan, Edge of the Disradi System:
Warlock finds Vulcan terrifyingly strong. He has seldom encountered a being so potent. In seconds Vulcan has robbed so much power from Warlock he no longer has reserves to transport himself clear.  All he can do is evade.

During the fight Adam’s appearance changes to resemble that of his evil counterpart, the Magus.  He tears a hole in the ship and Vulcan blasts him outside. Warlock responds by throwing a piece of the ship at Vulcan and blasting him away.

Immediately after though he is surrounded by the Imperial Guard. Warlock tries to flee but Guardsmen Magique traps him in a sphere of magic. Warlock  easily breaks free. He also tears out the glamours and recharges himself, which hurts Magique. Adam is unsympathetic to Magique though, mocks her and teleports away.

Vulcan arrives a moment later, enraged that Warlock escaped. The emperor is furious, stating no one burst in and makes demands of him and no one hurts him like that. He demands they find Warlock and kill him. He wants his head on a spike. Vulcan criticizes Magique for failing but Mentor explains she managed to place a witch-mark on Warlock allowing them to track him anywhere in any universe. This pleases Vulcan.

A fight has broken out between the Inhumans and the Guardians of the Galaxy but Crystal interrupts it by blasting rocks through the floor.  She scolds Medusa for not hearing the Guardians out, which Medusa dismisses.

Medusa orders Karnak and Gorgon to escort the Guardians out, they are not welcome here. Angry, Martyr takes Crystal hostage, holding a sword to her throat. The rest of the Guardians are shocked and Star-Lord orders her to let her go. Crystal criticizes her actions too, pointing out she was trying to help them.

Star-Lord tries to reason with Phyla, telling her she’s crossed a line and she’s taken away any moral authority they might have had. He tells her to let her go now! He then asks Mantis to teleport them out and apologizes to Medusa for what happened.

Someone is teleporting in through the Knowhere cortex, and unlike the other two telepaths there Moondragon can sense that it’s Adam.

As Adam teleports in his face sifts back to its regular golden hue, though Moondragon notices. Adam suddenly feels a sharp pain in his side and notices Magique’s witch-mark.

Star-Lord’s team teleports in a moment later. An angry Star-Lord vents his fury at Phyla’s actions only to turn around and find Phyla is still holding Crystal hostage.   He told her to let her go! yells Star-Lord. And she told him to grow some, Phyla responds. Doesn’t he see? Now they have a bargaining chip. Now they can force them to negotiate.

Moondragon smells dog biscuits, and not Cosmo’s brand.  Suddenly multiple teleport signals from two totally signatures are detected and a moment later the Inhumans and the Imperial Guard both teleport into the room at the same time.

Star-Lord thinks he really must have done something really bad in a previous life.

Characters Involved: 

Adam Warlock, Bug, Cosmo, Gamora, Jack Flag,  Mantis, Martyr, Moondragon, Star-Lord, (Guardians of the Galaxy)

Black Bolt, Crystal, Gorgon, Karnak, Medusa, (Inhuman Royal Family)




Electron, Fang, Hussar, Magique, Mentor, Neutron, Oracle, Scintilla, Voyager (Imperial Guard)


Unnamed Kree

Unnamed Shi’ar

Story Notes: 

This issue is a tie-in to the War of Kings event