Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: Black Vortex Alpha

Issue Date: 
April 2015
Story Title: 

Sam Humphries (writer), Ed McGuinness w/ Kris Anka (pencils), Kris Anka, Mark Farmer, Jay Leisten & Mark Morales (inks), MArte Gracia & Marcelo Mailolo (colorists), VC’s Travis Lanham (letterer), Ed McGuiness & Justin Ponsor (cover art), Xander Jarowey (assistant editor),  Kate Kubert (consulting editor), Mike Marts (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Twelve billion years ago, the Viscardi begged a Celestial for a means to become closer to it. In response, it gave the Black Vortex, a strange, mirror-like device that could turn you into your perfect self, and soon the Vortex led to the destruction of all the Viscardi leaving only one, Gara, behind. In the present, Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde witnessed the danger of the Black Vortex in Mr. Knife’s hands. They stole it, fled to Ma Savage’s orphanage on Spartax and contacted their allies in the Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men for help. They argue about what to do with the Back Vortex, as some want to destroy it, while others want to use it. They are interrupted when the Slaughter Lords arrive and a fight begins, during which Gamora submits to the Black Vortex and changes…

Full Summary: 

The present:
A moon of Spartax:
The Guardians of the Galaxy and several X-Men stand gathered around an oblong black object. Well? Star-Lord breaks the silence. Who’s gonna be the first to try it?

Twelve billion years ago:
Planet Viscardi:
In the shadow of a giant silent Celestial, a rocket takes off, watched by a woman. Excited, the Viscardi watches as the rocket has almost passed the godhead, as they call the Celestial. However, the rocket smashes against the Celestial and explodes.

The woman swears. Nine rockets. Nine failures. They made it from the caves to the sky in four generations. Is this it? Have they reached the ceiling of the cosmos? Impossible, she decides. They know there is more to the universe than just the Viscardi. They know because of the godhead.

Angrily, she berates the Celestial for towering over them and never speaking. Never conceding their existence. Does their bravery not move him? Does their ambition not inspire him? She is Gara and she will live with the stars! she vows. They only wish to be closer to him, to know the cosmos, she pleads.

The Celestial moves and from its hand appears a strange black mirror in front of Gara. In it she sees a taller, more powerful reflection of herself. She wonders if this is the answer to their prayers. Their potential realized!

The Jean Grey School, a little while ago:
He has gone too far, Storm accuses Beast, and he knows it. He broke it, now fix it! He refutes that accusation. She reminds him of bringing the original X-Men to this time. That is a problem. They don’t know enough about the situation to know what is happening, he retorts. That is the problem! she shouts. He admits to not knowing the full consequences to the time space continuum, he admits. If he could see it all at once.…

That moment, Magik teleports in with the original X-Men and X-23. Beast’s needed, she announces. Field trip to outer space for Professor K!

Iceman greets Storm and Beast happily. What did she tell him about his attitude? Magik reminds him strictly. “Be the terror you wish to see in the world,” he replies unhappily.

Storm immediately berates Magik for coming here, while Beast wants to know why Kitty is in space. True love, Illyana replies. It’s really gross. She teleports them all away.

Somewhere in space, on the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship:
The team is busy in a role playing game session with gamemaster Rocket Raccoon having some strange ideas on what Kree can do – in this case breathe fire.

For his move, he kills the gamemaster, Drax smirks. For her move she’ll take over as gamemaster, Gamora threatens. Flash Thompson aka Venom and Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel are equally impatient to get on.

Rocket describes the next stage when suddenly a transmission from Star-Lord comes in. Dude, he was on a roll! Rocket exclaims. For his next move he’ll kill Peter, Drax suggests. Pissed off, Gamora announces he interrupted game night. Prank call, Carol suggests. Hang up.

He respects the sanctity of game night, Peter assures them. Not enough to join, somebody points out. It’s an emergency, Peter continues. He’s in real trouble.

Flashback / Star-Lord’s narration:
It started when Kitty and he snuck into Mr. Knife’s flying fortress (via the dirty laundry, which he doesn’t tell them). They’d planned the heist to annoy Peter’s father, who’d called Kitty mousy. Above Knife’s study, they phased and eavesdropped, to see Mr. Knife showing the Black Vortex to Thane, son of Thanos, who seemed unimpressed with it.

Mr. Knife introduced him to the last living Blood Brother. He shared a connection with his sibling. The power fed off each other. Since his twin brother died, he has been starved of that power, wasting away in spite of his warrior spirit… but there is a solution.

Standing in front of the Black Vortex, the Blood Brother announces he submits to the Black Vortex… and finds himself changed and improved as the newly christened monstrous Brother Blood, newest member of the rechristened Slaughter Lords.

Peter and Kitty recognize Peter’s former kidnappers and realize how much they’ve changed.

They gotta get the hell out! Peter insists and considers this not their problem. Kitty inquires what if his dad changes everyone else including himself?

Mr. Knife offers Thane power by transformation if he does one job for him. Mesmerized, Thane replies that he submits.

That moment, Kitty and Peter attack. How’s this for mousy? Kitty shouts and shoots Mr. Knife with a stunner. Then they phase away with the Black Vortex. He shouts at the Slaughter Lords to stop them. Misa explains there is no need. She knows where they keep their nest…

On Spartax, outside Ma Savage’s orphanage:
Peter concludes this is why they called them all.

Gamora, X-23 and Venom compare claws / knives. What is the deal with her and Peters? Storm asks Kitty. Oh who knows, Kitty shrugs. Her childhood hamster was called Peter, Illyana reveals. Kitty calls her a traitor. Carol Danvers tells Beast he is the best gamesmaster in the galaxy.

Star-Lord demands the pay attention.
Beast asks to take a look. Hypothesis one: quantum interpolation via van Sloten particles. Hypothesis two:--

Ma Savage joins them and orders Peter to get these hooligans off her front yard. He asks her not to embarrass him in front of his friends. Kitty introduces everyone. One of the kids asks Peter when the bad guys are going to leave. Peter assures them they are good guys.

Kitty asks Hank about initial thoughts. From what she described, it could be a parlor trick. Or it could destroy galaxies. They need to keep it hidden until—

Blahblahblah, move aside, Lieutenant Blueberry, Rocket orders. He wants to see what he looks like with bulging muscles. Doesn’t he have a Road Runner to catch? Beast retorts. He did, fried him up and ate him with a side of waffles, Rocket boasts unimpressed. This isn’t a toy, Hank warns. It could transform entire civilizations, but in the wrong hands—

One of the orphans stares at the Vortex transfixed. Storm gently tries to draw him aside, then catches a glimpse of herself in the Vortex, goddess-like, destroying an entire planet.

In the past:
The transformed Gara is begged by another Viscardi to destroy the Vortex. She refuses and he tells her it destroyed them. Stop before it destroys her. She kills him, then shouts at the Celestial. All Viscardi submitted to the Black Vortex. Is this what it sought? For their once noble race to be destroyed from within? She is Gara, last of the Viscardi! Answer her! In response, the Celestial takes off, leaving a deserted Gara behind.

Who’s gonna be the first to try it? Star-Lord asks. Gamora volunteers. Storm forbids it. Captain Marvel points out that this is huge. Maybe it belongs to everyone in the galaxy. Angrily, Storm shouts they must destroy the Black Vortex before it is too late.

It is not hers to destroy, a new voice booms and the Slaughter Lords teleport in, demanding the Black Vortex. It doesn’t belong to them either, Kitty shouts, while Beast marvels at their changes.

Ma Savage grabs a gun, shouting that they must think this is Kymellia. This is Spartax! They don’t roll over for carpetbaggers like them! Peter tells her to get the kids and run.

One of the Slaughter Lords strikes with his sword which is stopped by Captain Marvel. Gamora grabs the Black Vortex and it becomes a free for all.

Where is the Vortex? Storm asks. Unsure, Peter asks his ship computer Lydia to emit an emergency broadcast.

One of the Slaughter Lords triumphantly holds up the Vortex, only to be impaled by a sword courtesy of Gamora, who has been changed by the Black Vortex.

Characters Involved: 

Kitty Pryde, Magik, X-23 (X-Men based at the New Xavier School)
Beast, Storm (X-Men based at the Jean Grey School)
Angel, Beast, Iceman, Marvel Girl (original X-Men)

Drax, Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Captain Marvel VI, Venom (Avengers / Guardians allies)

Ma Savage
Her orphans

Brother Blood, Czar Doon, Delphinia, Father Diablo, Misa (Slaughter Lords)

In flashbacks:
Mr. Knife / J-son

Brother Blood, Czar Doon, Delphinia, Father Diablo, Misa (Slaughter Lords)



Changed by the Black Vortex:

Brother Blood, Czar Doon, Delphinia, Father Diablo, Misa (Slaughter Lords)

Story Notes: 

This is the first chapter of the Black Vortex storyline. It is continued in Guardians of the Galaxy (3rd series) #24.

The Magik / Iceman’s quote is a very changed quote form Mahatma Gandhi. Substitute “fear” with “change.”

Kitty and Peter first saw the Black Vortex and fought Mr. Knife in Legendary Star-Lord #7-8.

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