Legendary Star-Lord #11

Issue Date: 
May 2015
Story Title: 
the Black Vortex – chapter 12

Sam Humphries (writer), Paco Medina (pencils), Juan Vlasco (inks), David Curiel (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Paco Medina (cover art), Andrea Sorrentino (variant cover), Xander Jarowey (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

On Spartax, Storm tries to freeze off the Brood attacking the frozen citizens but she is clocked by one of the Slaughter Lords. After Captain Marvel arrives with the Black Vortex, Jean Grey decides to sacrifice herself and submit but Star-Lord holds her back, announcing he will do it. The vision he sees in the Vortex is one of a Star-Lord who is too far like his father and not the man Kitty loves. Star-Lord refuses to submit. Gara soon arrives and demands they destroy the Vortex. The heroes argue with her on whether or not the lives of the Spartoi are worth this. Finally, Gara relents and Kitty Pryde reluctantly submits to the Black Vortex, becoming a cosmic version of herself.

Full Summary: 

She hates space, Kitty Pryde thinks to herself. Space is not her scene. It is so not her jam. She wouldn’t even be here if not for her boyfriend Peter… the things they do for cute boys.…

Where? Magik demands. In front of Drax, Jean Grey who scans telepathically announces. Magik teleports into orbit, holds her breath and takes out Delphinia with her sword.

Space isn’t Magik’s scene either, Kitty thinks, but you wouldn’t know it, the way she dives right in. Thank God, because they are seriously short-handed against the Slaughter Lords. And then there are the Brood. Everyone on Spartax is trapped in amber with Brood infestoids burrowing their way to their skulls, so they can lay their eggs in their brains. If the heroes fail, it’s the whole planet and then the galaxy. So how do they shoo away billions of flies on a picnic one and a half times the size of Earth?

Plan A: keep the Slaughter Lords busy while Storm tries to freeze the Brood off.

Storm informs Kitty via telepathy that the atmosphere is in chaos and she is struggling. That moment, the Slaughter Lord Misa finds her. Damn! Kitty swears. Storm’s out.

Plan B: she doesn’t even want to think about what Peter is going to say. But first they need—

That moment, Captain Marvel come flying in with the Black Vortex. She’s right behind her, Carol groans.

Her” refers to the last Viscardi Gara, who demands they hand over the Black Vortex.

Kitty wonders how to even talk to someone who is twelve billion years old.

Her three o’ clock now! Jean orders telepathically. And Magik teleports in and tries to clock Gara with her sword. Gara staves off the blow with her staff. The energy discharge sweeps the others off their feet.

Jean crawls towards the Vortex. While she hates the idea of cosmic power, she feels she has to do it. Kitty doesn’t want to see her sacrifice herself again and wishes she had told her Plan B.

Just as Jean is about to submit, Star-Lord draws her back. It doesn’t have to be her this time.

Really adorable, but dumb, Kitty thinks to herself. She had Plan B all figured out. One of them can save Spartax, but it isn’t Peter.

He knows she and cosmic powers have issues, Star-Lord tells Jean. He’ll take it from here. Now let’s see what unlimited power does to a farm boy form Colorado! he announces.

‘Sup, bro? a cockier version of himself from inside the Vortex asks. “Face it, I rule!” he continues as he flies through the cosmos. Even his estranged father J-son approves of his son, the Lord of the Stars. Later, the two of them are attended by several gorgeous alien ladies. Kitty Pryde sees that and walks away disappointed.

No! Peter shouts and smashes the image. The real Kitty crouches next to him. He tells her can’t submit to the Vortex. That’s not who he wants to be. He wants to be a better man. For her. She was right. They can’t use the Vortex.

Kitty thinks to herself how much she loves him and that she was wrong. She tells him that might be irrelevant. They failed.

Gara stands next to the Black Vortex and tells them they have no idea what they are playing with. She orders them to look deep into the Vortex. They see a destroyed world, her home Viscardi, destroyed twelve billion years ago. Once they had the power from the Black Vortex, they eradicated themselves inside out. Many places fall faster. Names they will never know, lost because of the Black Vortex. The Vortex elevates you to a cosmic entity but there is no accounting for what it does to your heart. She herself murdered the last Viscardi. In her blindness, in her greed, in her hubris. She should have destroyed the Black Vortex the moment she saw it.

Kitty assures her they want to help her, but Spartax-- Would they save Spartax at the expense of the next planet? Gara shouts. The next ten? The next ten thousand? Until trillions of lives hinge on what happens next! Imagine what the Black Vortex would do to the rest of the cosmos! Imagine what it would do to Earth! Now do they understand? She will never allow the Black Vortex to be used again!

Magik bluntly tells her she is wrong and a coward. She’d let Spartax die to absolve her guilt? Only using the Vortex to save Spartax will redeem it and her.

Gara warns that they might damn themselves. They might become crazy with power. Hated, driven… bitter and alone. They might end like her. They will endure unimaginable changes. They will need to remember the tiny desires of the person they are now. Entire arms of galaxies have perished because of this miscalculation. So think carefully: who among them is strong enough to do this?

Plan B, Kitty thinks resigned. She hates space, she announces. She doesn’t want cosmic power. This is so not her jam. She is the last person who wants to do this. That’s why it’s gotta be her. Old Vulcan Proverb: “Only Nixon can go to China.” She walks toward the Black Vortex and Gara steps aside.

Peter shouts at her not to and offers to go instead. They already know he is not strong enough to endure the Vortex, O “Lord of the Stars,” Gara reminds him. Kitty apologizes to him. He tells her he can’t let her.

She thinks to herself she can walk through brick walls. A cute boy can’t stop her. Even one as cute as he. She may be in space but she’ll always be an X-Man.

In orbit, the others are still fighting the Slaughter Lord when suddenly there is a light. They look up to see a giant, cosmic Kitty engulfing Spartax in her hands.

She silently curses herself for being right.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Marvel VI, Drax, Groot, Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy).

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


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

In Star-Lord’s vision:
Star-Lord / Lord of Stars
Kitty Pryde

Changed by the Black Vortex:
Gamora, Groot
Kitty Pryde
Angel, Cyclops, Iceman (original)
Brother Blood, Czar Doon, Delphinia, Father Diablo, Misa (Slaughter Lords)
Ronan the Accuser

Story Notes: 

This is the 12th chapter of The Black Vortex. The next chapter is Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega.

The statement regarding an “old Vulcan proverb” that “Only Nixon can go to China” is a double-reference. It was described as an “old Vulcan proverb” by the character Spock in the 1991 film Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country. The reference Spock was trying to make was from the true, historical 1972 visit by then President Richard Nixon to China, a country with which the United States had severed ties since its communist revolution decades before. Spock’s reference to “only Nixon” having been able to do this was due to his well-known and unrelenting anti-communist reputation giving him the political cover to open relations with a communist nation.

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