Black Vortex

Release Date: 
February 2015 to April 2015
Plot / Theme: 

Crossover Theme – Billions of years ago, a Celestial gave a civilization an artifact known as the Black Vortex, a device that was able to evolve a person to their complete potential. The citizens of the world all submitted to the Vortex but were consumed by the power bestowed upon them. In the present day, the Black Vortex was found by Mister Knife and Thanos’ son Thane, both of whom wanted to use the Vortex for their own nefarious purposes. When Kitty Pryde and Star-Lord learn of this fact, they steal the Vortex and enlist the X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy to help protect the device. Divided by their intentions for the Vortex and attacked by various parties wanting the power for themselves, the heroes are forced into a game of cat-and-mouse that has tragic consequences for the entire universe.

Characters Involved

Beast, Kitty Pryde, Lockheed, Magik, Storm (all X-Men)
Angel, Beast, Iceman, Jean Grey, X-23 (all X-students)
Agent Venom, Captain Marvel IV, Drax, Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord (all Guardians of the Galaxy)

Corsair, Cyclops (both Starjammers)

Mister Knife
Blood Brother, Czar Doon, Delphinia, Father Diablo, Misa the Hunter (all Slaughter Lords)

Ronan the Accusor
Supreme Intelligence
Kree Soldiers

Brood Queen
Brood Emmisary
Brood soldiers


Ma Savage

Nova’s mother

The Collector
Legron the Terrible

Mister Knife’s soliders
Citizens of Spartax
Citizens of Viscardia
Citizens of Hala
Citizens of Brennan-7

Godhead the Celestial
Ebony Maw (In Thane’s imagination)

Issues Involved: 

All-New X-Men (1st series) #38-39
Cyclops (2nd series) #12
Captain Marvel (7th series) #14
Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha #1
Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega #1
Guardians of the Galaxy (3rd series) #24-25
Guardians Team-Up #3
Legendary Star-Lord #9-11
Nova (5th series) #28



  • Star-Lord and Kitty met when the Guardians of the Galaxy came to the X-Men’s aid during the trial of Jean Grey. Afterwards, the two began a long-distance relationship. [Trial of Jean Grey crossover]
  • Star-Lord discovered that his father was King J’Son of Spartax and the two quickly crossed swords. J’Son ended up losing control of the planet and was exiled, going on to adopt the persona of Mister Knife.
  • The Black Vortex was found on the planet Kymellia III by the Slaughter Lords on behalf of Mister Knife. [Legendary Star-Lord #5]
  • Star-Lord was kidnapped by Mister Knife, but was rescued by Kitty rescued. During the rescue, the two discovered Mister Knife was in possession of the Black Vortex. [Legendary Star-Lord #7]
  • Thane, the son of Thanos, set up a colony on Brennan-7 where he would protect those in need. Mister Knife found him there and convinced him to join his side. [Legendary Star-Lord #7-8]

Short Summary

Twelve billion years ago on the planet Viscardi, the Celesitial Godhead bestows a civilisation with the myserious mirror called the Black Vortex. When Gara, one of the Viscardians, stares at the mirror, she doesn’t see her direct reflection, but rather one that shows what she would be like with her ultimate potential achieved. Realizing that the mirror can transform her, Gara submits to the Vortex and is transformed into the form she saw. Now at the peak of her potential, Gara sets about making sure the rest of her race submits to the Vortex. However, with the rest of her society transformed too, they fall to infighting and begin to tear themselves apart. Soon enough, Gara is the only one left standing and she realizes she is now the last of her species. She screams in anger at the Celestial but it simply leaves the planet and the devastation it has caused. The Black Vortex is lost in the destruction left behind, with Gara vowing to destroy it if she ever finds it again.

In the present day, Kitty and Star-Lord sneak on to Mister Knife’s flying fortress to steal the Black Vortex in revenge for Knife calling Kitty “mousy.” However, as they are sneaking through the base, they come across Mister Knife and Thane in front of the Black Vortex. Mister Knife makes one of his Slaughter Lords submit to the Vortex and they are transformed into a much more powerful version of themselves. Seeing that the rest of the Slaughter Lords have already been transformed, and knowing what it would mean if the rest of Knife’s forces were subjected to it, Kitty and Star-Lord steal it and escape the fortress.  Realizing they are in over their heads, they call on their own teams to help them out. Star-Lord has Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Agent Venom and Captain Marvel show up for him, whilst Kitty has Storm, Magik, Beast and the group of students helping her out.

The teams meet up on Spartax and discuss what to do with the Black Vortex, with some wanting to destroy it whilst others want to use it. The Slaughter Lords quickly find them and a fight breaks out, but the heroes seem outnumbered. During the chaos, no one notices Gamora submit to the Vortex and she emerges as a cosmically enhanced version of her former self. With her full potential realized, Gamora makes short work of the Slaughter Lords, giving Magik enough time to teleport everyone to Spartax’s moon. Once there, Star-Lord tries to convince everyone else that they need to use the Vortex, whilst Kitty is dead-set against the idea and believes it should be destroyed. No-one notices Beast sneak off during the discussion until it’s too late and they realize he too has submitted to the Vortex. With his intellect enhanced to it maximum, he is able to see how the entire universe works and believes he now has the knowledge to fix everything wrong with it.

Having picked up Star-Lord’s call-to-arms, Nova arrives just as Gamora and Beast show the rest of the heroes what the Black Vortex could do for them. Before anyone can stop him, Angel submits to the Vortex and becomes a cosmic version of his former self. Seeing Iceman also becoming tempted by the Vortex’s power, Storm flies off with it but is quickly caught by Gamora. Overpowered by their enhanced friends, Storm, Kitty and Star-Lord are forced to watch as the Vortex is taken away.

Gamora, Beast and Angel find a planet with a very primitive civilization on it and discuss what to do with the Vortex. They finally decide that they should use it to bring peace to the universe. However, before they can convert the primitives, they are attacked by Ronan the Accuser and his Kree forces. Caught off guard and overwhelmed by Ronan’s ferocity, the three lose control of the Black Vortex to the Kree. Angered at losing the Vortex, the three head to Hala, the Kree homeworld, and lay siege to it.

On his fortress, Mister Knife meets with a Brood emissary about a mysterious deal he had made, whilst Thane watches on curiously. Afterwards, Thane starts to lose his temper with Knife, however, as the Black Vortex still hasn’t been recovered. Once Thane is gone, Knife orders one of the Slaughter Lords to go to Brennan-7 and slaughter everyone there. He finally gets a bit of good news when his forces locate the Guardians and the X-Men on Spartax’s moon. Flying his fortress there, he opens fire on the moon, destroying anything and everything on the surface. Thanks to Magik’s and Kitty’s powers, the heroes survive the bombardment and regroup once the carnage is over. Remaining hidden from the Slaughter Lords, they escape the moon to plan their next move.

The heroes are met by Cyclops and Corsair, who also picked up Star-Lord’s distress call, and the various teams discuss what to do next. When they get distress calls from both Spartax and Hala, requesting help to fend off attacks, the heroes for forced to split into groups, with Cyclops taking Iceman and Groot down to the moon of Spartax in a bid to distract the Slaughter Lords. Kitty takes X-23, Corsair, Agent Venom and young Beast to Spartax to deal with a mysterious threat on the planet. Meanwhile, Star-Lord takes Nova, Captain Marvel, Jean Grey, Magik, Drax, Rocket and Storm to Hala to help stop Gamora and her rampage.

On Spartax’s moon, Cyclops’s team doesn’t last long, as they are outnumbered and overpowered by the Slaughter Lords. On Hala, whilst some of the team joins the Kree forces battling Gamora, Beast and Angel, the rest meet with Ronan and the Supreme Intelligence. Ronan makes a request to the Supreme Intelligence to be allowed to submit to the Vortex so he can take on the invaders. The Supreme Intelligence denies the request though, stating that it has done its calculations and the most successful option would be to wait for the Kree forces to arrive. Submitting to the Vortex would almost certainly doom the world. The heroes leave dejected, but Star-Lord comes up with a quick plan and creates a distraction, allowing Ronan to submit to the Black Vortex against his superior’s orders.

Now cosmically enhanced, Ronan flies off to meet the three invaders and takes them all on personally, knocking Angel unconscious. Beast, meanwhile, has been constructing a simulation of the whole of space and time. However, once it is complete, he is shocked by its outcome. He sees that the fabric of space-time is cracked and that he’s had a direct hand in the damage. He flies away from the battle in disbelief, leaving Gamora and an injured Angel alone. Realizing the tide of the battle has turned against her, Gamora grabs Angel and flies off too.

As Hala starts to recover from the devastation, the heroes meet with the Supreme Intelligence to discuss the next course of action. The Supreme Intelligence is angered by the use of the Black Vortex and the heroes’ inability to see its true nature. Knowing that they won’t be able to leave with the Vortex peacefully, the team attacks the Kree forces as Nova flies off with the device. As Nova makes it into space, he is confronted by the Slaughter Lords, who give chase. Mister Knife appears in Hala’s orbit, having tracked the Black Vortex there. Seeing the opportunity to exact revenge on the Kree for numerous attacks against him over the years, Mister Knife opens fire on Hala. The devastation is so bad that the entire planet splits apart, putting an end to the Kree homeworld.

In the chaos, Nova manages to escape from the Slaughter Lords with the Black Vortex and, not knowing where the rest of the heroes are, heads to Earth. Although Nova can’t help but look into the Vortex to see his full potential, he manages to resist submitting to it. He takes it home until he can figure out what to do. However, when the Collector shows up on his doorstep looking to purchase the Vortex, he realizes he has to leave and takes it back into space again.

Meanwhile, Kitty and her team arrive on Spartax to find Gara waiting for them, declaring she is there to destroy the Vortex. Elsewhere, Magik manages to locate Gamora, Beast and Angel and she convinces them to join the heroes once more in fighting Mister Knife.

Thane returns to his small community on Brennan-7 to discover everyone there has been murdered. Not knowing it was one of the Slaughter Lords, he vows revenge on whoever did it and meets up once more with Knife, who is now back at Spartax. Mister Knife lies to Thane and says it must have been the heroes from Earth, looking to weaken Thane and make him act without thinking. Just then, Nova arrive back Spartax and is surprised to find Mister Knife and Thane in orbit. Before he can put up a fight, they take the Black Vortex off him and Thane uses it to enhance himself. On Mister Knife’s orders, his first act is to use his powers to encase the whole of Spartax in amber, which freezes everyone and everything in a state of living death. Mister Knife then tells the Brood emissary that he will be able to deliver Spartax to them. When the Slaughter Lords question his deal, Mister Knife says that if he helps the Brood conquer the galaxy he will get every tenth planet for himself.

On the surface of Spartax, Kitty and her team are also encased in amber, though she manages to phase herself out of it when Star-Lord’s team shows up. Magik shows up with Beast, Gamora and Angel and the various factions soon start fighting about the situation. Everyone stops when a giant Brood ship appears overhead, and millions of small insects erupt out of it and swarm the planet. Beast quickly deduces that the insects are specifically designed to burrow through the amber and lay eggs in the inhabitants trapped within. If the heroes don’t stop the Brood right now, then the population will increase by seventy-two billion overnight. Just as they are trying to deal with the Brood, the Slaughter Lords show up looking for another fight.

Onboard Mister Knife’s ship, Cyclops, Iceman and Groot are being held captive, but they soon manage to escape. They find the Black Vortex and are forced to submit to it when they realize they are seriously outnumbered. With all three cosmically enhanced, they easily overpower Mister Knife’s forces and escape the ship with the Vortex. Cyclops becomes distracted during the escape and lets go of the Vortex. Fortunately, Captain Marvel manages to get hold of it and fly off, with the Slaughter Lords in hot pursuit. She manages to outmaneuver them but, in doing so, she crash lands on Mister Knife’s ship and is ambushed by him. Despite the temptation to submit to the Vortex, Captain Marvel defeats defeat Knife, who subsequently calls on Thane to aid him. Captain Marvel tries to convince Thane that it was Mister Knife who ordered the murder of his flock on Brennan-7 but he won’t listen. Instead, he tries to coat her in amber, but she dodges his blast, causing it to ricochet off the Vortex and onto Mister Knife. She is saved by the arrival of Gara, who is looking to destroy the Vortex. Gara makes short work of Thane, but is forced to chase after Captain Marvel when the hero absconds with the Vortex again.

Captain Marvel takes the Vortex back to Spartax and re-joins her teammates so they can decide how to save the planet. Gara arrives soon after but, realizing she is outnumbered, tries to convince them not to use the Vortex. After Jean Grey and Star-Lord both consider submitting to the Vortex, they decide against it as the power would corrupt them. In the end, it is Kitty who is deemed the best option to help the planet, as she is the only one who doesn’t want the power. With Gara’s permission, Kitty submits to the Black Vortex and fades away, becoming one with the universe itself. Kitty watches as the Slaughter Lords take on Ronan, Gamora, Angel and Beast in space, whilst the Brood insects continue to burrow into the amber shell around the citizens of Spartax. Knowing how to solve the situation, Kitty phases the Brood and the amber off Spartax and destroys it, leaving the remnants to drift through space. Seeing the odds turn against them, the Slaughter Lords escape, with Ronan hot on their trail.

With everyone on Spartax free once again, the teams reunite to finally decide what to do about the Black Vortex. Gara tells them all they are able to return the power of the Vortex but, in doing so, will earn the wrath of the Celestial Godhead. Cyclops, Beast, Iceman and Groot all relinquish their power, whilst Gamora, Kitty and Angel opt to keep it. Afterwards, Star-Lord proposes to Kitty and she accepts. Meanwhile, Ronan goes to the remains of Hala and vows to have his vengeance. Mister Knife, still encased in amber, is found floating in space by the Collector. Gara leaves with the Vortex whilst the various teams say goodbye to each other.

Repercussions / lasting effects: 



  • Whilst Kitty kept the enhancements of the Black Vortex, she has not demonstrated these powers since.
  • Angel kept his cosmic wings for a while, but they were eventually cut off by a younger version of Cable. The wings were replaced by those of Mimic, giving Angel his feathered form back. Angel, along with the rest of the time displaced X-Men, were then sent back to the moment they were removed from their original time period. [Extermination #1-5]

Guardians of the Galaxy

  • Gamora kept her enhancements but failed to realize that each time she used the powers the Black Vortex gave her, they would slowly drain away. Eventually, she used the last bit of the powers and returned to her regular power level once more. [Guardians of the Galaxy (4th series) #9]
  • When Star-Lord became King of Spartax, he took time away from the team and Kitty would go on to join the Guardians in his place, even going as far as to use his codename. The two would eventually split up, though, and Kitty returned to Earth to rejoin the X-Men.


  • The amber-encased Mister Knife was sold by the Collector to Star-Lord’s half-sister Victoria. During the transaction, she had one of her soldiers steal the seed for the next Kree Supreme Intelligence, effectively stopping the Kree Empire from rising up once again. [Legendary Star-Lord #12]
  • Ronan the Accuser kept the power of the Black Vortex and wandered the remains of Hala, remembering the dead. He was confronted by the Inhumans and Noh-Varr, who brought with them a Supreme Intelligence seed from another reality. Noh-Varr planted the seed where the last one fell and re-ignited the Kree Empire once again. [Royals #4-5]
  • As yet, the Celestial Godhead hasn’t sought revenge for the various heroes giving the power of the Black Vortex back.
Last Updated: 
18th February 2019