Time Slips

"Guardians 3000 #5"

by Gregory L. Reece

18 February 2015

Guardians 3000 is a thrill ride, a roller coaster, a starship making 180 degree turns.
 
cover art

Guardians 3000 #5

(Marvel)
US: Apr 2015

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again. There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said.
—Kurt Vonnegut

Ain’t it funny how time just slips away?
—Willie Nelson

Everybody loves the Guardians of the Galaxy. We all saw their summer movie. I saw it five times.

But those are not the Guardians that I grew up with. The movie Guardians–Star-Lord, Gamera, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Racoon and Groot–and their comicbook likenesses are set in the present day Marvel Universe. The Guardians that I first encountered were from the far distant future, and their line-up was a little different: Vance Astro, twentieth-century man out of time; Martinex, the Plutonian; Charlie-27, last surviving Jovian; Yondu, the archer of Alpha Centauri; and Starhawk, mysterious Starhawk. They fought their battles aboard the starship Captain America, battled the evil Badoon in the year 3000.

The Guardians of the past were the Guardians of the future.

It is the story of this original team, this future team, that Dan Abnett and Gerardo Sandoval are telling in the pages of Guradians 3000.  Star-Lord is here, too. Though not the one we know. And Nova. Not the one from today but another one from tomorrow.

And time is slipping. They fight battles over and over again. Old friends – old teammates – are unfamiliar to them. In this issue Nikki returns, blaster blasting. “Just like old times,” she says. But she’s the only one who remembers. “Who the flark is she?” Martinex asks. She disrupts their plan, sends everything tumbling into chaos. They want to talk to the enemy, need information from the enemy, but she’s all about “Rock and Shock!” They flee and she takes them on a one-eighty. Sends ‘em back to where they’ve been before, where they’ve been before.

“It’s not going well, is it?” That’s Martinex again. No, Martinex, it isn’t. No it isn’t.

But in a way it is.

Guradians 3000 is a thrill ride, a roller coaster, a starship making 180 degree turns. It’s all a jumble, moving forwards and backwards, up and over, around and around.

The Guardians were born in the 60’s singing “We Shall Overcome”, toured with the Avengers in the 70’s rocking along in the “Korvac Saga,” and look and sound here like punks from the 80’s. But it’s a thousand years in the future and the Badoon are taking over the galaxy and the resistance must stand firm even though time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping . . .

So the team is forced to try a Hail Mary. They’re going to see the Hunger, going to attempt the old blasting through a black hole, sling shot around the sun maneuver in order to try and set things right, stop the past from repeating itself, from repeating itself.

But things aren’t going the way they planned. Did they even have a plan?

And then the reveal, the last page splash that makes you go “Oh Flark!”

And yes, I’m coming back next month, gotta come back next month, couldn’t stay away if I wanted to.  The past will repeat itself. There is nothing I can do about it.

There is something about Sandoval’s art. These characters are clearly from the future. Their bodies are solid. More solid than the present which is always changing. They’re solid like the past is solid, locked in stone. Solid but fluid. Fluid like the future.

It’s like a woodcut, like an old fashioned engraving, like someone from our past would illustrate something from their past. Like the past of the past. But too vibrant for that, too chaotic, too alive to be from old dead and buried yesterday, dead and buried yesterday.

Look at Star-Lord (a new one, from the future) staring down at Nova (she’s new too, the last woman standing) while Yondu (the old one, from the future) and Charlie-27 (bigger than he was, but still the same) look on from the shadows. A page out of time. Depicting tomorrow and yesterday, and yesterday.

Somebody is playing with the clocks. The wind-up kind, especially. There is nothing I can do about it, can do about it.

Ain’t it funny how time just slips away?

Guardians 3000 #5

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