Shop Talk

(Belated) Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #18-#20

An Original Sin Tie-In or Answer To “What the hell happened in the Cancerverse?” 

This is a little different for me since I usually review individual issues. This will be a review of the entire arc, and include three favorite panels. Well, one is really a spread so one ginormous panel. 

Readers are finally finding out what happened in the Cancerverse. I for one am finding out everything about what happened in the Cancerverse. I was away from comics when this battle with Thanos occurred so this was a very informative arc for me. Plus I had never read Nova or Guardians before either. I love learning history in current continuity/issues. Keeps the wallet a little fuller and fills the brain as well. Now on to the story.


Gamora has a beautiful monologue on the first page. She talks about spirituality and her personal growth. It’s a bit of a shock when we see who she is talking to and what is going on with them. Peter Quill is sitting there, tied up to a chair in an unknown location. Gamora wants answers to a lie the Star-Lord has told her and it’s about what happened to Richard Ryder. For those who don’t know, he was bearer of the name Nova before Sam Alexander. At this point of his life, he possesses the entire Nova force of the Nova Corps and he also happens to be quasi-dating Gamora. I’m glad that Peter doesn’t fight giving Gamora answers to her questions. She deserves them apparently but even if he wanted to fight she could beat it out of him.  

So let’s see. Drax is dead. Nova and the legendary Star-Lord are entering the Cancerverse for a final showdown with Thanos never to return. But things don’t go as planned. How you may ask? Welp, it turns out Thanos didn’t know how to use the cube or the Infinity Gauntlet. Instead of killing Drax, he merely sent him to Cancerverse. Also, the cube starts cannibalizing Star-Lord’s body to take full control.


Peter decides to use the cube as it consumes his body. He might as well, its not letting him put it down and he surely isn’t going to give the thing to Thanos. So what’s better than shooting Thanos with this cosmic force? Using it to kill him? That’d be nice for Quill and Rider and Drax and the whole dang Galaxy. I’m sorry to say though that you can’t die in the Cancerverse, at least not if you aren’t originally from there. So instead of killing the man he stays alive. All of them do. This could possibly turn out ok but in sure it’d become tiresome after awhile. The Revengers come to make matters even worse for our cosmic friends.

This whole story was a bit much for Gamora, but at one point Peter has to tell her, “You opened this door. I was very happy to never open it for you but you did this. If you never want to talk to me again after this, that’s fine…but you ARE going to hear the truth from beginning to end. You’re going to hear the truth.” The Revengers wanted the cube after they realized it had power. The “invaders” could not die. They battled on and on to no avail and both Nova and the Star-Lord were regretting their sacrificial decision. Questions arise that could drive them all insane eventually. Is it worth eternal madness to stay in this Cancerverse? 

At the pinnacle of the battle, the cube lies in the open. Nova swoops in, seizing it. As he flees, his arm is severed by one of the Revengers. They’re threatened by these outsiders and their cube. The logical thing to do is use this weapon on them and then go back to their home world and destroy it.


Rider and company have a different idea. They get the hell out of there, but only as far as a one armed Nova can take them. Thanos fights the Revengers and emerges with the cube. Drax wants a finally final Final Showdown with Thanos for the ages. That sure ain’t gonna happen in the Cancerverse, and Richard Rider knows it. He picks up the cube, which fell on the ground during the Thanos-Drax fight, and submits himself to it’s power. It slowly takes over and he ponders what might have been with Gamora. Could they have been happy with one another? He talks of ideas and ambitions he had for his life. The combination of the Nova Force and the Cosmic Cube allow Nova to open the door between universes and pass Drax and Peter Quill through back to safety. He makes them promise not to tell Gamora what he did. How he died. He feels it would be a disappointment. In one way his sacrifice was since Thanos managed to live completely nullifying one of its two purposes. 

The final two panels sum up the ramifications from Gamora perfectly.

Star-Lord: What is she doing in there? 

Rocket: She’s either gonna come out here with a battle-axe and put us out of our misery or … or I don’t know what.

So what’s next for the Guardians? We won’t know, until next time…