In commemoration of the collection release here is my review. Note: I was not able to get my hands on Guardians Team-Up #3 or Captain Marvel #14. Those titles flew off the shelves and were never refilled by Marvel, according to my LCS
Writers: Sam Humphries, Brian Michael Bendis, Gerry Duggan, John Layman, Kelly Sue DeConnick
Now this saga is an exquisite example of a crossover event. DC, please take notes. Well, DC from a few years ago. My last experience with a major crossover in the DC universe was the Trinity War. It left a nasty taste in the mouth and was only preparation for another crossover event in Forever Evil.
Granted, The Black Vortex Saga is the last major event before Secret Wars. So what really are the stakes? Is Secret Wars going to undo everything that was just written? I don’t know, but I believe this event will still hold up years from now as a wonderfully written and coordinated event covered over eight different titles and five different writers.
Quick summary, the Black Vortex was an ancient artifact given to the Viscardi by a Celestial. It transforms anyone who submits to this magic mirror into the greatest cosmic version of themselves. The Viscardi were torn apart by the Black Vortex. Our heroes are almost torn apart by it as well.
The main thread of the story revolves around Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde. They are the ones who steal the Vortex from Quill’s father, Mr. Knife (aka J’Son former emperor of Spartax) and seek the help of their respective crews, plus Nova. They start on opposite sides of whether to submit to the Black Vortex or not and both make valid points. These points are then factored into the overall conflict of this saga. The entire story ends with Kitty and Quill in a major “WHAT THE WHAT!” moment. I’m not sure how far that will go or if it will even happen, but whoa it was pretty nice.
Secondarily, this crossover deals with power and it’s corruption. What I enjoyed about the corruption aspect was it did not corrupt the individual characters unless they already had some corruptive aspects to them. We’ve all seen Evil Beast, Archangel and Gamora, daughter of Thanos. So their cosmic forms attacking the heck out of Hala makes perfect sense. Their minds are exposed to a true enlightenment and they seek to change the cosmos for the better. Each character is confronted with a personal decision to submit or not and as the story progresses the questions raised in front of the Vortex are expanded. Nova even asks why he should submit himself to this cosmic makeover. Storm is tempted but refuses. Cyclops overcomes a major dilemma figuring out whether to submit or not. Then there’s Jean, would she even be able to handle this other cosmic entity.
After my note at the beginning, I can say the event could have shed an issue. The recap in Legendary Star-Lord’s part 12 included nothing of what occurred in Captain Marvel #14. They could have left out Venom as well since he played absolutely no role in the entire saga. I felt bad for Flash Thompson. But hey, at least he’s getting his own title come October.
All in all this was an amazing read that took cosmic to an even more cosmic level. Just check out Kitty Pryde phasing an entire amber mold of Spartax and its people. The art is amazing as well. I’m posting a couple more posts with art from the issues I have digitally. These teams did a wonderful job and that can’t be overstated.
Until next time…
Collected: Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha #1, Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #24-25, Legendary Star-Lord #9-11, All-New X-Men #38-39, Guardians Team-Up #3, Nova (2013) #28, Cyclops (2014) #12, Captain Marvel (2014) #14, Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega #1