This comic is kind of a guilty pleasure for me, but for some reason, I've fallen 5 months behind in reading it. So, I figure I'll start to play catch up tonight.
Overall- OK, for the record, and for anyone who hasn't read this comic book before, this team is basically a team of inter-galactic troubleshooters, written by the same awesome writing team of one of my favorite comic book series out there today, Nova. The line-up for the team is Star-Lord(a human, well mostly, who relies on advanced weaponry), Adam Warlock(who is somewhat amnesiac, but wields powerful magical abilities), Quasar(this is actually Phyla-Vell, Capt. Marvel's daughter, she uses the original Quasar's quantum bands), Gamora(the single greatest female ass-kicker in the entire universe. That's not idle talk, that's fact.), Drax(the team's powerhouse, big guy, bad attitude), Mantis(half woman, half plant. The former Celestrial Madonna, telepathic and can see into the future)and finally, Rocket Raccoon(a talking Raccoon with a sarcastic attitude... What could possibly top that???). Oh, and they work out of a satellite near the outskirts of the known universe. The satellite is run by a telepathic dog named Cosmo, with the most pronounced Russian accent you'll ever read. If THAT doesn't convince you to buy this comic, nothing will!
We start this comic with the team in the middle of a battle with several Cardinals from the Universal Church of Truth, an intolerant and zealous religious empire. The UCT basically travels from planet to planet forcefully converting each planet to follow their beliefs. The more believers the UCT garners, the more powerful the Cardinals become, and right now the UCT is powered by over a trillion beings, so those guys are DAMN powerful. On top of that, as long as the Cardinals believe in themselves and their faith, they can pretty much accomplish anything. So, if a Cardinal believes he has super-strength, he has super-strength, if they believe they have force blasts, they have force blasts, etc. The UCT had captured 5,200 beings, and the Guardians are staging an assault on a UCT spaceship to rescue the hostages.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals are near unbeatable while powered on there spaceship, and the Guardians begin to take massive amounts of damage. As this is going on, things get worse, as it seems the UCT was experimenting on the hostages, and have created some kind of horrible glob containing the 5,200 beings. The glob begins to envelop anything it comes into contact with, including several of the Cardinals. The Guardians realize they are now in a no win situation, and they manage to detonate the spaceship, destroying the glob, thanks to Gamora selflessly risking her life, before teleporting back to their home base.
While these events were occurring, back at the Guardians home base, Mantis is tending to the amnesiac Major Victory, who the team found last issue, frozen in a block of ice floating in space. Now, if memory serves me right, Major Victory is the future Vance Astrovik. The current Vance Astrovik goes by the moniker of Justice and was a founding member of the New Warriors as well as a former member of the Avengers. Victory was a member of the Guardians back during their 1990's comic book series. While Vance spoke with Mantis, the two of them are attacked by Starhawk, who teleports up on the two of them. Starhawk never says a word, but he is obviously trying to kill Victory. After a battle in which Mantis is knocked out, Victory gains the upper hand, and Starhawk disappears as mysteriously as he first arrived.
Now, one of the FEW comic book titles Marvel published in the 1980's-1990's that I didn't collect was the original "Guardians of the Galaxy" comic book series. Even though I never read an issue, I am slightly knowledgeable about the team and its members. I know they operated out of the future, I think that they were led by the future version of Vance Astrovik(Major Victory), and I'm also pretty sure Starhawk was a member of that team of Guardians, so the fact that he was attacking Victory in this issue was a little confusing to say the least. Ignoring the confusing Victory-Starhawk stuff, the battle between the UCT and the Guardians was very well done, and this was a really good comic, as are most comics written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. These guys are very good writers, and more importantly, they seem to be very well versed in the history of the Marvel Universe, which is VERY important to me. I liked this comic, and for a score, I'll go with a 7 1/2 out of 10. The Guardians are a nice varied team, and the UCT looks to be a very good evil foil for them.