Sunday, February 20, 2011

Defenders 26 with the Guardians of the Galaxy


(spins out of Giant Size Defenders #5)

“Savage Time”

by Steve Gerber & Sal Buscema, with Vince Colletta

The hours before day break find Jack Norriss and Barbara---whose mind is the Valkyrie’s---hashing out what to make of her body’s marriage to him before she became who she is now, as winds sweep the New Jersey Palisades. A kiss proves unwelcome. An earthquake gives her an opportunity to demonstrate the freakish powers now hers, which he fears, to save him with winged Aragon, her steed.

Among parties interested in this unusual tectonic upheaval: the Defenders, who review the situation of the futuristic Guardians of the Galaxy, freshly time-crashed in the present, from an alien-invaded 3015 A.D. Their ship, the U.S.S. Captain America, needs repair. Nighthawk notes the weather’s “gone completely haywire” and Dr.
Strange concludes “the only explanation can be the temporal displacement caused by our---visitors.”

They are: Charlie-27, ultra-dense last survivor of a future Jupiter colony
Vance Astro, an astronaut refugee from our times, one thousand years removed by space travel
Yondu, blue, finned native of Centauri-IV, “Earth’s only interstellar colony.”
“Hulk doesn’t get it. How can men be from tomorrow when it’s still tonight?”

The rather-familiar ship’s attracted a film crew and a Nat’l Guard cordone. The paradox of Vance Astro as a boy and as a man from the future co-existing is disrupting Earth violently. Now we meet Pluvian man of crystal, science officer Martinex, with lil’ Vance Astro in tow. A burst from Dr. Strange travels to the site to protect young Vance from any trigger-happy soldiers. Martinex can fix the ship, but they’ll need Doc to get it into orbit. While Nighthawk has a laugh about what one might say to one’s younger self, superhero Major Astro and his young, unwitting counterpart then rap about the world Astro’s known, without the spoiler of their shared identity.

Ozone depletion led to massive skin cancer; cybernetic replacement parts became the answer to that, via bionics. That research backfired in a civil war, which ended with a nuclear device active in an undisclosed area “half the size of...uh, an area the size of your Canada”, now “uninhabitable.”

People pulled together in a confederacy of nations, only to be attacked by Martians, as chronicled elsewhere by Roy Thomas, Don McGregor, and P. Craig Russell. After another bout of medieval rule, freedom was won, leading back out into space, and colonies...along with a forgotten rocket from 1988, which re-appears in the scheme in 3005 as a curiosity. Two years later, the Badoon attack and enslave mankind.

We flash back to Marvel Two-in-One #4 & 5, where Captain America joins their band for an adventure. Little Vance cries, because all of this sounds like things “that could happen here, couldn’t it?” His older counterpart reassures him we have a choice. Doc mercifully erases these ideas and sends him home at his request.

Val has words with her overly-protective and freaked-out hubby; Doc takes the ship and two teams back to the future.

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