This is a good issue to see the original Guardians of the Galaxy - the ones before the MCU version. It is the second time for this group to be featured in the pages of Marvel Two-In-One. The last time we saw them they were in the year 3014 but this time they are in the 20th century. There's a nice section that showcases their powers. But this issue is not about powers, it's about being dealt a bad hand and playing it well. It is above all about one Vance Astrovik. No, two Vance Astroviks - the first, a Guardian of the Galaxy, the second, a future Avenger.
It all starts during breakfast at the Baxter Building and the sudden appearance of a weird blue light.
The light is followed by the appearance of the Guardian of the Galaxy known as Starhawk. He informs Ben and Sue that Vance Astro, a fellow Guardian, has disappeared from their space station. The Guardians need help in locating him since there is a risk that he might meet his younger self and this would have a catastrophic effect. The Guardians are visitors from a future time. So Vance exists in this time both as his current self - as a Guardian - and as his young self - a sixteen year old High Schooler.
Ben and Sue assure Starhawk that they are going to help. Soon, Reed and Johnny are also involved.
Instead of finding Vance, the Four detect a strange fog rolling across New York City; they head out to investigate.
In one of those moments that I'm sure always happen the FF coordinate with the Avengers.
In the meantime, Vance has found his younger self and his intentions are revealed.
It is a case of having the opportunity to warn your younger self to avoid making decisions that he or she will regret. It is an opportunity that is not available to any of us. But for Vance Astro - temporarily trapped in the past - it is available; and he takes it. In spite of the warnings from his fellow Guardians about this exact meeting here having terrible ramifications.
I can feel Vance's pain and I understand why he is risking this. I'd do it myself given the same circumstance.
It is the Thing who finds Vance Astro first and they set to talking about why the Guardian needs to talk to his younger self. Vance details the agony of his thousand year journey through space.
The Thing responds with his own experience of meeting his younger self in the past and of trying to cure that younger self. Ben is the first to debunk the notion that such a meeting would be dangerous since nothing untoward happened during his meeting.
Ben also informs Vance of the characteristics of the timestream. Even if Vance is able to convince his younger self to choose a different path this will simply create a divergent alternative reality - just as nothing happened to the current Thing as a result of curing the younger Thing, nothing will change for Vance Astro now even if his younger self chooses a different path.
Vance Astro doesn't care if nothing changes for him, at least this younger self will have a better alternate future. With that, Astro gains an ally in the Thing.
The fog continues to roll in and we are shown the response of various superheroes around New York.
When his fellow Guardians finally catch up with Vance and asks him to desist from his intent the argument becomes physical.
The Thing moves to support Vance. I'm looking forward to this Thing vs. Charlie-27 matchup - they are so equal in bulk.
Charlie-27 gets the drop on the Thing initially but in the end Ben Grimm prevails.
It is noteworthy that the Thing doesn't throw any punches; he just wrestles. He really doesn't want to hurt the Charlie-27.
Now for a quick showcase of some of the Guardians' powers.
Martinex is from Pluto and he can freeze things like he is doing with Vance here.
Yondu, just like in the movies, has this weird arrows he can control. Here is one whirring around the Thing.
The arrow is exerting some kind of vertigo effect that will bring Ben dizzyingly to the ground.
Back in the Guardian's spaceship, this band of temporal adventurers manage to sort things out. First - contrary to previous belief - there are no catastrophic side effects to a meeting between the same individual from different time periods. Second, the fog is caused by the latent psionic powers of the young Vance Astrovik. With that, the Guardians head back to New York to set things right.
Now we get a ringside seat to the birth of the future New Warrior and future Avenger to be known as Justice.
Vance unlocks the potential of his younger self. The initial after effects are explosive.
The Thing manages to calm down the young Vance Astrovik so that he can reign in his power. With that, the psychic fog begins to recede from New York.
All's well that ends well? Not exactly. Young Vance's father is less than thrilled at what was done to his son. This forces Vance Astro the Guardian of the Galaxy to do what was once unthinkable.
This is quite important because Vance always thought he would never be able to do this and live. He might finally be able to get out of that confining suit at last.
The conversation between Vance and Nikki is a fitting ending for this tale.