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Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex

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The Black Vortex, an ancient artifact of immeasurable power, is now in Mr. Knife’s hands! With billions of lives at stake, Star-Lord must steal it back — with the help of both the Guardians and the X-Men! But as a schism forms between the heroes, Knife’s Slaughter Squad closes in! Beast and Kitty must decipher the Vortex Book as Ronan, Nova and the Brood get involved, and The Black Vortex, an ancient artifact of immeasurable power, is now in Mr. Knife’s hands! With billions of lives at stake, Star-Lord must steal it back — with the help of both the Guardians and the X-Men! But as a schism forms between the heroes, Knife’s Slaughter Squad closes in! Beast and Kitty must decipher the Vortex Book as Ronan, Nova and the Brood get involved, and Spartax falls! The Vortex grants near-infinite power to Knife’s forces; to counter them, the heroes will have to submit to its power themselves! Will the X-Men and Guardians lose their humanity forever? Collecting: Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex: Alpha, Omega; Guardians of the Galaxy 24-25; Legendary Star-Lord 9-11; All-New X-Men 38-39; Guardians Team-Up 3; Nova 28; Cyclops 12; & Captain Marvel 14


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The Black Vortex, an ancient artifact of immeasurable power, is now in Mr. Knife’s hands! With billions of lives at stake, Star-Lord must steal it back — with the help of both the Guardians and the X-Men! But as a schism forms between the heroes, Knife’s Slaughter Squad closes in! Beast and Kitty must decipher the Vortex Book as Ronan, Nova and the Brood get involved, and The Black Vortex, an ancient artifact of immeasurable power, is now in Mr. Knife’s hands! With billions of lives at stake, Star-Lord must steal it back — with the help of both the Guardians and the X-Men! But as a schism forms between the heroes, Knife’s Slaughter Squad closes in! Beast and Kitty must decipher the Vortex Book as Ronan, Nova and the Brood get involved, and Spartax falls! The Vortex grants near-infinite power to Knife’s forces; to counter them, the heroes will have to submit to its power themselves! Will the X-Men and Guardians lose their humanity forever? Collecting: Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex: Alpha, Omega; Guardians of the Galaxy 24-25; Legendary Star-Lord 9-11; All-New X-Men 38-39; Guardians Team-Up 3; Nova 28; Cyclops 12; & Captain Marvel 14

30 review for Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    As far as crossovers and events go, this particular volume went down pretty easily for me. I'm not always a huge fan of these things anymore, mainly because the collected volumes don't seem to have the complete story, and then you end up with this nagging feeling that you need to go search out random issues (from other titles) to fill in the blanks. Surprisingly, I didn't feel that way at all when I closed this book. *slow clap for Marvel* The basic (and I mean very basic) story is that there's th As far as crossovers and events go, this particular volume went down pretty easily for me. I'm not always a huge fan of these things anymore, mainly because the collected volumes don't seem to have the complete story, and then you end up with this nagging feeling that you need to go search out random issues (from other titles) to fill in the blanks. Surprisingly, I didn't feel that way at all when I closed this book. *slow clap for Marvel* The basic (and I mean very basic) story is that there's this cosmic mirror (<--Black Vortex) floating around with the power to change whoever will let it into super-beings. Now, if you already happen to be a superpower? You get extra amped up! The story centers around boyfriend/girlfriend duo, Kitty and Peter, whose relationship hits a rocky point due to their differing beliefs in how to deal with this thing. Is it a tool that can be used to save the universe, or is this something that's just simply too powerful to mess around with? According to one alien named Gara, it's the latter... Ok, so the best part of this one (to me) is the sheer amount of issues collected here. Like I mentioned before, it doesn't feel like you need to search for missing stuff to understand what's happening in this story. There are characters like Nova & (baby All-New) Cyclops that show up, and you don't have to hunt down their titles to find out how they play into the overall story. It's all right here! What a genius idea! Plus...I'm a sucker for a good love story. Daaaaaaw! Overall, I quite enjoyed reading this. I thought it was a pretty fun event, and would definitely recommend this particular volume to someone who likes cosmic Marvel!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean Gibson

    Flaming bag of poo (noun): An object often left on the doorstep of a cantankerous neighbor in an effort to induce the old bastard into stepping on it in an attempt to put out the fire, resulting in a shoe covered with feces; see also The Black Vortex. I’m an upbeat guy. As a general rule, I try to find the good in everything and everyone (well, except maybe for Donald Trump). I even give the benefit of the doubt to vegetables (well, no, that’s a lie—I’ve tried to give them all blight, but, thus f Flaming bag of poo (noun): An object often left on the doorstep of a cantankerous neighbor in an effort to induce the old bastard into stepping on it in an attempt to put out the fire, resulting in a shoe covered with feces; see also The Black Vortex. I’m an upbeat guy. As a general rule, I try to find the good in everything and everyone (well, except maybe for Donald Trump). I even give the benefit of the doubt to vegetables (well, no, that’s a lie—I’ve tried to give them all blight, but, thus far, results have been minimally successful, sadly). But, enough is enough. Marvel—I love you. You know that, right? If I could unspend every dollar I’ve spent on your products, I wouldn’t need to set up 529s for my kids. But, I’d never want to do that, because comics, especially your comics = awesome. But… We’ve gotta do something about these “epic” event crossovers. Seriously. We won’t get into the whole magilla, but it wasn’t too long ago that you inflicted Axis on us (had some things to say about that one, too, didn’t I?)—you know, the series where a bunch of good guys turned bad. Then, you give us The Black Vortex, where a few good guys do something of a heel turn as well, only this time they’re cosmically powered, and you drop the poor Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men into the midst of this tomfoolery so that you can run this train wreck of a story across multiple team books AND solo books. So, let me get this straight: we have a big shiny mirror that, if people “submit” to it, grants power beyond imagining, potentially corrupting the submitter and causing him/her to pursue power for selfish ends or her/his mind to break because it can’t handle the cosmic knowledge overload. And no one’s ever heard of this thing before? That’s like someone hanging out on the southern tip of Manhattan every day for 50 years and then, one day, going, “Holy [email protected]’s a giant freaking statue holding a torch in the middle of the water!” Enough. Enough with the contrived ways to make good characters do bad or out-of-character things. Enough with the twisting of reality. Enough with the need to suck every character from every book into every wacky story. Enough with the faux moralizing as we spend pages and pages watching talking heads debate the rightness or wrongness of embracing the Vortex’s power in an hour of need, which was not unlike watching a debate on immigration reform, where everyone either sounds holier-than-thou or like an idiot. Enough with insisting that vegetables are good for you, for crying out in the night! (Editor’s note: the veggie thing isn’t really the fault of those responsible for perpetrating The Black Vortex on the world…sometimes the author just gets carried away.) I will note that there were at least a couple of meritorious points in the story, which notched it a 2-star review instead of a 1-star lambasting: reuniting Cyclops with his young X-Men counterparts was fun, much of the art was solid, and there was a lot of Kitty Pryde, and Kitty Pryde is a badass (it is known). There’s even some major revelatory news at the conclusion of the series involving Kitty and Starlord, news that will have a major effect on stories as we—wait, what’s that? This thing ends right as Secret Wars begins? So, you’re saying that all of the supposedly massive ramifications of events in this series—the cosmic powers retained by various characters, Kitty/Pete’s major news, Groot’s new look, etc.—are now null, void, and meaningless because every single aspect of Marvel continuity seems to be about to be rebooted? Huh. Well, that was time well spent reading, then. Guess I’ll go back to doing equally important and entertaining things, like using pliers to pry off my toenails, imbibing muskrat urine, and watching U.S. presidential primary debates (because there’s nothing more important than hearing what the 8th-most likely person to get the nomination for a given political party has to say about gun control). You get the feeling that I’m just going to love Secret Wars, don’t you? I’ll look forward to reviewing it as I shoo small neighbor children off my lawn.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Decent all over art, not much story. Just a bunch of flying around the universe and punching stuff for the most part.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    This is a pretty big crossover. It covers half a dozen ongoing series, plus a few one-shots. And it plays out in a single, cohesive story. You really do need to read all the issues involved in the correct order to get the most out of this story. Or even anything at all. I had tried to read the two All-New X-Men issues in that trade, and I got nothing out of it. Much better to skip those issues in their individual trade and just read the full thing here. But do you really want to? Eh... As a story This is a pretty big crossover. It covers half a dozen ongoing series, plus a few one-shots. And it plays out in a single, cohesive story. You really do need to read all the issues involved in the correct order to get the most out of this story. Or even anything at all. I had tried to read the two All-New X-Men issues in that trade, and I got nothing out of it. Much better to skip those issues in their individual trade and just read the full thing here. But do you really want to? Eh... As a story, it isn't bad, but it isn't great, either. You won't really be missing much if you skip it, except that there are some changes made to characters and the universe as a whole that, if they stick around after Secret Wars, are kind of big deals. I think the biggest failing of the story is that it actually felt kind of repetitive. The arguments about whether or not the heroes should use the power of the Black Vortex go around in circles. It's a bad idea, until it's not, and then it's a bad idea again. Or something. There is some really good art in here. The All New X-Men issues, in particular, are incredibly stunning. The one-shot issues are by far the weakest, both in writing and in art, but even they aren't terrible. I know it isn't a ringing endorsement for the story, but you really could do worse.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    I'm a little torn trying to rate this one.... These are my thoughts (for what they're worth): Cons: 1. Look, kids! It's another bloated crossover event! That's right; it IS derailing a bunch of the titles you read! It IS another grasping, mercenary attempt to make you buy stuff you wouldn't ordinarily buy just so you can work out what the krutark is going on in your regular books! Excited yet? Me neither. 2. Watch in awe as your favourite heroes (plus some guys you don't give a crap about) play an I'm a little torn trying to rate this one.... These are my thoughts (for what they're worth): Cons: 1. Look, kids! It's another bloated crossover event! That's right; it IS derailing a bunch of the titles you read! It IS another grasping, mercenary attempt to make you buy stuff you wouldn't ordinarily buy just so you can work out what the krutark is going on in your regular books! Excited yet? Me neither. 2. Watch in awe as your favourite heroes (plus some guys you don't give a crap about) play an intergalactic game of tag with the Maguffin Of The Month! Is it largely pointless and repetitive? YOU BETCHA! 3. Scratch your head as characters you've been reading about for years suddenly start acting almost entirely out of character! Come to the realisation that virtually all of the speech bubbles could be assigned to almost ANY character and it wouldn't make a bit of difference! Pros: 1. Goddamnit! I'm going to have to break down, be a hypocrite, and begrudgingly admit that... I actually enjoyed the ride for the most part DESPITE its many flaws (see above)! 2. The last chapter gave me a serious case of what I believe the hip kids these days are calling 'the feels'. (view spoiler)[Oh, did my second favourite Marvel character just step up to the plate and save the entire universe? She DID! Well, I can definitely get behind that! But wait... What's she doing now? With that Quill boy, of all people! Oh, Kitty... How could you do this to me? I thought we had something special! Don't you throw that 'you got married first' line at me! Fine. FINE! (hide spoiler)]

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jesse A

    A good crossover event. Cosmic Kitty Pride may be a new favorite!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    Twelve billion years ago a celestial provided a civilization with the Black Vortex. By submitting to it's power the user is granted cosmic power. The Black Vortex has been found by Mr. Knife aka J'Son of Spartax who intends to use it for his profit and the universe's sorrow. So of course Peter Quill along with his girlfriend Kitty Pryde steal the vortex and they are now hunted by Peter's father, his minions, and Thane son of Thanos. I have to admit Black Vortex surprised me. I've grown leery of mas Twelve billion years ago a celestial provided a civilization with the Black Vortex. By submitting to it's power the user is granted cosmic power. The Black Vortex has been found by Mr. Knife aka J'Son of Spartax who intends to use it for his profit and the universe's sorrow. So of course Peter Quill along with his girlfriend Kitty Pryde steal the vortex and they are now hunted by Peter's father, his minions, and Thane son of Thanos. I have to admit Black Vortex surprised me. I've grown leery of massive crossover events because they are generally all flash and no substance, but I can't honestly say that about this one. Submitting to the magic mirror can provide any individual with the same power that Galactus bestows upon his heralds with no obvious consequences like eternal servitude. That kind of power is a challenging thing to pass up and many of the heroes submit to it. The Black Vortex is absolutely a crossover that feels not just appropriate, but well thought out. I really enjoyed it and I'm excited to read about the consequences of this event.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sud666

    Once, billions of years ago, there was a Celestial that had landed on Viscardi. It gave the people a "gift" of an object known as the Black Vortex. If you stared into this mirror and pledged to submit to the Black Vortex-then that person gets cosmic level powers. Fast forward to our present time and a pirate named Mr. Knife is trying to sell it to the son of Thanos-Thane (Thanos has a kid? seriously?). But- enter Peter Quill who steals it. That starts this epic fracas. I want to be clear I did en Once, billions of years ago, there was a Celestial that had landed on Viscardi. It gave the people a "gift" of an object known as the Black Vortex. If you stared into this mirror and pledged to submit to the Black Vortex-then that person gets cosmic level powers. Fast forward to our present time and a pirate named Mr. Knife is trying to sell it to the son of Thanos-Thane (Thanos has a kid? seriously?). But- enter Peter Quill who steals it. That starts this epic fracas. I want to be clear I did enjoy the fights- but the Black Vortex's ability to give anyone Cosmic powers means this story is one big game of "tag" with the Black Vortex as "it". So many of the people who come into contact with the Black Vortex choose to accept and gain their cosmic powers-who then batttle others with similar cosmic powers. It becomes a run on fight. That is not a bad thing-but it makes for a plot that isn't too hard to follow. A lot of bashing each other. But, hidden among all the fighting is a good tale. It also says a lot about the characters who do choose the Black Vortex and those who do not. It is also telling how their powers seem to magnify and their image becomes something closer to that individual's ideal self image. The artwork was really good for most of the violume. The writing is funny and the humor (as there ought to be in a Guardians book) works well. We not only have the Guardians and the X-men, we also get to see visits from a host of other cosmic types. The fights were rather nice and some of the "shocking" plot twists-well they were rather shocking. I don't know if they plan to keep everything that happened as is..if so..Ronan deserves to be PISSED. But that's all I'm saying about that. I will not mess up this plot with spoilers. So if you're a fan of any of the groups like Guardians or X-men-then I think you will enjoy this volume. The Guardians and the X-men work well (in terms of writing and humor). I will admit this was really just an excuse to say "Oh look X has Y powers and will fight against Z" scenarios. But, it is what it is and what it is it does well enough. Does that sound like a ringing endorsement? No it isn't. This is a 3 star rating after all. Nothing bad here..better than average, good art, decent plot and funny dialog all makes this a fun book to read. But it is nothing amazing or ground breaking. Since it has a hodgepodge of writers (collecting different issues) the writing varies in quality-shame Bendis couldn't have done the whole story. So if you're a fan of cosmic stories (I am) and like the Guardian of the Galaxy or the X-Men then you will absolutely enjoy this book. While this isn't the end all or be all-this is a damn fun story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I mean, what even is this? I've been reading most of the series involved in this massive, cosmic crossover (All-New X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, some others I don't read), and none of them built up to this event AT ALL. It comes completely out of nowhere. Additionally, this event ended just two months before Secret Wars started, and therefore feels totally shoehorned into the Marvel timeline. Plus, at one point Beast is granted cosmic powers he DEFINITELY does not have in the I mean, what even is this? I've been reading most of the series involved in this massive, cosmic crossover (All-New X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, some others I don't read), and none of them built up to this event AT ALL. It comes completely out of nowhere. Additionally, this event ended just two months before Secret Wars started, and therefore feels totally shoehorned into the Marvel timeline. Plus, at one point Beast is granted cosmic powers he DEFINITELY does not have in the other myriad of Marvel titles he appears in concurrently, so this event feels extra disconnected from the Marvel Universe. OK, so here's the completely out of nowhere setup: a billion years ago, an advanced civilization was given a big, scary mirror called The Black Vortex that grants all who "submit" to it cosmic power. It, of course, corrupted them all and tore their civilization to shreds. Cut to now, where J'Son of Spartax (Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord's dad) has gotten his hands on The Black Vortex and used it to power up some of his cronies. He wants to use it to power up himself and a bunch more of his cronies, but luckily he just stands around TALKING about how he wants to use it, rather than using it, so Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde show up and steal it from him. Here begins the parade of nonsense. Every issue in this 13-part story deals with one or more of our heroes (and there are about 90 of our heroes) debating whether or not they should harness the power of something called THE BLACK VORTEX. What do you think you should do, dummies?! It's called THE BLACK VORTEX! It's not called the Gentle Embrace of Peace! Obviously it's going to corrupt you! And yet, we get to watch these idiots (which include most of the X-Men, all of the Guardians, Nova, some Kree, Captain Marvel, God knows how many more people) constantly hem and haw about whether or not to use it. It's so dumb and, furthermore, so boring. How is every issue about this in a 13-part series?! There are some fights and some explosions and some cosmic insanity, but genuinely every single issue involves, at least at some point, a character debating whether or not The Black Vortex should be utilized for good. Then, once some of them do start using it, the rules of The Black Vortex aren't even clear! It instantly corrupts some people. It doesn't corrupt others. Several characters end up "submitting" to it (which, to me, is another thing that REEKS of badness; you never "submit" to something cool and fun), with mixed results. By the end, so many people have submitted to it that, when one character offers to submit to it as some sort of sacrifice, I was like "Yeah, join the club." It's not much of a sacrifice if EVERYONE ELSE DID IT. But, I guess the story had to end somehow. This story really makes no sense. It's repetitive, hacky, ill-defined, and unnecessary. With all of these series just a month or so from ending due to Secret Wars, I don't even understand what Marvel hoped to gain from it. It's not like it was going to draw new readers to series that were basically done anyway. And as an added bonus, since this story is told sequentially, good luck reading the little bits and pieces of it that are spread around the various collections of All-New X-Men, Captain Marvel, etc. Those issues will make absolutely no sense without the context of the full crossover event. I don't get any of it! Ahhh!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    Not best Marvel crossover ever at all. And the winner of Prometheus-prize-for-stupid-scientists-touching-alien-things goooeeessss tooo... Beast. Not best Marvel crossover ever at all. And the winner of Prometheus-prize-for-stupid-scientists-touching-alien-things goooeeessss tooo... Beast.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    Less said about this one the better.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sonic

    What five-year-old wrote this? Oh, it was Sam Humphries. (Ha ha ha ha) Took a weak-ass premise, some interesting characters, (some fairly cool art near the beginning) and just flushed it down the crapper!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Megu

    Actually 2.5 stars. Was this arc really necessary? Like...really? Was what the purpose here apart from the lovely-dovely Shadowcat x StarLord scene at the end? Come on Marvel, pull yourself together!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Relstuart

    A crossover/cosmic event starring the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, kid Nova, and the X-Men. Mainly the time traveled crew with a few of the old guard (Hank, Storm, X-23, and Magic mainly). There are huge things that happen in this story (no spoilers) one with the Kree and Ronan. I think there would be a lot more exposition and exploration of these events if the universe wasn't coming to an end in Secret Wars. It's still a bit surprising what all happens. Interesting premise and decen A crossover/cosmic event starring the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, kid Nova, and the X-Men. Mainly the time traveled crew with a few of the old guard (Hank, Storm, X-23, and Magic mainly). There are huge things that happen in this story (no spoilers) one with the Kree and Ronan. I think there would be a lot more exposition and exploration of these events if the universe wasn't coming to an end in Secret Wars. It's still a bit surprising what all happens. Interesting premise and decent story telling.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    As crossovers go, this one wasn't all that bad...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    Well, that was FLARKIN' disappointing. What can I say? This crossover was way too long for nothing to have gone on. Story: There is a mirror that can up your powers and maybe make you loco. The end. The plot is made up of a lot of fights and killing entire planets and stuff. It very much had a this happened -then this happened -then this happened feeling. The only goal of this storyline, so far that I can make out, is to get everyone changed ever so slightly enough that they'll want to go in diff Well, that was FLARKIN' disappointing. What can I say? This crossover was way too long for nothing to have gone on. Story: There is a mirror that can up your powers and maybe make you loco. The end. The plot is made up of a lot of fights and killing entire planets and stuff. It very much had a this happened -then this happened -then this happened feeling. The only goal of this storyline, so far that I can make out, is to get everyone changed ever so slightly enough that they'll want to go in different directions after this. (view spoiler)[Kitty changes by becoming one with the cosmos, which now makes "space her jam", so she'll want to stay in space with Peter. And since she'll stay in space, she will no longer be the teacher/mentor of the out of time OG 5 X-Men, letting them go off on their own to spin-off into a new series All-New X-Men: Inevitable. Scott "changed on the inside/his heart changed" whatever that means... And Angel now has fire wings, cuz fire wings are awesome? (hide spoiler)] The dialogue was mostly quiptastically bad. Except for the one time this volume made me smile while reading it. On page 8 (in the first issue of the volume, Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha #1), there are two lines of Magik and Bobby banter. Magik: "What did we say about your attitude Iceman?" Bobby: "Be the terror you wish to see in the world." Gold. Anyway, everything else is quippy and terrible. Our heroes squabble about using the power of the Black Vortex (Civil War II, anyone?) and there's like two/three whole issues of Gamora, Beast, and Angel fighting against everyone else. You'd think Beast would have stopped trying to mess with stuff after bringing the OG 5 into the present, but nah. He does eventually apologize though, so maybe this crossover event did have a point after all? Every issue had at least one if not two huge battle scenes. It was too much action, to the point where I was getting bored of having to read another fight scene. If everyone survives the exchanging of laser blasts (or when Jean can just brain-blast everyone she wants), who cares? What's going to keep my interest? Also, this is just a terrible page: And there are so many more like it. Really did not enjoy this story. 2 stars for Bobby & Magik.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judah Radd

    I really love this weirdass event. I’m still not 100% sure what to make of the story. On it’s face, it seems uninspired; there’s a new powerful object, everyone wants it, it powers people up but also corrupts them. Lord of the Rings mixed with the Dark Side of the Force. But still... maybe it’s the characters? Maybe it’s Sam Humphries and Brian Michael Bendis’ fabulous, clever witted prose? Or maybe it’s the romance... but whatever it is, it worked. (I think it’s the romance.) This is the story t I really love this weirdass event. I’m still not 100% sure what to make of the story. On it’s face, it seems uninspired; there’s a new powerful object, everyone wants it, it powers people up but also corrupts them. Lord of the Rings mixed with the Dark Side of the Force. But still... maybe it’s the characters? Maybe it’s Sam Humphries and Brian Michael Bendis’ fabulous, clever witted prose? Or maybe it’s the romance... but whatever it is, it worked. (I think it’s the romance.) This is the story that finally sold me on KittyLord. I love them. The climax was epic, it was cosmic as fuck... as long as you don’t over analyze the plot, this really is a pleasure and I highly recommend it. In many ways, it’s like Annihilation, but less bloated and with more personality. Definitely a must read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jodie

    3.5/5 Stars

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    This was a major crossover event, running through Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Nova, Legendary Star-Lord, Cyclops, All-New X-Men, and a couple stand alone titles. Twelve billion years ago, a Celestial gives a magic mirror to a planet, and this mirror gives unlimited cosmic power to those who submit to it. This doesn't work well, of course, and soon everyone on the planet is dead except one warrior. Fast forward to modern times, and everyone in the known universe is after this thing, in This was a major crossover event, running through Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Nova, Legendary Star-Lord, Cyclops, All-New X-Men, and a couple stand alone titles. Twelve billion years ago, a Celestial gives a magic mirror to a planet, and this mirror gives unlimited cosmic power to those who submit to it. This doesn't work well, of course, and soon everyone on the planet is dead except one warrior. Fast forward to modern times, and everyone in the known universe is after this thing, including King J-son of Spartx, the father of Peter Quill. So this story is basically about the hunt for the Black Vortex, the transformations of those who submit to it, and lots of good fighting. A major alien race in the Marvel Universe is destroyed, and some of the cosmic power is retained by a few of the good guys. Either way, this was very enjoyable for me, and makes me want to check out some of the ancillary titles I haven't read, like Cyclops and Nova. Most importantly, this book provides a big change to an X-Man, both power wise and private life wise. This should make for some interesting stories going forward.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emmett Spain

    When Marvel goes cosmic, results vary. Here, we get a smattering of explosions and world destruction, a bunch of characters who come and go with little purpose or reason, and just enough character work to keep the entire pursuit from feeling like needless fluff. The art work is strong, with enough mighty splash pages and dynamic action to make readers feel that they're witnessing something sufficiently grand. But the writing lets it down. It's not that it's bad necessarily--it's just so poorly str When Marvel goes cosmic, results vary. Here, we get a smattering of explosions and world destruction, a bunch of characters who come and go with little purpose or reason, and just enough character work to keep the entire pursuit from feeling like needless fluff. The art work is strong, with enough mighty splash pages and dynamic action to make readers feel that they're witnessing something sufficiently grand. But the writing lets it down. It's not that it's bad necessarily--it's just so poorly structured. There is no strong emotional tie to the core concept that links our characters to the greater story--as such this story is about the plot more than the people. Characters change their attitudes so fast it'll give you whiplash, on more than one occasion. Really, this felt lazy in its planning and execution, at least from a writing standpoint. Yet another missed opportunity in the cosmic sphere. For die-hards only.

  21. 4 out of 5

    David

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. SPOILERS & CURSING BELOW: Hmmm. So Regular Beast, out-of-the-past Angel and Gamora all take the Black Vortex gambit into Cosmic powers and slaughter the capital of Kree Empire, presumably killing thousands if not hundreds of thousands or millions of people (these are Cosmic powers after all). And yet by the end of the book it's all puppy dogs and peaches and cream as if this event never happened. There's no circumspection. No self reflection. No pity. Not one single look back. Weird. Well, Gamora SPOILERS & CURSING BELOW: Hmmm. So Regular Beast, out-of-the-past Angel and Gamora all take the Black Vortex gambit into Cosmic powers and slaughter the capital of Kree Empire, presumably killing thousands if not hundreds of thousands or millions of people (these are Cosmic powers after all). And yet by the end of the book it's all puppy dogs and peaches and cream as if this event never happened. There's no circumspection. No self reflection. No pity. Not one single look back. Weird. Well, Gamora is a killing machine so... but Hank McCoy and teenage Warren Worthington as remorseless mass murderers? Give me a break! That's just plain stupid. Also, this ending with Kitty? She's dated Peter Quill for like 5 seconds and she's going to marry him? After carrying a torch for Colossus for 30 YEARS!!!! WELL, GODDAMN YOU MARVEL. I FUCKING HATE THAT SHIT.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Lahn

    Not bad, just not super great. I feel like the recent cosmic stuff hasn't had a lot of weight... just kind of goofy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy!

    3.5 stars I am not hugely into Superheroes in Space, but this is a fun space adventure with primarily the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy supporting. The art in most of the issues was only fine. A lot of it just felt really slick and commercial, which is FINE, but mostly left me feeling cold.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This is the first cosmic event Marvel have done in years and it is epic. It was told in a series of 13 comic book issues and stars the Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men (mostly the All New X-Men but a few others too) and Nova. The basic plot is thus: Starlord's father, currently in the guise of intergalactic criminal Mister Knife, has found an ancient power, the Black Vortex. It gives people a cosmic power if they chose to submit to it, basically making people Cosmic Gods. Obviously this would This is the first cosmic event Marvel have done in years and it is epic. It was told in a series of 13 comic book issues and stars the Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men (mostly the All New X-Men but a few others too) and Nova. The basic plot is thus: Starlord's father, currently in the guise of intergalactic criminal Mister Knife, has found an ancient power, the Black Vortex. It gives people a cosmic power if they chose to submit to it, basically making people Cosmic Gods. Obviously this would be very bad in the wrong hands. The trouble is there are a lot of wrong hands out there. Mister Knife with his Slaughter Lords and dodgy dealings with the insectal brood, and Thane, sun of Thanos. Plus there's the last of the Viscardi, the race who created the Black Vortex, who wants to see it destroyed. All this leads to a massive space adventure. The story also brings an interesting moral issue to the characters- should they submit to the Black Vortex and gain god-like powers. Some jump at the chance, some despise the idea whilst others are on the fence. Its a proper dilemma and it is interesting to see how the various characters take it on. A lot of the characters do end up submitting to it so we get to see souped up versions of our favourites which is pretty awesome. Though this features a huge ensemble cast, it has some great character stuff. It focuses a lot on Starlord and Kitty Pryde but Ronan, Nova, Cyclops and Captain Marvel all get a chapter focusing pretty much on them. These are done within the characters book by its characters writers which means it stays really true to the characters yet still continues the overall plot. Its something Marvel has not managed so well before but this is a case of the various writers coming together to create something really good. Because it crosses over various books its hard to discuss the art because some is better than others. In fact the style changes quite jarringly in some chapters. For the most part though it is of a high standard and there are some great page spreads of the souped-up versions of the characters. All in all, rather good. I think this is the best comics event I've read because it manages to tell a good story, have a massive cast yet still focus on individual characters. I loved it!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Roberto

    Unfortunately, The Black Vortex represents the state of comic book writing today. A single idea is made to be a larger story where characters aren't developed, but are merely pawns to move the story forward. In The Black Vortex, superheroes don't learn from their past folly and are constantly destined to repeat their mistakes because of their hubris. Black Vortex doesn't tread new ground it repeats the same storylines (i.e. the Dark Phoenix Saga in Uncanny X-Men #129-138 or even more recently Av Unfortunately, The Black Vortex represents the state of comic book writing today. A single idea is made to be a larger story where characters aren't developed, but are merely pawns to move the story forward. In The Black Vortex, superheroes don't learn from their past folly and are constantly destined to repeat their mistakes because of their hubris. Black Vortex doesn't tread new ground it repeats the same storylines (i.e. the Dark Phoenix Saga in Uncanny X-Men #129-138 or even more recently Avengers versus X-Men #1-12). For example, one of the smartest mutants, Hank McCoy aka Beast, apparently hasn't learned from his mistake of messing with the space-time continuum when he brought back the original X-Men from a different timeline. His arrogance leads him to submit to The Black Vortex, a mirror that grants cosmic power. What could possibly go wrong? Even though we've been told time and time again that absolute power corrupts absolutely in this story and others like it, Beast still chooses to transform himself believing that somehow things will be different and that he can right all his wrongs and mistakes. He believes that the cosmic power will grant him the ability to make a better world for everyone, at least as how he envisions a better world. It seems more and more that comics have lost their way again. Sacrificing character development for the sake of a big-idea story that serves only to create action and strife, more than it is to develop the people in it. These are not superheroes. They treat bystanders with reckless abandon to achieve their own selfish actions. This is not good writing. Characters aren't developed, they just serve the action. The publisher disguises it as a major event-shattering story that will affect the universe, but in the end the reader is left to not care because they know this will just be repackaged and resold again.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Collects Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha issue #1, Guardians of the Galaxy issues #24-25, Legendary Star-Lord issues #9-11, All-New X-Men issues #38-39, Guardians of the Galaxy Team-Up issue #3, Nova issue #28, Cyclops issue #12, Captain Marvel issue #14, and Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega issue #1 This was a crossover for crossover's sake. There is no reason that this story had to go outside of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" title (even with the ca Collects Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha issue #1, Guardians of the Galaxy issues #24-25, Legendary Star-Lord issues #9-11, All-New X-Men issues #38-39, Guardians of the Galaxy Team-Up issue #3, Nova issue #28, Cyclops issue #12, Captain Marvel issue #14, and Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega issue #1 This was a crossover for crossover's sake. There is no reason that this story had to go outside of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" title (even with the cameos from other heroes). For such a bulky book, this was a surprisingly fast read. Even with that being said, I felt like Marvel was wasting my time with this book, trying to make me believe that this was a grand epic when in reality it is a poor man's "Dark Phoenix Saga." There will likely be minimal lasting effects from this storyline (minimal, but not none). The artwork was strong throughout, but the story was just medium-good. Final rating = 3.5 stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Adam Fisher

    3.5 Stars Here comes another Guardians and X-Men crossover... This time, an ancient relic, The Black Vortex, has been found. When you look into the mirror and submit to it, you gain phenomenal cosmic power (but not the itty-bitty living space LOL) and are altered in mind, body and power level. Throw in the Spartax Empire, the Kree, Ronan the Accuser, and the Brood, and you have this epic space odyssey. Ultimately, the story ends much like you'd think, though a Empire is gone, and some have chosen 3.5 Stars Here comes another Guardians and X-Men crossover... This time, an ancient relic, The Black Vortex, has been found. When you look into the mirror and submit to it, you gain phenomenal cosmic power (but not the itty-bitty living space LOL) and are altered in mind, body and power level. Throw in the Spartax Empire, the Kree, Ronan the Accuser, and the Brood, and you have this epic space odyssey. Ultimately, the story ends much like you'd think, though a Empire is gone, and some have chosen to retain their powers. However, knowledge that all this is irrelevant because of the upcoming Secret Wars makes the book less effective. I am curious to see how the cosmic upgrades affect those who kept them for the time they have left. Good art, good story. Recommend.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Travis Duke

    A cosmic mirror that can enhance anyone who submits to it is loose on the galaxy. A massive crossover with x-men, guardians, capt. marvel, nova, and a bunch more. Lots of people submit to the power and just like always they get more then they bargain for. Pretty straightforward on the storytelling, temptation, and lessons learned. The art is ok and sometimes pretty good. Overall in the end one mutant save the day and that same mutant gets proposed to in the end, not a bad day for her at all. Whe A cosmic mirror that can enhance anyone who submits to it is loose on the galaxy. A massive crossover with x-men, guardians, capt. marvel, nova, and a bunch more. Lots of people submit to the power and just like always they get more then they bargain for. Pretty straightforward on the storytelling, temptation, and lessons learned. The art is ok and sometimes pretty good. Overall in the end one mutant save the day and that same mutant gets proposed to in the end, not a bad day for her at all. When the cats away the mice will play so to speak.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jacquelyn

    I read most of these comics anyway, so I already like the art and side stories, but the whole premise felt like a thinly veiled after-school-special about drugs. "Wow you guys, this thing makes me feel great, I'm the person I want to be, you should totally try it!" "No way, you can't see how it's changed you for the worse, we should all have a choice, stop peer-pressuring us!" Black Vortex on its own gets a 2, but the characters and art get a 4, so, three stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    For some reason, I really liked this event. It was easy to get into and I enjoyed what the Black Vortex offered in that it allowed the characters to be what they always wanted to be (good or bad). This was a fun concept to read through as seeing Gamora with the galaxy in her cloak was worth it alone.

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