CoverGuardians of the Galaxy #24
Published by Marvel Comics, May 1992
Click here for larger picture of cover!

"The Coming of the Keeper"

Writer: Jim Valentino
Penciler: Jim Valentino
Inks: Steve Montano
Colorist: Evelyn Stein
Letters: Ken Lopez
Editor: Craig Anderson
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Cover by Jim Valentino and Ron Lim

Original Price: $1.25

History Behind Issue: First appearance of the Silver Surfer in the 31st Century.  Guardians of the Galaxy met the Silver Surfer of the 26th Century in Silver Surfer Annual #4.  This issue reveals what has happened to the Surfer in the five hundred years since.

Plot: This story is set in an alternate future of the Marvel Universe in the 31st Century. It begins in the monitor room at Guardians Headquarters in New York, where the Guardians of the Galaxy spot the Silver Surfer heading toward Earth, wearing a red robe and the Quantum Bands and his board absent from him.

While heading toward Earth, he reflects on how he betrayed Galactus there and was, as a result, exhiled there for a long time, until he won his freedom. He then explains that the last time he visited Earth, it was during the Great War of the Worlds, when the Martians conquered Earth. The Silver Surfer quit the conflict, though, because Eon told him it was Earth’s destiny to be conquered. This did not happen in the mainstream Marvel reality, but in the past of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s reality.

He then remembers that Eon offered him the role of Protector of the Universe and to wear the Quantum Bands. It wasn’t until centuries later that he accepted Eon’s offer.

Now, the Silver Surfer comes to warn them of the coming of Galactus. Unknowing this, Aleta in the body of Starhawk punches him. Talon, a new comer to the team, then asks why they are attacking the Surfer, thinking he is a good guy, but the others explain that the last time they came across the Surfer was a couple of years ago when they were tracking the life force Korvac though time. They found Korvac’s power in the 26th Century on a garden planet in one of Korvac’s ancestors named Marshach. Although Marshach used the power for good, they had to take it from him and return it to Galactus, but the Silver Surfer, a friend of Marshach’s, fought them until Marshach finally gave up the power. That all happened in Silver Surfer Annual #4.

The Silver Surfer then butts in and explains that that was a misunderstanding. They don’t listen, so he uses his combined Power Cosmic and Quantum Bands to stop time and then tells them that his name is now the Keeper. He then explains what happened to him in the last five hundred years, though it was only two years to them since they had time traveled when they last encountered the Surfer.

The Keeper goes on to explain that, as Protector of the Universe, he was met by Eon, who told him to go to Earth, which was in danger from Galactus. On Earth, he met Dargo, and although they fought at first, they learned their objectives were the same. At the same time, Zenn-La was about to explode. They sent a sub-space distress signal to him, but another former herald, Firelord, intercepted it. Firelord sought the Surfer out to warn him. When he did, Galactus and his herald, Nova, appeared on Earth.

They each blasted Galactus at once, but his herald blocked it, and as a result died. The death caused the Surfer and Galactus sorrow. Galactus chose to absorb Nova’s Power Cosmic back into his own and then left Earth, deciding never to choose a herald again.

Then, Firelord informed the Surfer of Zenn-La’s coming destruction. They raced to Zenn-La, but were to late and could only witness its destruction.

Back in the present, Eon visits the Keeper and Guardians. He says he was not able to detect him or the Quantum Bands, but that that mystery was of no concern now. He warned that Galactus was now on his way to three inhabited worlds in the Centauri system, where Yondu, one of the Guardians is from. He also said that Firelord was there, but that he would not be able to stop Galactus alone.

Next Issue - Galactus!

Comments: This story had a nice plot and good art, but it would have been nice if we could have seen the Keeper’s past in a mini-series form, instead of a brief telling of what happened.

Click here to read the review of Guardians of the Galaxy #25 to see what happened next...or click here to see Chapter 1 of Lord Thanos's new Keeper fan fiction series!

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