WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy #9 by Donny Cates, Cory Smith, Victor Olazaba, David Curiel and Cory Petit, on sale now.
When the new Guardians of the Galaxy series started out, it didn't take long for Star-Lord and Groot to put a new team of heroes together. However, the new team of Guardians has already been scattered across the galaxy, on the ropes and fighting not just for their lives but for the fate of the entire universe. The Universal Church of Truth has arrived from the future, and it has grand plans to unleash an army of newly-revived Drax the Destroyers to prevent a great and terrible future from coming to pass.
For that to happen, they have killed almost all of the Nova Corps, they've taken nearly every cosmic hero prisoner and they plan on using their life-force to create its army of Destroyers. Peter Quill, Beta Ray Bill, Gamora, Phyla-Vell, Lockjaw and Cosmo have all been taken by the Church, mind-controlled by its collective. Now, there are only a few Guardians left out there to change the tide of this battle: Groot, Moondragon and a dying Rocket Raccoon.
But now, in Guardians of the Galaxy #9, this trio of cosmic heroes adds a fourth member to their ranks -- and it's someone we never would have expected: a kid version of Magus, Adam Warlock's dark double.
Shortly before the start of the 2018 Infinity Wars event, the villainous Magus was brutally murdered by Ultron, after the android killed him over control of one of the Infinity Stones. However, like his double Adam Warlock, death is just a temporary inconvenience for Magus.
After settling into a regenerative cocoon, he always eventually comes back to life. However, his return took an unexpected turn when next we saw him in Infinity Wars #6. After helping remake the universe alongside a new Infinity Watch, Adam Warlock sent Gamora away for her own protection. According to him, he used the power of the Infinity Stones to send her somewhere she could do some good.
As it turns out, Gamora was sent directly to Magus' regenerative cocoon. But instead of waiting for him to be ready, she kicked the cocoon open before Magus was fully grown back. Instead of finding the full-fledged villain she knows, she found a younger Magus inside -- and she took him by her side to, as we understand it, make amends for her time as the villainous Requiem.
Since then, we didn't know what had happened to Kid Magus, but now the character is finally back in Guardians of the Galaxy #9. In the issue, Rocket leads Groot and Moondragon in a battle against alien creatures, in the promise of recruiting a "cavalry" to help in the war against the Universal Church of Truth. He explains that he only learned the location of this strange planet because Gamora told him after a night of drinking.
The fighting only stops when the young Magus manifest himself, using his powers to stop the three Guardians. But Magus isn't acting as we expect him to -- he's courteous, and he isn't lashing out, unlike his universe-threatening older self. He's respectful of the intruders, and he explains that the aliens are only his pets, and that he wishes no harm come to them.
And that's when Rocket recruits him to their cause. Clearly, Kid Magus is not like his adult counterpart. Gamora, in her mission to make amends, may have helped raise Magus to be a force for good instead of evil. Better yet, her involvement may have created the Guardians' -- and the universe's -- best chance at survival.
Now, the Guardians of the Galaxy have Kid Magus among their ranks. They might only be four of them against the Universal Church of Truth, but with this young cosmic powerhouse at their side, the odds may have just gotten even.