WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy: The Prodigal Sun from Peter David, Francesco Manna, Espen Grundetjern and VC's Cory Petit, on sale now.
One of the most famous sequences in James Gunn's 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy was when the Nova Corps deemed Peter Quill and his team of vagabonds the galaxy's biggest "a-holes." The preamble to this declaration put it all into perfect context, as they basically caused a ruckus on Xandar. And with their smug, rebellious attitudes, they kind of did deserve this admonishing. The team is a bit different in the comics, doing everything in their power to protect the cosmos at all costs. Well, that changes thanks to the Guardians of the Galaxy: The Prodigal Sun one-shot, which proves how much they really live up to that profane title.
This story wraps the adventure of Prah'd'gul, an alien who crash landed in the Savage Land, and opposed the likes of the Fantastic Four and then, the Silver Surfer. Previously, the prince tried to save one of the planets in his dad's kingdom from Galactus, but failed. Still, the Silver Surfer was impressed with him and he was allowed to return home, only for his brother Luuk to banish him following a falling out. Surfer, no longer a herald, found the powered-up Prah'd'gul years later and offered him a ride back home, which led to this showdown.
He's back in Klordon but he finds Luuk buddying up with his drinking pal, Star Lord, and the New Guardians: Moondragon, Phyla-Vell, Groot and Beta Ray Bill. Sadly, the king has been killed and when Prah'd'gul tries to find out if Luuk poisoned him, a brawl breaks out, which results in Quill's team restraining the outcast. Luuk faces more unrest before he takes the throne as some folks call out rumors that the king wanted Prah'd'gul to rule instead. The Guardians, though, have their own way of finding out the truth.
Moondragon creates an illusion of the dead king, thanks to her gut instinct, and when it confronts Luuk, he admits he killed his father because the king wanted to use Prah'd'gul to conquer the galaxy. The Guardians are shocked and wonder how they could have trusted Luuk in the first place. The kicker is Prah'd'gul can't pass judgement on the fiend, because Luuk confesses his brother really isn't of royal lineage in the first place. They share the same mom, but Luuk believes the father of Prah'd'gul, who's an elemental, might be an Elder of the Universe or maybe a Celestial, which means he has no jurisdiction.
Prah'd'gul decides to execute this brother anyway, but it gets worse for him when the citizens rise up and demand he frees Luuk. Enraged, he decides to destroy the sun, giving the planet one last day to survive. Sadly, just before he does this, Phyla-Vell argues against non-action and demands they stop him. Quill and Moondragon, however, have no interest in this political mess, and allow him to enact his genocide. It's unbecoming of the heroes, especially as Phyla points out there will still be innocents who'll suffer.
Quill is just eager to get out, though, and they depart, condemning the planet to a terrible end and leaving Prah'd'gul as judge, jury and executioner. The fact they don't really try anything to save the innocents on the planet truly is the mark of a non-heroic team that could be best described as a bunch of "a-holes" indeed! It's uncharacteristic and something we hope Quill rectifies soon because, as it is, this makes them no better than any cosmic villain out there.