“Peacemakers” by Abnett & Lanning, and Walker
This issue starts to get to the heart of the War of Kings crossover event that began, in this title at least, with issue 8. A war is brewing between the Shi’ar Imperium and the Kree Stellar Empire, and with the universe in such a fragile state, that could mean the end of everything. That’s where the Guardians of the Galaxy come in…er…
As the Peter Quill and the Guardians brawl it out with some Shi’ar in Knowhere’s bar, Adam Warlock shows up. He informs Quill of Shi’ar attacks on the Kree and the importance of stoping it. Though he’s still a little pissed about Quill’s previous deception, he agrees to work together to stop the common threat.
The group realizes that both sides are made up of powerful warriors. As if to point out the obvious, Bug points out that there are only a dozen Guardians, hardly enough to stop two warring races. But Quill and Warlock have a simpler plan. They’re going to sit down the leaders and talk them out of it somehow.
Quill and Rocket Raccoon will lead their own respective teams.
Cosmo teleports Rocket’s team directly into a fissure that’s already forming in the Disradi System, part of the Kree Frontier. The fissure is a direct result of a Shi’ar nega-bomb.
Meanwhile, in the Kree city of Attilan, Star-Lord and his team plan to meet with Black Bolt, the leader of the Kree, for what they expect will be walk in the park.
Back in the Disradi System, Mantis teleports Rocket and the gang to a nearby Shi’ar ship as Adam Warlock seals up the fissure. Unfortunately, only Warlock makes it on board due to a teleport shield on the ships, leaving the rest drifting out in space. The Shi’ar spot them and bring them in themselves.
It turns out they aren’t Shi’ar at all, but a group of adventurers known as the Starjammers, some of whom are acquaintances of Rocket.
The Starjammers destroy a nearby Shi’ar ship before blasting off into space. It turns out they have a mission all their own which could spell trouble for the Guardians.
Sometimes, it seems like this title was created not to stand along, but to exist as supplemental material for crossover events. That said, this issue is still a lot of fun because it plays to everyone’s strengths. Rocket’s team is made up of bruisers who are basically there to tear stuff up and Star-Lord’s got the more diplomatic team, which allows for some fun character moments (apparently Bug can’t understand why he wasn’t originally asked to be a member of the Guardians). In the past few issues, Drax and Gamora, traditionally one-note tough guys (more or less), have been a welcome source of levity, which I’ve really enjoyed.
I’m excited to see what Moondragon and the new (and improved?) Phyla-vell, now Martyr, will bring to the overall group dynamic, especially since Phyla-vell is a member of the Kree. Also, Jack Flag still has plenty of room to grow. From the time he’s been introduced until now, he’s sort of been the “I hate cosmic stuff” guy. I’m getting anxious for him to break out of that and start becoming a little more fleshed out.
Okay, we’re down to our last year of this series. Only 12 more issues to go, the next four of which are all War of Kings tie-ins. Time to make ’em count.