Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Brad Walker
War of Kings has been a real boon to the Guardians of the Galaxy series. A book that started off strong, it had been flagging for a few months before War of Kings gave it the shot in the arm it needed. This issue continues the trend of strong issues from this book thanks to the momentum of that event and, while mostly a wall to wall action story, there's still enough plot and character moments to make this more than just a standard event tie-in book.
The most interesting aspect of this issue, to me, has to be the Adam Warlock/Magus scenes. I'd wondered if Warlock was becoming or actually is Magus in past issues, but this issue all but confirms there's something wrong with him. During a fight with the Shi'ar Guardsman, Magique, Warlock again turns purple (last issue, he blamed his purple/pale complexion on being in space or some such), this time of his own accord, and lashes out at Magique with a powerful spell before moving on to literally tear the other Shi'ar troops to pieces in a brutal act of violence.
Is Warlock actually Magus or is he being influenced by his evil, alternate timeline self or does it have something to do with his being born prematurely during Conquest? Is the other coccoon the Church of Universal Truth has the actual Warlock? Lots of questions with no answers over this scene and I'm looking forward to seeing where Abnett and Lanning go with Warlock in the future.
While every member of the Guardians had their moments, from Rocket Raccoon clawing away at Mentor to Cosmo's, "Are you God?", moment with Lockjaw, the only character I absolutely cannot stand is Phyla-Vell. I know she died/was reborn as the avatar of death or some such in order to bring Moondragon back to life, but I really can't stand her new 90's extreme-like attitude and I barely liked her prior to this regression. I can't recall wishing for the death of a character as much as I have been with her as of late. The fewer pages she appears on, the better this book will be.
Verdict - Check It. Enjoyable read with many good character moments to go along with the action packed plot.