See, I knew it. I knew that Peter Quill just needed one more human to make this series even better than it already was. Last issue, he exchanged awkward 80s-catchphrases with Iron Man. This issue? This issue, he goes to the P.E.A.K. and rescues Abigail Brand from Thanos' men; she then thanks him for not making a Princess-Leia reference, the Princess-Leia reference that he, and we the reader, were all thinking. Awesome sauce.
Beyond Bendis taking the witty banter to even greater heights, we also finally get some emotions here as he (again, finally) acknowledges the events and relationships that came before this series. Peter telling Gamora that he would've killed Thanos in the Cancerverse if he could have, simply to give her peace of mind? Maybe it brought a tear to my ear. Maybe. But, Bendis doesn't stop there, with Gamora finally asking the question that we've all waited to have answered, namely how Drax, Peter, and Thanos escaped the Cancerverse. (Unfortunately, no, he didn't mention Richard, but we all know that he's teasing us at this point.) Peter doesn't answer, of course, but Bendis makes it clear that he knows that he has to do so at some point.
As if quips, emotions, and intrigue weren't enough, we also get some of the best action sequences I've seen...since the first issue of this series. Francavilla isn't a natural choice for this sort of series, but, man, he really draws you into the scenes, conveying both the emotions of the characters and the grandeur of the settings.
Last issue, I hinted that "Guardians" didn't have to be deep for it to be great. But, with Bendis suddenly going deep, this series could really be set to launch.
***** (five of five stars)