I wasn't a real fan of "The Black Vortex." I mean, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't really all that good, either. It also left us with a number of odd changes in the status quo, such as the cosmically charged Gamora and Kitty, the destroyed Kree and (apparently) Skrull empires, and a newly engaged Kitty and Peter. In this issue, we add another development to this list: confirmation that Peter is king of the Spartax empire.
Happily, Bendis really manages to sell it. Sure, it's an insane premise, but Bendis actually presents it in a way where you wonder if it might not stick. For example, the Spartax delegates that Peter encounters not only convince Peter that he could keep the Guardians on board as an advisory council, but they also make pretty persuasive arguments that he could a lot more good leading a resurgent Spartax than he could railing against the system. (One of them even notes that his attachment to his rebellious nature is a pretty immature life philosophy.) But, Bendis also doesn't make it all that simple, since it's pretty clear that these two delegates could be motivated by more than just the best interests of the Spartax people.
But, before we can get any answers, a magical light appears around Spartax. Off the top of my head, it seems that it could be Thane (since it has an amber glow), but it could also be the start of "Secret Wars." I guess that we'll see. I hope it's the former, because, if it's the latter, it'll mean that momentum in this series is once again disrupted for a bound-to-be-disappointing cross-over event.
*** (three of five stars