Ho boy, shit goes down here.
Carina turns into a monster, like everyone else that the Madness affects, and Captain Marvel "sanctions" her without realizing that she's the monster. In the aftermath of her death, Simon implies that he may abandon the treaty that he's in Forest Hills to negotiate, since Doom is likely to wipe out the Hills soon to prevent the Madness from spreading. (Since the "Madness" involves the victim realizing that the stars have disappeared, you could see why Doom would be anxious to eliminate it.) However, Vance wryly notes that the Holy Wood might not be all that safe from the Madness, given its proximity to the Hills, and Simon might want an ally in case Doom comes calling on both of them.
But, it's Starhawk and Moondragon's adventure on the astral plane that really raises the stakes in terms of the larger "Secret Wars" story. Moondragon initially approaches Starhawk to help, offering to augment his powers with her own powers to try to track the Madness. However, Starhawk's assistant, Geena, notes that the victims don't appear to be suffering from a mental disorder, but an altered sense of reality, given their focus on the absence of stars. Although Moondragon and Starhawk caution her that she's going down a path to blasphemy, they're intrigued by her comments. Starhawk wanders the astral plane, with Moondragon using her powers to bolster his form, and he comes to realize that Battleworld is really stitched together of other realities. However, he encounters a large indistinct figure that utters the word "Doom," destroying him.
I'm really intrigued where Abnett goes from here. This series (behind maybe "Captain Marvel & the Carol Corps") seems to be the one that could spell the most trouble for Doom and his grip on Battleworld. I can't wait to see how it connects to the larger story in the end. Plus, it's just nice spending time with the original Guardians. I forgot how much I liked them. This longing is thanks to the fact that Abnett does a great job capturing everyone's voice here, be it Nikki's brashness or Hercules' obnoxiousness. As much as I don't need to be adding another title to my list, I'm really tempted to jump on board "Guardians 3000" now. Decisions, decisions!
*** (three of five stars)