First, I didn't remember Peter getting separated from the rest of the raft group. I had to do a quick re-read of "Secret Wars" #4, reminding myself that Dr. Strange scattered the survivors of Earth-616 -- both the heroes and villains -- to the Four Winds. But, does it matter? Peter Quill as a crooner in an upscale Manhattan club singing "Little Mermaid" songs because Battleworld doesn't have Disney movies? I'm all in.
Not surprisingly, Humphries gets Peter's voice exactly right. You can hear his pain as he pines for Kitty, and it's really the first time that we've seen one of the survivors of Earth-616 confront the reality that everyone that they knew and loved is gone. (Verity had a similar reaction in "Loki: Agent of Asgard" #16 but right now she's...Beyond.) Of course, enter the "Age of Apocalypse" version of Kitty Pryde. Humphries has cleverly made Kitty into an agent for Valeria Richards' Foundation: she hunts down potentially heretical objects (a.k.a. objects from a place and time outside Battleworld). In other words, Humphries twists her faith in science: her faith in natural laws of physics now means that she has faith that no object can counteract the natural law of Doom. Similarly, enter Peter Quill: his blood lands on her scanner after she decks him for kissing her, and she realizes that Quill himself could be a potentially heretical "object." Shenanigans are sure to ensue.
Amping up the sense that we're in a Disney movie full of hijinx, Firmansyah and Kholinne use clean lines and bright colors to convey this world. It's a change from the way that we've previously seen Battleworld, and, in a way, underscores the isolation that Peter feels by making him live in this technicolor yet fake reality. Sure, Humphries maybe plays up the Disney vibe a little too much (in particular in Drax as a highly coiffed club owner), but, overall, I appreciate the sort of creative risk that everyone involved takes here. It's the sort of story that the "Secret Wars" premise invites them to tell.
*** (three of five stars)