By Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (writers), Paul Pelletier (pencils), Rick Magyar (inks), and Nathan Fairbairn (colors)

This book starts off a bit on the weak side with its obligatory fight scene and mindless banter. But after the action settles down and the crew is away from the atypical space-time “anomaly” and silly hostile aliens, the real fun begins. By all means, this book is a recipe for disaster. It’s set in the far reaches of space – away from the core of the Marvel Universe – and it’s comprised of a bunch of B and C-List characters. Yet, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning manage to make it work!

As they’re out in deep space, the team finds Captain America’s shield frozen in ice along with, as you can probably guess, a former shield bearing member of the original Guardians team. And like the premise that’s echoed in this issue, this team almost feels like the New Avengers… just in space. Eventually, the trouble the team got into (last issue) comes back to haunt them and this sets up what will most likely be another issue of fighting first and talking later.

The Guardians are filled with wide array of personas – most clashing, but the way they interact and speak of (and to) each other perfectly matches the camaraderie they’ve built since the Annihilation Conquest War. In a nutshell, they’re a reluctant family and that’s what makes this book engaging and humorous. I probably said this in last month’s review, but Rocket Raccoon is the true star of this book. Time and again he steals the scenes and the best jokes, but Cosmo, the talking space dog, isn’t too far behind.

Paul Pelletier’s contributions on art continue to be energetic and and infectious. He may not have a distinctive style or flash that sets him apart from other, more high-profile artists, but the man knows how convey action and tell a story. All his characters have a strong sense of weight and the subtle details (wrinkles, creases, stitchings, and accessories) put into their clothing/costumes really sells the package.

Honestly, this is what a great comic comes down to: Good times. This book is having a blast and we’re all invited. (Grade: A-)

– J. Montes

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