By Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (Writers), Brad Walker (Pencils), Victor Olazaba (Inks), and Wil Quintana (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: I knew it was going to happen sooner than later, but I’m still a bit disappointed by the big War of Kings banner on top of the eighth issue of one of my favorites. You see, the Guardians are really the only cosmic characters I have any interest in (though I may check out the new Inhumans series based on the strength of the Secret Invasion story) and I have very little drive to play catch-up with the bigger picture of the space portion of the Marvel universe. Oh, well. I guess I’ll give the Secret Invasion: War of Kings one-shot coming out on Wednesday a read and use that (along with GotG #8) to evaluate whether it will be worth investing in the latest cosmic crossover.

The Story: Star-Lord goes to Hala to evaluate and investigate how the Kree have responded to the Skrull invasion. He ends up trading barbs and fists with Ronan the Accuser, a fight that leads to the predicament seen at the end of the last issue. Meanwhile, the “new” Guardians continue to battle the Badoon and Adam Warlock takes the fight to the Church of Universal Truth with the help of Gamora.

What’s Good: I have to hand it to Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning for really drawing me into the bigger events at play in a corner of the Marvel U. that I am less than familiar with. While I have no investment in (and little knowledge of) the Kree, Blastaar, or the aftermath of either Annihilation event, the efficient, witty dialogue quickly got me up to speed. No small feat considering we’re talking about years of continuity. Also good about Guardians of the Galaxy #8 is the quality artwork and enjoyable characters (but you probably already knew that).

What’s Not So Good: The only thing that took away from my overall enjoyment of the issue (besides some gaps in my knowledge of continuity) is the artwork. While it looks great for the most part, it also looks a bit different from what I am used to. The characters just don’t look as lively or vibrant as they do when drawn by Paul Pelletier and inked by Rick Magyar.

Conclusion: High marks all around for the first GotG tie-in for the War of Kings, especially considering how I initially approached the issue with quite a bit of hesitation. Now, in addition to looking forward to more of the usual Guardians goodness, I find myself more interested in the cosmic War than I had ever thought possible. Not sure if my wallet is particularly happy about that fact…

Grade: B

-Kyle Posluszny