After Groot saved the day in the last issue, the team is looking to celebrate and understandably so (that bar shot totally looks like concept art from the film, doesn't it?!). This approach paves the way for a mostly lighthearted issue, focusing on banter between the group, some silly action, and eventually, a key scene surrounding Gamora.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis doesn't let us down when it comes to the script and lighthearted nature of this chapter. Seeing the group celebrate is a fair amount of fun and Drax's readiness to brawl absolutely put a smile on my face. And fret not, Rocket Raccoon amuses without saying "blam! murdered you!" or anything along those lines. The character definitely needed a breather from that catch phrase and it's nice to see it doesn't appear in this issue. Additionally, we finally get a glimpse of why Gamora is called "the most dangerous woman in the galaxy," although I'm sure the conclusion is sure to disappoint some die-hard fans.
Sara Pichelli has a style which fits the atmosphere of this issue pretty well. The bar fight is a little messy at times and I'm not the biggest fan of two faces, but everything else (from laser blasts to holograms) delivers and gives this book the out there and sci-fi appearance it needs. While the bar fight is a tad sloppy, Gamora's big fight is presented in a very enjoyable manner, making it super easy to follow and appreciate every motion.
Without any dialogue or knowledge of who's on the roster, I'd honestly have no idea that's Tony Stark sitting at the table with them. Additionally, I can't be the only one thinking Rocket Raccoon looks like a Raccoon vampire, right? You know, not the sparkling kind... the scary kind.
I can't help but feel like Gamora's character is being sold short here. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on her or anything, but sleeping with Tony after a super short round of flirting felt a bit out of character and it's a bit tough to believe she'd require saving against a guy who she was pretty much wrecking in hand-to-hand. But hey, at least she showed off some skill in the issue, right?
While the plot has been fairly formulaic, Bendis has managed to keep everything moving at a good and entertaining pace. However, this issue seems to slow down the narrative and instead barely hints at a bigger mystery with Gamora. It seemed a bit odd not having a response from the king after Peter's broadcast in the last issue or any real progress with that plot point (aside from a brawl with some random guards).
Yes, Bendis delivers the funnies, a decent action sequence and establishes a new mystery... but pretty much everything else from the previous plot is cast aside for now. Additionally, we have yet to see all that much depth from these characters, yet Tony Stark -- a man who clearly won't be a permanent member of the team -- gets a whole two pages to himself. Sure, they're an amusing set of panels, but I'd much rather see that time dedicated to fleshing out the primary cast of characters.