This story has been consistently enjoyable, one of Marvel's high-water marks for the publishing year to date.
My cohort, Timothy Callahan, wrote, "It may be nothing more than another space battle featuring Marvel characters who can't support their own series, but when it's done well, that's enough." In this instance, this issue was done well, but I think the next one is going to be even better as the series begins to weave together more tightly. Of course, it helps that Abnett and Lanning have written this title as well as the feeder titles that have driven this storyline to fruition.
While this "War of Kings" has had repercussions in other titles, the main thrust of the action has been in this title, made a visual spectacle through the combined talents of Paul Pelletier, Rick Magyar, and Wil Quintana. I've sung the praises of Paul Pelletier before and most likely will at some point in the future, but this book is what it is in large part because of his talent. Just check out the sample preview pages on CBR to get an eyeful of what this book is filled with.
From the tortured Crystal to the decimated, yet still regal Ronan, Pelletier and company provide visuals that would make headlines in any other book. Here, however, away from the magnifying glass and monolithic expectations, the creative team has a chance to flex a little bit. After all, if Ronan dies, it's not like it would affect the solo title he doesn't have. This book is allowed to breathe, to reach out with both hands and throttle the characters. While some throttling occurs here, this issue also marks the halfway point for this war.
The last panel revelation combined with Abnett's, Lanning's, and Pelletier's old crew the Guardians of Galaxy entering the fray promises intergalactic fireworks to rival the concussive nature of the Nega-Bombs used in this story. This story may be half over, but given how much the landscape has changed since the first issue, there's plenty of time left for some more bombastic action.