Writer Brian Michael Bendis plans to end his record-setting run on "Guardians of the Galaxy" in explosive fashion by pitting the team against their most recognizable and fearsome rival -- Thanos, the Mad Titan.
"Thanos will be returning for my final issue of 'Guardians,' which is at least double-sized," Bendis said, in an interview published Monday by IGN. "It's a very big finale and it wraps up a great deal of things that characters in the book have been questing for my entire run. That includes a pretty major showdown between the Guardians and Thanos right here on Earth."
Bendis ended his run on "Avengers" with the record of most issues written of that franchise. He will do the same on "Guardians," but instead of exiting on a quiet note like he did with "Avengers," Bendis plans on going big in his "Guardians" finale.
"We've been planning the finale, and when I left 'Avengers' I thought it would be cool to end gently, just to gently pass the torch to Jonathan [Hickman], and looking back, though I wouldn't have changed the story, I think I would have ended on a bigger note," Bendis said. "Like, I think the amount of time that I spent on Avengers, and being the longest-running 'Avengers' writer ever, that I should have gone out with a big blockbuster ending. I was reminded by someone at Marvel, I'm the longest running 'Guardians of the Galaxy' writer ever and I'm going to make the effort to go out really big, with the help of the writer who's coming after me."
That incoming writer is Gerry Duggan, who will be launching "All-New Guardians of the Galaxy" in May with artist Aaron Kuder and colorist Ive Svorcina. The Guardians are currently involved in the "Grounded" story arc that sees the team stranded and disbanded on Earth following the events of "Civil War II." The presence of Thanos is what will bring the cosmic misfits back together, leading into "All-New Guardians of the Galaxy."
Illustrated by Valerio Schiti, "Guardians of the Galaxy" #19 is scheduled for release in April.