(a) Steve McNiven and Sara Pichelli
Though it started slow, I've really been digging Guardians of the Galaxy. Brian Michael Bendis is at his best writing epic, team-based stories, and this series checks off both those boxes. Man fans of the previous iterations of the Guardians were upset with the way Bendis basically ignored a lot of what came before in exchange for his own vision of the franchise. I never read any Guardians stories before this, so all I have to go on are these three issues (and the #0.1).
Guardians of the Galaxy #3 finds the team in the clutches of mean old King J-Son, Peter Quill's father and the ruler of the Spartax Empire. It's been pretty obvious since issue one that J-Son has some sort of scheme a-brewin due to his general withholding nature, the very existence of the galactic council he seems to lead, and the overall vagueness of everything he says. I'd be more frustrated with how enigmatic J-Son and his agenda are if I wasn't as familiar with Bendis' work as I am.
Other than that, the narrative is exciting and fast-paced without feeling rushed. Bendis is at his best writing teams. His work on the Avengers franchise is more than enough evidence to this fact. Guardians of the Galaxy #3 really conveys just how legendary this team of heroes is, though many consider them menaces and pirates. Basically, this series allows for Bendis to use all his favorite tropes in one place: pomp and grandeur, deriving conflict and character development from emotional resonance, the proverbial "David vs. Goliath", divisive interpretations of consequential happenings. All of this stuff can be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy #3. Bendis graduated from the Earth's Mightiest Heroes to the defenders of the entire galaxy.