Guardians of the Galaxy’s latest storyline ‘Grounded’ has been a quiet, subdued affair. When The Beat reviewed issue #16, we called the series “thirty pages of pure pleasure and pulp-ish combat.” What we didn’t expect however was for Guardians of the Galaxy ultra-villain Thanos: The Mad Titan to join the series finale and the ‘Grounded’ storyline for the last issue of author Brian Michael Bendis‘ (Daredevil) run.

Issue #19 is on store shelves this April with a $4.99 price point, Bendis has touted the issue as “at least double-sized” for your hard-earned dollars! Regular artist Valerio Schiti (New Avengers) is drawing the oversized issue. IGN was the first to share the news and had an exclusive phone interview with Bendis where he shared his thoughts behind why including Thanos in the last chapter of the series was the right move;

“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.”

IGN acknowledge that Bendis was the longest-running Guardians of the Galaxy writer, but then got an interesting, off-the-cuff quote from the writer;

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. 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.

I have rarely heard Bendis talk about wanting to end of his Marvel stories differently. Bendis’ Avengers run ended on a quiet note with the different Avengers picking up the pieces on their own personal lives, but as he states above, the final Guardians of the Galaxy issue features the most devastating villain the team has ever faced.

We previously reported on Bendis’ surprise departure from the series and the new creators on All-New Guardians of Galaxy made up of writer Gerry Duggan (Deadpool) artist Aaron Kuder (Action Comics) and colorist Ive Svorcina (Secret Wars) which is launching in May.