Ultimately, his criminal pursuits land him in the Nova Corps high-security prison, the Kyln, where he confronts Ronan’s ally Gamora. He attempts to slay her in order to hurt Ronan. Instead, Star-Lord convinces him that Gamora is not his enemy because she has betrayed the Accuser, and if left alive, she can lead him to Ronan. Drax relinquishes his threats and helps the outlaws escape the Kyln.
The outlaws planned to sell the valuable Orb to the Collector. Uninterested in monetary gain, Drax suggested they use the weapon against Ronan instead, leading to discontent in the group. While at Knowhere, a city within a severed head of an ancient Celestial being, the outlaws discovered an Infinity Stone existed within the Orb. Following a quarrel with Rocket, Drax summoned Ronan to their whereabouts so he could finally meet his foe and avenge his family. Ronan walked away, as he was indifferent to Drax’s revenge plot and unable to recall his victims, forcing Drax to attack. Ronan easily overpowered Drax, throwing him into a pool of spinal fluid. Rescued by Groot, Drax understood his role failing to keep the Orb from Ronan and having his friends captured by Yondu and the Ravagers, because he realized he was using his anger to hide his pain.
Saving their friends and reuniting on the Milano, Star-Lord devised a plan to stop Ronan from destroying Xandar, which included retrieving the Orb and slaying him. Knowing it could mean death, the Guardians supported it, with Drax noting he would see his wife and daughter again. During the battle, in a heroic act, Groot sacrificed himself as he enveloped his friends in protective branches. Drax and Rocket destroyed Ronan’s Universal Weapon freeing the Infinity Stone. Unable to hold the stone on his own and nearly dying, the Guardians joined Star-Lord to absorb the power and direct the energy at Ronan.
Consoling Drax, Gamora reassured him that his wife and child would rest well knowing Drax avenged them. However, Drax did not feel at ease, as he had realized that Ronan was simply a pawn and that Thanos was his true enemy.