Guardians of the Galaxy is a hit! With all three films smashing the box office, we thought we’d dig into the comic that the movies are based on and count down our top 5 Guardians of The Galaxy stories…
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
The Guardians team up with other cosmic heroes to fight off the Phalanx, a race of technovores who threaten to take over the universe.
Following the aftermath of the Annihilation War, where a devastated galaxy struggles to rebuild, a new threat emerges in the form of Ultron, the rogue artificial intelligence, who leads an army of techno-organic invaders called the Phalanx. The Phalanx infects and assimilates various planets and races, including the Kree Empire and its heroes.
A group of resistance fighters forms to stop Ultron’s conquest, led by Star-Lord, and his ragtag team of misfits, including Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Mantis, as well as Bug, and Captain Universe. Meanwhile, other cosmic heroes join the fray, such as Nova, Quasar, Moondragon, Wraith, and Ronan the Accuser. The fate of the galaxy hinges on the return of Adam Warlock, the cosmic messiah who holds the key to defeating Ultron.
This is a thrilling and epic saga that showcases the diversity and richness of Marvel’s cosmic characters. Released in 2007 it also lays the foundation for the new 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy series.
The Thanos Imperative
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
In this 2010 storyline, the Guardians team up with the cosmic hero Nova to battle the Cancerverse, an alternate reality where death does not exist and the evil Thanos is on the brink of conquering everything.
This is the concluding chapter of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova stories that began with Annihilation and is set in the aftermath of the War of Kings and Realm of Kings, where a rift in space-time called the Fault unleashes a horde of monstrous invaders from a parallel universe where death is extinct – the Cancerverse.
Led by Lord Mar-Vell, a twisted version of Captain Marvel, the Cancerverse seeks to conquer and corrupt all other realities with their plague of life.
The only hope for the universe lies in the hands of Thanos, the mad titan who, as the avatar of Death, is the only being capable of killing in the Cancerverse. A coalition of cosmic heroes, including Nova, Star-Lord, Quasar, Silver Surfer, and Galactus, must free Thanos from his prison and escort him to the heart of the enemy territory, where he will face Lord Mar-Vell and his corrupted Avengers.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008-2010)
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
This seminal run of the Guardians of the Galaxy series is an undeniable fan favorite, as it introduces new members and features time travel, alternate realities, and intergalactic politics.
This is the Guardians you know and love. A team of cosmic misfits who band together to protect the universe from various threats. Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Adam Warlock, Mantis, and the slighly less well known, Quasar.
This is essential reading after Annihilation: Conquest. The team have set up their base in Knowhere (the severed head of a Celestial that serves as a portal to anywhere in the universe). From there, they embark on various missions battling the Universal Church of Truth, the War of Kings, the return of Thanos, and the emergence of something known as the Fault…
Rocket Raccoon and Groot: The Complete Collection
Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen, and others
Featuring stories from the 1980s and 1990s that showcase the adventures of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, perhaps two of the most beloved members of the Guardians team.
Everyone’s favourite intergalactic dynamic duo of Rocket Raccoon and Groot travel through space, fighting evil and getting into all sorts of mischief… because what else would they be doing?!
Written by Bill Mantlo and featuring a collection of various artists, this book brings together the most memorable stories featuring the two craziest Guardians of the Galaxy characters: Rocket, a genetically modified raccoon with a talent for weapons and explosives, and Groot, a sentient tree with the ability to regenerate and control his body. It’s the buddy comedy you need!
Including all the essential reading from their first appearance in “The Incredible Hulk #271” to their finest escapades in “Rocket Raccoon and Groot #10” the series explores the unique dynamic between Rocket and Groot, as two characters that share a bond that transcends their vastly different backgrounds, learning to rely on each other to become an unstoppable force in the galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013-2015)
Brian Michael Bendis and others
This run of the Guardians series was the basis for the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnation. Packed with the same mix of humor, action, and drama that we’ve come to expect, this reinvention of the Guardians sees the team face intergalactic threats alongside their own personal issues.
This is the A-Team of Guardians line up: Star-Lord, a human with a mysterious past and a love for 70s music; Gamora, a deadly assassin and the last of her kind; Drax the Destroyer, a powerful warrior seeking revenge; Groot, a sentient tree with the ability to regenerate and control his body; and Rocket Raccoon, a genetically modified raccoon.
The series begins with the team coming together to defeat the mad titan Thanos (you all remember him?) from acquiring an ancient artifact known as the Cosmic Cube. The series doesn’t stop there though and the team continue their cosmic adventures, making new friends and even more enemies including the likes of Venom, the X-Men, and even the Avengers.
At the heart of Bendis’ run is the blend of action and humour and tragedy that makes the Guardians of the Galaxy so great. They learn to work together and trust each other exploring themes of friendship, family, and the importance of standing up for what is right.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is in cinemas now. Read our interview with Pom Klementieff who plays Mantis here.