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The Guardians of the Galaxy are a fictional spacefaring superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning formed the team from existing and previously unrelated characters created by a variety of writers and artists, with an initial roster of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Phyla-Vell, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, and Adam Warlock.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Promotional image for
Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 2) #1 (May 2008)
Art by Clint Langley depicting Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Quasar and Phyla-Vell.
Group publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAnnihilation: Conquest #6 (April 2008)
Created byDan Abnett
Andy Lanning
In-story information
Type of organizationSuperhero team
Base(s)Knowhere
Leader(s)Star-Lord
Agent(s)Groot
Phyla-Vell
Moondragon
Beta Ray Bill
Cosmic Ghost Rider
Roster
See: List of Guardians of the Galaxy members
Guardians of the Galaxy
Series publication information
ScheduleMonthly
FormatOngoing series
Publication date(Volume 2)
June 2008 – August 2010
()
[[in comics|]] – present
Number of issuesVolume 2
25
Creator(s)Dan Abnett
Andy Lanning
Collected editions
LegacyISBN 0-7851-3326-7
Famous, Mutant & MortalISBN 0-7851-3982-6
War of Kings - Book 1ISBN 0-7851-1429-7
War of Kings - Book 2ISBN 0-7851-4127-8
Realm of KingsISBN 0-7851-4543-5
Cosmic AvengersISBN 0-7851-6828-1
AngelaISBN 0-7851-6829-X

These Guardians first appeared in Annihilation: Conquest #6 (April 2008). A feature film based on this team was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.[1][2] A sequel, titled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, was released in 2017. This Guardians team is the second to operate under the name, following the original team created by Arnold Drake, Roy Thomas and Stan Lee in 1969.

Contents

Publication historyEdit

The second volume of the title was published in May 2008, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and featured a new team of characters from the "Annihilation: Conquest" storyline.[3][4]

Abnett and Lanning's work on the "Annihilation: Conquest" story laid the foundation for the new Guardians of the Galaxy book that they had been wanting to launch for some time.[5] Editor Bill Rosemann, who had also edited "Annihilation: Conquest", provided more background: "As the planning of 'Annihilation: Conquest' came together, it occurred to us that, if things went well, there would be a group of characters left standing who would make for a very interesting and fun team." It also provided the motivation the team would need, as "on the heels of two back-to-back wars, they're out to prevent any new Annihilation-size disasters from erupting."[6]

The title ran parallel with Nova vol. 4, which was also written by Abnett and Lanning. The two crossed over in the storylines "War of Kings"[7][8] and "Realm of Kings".[9][10][11] Paul Pelletier pencilled the first seven issues. Brad Walker and Wes Craig alternated pencilling tasks from #8 to #25.[12]

The book was cancelled in April 2010 with issue 25. Some plot threads were concluded in The Thanos Imperative 1–6 and its two one-shots (May 2010 – Jan 2011).[13]

The team appeared reassembled in Avengers Assemble #4–8 (June–October 2012).[14]

The Guardians of the Galaxy appeared in a series for the 2012 Marvel NOW! branding, starting with issue 0.1 written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Steve McNiven, which saw Iron Man join the team.[15] Later issues of the series saw Angela,[16] Agent Venom,[17] and Captain Marvel join.[18]

In 2014, to tie into the feature film, Marvel debuted Legendary Star-Lord, a solo series written by Sam Humphries,[19] and a Rocket Raccoon solo series.[20] The following year saw a solo Groot miniseries written by Jeff Loveness.[21]

Guardians of the Galaxy was relaunched as part of the 2015 All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative with Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti returning as writer and artist respectively.[22] The series sees Peter Quill and Gamora leaving the team, and Rocket becoming the new team's self-appointed leader, also two new characters were added to the team. Kitty Pryde (taking up the mantle of Star-Lord) and the Thing.[23] As part of the same initiative, Star-Lord starred in a 2015 solo series again written by Humphries,[24] while Drax and Gamora starred in their own individual solo series written by UFC fighter CM Punk[25] and Nicole Perlman, respectively.[26]

Team historyEdit

In the aftermath of the Phalanx invasion of the Kree, Star-Lord[27] decides to form a team of interstellar heroes that will be proactive in protecting the galaxy, rather than reacting to crises as they happen. To this end, he recruits Adam Warlock,[28] Drax the Destroyer,[29] Gamora,[29] Phyla-Vell (the new Quasar),[30] Rocket Raccoon,[31] and Groot,[31] with Mantis as support staff.[32] On the recommendation of their ally, Nova, the group establishes a base of operations on the space station Knowhere, which possesses a teleportation system with near-universal range.[33] An intelligent, telepathic dog named Cosmo the Spacedog is Knowhere's chief of security and works closely with the new team. After a confrontation with the Universal Church of Truth,[3] the team meets a semi-amnesiac man who identifies himself as Vance Astro - Major Victory of the original Guardians of the Galaxy.[34] Astro's declaration inspires the as-yet-unnamed team to adopt the "Guardians of the Galaxy" name for their own.[35] When the team learns Star-Lord directed Mantis to telepathically coerce the heroes into joining the team, they disband.[36]

Rocket Raccoon decides to continue Star-Lord's mission and starts a search for the missing members. His new team includes Bug, Mantis, Major Victory, and Groot, who is fully regrown. Meanwhile, Star-Lord was banished to the Negative Zone by Ronan the Accuser for his actions during the Phalanx's attempted conquest of the Kree Empire. There, he finds himself in the middle of King Blastaar's fight to break into 42 and use its portal to invade Earth. Star-Lord allies with Jack Flag to defend the prison and contact the other Guardians for rescue. Rocket's new team successfully brings both of them back, and Flag becomes a Guardian. Elsewhere, Drax and Phyla begin looking for Cammi, but on their search they talk to a seer who tells them about an oncoming war. Phyla is able to wake Moondragon from the dead, but loses her Quantum Bands in the process. The consequence for Phyla is that she is now the new avatar of death. They go back to Knowhere and do not follow up on the search for Cammi.[citation needed]

War of KingsEdit

Warlock and Gamora return and inform the team of the War of Kings. They split into three teams, one each to the Kree and Shi'ar, and one staying on Knowhere to coordinate. The Kree team is heard by Black Bolt and the Inhumans, but their request for peace is denied. The Shi'ar team is attacked by Vulcan and the Imperial Guard, leading them to ally with the Starjammers.

Star-Lord, Mantis, Bug, Jack Flag, and Cosmo are taken to the 31st Century by that era's Guardians, who warn them of the creation of an all-destroying energy rift called The Fault at the war's conclusion. Trapped in the future, Star-Lord's team is able to get a message to Warlock in the 21st Century. Warlock is unable to stop The Fault's creation, but is able to contain it with a spell that requires a stable, unused timeline. Warlock chooses the one he previously erased,[37] causing him to become the Magus. Star-Lord's team, with the help of Kang the Conqueror, are returned to this point in the timestream. To escape, Magus fakes the death of himself, Mantis, Cosmo, Major Victory, Martyr, and Gamora.[38]

Martyr frees herself with the help of Maelstrom, and enables Mantis to call the other Guardians for help telepathically. When they come to the rescue, Phyla-Vell is misled by Maelstrom into freeing Thanos. Thanos kills Martyr, but is captured by the Guardians and taken back to Knowhere as a prisoner.[39]

The Thanos ImperativeEdit

In the 2010 miniseries The Thanos Imperative, the universe is invaded by the Cancerverse, a universe that lies on the opposite side of the Fault, a rift in space-time formed at the end of "War of Kings". The Guardians take Thanos to the Cancerverse in an attempt to end the war early.[40] Along the way, Drax attacks Thanos and is killed.[41] They are ultimately successful at ending the war, but Thanos is left enraged and promising to kill everyone. Along with Nova, Star-Lord remains in the collapsing Cancerverse as the other Guardians escape.[42]

After the death of Star-Lord, the Guardians disband. Still believing in their cause, Cosmo recruits another team under the name "Annihilators".[43] Rocket Raccoon and Groot later reunite and decide to continue the Guardians' legacy after the duo prevent an incident on Rocket's home world, Halfworld.[44]

The new team appears on Earth to aid the Avengers against Thanos.[45]

Marvel NOW!Edit

After Star-Lord's father visits him in a bar to tell him that it is forbidden for any alien species to visit Earth, Iron Man is attacked by Badoon appearing to attack Earth. The Guardians and their newest member Iron Man defeat the ship; however, London is still attacked.[46] The Guardians defend London and finish off the horde of Badoon but learn that, for violating the "Earth-is-off-limits" rule (the Spartax Earth Directive), they are to be placed under arrest by the King of Spartax. The Guardians manage to escape with the help of Groot, who had recently regrown after being destroyed by a Badoon ship's explosion. The team includes Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and Tony Stark. In April 2013, it was announced that Image Comics' Angela (Spawn) would join the Marvel Universe as the result of a legal battle between Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane. After appearing in the "Age of Ultron", she joins the Guardians. Captain Marvel and Agent Venom later have stints as team members as well.[47]

During the "Secret Wars" storyline, the Guardians of the Galaxy take part in the incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610. During the incursion, Rocket Raccoon and Groot are killed by the Children of Tomorrow, Star-Lord is teleported away trying to come up with a back-up plan, and Gamora and Drax the Destroyer are surrounded and confused by the corpses of their comrades.[48] During the subsequent conflict with the Beyonder-empowered Doom, Star-Lord is one of the survivors of the previous universe, piloting the 616 and Ultimate versions of Mister Fantastic in to mount a final assault on Doom's castle, and revealing that he kept a twig from Groot in his pocket until the right moment.

During the "Secret Empire" storyline, the Guardians of the Galaxy assist Captain Marvel, the Ultimates, the Alpha Flight Space Program, Hyperion, and Quasar into fighting the Chitauri wave. Captain America, who was brainwashed into being a Hydra sleeper agent by Red Skull's clone using the powers of Kobik, activates the Planetary Defense Shield trapping them outside of Earth.[49]

MembersEdit

ReceptionEdit

The 2008 series holds a 7.5 out of 10 critic rating on the review aggregator website Comic Book Round Up.[50][51][52][53][54][55]

The May 2008 sales estimate for the first issue was 39,854 copies, making it the 61st top-selling comic title that month.[56] The first and second issues sold out,[57] and were later published as part of a collected edition.[58]

Collected editionsEdit

Volume 2Edit

  • Hardcover
Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Legacy Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #1-6 144 pages January 2009 0-7851-3326-7
War of Kings: Book 1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #7-12 144 pages June 2009 0-7851-3982-6
War of Kings: Book 2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #13-19 and Marvel Spotlight: War of Kings 168 pages November 2009 0-7851-4127-8
Realm of Kings Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #20-25 144 pages July 2010 0-7851-4543-5
  • Softcover
Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Legacy Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #1-6 144 pages April 2009 0-7851-3338-0
War of Kings: Book 1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #7-12 144 pages October 2009 0-7851-3339-9
War of Kings: Book 2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #13-19 and Marvel Spotlight: War of Kings 168 pages April 2010 978-0-7851-4048-1
Realm of Kings Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #20-25 144 pages November 2010 0-7851-4049-2
Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #1-12 296 pages August 2014 978-0785190646
Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #13-25 312 pages December 2014 978-0785190639

Volume 3Edit

Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #0.1, #1-3; Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow's Avengers #1 144 pages 978-0785166078
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Angela Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #4-10 168 pages February 2014 978-0785166085
Guardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #11-13; All-New X-Men #22-24 144 pages June 2014 978-0785166092
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Guardians Disassembled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #14-17; Captain Marvel #1; Amazing Spider-Man #654 (B story); Free Comic Book Day 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 160 pages November 2014 978-0785154792
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4: Original Sin Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #18-23 136 pages December 2014 978-0785192459
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 5: Through the Looking Glass Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #24-27, Annual #1 136 pages April 2015 978-0785197386

Guardians Team-UpEdit

Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Guardians Team-Up Vol. 1: Guardians Assemble Guardians Team-Up #1-5, Tails of Pet-Avengers #1 144 pages November 2015 978-0785197140
Guardians Team-Up Vol. 2: Unlikely Story Guardians Team-Up #6-10, Deadpool Team-Up #883 136 pages February 2016 978-0785199113

"Secret Wars"Edit

Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Guardians of Knowhere Guardians of Knowhere #1-4 and New Avengers: Illuminati (2007) #3 120 pages December 2015 978-0785198444
Star-Lord & Kitty Pride Star-Lord & Kitty Pride #1-3, Generation Next #1 and Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega' 128 pages December 2015 978-0785198437

Volume 4Edit

Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Guardians of the Galaxy: New Guard Vol. 1: Emperor Quill Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4 #1-5 112 pages May 2016 978-0785195184
Guardians of the Galaxy: New Guard Vol. 2: Wanted Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4 #6-10 136 pages November 2016 978-0785195191
Guardians of the Galaxy: New Guard Vol. 3: Civil War II Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4 #11-14 112 pages February 2017 978-1302903015
Guardians of the Galaxy: New Guard Vol. 4: Grounded Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4 #15-19 136 pages October 2017 978-1302906702

Guardians of InfinityEdit

Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians of Infinity Guardians of Infinity #1-8 (A stories) 136 pages August 2016 978-0785195870
Guardians of the Galaxy: Tales of the Cosmos Guardians of Infinity #1-8 (B stories) 136 pages August 2016 978-0785195887

Oversized hardcoversEdit

Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning Omnibus Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 #1-25, The Thanos Imperative: Ignition, The Thanos Imperative #1-6, The Thanos Imperative: Devastation, and material from Annihilators #1-4, Annihilators: Earthfall #1-4 (Rocket Raccoon & Groot stories) 936 May 17, 2016 978-0785198345
Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #0.1, 1-10; Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow 's Avengers #1 312 May 19, 2015 978-0785194002
Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #11-17; All-New X-Men #22-24; Free Comic Book Day 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 264 January 19, 2016 978-0785198246
Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #18-27; Annual #1 272 September 20, 2016 978-1302900083
Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha #1; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #24-25; Legendary Star-Lord #9-11; All-New X-Men #38-39; Guardians Team-Up #2; Nova #28; Cyclops #12; Captain Marvel #14; Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega #1 312 July 14, 2015 978-0785197706
Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis, Vol. 1 Omnibus Avengers Assemble #1-8; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #0.1, 1-27, Annual #1; Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow's Avengers #1; All-New X-Men #22-24; Free Comic Book Day 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy #1; Guardians of Knowhere #1-4 1168 December 20, 2016 978-1302900274

Other versionsEdit

During the "Secret Wars" storyline in the domain of King James' England (which is based on the Marvel 1602 reality), the Guardians of the Galaxy have a counterpart here named the Gardiner's Men. They are a troupe of performers consisting of Madam Gomorrah, Peadar O'Cuill, Arthur Dubhghlas, Goodman Root, and Aroughcun the Raccoon. Angela later befriended them when she helped to fight off attacking beasts.[59]

In other mediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

  • The Guardians of the Galaxy are mentioned by the Dark Surfer in the episode "When Strikes the Surfer" of the animated series The Super Hero Squad Show.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy appear in the episode "Michael Korvac" of the animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. In this adaptation, the team consists of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Quasar, and Adam Warlock. They arrived on Earth where they pursued Korvac. They battle the Avengers, who think Korvac is a pursued victim, and later team up with them to defeat Korvac.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy appear in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Guardians of the Galaxy". The team consists of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer. The Guardians of the Galaxy were responsible for training Nova. Rocket Raccoon calls upon Nova and Spider-Man to help the Guardians of the Galaxy fight the Chitauri led by Korvac. In "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy", the Guardians land on Earth to repair their ship at the time when Titus was leading the Chitauri into claiming Nova's helmet. After the Guardians of the Galaxy's ship is repaired, they helped Nova and Spider-Man fight Titus and the Chitauri. After Titus was defeated even when S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives, the Guardians of the Galaxy leaves with Titus in their custody while the remaining Chitauri escapes.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy appear in the Avengers Assemble episode "Guardians and Space Knights". Their first designs were based on their appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man, and were voiced by the same actors. Their later appearance changed their design and voice actors to reflect their subsequent animated series, which reflected the characters' designs in the feature films.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy appear in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "It's a Wonderful Smash". In their self-titled episode, the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. run into the Guardians of the Galaxy when they come across a plot by Super-Skrull to create gamma-powered Skrulls on an unnamed planet. In the episode "Planet Monster" Part 2, the Guardians of the Galaxy are among the superheroes that help the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and the Avengers fight the forces of the Supreme Intelligence.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy appeard in Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat.[61]

FilmEdit

 
The Guardians of the Galaxy from the 2014 film. From left to right: Saldana as Gamora, Pratt as Quill, Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Cooper), Bautista as Drax, and Groot.

The Guardians of the Galaxy appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the characters portrayed in a more comedic manner.[62] The group's founding members are Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot.[63] They first appeared in the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy and return in the 2017 film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, both directed by James Gunn.[64] In the latter movie, the team's membership expanded with the addition of Mantis while temporary aided by Yondu Udonta and Nebula in their fight against Ego the Living Planet. Sean Gunn's character Kraglin also assists the team in the final confrontation.

The team appears in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.[65] in which they aid Thor and the Avengers in confronting Thanos in his attempt to collect all of the Infinity Stones in order to use the Infinity Gauntlet to kill half of all the living beings in the universe. Thanos succeeds in collecting all of Stones, murdering Gamora in the process, and when he disintegrates half of all life forms in the uniforms with a snap of his fingers (an act known as the Infinity Snap), Star-Lord, Drax, Mantis, and Groot are among his victims, with only Rocket and Nebula spared.

In Avengers: Endgame, after Thanos has destroyed the Stones and is executed by Thor, Rocket and Nebula help the Avengers travel back in time to retrieve the Infinity Stones from the past, in order to reverse the Infinity Snap. They are successful, but the Thanos of 2014 because aware of the presence of this other Nebula, and has her captured, sending 2014 Nebula to the present in the former's place. The Avengers are successful in reversing the Infinity Snap, bringing Thanos' victims back to life, but 2014 Nebula summons Thanos to the present, where he destroys Avengers headquarters in order to acquire the Stones to kill the entire universe. Nebula successfully convinces 2014 Gamora to join her in opposing Thanos, and kills her 2014 counterpart, though 2014 Gamora has no emotional connection to Quill. The combined forces of the Avengers, the Guardians and all of their allies succeed in repelling his forces, and killing Thanos once and for all. Thor joins the Guardians, quipping they are now the "Asgardians of the Galaxy".

A third film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, is in development.[66]

Video gamesEdit

ToysEdit

  • A Guardians of the Galaxy three pack for the Marvel Universe 3 3/4" toyline includes a Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord, Drax, and a miniature Groot. The three were rereleased individually as part of the Avengers Infinite toyline.[67]
  • A Drax figure and a Rocket Raccoon Build-A-Figure have been released in their Guardian uniforms as part of the Marvel Legends line.
  • Film versions of the team were released as part of the Marvel Minimates toyline in late 2014.[68]
  • Hot Toys released the film versions of Guardians of the Galaxy 12" figures (30 cm) starting in January 2015 with Peter Quill aka Star-Lord. Rocket Racoon, Groot, Gamora, and Drax were subsequently released in 2015.

Theme parksEdit

Live performanceEdit

The Guardians of the Galaxy appears in Marvel Universe LIVE! stage show.

ReferencesEdit

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  6. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (February 26, 2008). "Bill Rosemann talks Guardians of the Galaxy". Newsarama. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
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