A surge in popularity in movies has led to a revival in comic books and a new video game called Guardians of the Galaxy. The Guardians of the Galaxy started out as some of the least-expected stars in the MCU.
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A lot of the game’s Easter eggs and plot points come from comic books. We’ll have to wait until we can play the game, but we’re looking back at where it all started with a top-ten best comic book Guardians of the Galaxy stories of all time.
It’s also a good idea to learn about Star-history Lord’s while you’re in the mood for Guardians.
1. War of Kings
They had the right conditions for a story about a space war between the Shi’Ar and the Kree, which was written by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and C.B. Cebulski and Chris Yost from 2008 to 2009.
A lot of big cosmic names were there, like Black Bolt and his royal family of Inhumans, Nova and the Nova Corps and the Starjammers and Darkhawk. The Guardians were in the middle of it all. Rocket’s team joins the fight against all the big cosmic baddies, while Star-Lord and his group race back in time to get help from the original 31st-century Guardians in their fight. This is how it works:
One of the most epic and all-encompassing stories about Guardians of the Galaxy has never been made by the same team again.
2. Communication Breakdown
All-New Guardians of the Galaxy was relaunched with a new creative team: Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder took over as the long-term writers and artists for the Guardians. They quickly set up a cosmic tone that drew on the mythology of the Infinity Stone and deeper Marvel cosmology, rather than the more political aspects of the publisher’s many squabbling space empires.
But they also found a way to shake up the line-up that had become well-known because of the popular Guardians of the Galaxy films, like Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Gamora, and Drax. They didn’t lose the connections that made them feel more like a family than a team.
Instead, their first arc, ‘Communication Breakdown,’ was about the Guardians learning about their family. Individual relationships changed as characters grew and changed. As time went on, Drax became a pacifist, Groot became a baby, and Gamora kept a secret that led her to try to get the Infinity Stones and take on the legacy of her “father,” Thanos, who was her “father.”
As far as Guardians of the Galaxy stories go, this one broke a lot of rules. It put the Guardians on the run as criminals, turned Gamora into a villain who later killed Peter Quill, and caused rifts in their bonds. But through it all, “Communication Breakdown” and the stories it led to were able to hold on to the heart and excitement that audiences had come to expect from the show’s team.
3. Rocket: The Blue River Score
There’s more to Rocket Raccoon than being an angry, loud mascot and mechanic for the Guardians. He is also a good friend. And he isn’t just a superhero who is in space. He is more than that. He was also wanted by police in a lot of the Marvel Universe’s many different galaxies, which makes him even more dangerous.
Rocket, no matter how hard he tries, doesn’t always leave that life behind, even when he’s saving the world with the Guardians. A good example is Al Ewing and Adam Gorham’s story about Rocket getting back into crime when he meets up with an old flame. It’s called Rocket: The Blue River Score.
It’s like a Guy Ritchie movie with the style and wit of a crime movie. It’s also a love letter to the weird cosmic stories that came out of early Marvel UK comics, with TechNet from Captain Britain and Excalibur making an appearance.
The story shows how little the other Guardians know about what Rocket is up to behind their backs as he fights with them.
4. Annihilation: Conquest
As a whole, 2006’s Annihilation saga did something so simple that it was brilliant. With the help of Thanos, Drax, Nova, and Ronan the Accuser, Marvel was able to build a real cosmic universe with its own status quo and setting. The next crossover, Annihilation Conquest, followed the same pattern as the first one. It took the idea one step further to introduce a new, modern Guardians of the Galaxy team, and it did the same thing again.
A story by Keith Giffen, who is a huge part of the Marvel universe’s cosmic history, is a Dirty Dozen-style story in which Star-Lord Peter Quill brings together incarcerated inmates and rapscallions to try to find a weakness in the Phalanx spaceship and destroy it if they can. Bug, Captain Universe, Deathcry, Mantis, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon are all part of this group.
In Timothy Green’s energetic art, the proto-team looks like they’re having a lot of fun together. While it may not be exactly like the Guardians we know and love (Groot talks for hours here!), all of the elements are starting to come together. Quill’s laconic humor and Rocket’s love of big guns are just two examples.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy: Earth Shall Overcome
Early on, the original comic version of the team (the 31st-century Guardians of the Galaxy) mostly just popped up in Marvel stories when a writer wanted to use them as guest stars. This is how it worked:
To help the Guardians in their fight against the Badoon, writer Steve Gerber had his “non-team” meet the Guardians in this arc of the Defenders. The Guardians would later become their own show, but in a different way.
The collection, called Guardians of the Galaxy: Earth Shall Overcome, includes the first appearance of the original Guardians as well as their first major adventure. Sal Buscema and Vince Colletta are both artists on the book.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Final Gauntlet
‘The Final Gauntlet’ is a comic book written by Donny Cates and drawn by Geoff Shaw. When Cates took over as writer of the comic book, he took advantage of his growing reputation as an author of long-running, world-changing stories.
All of the Guardians, as well as Hela, Death, and many other cosmic empires, are thrown into the mix for a story that also includes Thanos himself and the search for an heir to his role and power.
‘The Last Gauntlet’ draws on threads that Cates had already laid in his Thanos and Cosmic Ghost Rider series. The fact that the story is its own epic while also paying off some of those plots and setting up ideas for Cates’s later work shows how good he is at planning and plotting.
That’s how most good Guardians stories work. They introduce a lot of new ideas, but keep a core, unbreakable idea in mind.
Issues: Guardians of the Galaxy #1-6
Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Paul Pelletier
When the modern Guardians of the Galaxy were first made, they were called the Legacy team. Title: The name is a reference to the new Guardians taking over the title from their futuristic predecessors. The story is about Star-Lord setting up a new team after the events of Annihilation: Conquest.
To start with, Peter Quill brings Rocket and Groot together. They also meet Gamora and Mantis, as well as many other characters. The main theme of the story is that the Guardians have to live together as a troubled family.
8. Realm Of Kings
Issues: Guardians of the Galaxy #20-25
Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Brad Walker
In Realm of Kings, Abnett and Lanning came to the end of a long run on the title that made the modern Guardians of the Galaxy famous. It was epic in every sense of the word. This is the last story in the series. It features the Universal Church of Truth, a plan to bring back Thanos, and some of the best action scenes in the team’s history. In the end, the Guardians are at their most heroic.