The Guardians of the Galaxy are a fictional spacefaring superhero team that appear in 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, Quasar, Adam Warlock, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, and Groot.
The modern Guardians team is the second to operate under the name, following the original team created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan in 1969. These Guardians first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 2) #1 (May 2008). A feature film based on this team was released in 2014.
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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.
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. 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."
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" and "Realm of Kings". Paul Pelletier pencilled the first seven issues. Brad Walker and Wes Craig alternated pencilling tasks from #8 to #25.
The book was cancelled in April 2010 with issue 25. Some plot threads were concluded in The Thanos Imperative 1â"6 and its two one-shots (May 2010Â â" Jan 2011).
The team appeared reassembled in Avengers Assemble #4â"8 (Juneâ"October 2012).
The Guardians of the Galaxy will appear in a new series for Marvel NOW! starting with issue 0.1 written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Steve McNiven. In addition to the previous Guardians, Iron Man will also join the team.
In the aftermath of the Phalanx invasion of the Kree, Star-Lord 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, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Phyla-Vell (the new Quasar), Rocket Raccoon, and Groot, with Mantis as support staff. 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. An intelligent, telepathic dog named Cosmo is Knowhere's chief of security and works closely with the new team. After a confrontation with the Universal Church of Truth, the team meets a semi-amnesiac man who identifies himself as Vance Astro - Major Victory of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Astro's declaration inspires the as-yet-unnamed team to adopt the "Guardians of the Galaxy" name for their own. When the team learns Star-Lord directed Mantis to telepathically coerce the heroes into joining the team, they disband.
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.
War of Kings
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, 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.
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.
The Thanos Imperative
When the universe is invaded by the alternate universe, "Cancerverse," on the other side of the fault, the Guardians take Thanos to the Cancerverse in an attempt to end the war early. Along the way, Drax attacks Thanos and is killed. 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.
After the death of Star-Lord, the Guardians disband. Still believing in their cause, Cosmo recruits another team under the name "Annihilators." Rocket Raccoon and Groot later reunite and decide to continue the Guardian's legacy after the duo prevent an incident on Rocket's home world, Halfworld.
The new team appears on Earth to aid the Avengers against Thanos.
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. 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 Age of Ultron, she joined the Guardians in November. Captain Marvel and Agent Venom are set to join the team.
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.
The series debuted to mostly positive reviews. The May 2008 sales estimate for the first issue was 39,854 copies, making it the 61st top-selling comic title that month. The first and second issues sold out; they have been reprinted in a collected edition.
The series was collected into individual volumes:
- Legacy (collects Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 2) #1-6, 144 pages, hardcover, January 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3326-7, softcover, April 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3338-0)
- War of Kings:
- Book 1 (collects Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 2) #7-12, 144 pages, hardcover, June 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3982-6, softcover, October 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3339-9)
- Book 2 (collects Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 2) #13-19 and Marvel Spotlight: War of Kings, 168 pages, hardcover, November 2009, ISBN 0-7851-4127-8, softcover, April 2010, ISBN 978-0-7851-4048-1)
- Realm of Kings (collects Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 2) #20-25, hardcover, July 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4543-5, softcover, November 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4049-2)
- Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 1 (collects #1-12; 296 pages, hardcover, August 2014, ISBN 978-0785190646)
- Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 2 (collects #13-25; 312 pages, hardcover, December 2014, ISBN 978-0785190639)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers (collects Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #0.1, #1-3; Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow's Avengers #1, 144 pages, hardcover ISBN 978-0785168287)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Angela (collects Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #4-10, 136 pages hardcover February 2014 ISBN 978-0-7851-6829-4)
- Guardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey (collects Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #11-13; All-New X-Men #22-24, 144 pages hardcover June 2014 ISBN 978-0785168300)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Guardians Disassembled (collects Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #14-17, Annual #1; Free Comic Book Day: Guardians of the Galaxy; 120 pages hardcover November 2014 ISBN 978-0785154792)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4: Original Sin (collects Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #18-23, Annual 1; 168 pages hardcover March 31, 2015 ISBN 978-0785192459)
- Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex (collects Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha #1; Guardians of the Galaxy #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 pages hardcover July 2015 ISBN 978-0785192404)
In other media
- 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.
- 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 of the Galaxy 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". The team consists of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer. The Avengers had to deal with the Guardians of the Galaxy at the time when Galactus was led to the D'Bari's planet by Iron Man (who was under the power of the Power Cosmic) to consume it instead of the Earth, causing the D'Bari to evacuate. Even though the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy had a hard time, they then realized that Iron Man led Galactus to the D'Bari's planet because it had become unstable where the explosion knocked out Galactus. After the D'Bari found another planet to settle on, Captain America tells Star-Lord that he hopes that their paths cross again. In the episode "Widow's Run," Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon try to get the Avengers to let the Infinity Gems be in their custody only to be turned down by Tony Stark. When the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive to claim the Infinity Gems from Black Widow and Thor, Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon stated that their trip to Asgard served as a beacon where they listed the Spartax, the Sakaarans, and the Celestials as examples of those who want the Infinity Gems. The Avengers end up fighting the Guardians of the Galaxy even when Black Widow had a vision that the Guardians of the Galaxy would fall under the Infinity Gems' influence. Using special teleportation disks, Falcon teleports the Guardians of the Galaxy back to their ship.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy appear in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "It's a Wonderful Smash." The team consists of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer. 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" Pt. 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.
- A Guardians of the Galaxy animated series is being developed. The series "takes place after the events of the Guardians of the Galaxy film" and features Thanos as a prominent character.
- Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer appear in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers episode "Guardians of the Galaxy", and in the last episode as part of the closure.
- A live-action film based on the comic book and team, Guardians of the Galaxy, was released on August 1, 2014. It was directed by James Gunn, and stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket Raccoon, and Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot. The film also features Josh Brolin as Thanos.
- A sequel was announced for a May 5, 2017 release date with the title Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
- Rocket Raccoon appears in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as a playable character. Star-Lord is mentioned by Nova and Groot is mentioned by Rocket Raccoon.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy appear in the MMORPG, Marvel Heroes. Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord both appear as playable, while Drax and Gamora appear as Team-Up support heroes and Groot appears both as a standalone Team-Up support hero and as a temporary summon support hero for Rocket Raccoon.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy appear in Lego Marvel Super Heroes. The team consists of Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora and Star-Lord. They are seen in a mid-credits scene where they arrive on Earth looking for something at the same time when Nick Fury was overseeing the reconstruction of the Statue of Liberty. The game's Guardians of the Galaxy achievement also considers Ronan the Accuser and Nova as members of the team.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy appear in Marvel: Avengers Alliance, as a tie in with the release of the upcoming film. Rocket Racoon was the hero reward for achieving the top tier in a previous past season of PvP play. Gamora is available for recruitment as a Tactician class hero. Drax the Destroyer was the hero the reward for achieving the top tier in the most recent season of PvP play. Groot is available for recruitment as a Bruiser class hero. Star-Lord (an Infiltrator class hero) is available for recruitment by completing Special Operations 20.
- Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket, Groot appear as playable characters in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes. The game also features a Guardians of the Galaxy playset set in Knowhere, in which the Guardians must prevent Ronan from taking the Infinity Stone. Ronan and Yondu also appear as playable characters in the playset.
- 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 will be rereleased individually as part of the Avengers Infinite toyline.
- 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 Fall 2014.
- Hot Toys released the film versions of Guardians of the Galaxy 12" figures starting in January 2015 with Peter Quill AkA Star-Lord, and will follow up with Rocket Racoon, Groot, Gamora, and Drax in Q1/Q2 2015.
- Guardians of the Galaxy (Earth-616) at the Comic Book DB
- 'Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) at the Grand Comics Database
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) at the Comic Book DB