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Friday, 8 August 2014

Comics Explained: Guardians of the Galaxy

The Guardians of the Galaxy
As a comic fan eager for the new Guardians of the Galaxy film I'll introduce a new thing where I explain the origins and history of a comic character, item or group starting with the Guardians of the Galaxy. There are actually two Guardians of the Galaxy but to keep with relevance of the upcoming film I will focus on the one that the film is based on; that is the group that appeared first in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 Issue 1 in May 2008 although I will mention the other group.

Origin- The group originally came after the Annihilation: Conquest storyline where a superpowered human named Star-Lord, (Peter Quill), after he helped the Kree after their war against the Phalanx and even acted as Ronan the Accuser's military adviser. He formed the group after the universe went into an extremely fragile state after the Annihilation events so to avoid the collapse of Earth-616, (the Marvel universe reality), he got Mantis to telepathically get Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot and the new Quasar Phyla-Vell to join. Star-Lord's friend Nova, (whose Vol. 4 ran alongside the Guardians Vol. 2), suggested that the team form a base on the space station Knowhere whose chief of security was an intelligent dog named Cosmo. After a clash with the Universal Church of Truth they met a semi-amnesic man called Vance Astro who comes from Earth-691 and is the a member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. The group decide to use the name and the rest is history.
From left to right: Gomora, Rocket, Starlord, Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer and Quasar

Notable events- Briefly the team split up after they found out that Star-Lord had used Mantis to telepathically join the team, each one going on their own separate missions such as Gamora and Adam Warlock going to find out more about the Universal Church of Truth, Star-Lord going to aid the Kree and Rocket continuing the group's original mission including recruiting new members including Mantis and forming a friendship with Groot. Star-Lord at one point was even banished to the Negative Zone for his actions during the Phalanx attack by Ronan the Accuser. The group then reformed during the War of Kings event when the Shi'ar and Kree went to war where they split into three teams: one to handle the Shi'ar, one to handle the Kree and one to stay on Knowhere to act as team coordinators. In the Thanos Imperative the Earth-616 reality is invaded by the 'Cancerverse' and the team take Thanos into the Cancerverse to end the invasion early but Drax is unfortunately killed attacking Thanos. Although the invasion is stopped Star-Lord and Nova are killed as they remain in the collapsing Cancerverse to let the others escape. After again breifly disbanding Groot and Rocket reform the Guardians with Venom and Captain Marvel set to join in the future.
One of the issues from the original Guardians

Original team- The first Guardians of the Galaxy were very different from their modern counterparts. They first appeared in 1969 in Marvel Super-Heroes issue 18 before moving onto their own series as well as having a few crossovers with other Marvel heroes including Captain America and the Thing. In the late seventies they sporadically appeared in multiple Marvel publications; the last being in Marvel Two-In-One issues 61, 63 and 69. In the 1990s Jim Valentino restarted the series which lasted for 62 issues before cancellation. The sixties and seventies volumes had an astronaut, (from the Earth-691 reality), from the 20th century, Vance Astro, waking up in the 31st century where he finds out humans have been wiped out by the Badoon so with no option he joins the Guardians of the Galaxy, a group comprised of the last people of their species who aim to prevent the Badoon and other threats from destroying the universe. Alongside Astro was Martinex T'Nagga from Pluto, Charlie-27 from Jupiter and Yondu Udonta from Centauri-IV although they were later joined by Starhawk and Nikki. In a few issues they even traveled back in time to help Captain America among other heroes.

Thanks for reading and if these Comics Explained segments are popular I'll do more but you decide on the next post about the subject. Either a) a Comics Explained about individual Guardians members, b) a What If alternate history about Israel or c) a History in Focus about the Khmer Rouge. Thanks and leave comments.

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