If anything’s true of the Guardians Of The Galaxy movie, it’s that you come out and instantly want more. Director James Gunn has already promised he’ll have a sequel out in three years’ time, but until that happens there’s at least one other place you can look: the source material. Marvel’s comics.
And rather than leave you to navigate the choppy waters of Marvel’s continuity alone, we’ve put together this quick list of comics you might want to read to try and sate those Guardian cravings. Be warned. There are spoilers here…
Guardians Of The Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers
Collects: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) #0.1, #1-3 & Guardians Of The Galaxy: Tomorrow’s Avengers #1
A relaunch of the team starring the movie cast, this book features a full retelling of Star Lord’s origin (featuring the bits they didn’t reveal in the movie!) which leads into a new arc that guest-stars Iron Man, who joins the team to help them fight a threat that could destroy the Earth. If you’re chomping at the bit for a Guardians/Avengers crossover, this is one way you can get some of that action, featuring the razor-sharp pen of writer Brian Bendis (Powers, Avengers) and the fantastic artwork of Steve McNiven (Civil War) and Sara Pichelli (Ultimate Spider-Man).
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 1: Legacy
Collects: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2008) #1-6
Following a wave of destruction that cut a swathe through the universe, a new team of Guardians has formed. Star-Lord leads Drax, Gamora, Adam Warlock, Quasar, Mantis, Rocket Raccoon and Groot as they attempt to seek out threats to the galaxy and eradicate them before they become a problem. The direct inspiration for the movie, this series is written by cosmic masterminds Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and has been talked up by none other than James Gunn himself. As an added bonus, the team is based on Knowhere – which you’ll remember from the movie – and you can even learn who that dog in a spacesuit really was!
Guardians Of The Galaxy Infinite #1
A digital exclusive found only on Comixology (for now), this one-shot story features the movie cast (in their Marvel Universe incarnations) and matches the humour-infused tone of the film perfectly. It’s entirely stand-alone so there’s not really anywhere to go after this, but it’s a great place to start!
Rocket Raccoon & Groot – The Complete Collection
Collects: Tales to Astonish (1959) #13, Incredible Hulk #271, Rocket Raccoon #1-4, Marvel Preview #7, Annihilators #1-4, Annihilators: Earthfall #1-4
Who didn’t come out of the movie loving these guys? If you want to learn more about the most adorable CGI critters this side of Chandilar, this collection will fill you in on some of their most popular appearances from the 60s right up until the present day.
From Groot’s first appearance in a 1960 horror strip by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to Rocket Raccoon’s much-celebrated miniseries written by Bill Mantlo and drawn by Hellboy’s Mike Mignola. Some of the material’s a little dated, but if you don’t mind some rough edges this is the best chance you’ll get to read the stories that defined these characters.
The Infinity Gauntlet TPB
Collects: Infinity Gauntlet #1-6
We may have mentioned this before, but it doesn’t hurt to remind everyone that if you want to get the jump on where the Marvel cinematic universe seems to be heading, this is the story to look for. The cinematic thread of Thanos trying to collect the infinity gems has been running through several of Marvel’s recent movies, and this is the most famous version of that story. Thanos, having collected the six infinity gems, unites them on his gauntlet and creates one of the most powerful weapons in the universe.
It takes the combined might of every Marvel hero to stop him. Notably, if you’re wondering why Marvel felt like including Nebula in its Guardians movie, she makes a fairly important appearance in this story that might hint as to its motives…
Howard The Duck
Trapped in a world he never made – and inexplicably in the Guardians post-credits stinger – Howard The Duck wasn’t just a widely-mocked 1980s movie. He was also the mouthpiece of maverick creator, Steve Gerber, whose satirical comics are a madcap joy to read. His appearances are currently out of print, but Marvel cunningly loaded up their digital services with his classic adventures not two weeks ago. And still none of us had a clue what was coming.
Fire up your Comixology account and start, of course, with issue #1.
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