5 Comics to Read for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has arrived, and critics more or less agree that it’s a fun romp, if not quite as inventive as the first film. Whether you’re gathering up your own oddball group to go see it, or you’ve already saved the galaxy for a second time, there’s a good chance that you want to know more about Star-Lord, Gamora and the whole gang. (But mostly Rocket Raccoon, because he’s, well, Rocket Raccoon.)
While Marvel has been putting out Guardians of the Galaxy comics in some form since 1969, most moviegoers will probably be interested in the team as it exists now. To find out how Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Drax the Destroyer first came together — and what they’re doing now — check out some of their greatest story arcs from the past 10 years.
Annihilation: Conquest #1-6 (2008)
If you want to see how the Guardians of the Galaxy first assembled, look no further than the 2008 miniseries “Annihilation: Conquest.” After Marvel’s cosmic “Annihilation” event (long story short: Thanos, Galactus and Annihilus wreak all kinds of havoc on the galaxy), space needs new defenders. When evil robot Ultron assembles an alien army, there aren’t many heroes who can stand in his way — save for a motley crew of criminals and misfits. Star-Lord gathers Rocket Raccoon, Quasar, Adam Warlock, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer and Groot, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are born.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1-25 (2008)
Picking up right where Annihilation: Conquest left off, the Guardians of the Galaxy are now a team, for better or worse (some of the former; a lot of the latter). While the comic ties into some important events, like War of Kings and The Thanos Imperative, it’s mostly just the Guardians dealing with typical comic- book superhero stuff. If you want to see Star-Lord and company take on supervillains, banter among themselves, gain and lose team members, and interact with the rest of the Marvel Universe, this is where the group develops its space-legs.Credit: Marvel
Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1-27 (2013)
The second Guardians of the Galaxy series was a close inspiration for the movie. Penned by prolific Marvel scribe Brian Michael Bendis, the first Guardians of the Galaxy series to come out after the film had a respectable 27-issue run and tied into the Infinity, Original Sin and Black Vortex events. Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Drax reunite to take on the galaxy’s biggest threats, but they won’t do so alone. In addition to the cosmic warrior Angela (with a very complicated legal history), none other than the Invincible Iron Man casts his helmet into the Guardians’ roster.
Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: Black Vortex (2015)
Although the X-Men don’t fly off into space as often as, say, the Fantastic Four, they’ve had plenty of cosmic adventures, from the Brood to Asteroid M to the Dark Phoenix. It was only a matter of time until Marvel’s mutants crossed paths with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and what brought them together was a powerful artifact known as the Black Vortex. Star-Lord and his new sweetheart Kitty Pryde contact the X-Men for help in dealing with the relic, and what results is a galactic game of tug of war between the two teams, the Brood and Ronan the Accuser. (The chronology is a bit unwieldy; find the issue guide on Marvel’s official site.)Credit: Marvel
Guardians Team-Up #1-10 (2015)
If the Guardians of the Galaxy’s movie iteration has a weakness, it’s that it’s not strongly connected to Marvel’s earthbound heroes. If you’re curious about how the team might get along with the Hulk, Spider-Man and even Deadpool (he and Rocket Raccoon hit it off), check out Guardians Team-Up. The book is exactly what it sounds like. In each issue, the Guardians of the Galaxy find themselves paired with a different favorite Marvel hero, from She-Hulk to Silver Surfer to Nightcrawler, and have to resolve some sort of unlikely situation with (usually) hilarious results.Credit: Marvel
BONUS: Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2016)
It’s not a comic book, but you don’t have to be a hard-core gamer to get the most out of Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy. This episodic video game series follows the Guardians as they take on the Mad Titan Thanos — and the confrontation doesn’t work out quite like anyone expects. In this point-and-click adventure, you play as Star-Lord, and you get to decide what to say, whom to trust and how to manage your team. The first episode alone contains more twists and turns than the movie that inspired it, and the four upcoming episodes will almost certainly keep players guessing until the end.Credit: Telltale