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Comicbook: Guardians of the Galaxy
"Earth Shall Overcome!"

A Marvel Comics cosmic Super Team, has had two prominent incarnations as listed below starting with the original. If you're looking for the Green Lantern supporting characters, those are the Guardians of the Universe.

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     The Classic Series 

Marvel Cosmic Old School...

The Guardians of the Galaxy first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (January, 1969), created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan. They are a science fiction comic series set in the future, the 31st Century. An alien race known as the Badoon have conquered Earth in the year 3007 A.D., leading a telekinetic astronaut from the 20th Century (preserved by 1,000 years in suspended animation) to gather a team of heroes to free Earth. They eventually do, and go on to do other stuff.

The series ran in various Marvel Anthology books in the 1970s, with guest appearances in The Defenders and The Avengers in between anthology runs. The characters' most notable appearance during these early years was in The Avengers, during The Korvac Saga.

The characters vanished into limbo during the 1980s, but were revived and given their own book in 1990. Originally written and drawn by Jim Valentino (with only one fill-in artist, Mark Texiera, for a single issue), Valentino revived the book with gratuitous continuity nods to existing Marvel characters: these included a new Phoenix, Wolverine's evil great-great-great-granddaughter Rancor and her army of evil mutants, a revived Church of the Universal Truth, "The Punisher" militia, Doctor Doom (whose brain was implanted into Wolverine's body), and Mephisto's daughter among other things. The series was popular, but ultimately around issue #28, Jim Valentino jumped ship to go found Image Comics after the other founders made a surprise offer to let Valentino come with them.

The book was then turned over to Michael Gallagher, who resolved Valentino's various storylines before introducing a new opponent derived from elements of another 1970s sci-fi book (Killraven) into the franchise, causing the Guardians to fight the last Martian, Ripjak. The series lasted for 62 issues (June, 1990-July, 1995). They haven't seen much use since that time, although they do make the occasional appearance in the new team's series and are set to appear in a new mini series titled Guardians 3000 later in 2014.

Had its own spin-off mini-series: Galactic Guardians, which featured a lot of future versions of Marvel characters, including: Phoenix IX, the Spirit of Vengeance, Mainframe (the Vision) and Hollywood (Wonder Man).

This team initially consisted of:
  • Major Victory
  • Charlie-27
  • Martinex
  • Yondu

Later additions:
  • Starhawk
  • Nikki
  • Replica
  • Aleta
  • Talon
  • Firelord
  • Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara)

This Version Contains Examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Very popular in the future — used by the women and some of the men.
  • Alternate History: When they go back in time to team up with The Avengers, they change Major Victory's history, making their future an alternate timeline. The Earth-616 version of Vance Astrovik goes on to become Justice of the New Warriors.

    Incidentally, this makes him the only person to be an Avenger twice as two separate people rather than just having one person with multiple identities. They've even technically met in JLA vs. Avengers (although we don't see them talking to each other). Although for some reason, they have slightly different powers and even different hair colors.
  • An Ice Person: Martinex
  • Artificial Limbs: Yondu, after Interface from Force uses his power to transmute matter to turn Yondu's hand to gas. Yondu gets a replacement, and still managed to remain an archer despite missing a hand.
  • Ax-Crazy: Yondu tends to go ax crazy at the drop of a hat.
  • Bald Black Leader Guy: Martinex may be made of crystal, but it turns out his ancestors were from Africa.
  • Cat Girl: Talon is a Cat Boy.
  • Clingy Costume: In order to survive a thousand-year space journey, Vance Astro had to be vacuum sealed for his freshness.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Martinex is a crystalline transhuman from the planet Pluto. His body is composed entirely of crystal, and he never wears clothes.
  • Fantastic Racism: Nikki believes Reptiles Are Abhorrent. This somehow extends to the disguised Skrull Replica before anyone suspects she might not be human.
  • Fiery Redhead: Nikki. Slight Aversion in that she's not quite a redhead so much as that being from the planet Mercury, the pores on her head are exhaust ports for a high, constant body heat. The result? Actual constant fire that looks like hair.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Starhawk has a Groundhog Day Life.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Starhawk is the son of Quasar and Her, making him half human, half orange-skinned Artificial Being.
  • Heavyworlder: Charlie-27
  • Human Popsicle: Major Victory
  • I Just Knew: Starhawk (Stakar, not Aleta): Starhawk's Catch Phrase was 'Accept the word of One Who Knows.' What he would tell Martinex later is that Stakar was not a precognitive; he was fated to go back in time, and his disembodied consciousness inhabit his infant body to start all over again.
  • Last of His Kind: The premise starts here; the Badoon have attacked, and the four originals are survivors of their worlds. Yondu, from Centauri IV in the Alpha Centauri system, eventually discovers that a large number of his people survived and saves them from Galactus.
  • Legacy Character: Major Victory for Captain America, amongst others.
  • Mass Teleportation
  • Not Blood Siblings: Stakar and Aleta are a married couple with three kids. They're also adopted siblings.
  • Only You Can Repopulate My Race: Yondu, to Photon. Unfortunately, Photon's an atheist and Yondu is sworn to murder any of his kind who are. Although it was she who was trying to kill him. No one ended up killing anyone, although he caught her off-guard and badly hurt her at one point. (Valentino intended them to eventually get together, but it never panned out.)
  • Playing with Fire: Firelord, Martinex, and Nikki (Nikki, who was in a relationship with Charlie-27 at one point, and had to immerse herself in water to cool down enough so they could touch).
  • Power Copying: The Protege can permanently duplicate any powers and skills he sees, all the way up to the Cosmic Entity level. He's also a child. This quickly leads to A God Am I.
  • The Reptilians: The Badoon. Also, Scanner the Snark, from Force.
  • Sharing a Body: Starhawk and Aleta, from their first appearance. They were adopted siblings who encountered a device that made them share the same physical space, so only one of them could manifest at a time. They made the most of it by getting married. Everything seemed okay until Aleta started falling for Vance...
  • Smart Guy: Martinex
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Time is unchangeable, which is why Starhawk is stuck in his "Groundhog Day" Loop. Time travel also creates alternate timelines, such as when Vance Astro went back in time and prevented his younger self from going into space without erasing himself from existence.
  • Transhuman: Martinex, Charlie-27, and Nikki are all from races of humans genetically modified to live on Pluto, Jupiter, and Mercury respectively.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Replica (a Skrull)

     The 2008 Revival 
...Marvel Cosmic New School

"Feels like someone turned the symbolic homage up to eleven."

Years after the original comic ended, a new version, set in the mainstream 616 universe and in the present time, was created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning out of the main characters from their two Annihilation miniseries events. In it, a few of the protagonists who helped solve the troubles of those series decide that the universe can't take another, and so organize a team to proactively go out and lay the beatdown on whatever troubles threaten to destroy everything.

The new version first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #1 (July, 2008). Their book lasted for 25 issues (July, 2008-June, 2010). This was later succeeded by a vol.3 in early 2013 as part of the Marvel NOW relaunch, with Brian Michael Bendis writing and Steven McNiven on art.

A version of the team appears in the second season of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, during an adaptation of The Korvac Saga. The team also appeared in an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man, which largely served to introduce the franchise to a younger audience in anticipation of the upcoming film. This line-up is also set to appear in a live-action Guardians of the Galaxy film, set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The team line-up initially consisted of:

With Mantis providing a support role and Groot still recovering from Annihilation Conquest, though both would soon join the main line up. Also providing a support role was Cosmo, a telepathic former Russian Cosmonaut dog who ran security at Knowhere, the former head of a Celestial at the end of space and time. By the second issue, Major Victory, the same character from the original series, would join up, and would be followed later on by Bug, Jack Flagg and Moondragon. In the Marvel NOW series, the Guardians reformed with the line-up of Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer and Iron Man. Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) and Flash Thompson (Venom IV) joined the team in 2014.

Two spin-off ongoings hit shortly before the movie: Rocket Raccoon, spotlighting Rocket's solo adventures (with Groot occasionally along for the ride), and Legendary Star-Lord, spotlighting Star-Lord's solo adventures.

Tropes used in Volumes 2 and 3 include:

  • Aborted Arc: Drax starts looking for Cammi, but when the possibility of reviving his daughter comes up, he forgets all about her.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Gamora in Vol. 2, who pairs it with Sideboob, Vapor Wear, and likely a few other related tropes. Frankly, it's probably a miracle of space-age future science that her clothing manages to stay on her as reliably as it does.
    • Dropped in Vol. 3.
  • Amicable Exes: Adam and Gamora have shades of this. It gets creepy when he becomes Magus.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: It is when you're fighting a cyborg-zombie that still has some of its mind left.
  • Anyone Can Die: Issue 19 of Vol. 2 has half the main characters KIA by the time the issue is over. Not Quite Dead: 22/23 reveals it was an illusion the whole time, with only Phyla dying in between issues 24 and 25.
  • Apocalypse How: One potential future we're shown results in a Class X-2.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Gamora and Thanos
    • Star-Lord and his father
  • Arc Words: In Vol. 2, 'The death of the future tense' comes up a lot.
  • Ass in Ambassador: Delegate Gorani of the Uuchan delegation to Knowhere skirts this. He's not the Guardians' enemy, but he's not their friend either.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Star-Lord and Drax the Destroyer reappear in Avengers Assemble Volume 2 with absolutely no explanation as to how they came back to life since the The Thanos Imperative.
    • Moondragon is revived by Drax and Phyla in the series.
  • Badass: Everyone on the team gets their moments to shine, but Drax the Destroyer is the resident One-Man Army.
  • Badass Adorable: Rocket Raccoon, Cosmos.
  • Badass Normal: Starlord; while he used to have all kinds of nifty cosmic powers, these days he's just a guy with a gun and a rad helmet taking on cosmic level threats.
  • Bad Future: Adam Warlock may have contained the Fault in time but his actions resulted in every possible future becoming the 'Magus future', where the universe is under the control of the Universal Church of Truth, lead by Magus. It got so bad that Kang the Conqueror is the only one left standing, giving Starlord a Cosmic Cube that might give him the edge over the Magus.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Crops up at one point with several members of the Church of Universal Truth, who want to worship an Eldritch Abomination... even after it bites off someone's head. They consider it a 'blessing'.
  • Brick Joke: When Star-Lord and half of his team are thrown through time and encounter the classic Guardians of the Galaxy, he decides to come up with another name for his team to avoid any unnecessary problems with the other Guardians. The name he chose: The Ass-Kickers of the Fantastic, a name that Rocket Raccoon suggested for their team name in the beginning of the first issue.
    Star-Lord: All the good names were taken.
  • Cassandra Truth: Major Victory keeps trying to tell everyone about the threat of the Badoon. He's only believed once the team encounter some of their handiwork.
  • Catch Phrase: "I am Groot!" (It actually means something. We just can't understand the subtle nuances.)
    • Rocket has the tendency to shout variants on "Blam! I murdered you!" in the midst of battle, which some of his teammates find disturbing.
    • Starhawk is still "The one who knows."
  • Characterization Marches On: In the Star-Lord series for Annihilation: Conquest, Groot was capable of speaking complete sentences, and had a regal sense of dignity and pride about him. Starting around issue 10 of vol. 2 he mainly just declares "I am Groot!" with nobody commenting on the change.
    • The first person in volume 2 to be able to understand Groot's language is Maximus the Mad during War of Kings (and no one's even sure that he's not faking it). Come volume 3, everyone on the team seems to have no trouble at all understanding the big guy.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The depleted Cosmic Cube
  • The Chosen One: Jack Flag is called this at one point. And then it never comes up again.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The Church of Universal Truth runs on their abiding faith in life itself, from trillions of beings all over the universe. Their cardinals focus their belief into all sorts of handy super-powers. It's even their battle-cry.
    Cardinal Raker: "I believe! Let the pain begin!"
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: Said by Kang the Conqueror in v2 #19.
  • Confession Cam: Used throughout Volume 2
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: An entire planet's worth of the Church's best soldiers versus Mantis, Major Victory, Cosmo, Gamora and Martyr quickly turns into this. And then Thanos shows up.
  • Continuity Nod: Mantis and Kang have a history.
  • Corrupt Church: The Church of Universal Truth definitely. They use the faith of their followers to empower themselves but are unafraid of bugging out and leaving them to their doom when things get hot. Become even more so under the leadership of Adam Magus in the future.
  • Deal with the Devil: Phyla makes one of these with Oblivion to get Moondragon back.
  • Description Cut: In the very first page of the first issue, Peter claims their first mission didn't go too badly. Then we get this;
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Phyla-Vell, killed off screen after fulfilling her obligation to Maelstrom and Oblivion by reviving Thanos.
  • Dying as Yourself: Happens to Adam Warlock. Or not, since the Magus was just faking.
  • Eldritch Abomination: They're trying to get through the negative space wedgies.
    • The Dragon of the Moon is one. It just happens to come in the form of a giant dragon.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Drax the Destroyer
    ...And I believe you will now feel all the pain you have ever inflicted.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: Hollywood, an elderly version of Wonder Man in a Bad Future, is so old he's done this. Seeing the Guardians in action jolts his memory.
  • Funny Animal: Cosmo and Rocket Raccoon
  • Gatling Good: Rocket Raccoon
  • Genius Bruiser: Groot, apparently.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Stuck in a Dyson Sphere with no protection from the sunlight, and the teleportation systems down, with the means to restore the shielding a good distance from their location, Gamora points out she has a healing factor. She succeeds, but gets badly burnt in the process. It takes several issues for her skin to heal, with a few issues more for her hair.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Gamora and Mantis. Bug would be the male version of this trope, being VERY handsome under the helmet.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The classic Guardians in Volume 3 #14, who find themselves replaying their fight against the Badoon over and over thanks to something in the past, and decide to travel back and put a stop to it. A similar phenomenon motivates Starhawk's journeys back in time in Volume 2; in that case, it turns out to be the events of War of Kings opening the way to the Cancerverse.
  • Guns Akimbo: "Hi. I'm Star-Lord. I'm with the Guardians of the Galaxy. I'd flash you my business card, but my hands are too full of guns."
  • Heroes of Another Story: The Luminals, Xarth's Mightiest Heroes. They don't get on with the Guardians, which isn't helped by the fact that their boss Cynosure is a Jerk Ass.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Rocket Raccoon and Groot.
  • They Who Must Not Be Seen: The Badoon refuse to show their faces to the Guardians. Apparently no-one is 'fit to look upon the beauty of the Badoon'.
  • History Repeats: According to Adam Warlock, it doesn't, but it has been known to rhyme.
  • Human Popsicle: Again, Major Victory, only this time to travel backwards in time. And through dimensions.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: Moondragon says her soul 'aches' after her latest resurrection.
  • Informed Ability: Rocket Raccoon is supposedly a tactical genius. Most of his plans seem to revolve on plastering the enemy with bullets.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: The Magus for Adam Warlock.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: In the second issue of Volume 3, cut off from any and all back up, the team elects to just each destroy a ship apiece.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: When some of the "Modern" Guardians are thrown forward in time and meet the "Original" Guardians.
  • More Dakka: Rocket Raccoon's real super power.
  • More Than Mind Control
  • Mythology Gag: In the second issue of volume 2, the team find Vance Astro frozen in a block of ice. They even remark on the similarity, leading to Rocket Racoon's quote at the top of this section.
    • While going through dozens of bad futures, there is a brief glimpse of a version of the Guardians fighting an army based on the Avengers, as happened in Avengers Forever.
  • Near Death Experience: Happens to Drax when their first mission together goes wrong.
    Drax: "We almost died. I saw a bright light. There was nobody in it I wanted to see."
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The rips in the fabric of the universe that keep showing up. There's a really, really big one (which they manage to actually stabilize) by the time the War of Kings story is over.
    • Age of Ultron spawns a few more, including the one that brings Angela over from her dimension.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Attempts to stop the War of Kings weren't going well anyway, but Martyr taking Crystal hostage made things so much worse.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Ultron killing Moondragon turns out to be this, since her turning into a dragon was the work of the Dragon of the Moon, which was taking possession of her again. A few more weeks and it would've been able to manifest fully.
    • Maelstrom luring Phyla and Drax to Oblivion's realm turns into a twin case of this. He needed Moondragon to actually be there in order for the trap to work, allowing Phyla to free her. And then, Phyla's relinquishing her Quantum Bands means Quasar is free to give them to Richard Rider, allowing him to save the Nova Corps.
  • No Sell: Nothing the team has slows the Magus down for very long. It gets worse with Thanos, who manages to kill an entire planet before they can stop him.
    • Subverted when the two Guardian teams meet. Charlie-27 claims he doesn't feel Jack Flag's punch, but later on it turns out to have broken several of his ribs.
  • Oh Crap: A Played for Laughs version. "Can someone help? Drax has gone existential on me."
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Maelstrom is very much this. He'd like you to believe he's a beyond good and evil force of nature. Really he's middle management for Oblivion and a loud mouthed sociopath to boot.
  • Outside-Context Villain: Everyone thinks the Badoon are just another bunch of would-be conquerors in a universe full of them. Then they see the Zoms.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Universal Church of Truth.
  • Plant Aliens: Again, Groot.
  • Plant Person: Mantis, thanks to having married and mated with a Plant Alien.
  • Pokémon Speak: Groot. Apparently, some of his chants translate to extremely complex Techno Babble.
    • In a backup story in the Annihilators, we discover his entire species talk like this.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Definitely. So much so that Peter had Mantis use her telepathy to get everyone to work together.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Cosmo is the head of security for Knowhere, and is pleasant and supportive toward the team. Except where Rocket Racoon is concerned.
  • Retraux: A flashback in an early issue of vol 2 shows the Badoon invasion of Earth, with the Zoms and Badoon dressed like something from a bad 60s sci-fi show.
  • Riddle for the Ages: We never do find out why Vance Astro was frozen, or what reality he comes from.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Starhawk has a version of this, as crops up in the final issue of vol. 2.
  • Running Gag: Jack Flagg hates Cosmic $#*^. Rocket Raccoon comes to echo his sentiments, despite being a friggin' anthropomorphic raccoon.
    • Bug's complaining about not being picked first for the team.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: What Groot is really saying part of the time when he says "I AM GROOT!". Also Techno Babble.
  • Shout-Out: The name of the bar on Knowhere is named Starlin's, a reference to Jim Starlin, the godfather of Marvel Cosmic.
    • In the first issue of volume 2, the team infiltrate a massive ship that looks like a giant cathedral which is flying into a Negative Space Wedgie. These are obvious references to Warhammer 40K, which features creator Dan Abnett's most celebrated work. The flying cathedral-ship is also named the Tancred, which was the name of a Space Marine-turned-Dreadnought in an Abnett-penned Warhammer 40K comic.
  • Skewed Priorities: In the middle of a big fight which isn't going well, on a ship heading toward a Negative Space Wedgie, surrounded on all sides, Rocket insists the team needs a name.
  • Space Base: They're headquartered in Knowhere, the severed head of a giant space god on the edge of the universe.
  • SpaceX: A variation:
    Jack Flag: It's a time-door!
    Bug: Yeah? Full of Time-Energy? and Time-Swirlies? Jack, just because you put the word "time" in it doesn't — tik — make it any clearer!
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: IGN summed up Bendis's handling of the team as "the Iron Man and Rocket Raccoon show."
  • Squick: In-Universe, when an Eldritch Abomination forces itself into Moondragon's body via the face.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Adam and the Church of Universal Truth. They consider him their messiah, he finds them an unpleasant reminder of Magus. That said, he's not above using them when the need arises.
  • Super Dickery: Drax and Phyla go to see Mentor, Moondragons' Parental Substitute, about a way to revive her. Unfortunately, they need her soul. Mentor instantly kills both of them. It gets them where they need to go, but they're still angry about it when they're revived.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Magus to Adam Warlock.
  • Tastes Like Purple: According to Cosmo, Mantis' thoughts smell like flowers.
  • Tempting Fate: When the subject of the Magus comes up, Adam Warlock is incredibly insistent he prevented that reality from happening, causing Rocket to ask if their mission is going to become 'one of those time-travel things'. Fortunately, it doesn't. But then, at the end of the issue, we see a figure frozen in a block of ice, a familiar shield just visible underneath the surface. Capped off by what Quill says over this.
    Star-Lord: "That kind of stuff always ends in pain, heartbreak and tears before bedtime. Sure glad we dodged that bullet."
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: In particular, the Guardians Of All Galaxys (the 30th century team, and all alternates thereof) live Meanwhile, in the Future, operate on San Dimas Time, and have Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory. So they only know about things happening in 2010 "after" they've happened.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Badoon are in the middle of this in Vol 2. When the team faces off against some zoms, Rocket doesn't believe the Badoon could be capable of such things. Vance Astro claims that in just a few years, they're going to be even more dangerous.
  • Verbal Tic: Bug. His tic is literally 'tik'.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Drax
  • Wham Shot: During War of Kings, Adam goes up against Vulcan. In the middle of the fight, his face suddenly turns purple...
    • During an escape attempt from the Church of Universal Truth, Maelstrom leads Phyla to a cocoon hidden in one of the Church's bases. She starts to open it, thinking Adam Warlock is inside. It's not. It's Thanos.
  • "What Now?" Ending: After The Thanos Imperative, the group disbanded with no leader.
  • When Trees Attack: Groot's kind of like a space Ent. Who can grow back if you smash him apart.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Marvel seems to be trying to raise Rocket Raccoon to this status.
  • Worthy Adversary: Played with. The Magus doesn't have a high opinion of the Guardians, constantly mocking their efforts, but he does at least acknowledge that they almost managed to stop him, and that he respects that.
  • You Are Too Late: After a desperate attempt to get back to the twenty-first century and stop the return of the Magus, it turns out that Adam Warlock can't be saved. He's been the Magus for months.

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alternative title(s): The Guardians Of The Galaxy
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