While I’ve written a concise path on where to start with Guardians of the Galaxy comics, the rise of the Guardians as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best cosmic team begs for a more comprehensive reading order, complete with guides for each core character.
The Guardians of the Galaxy have undergone three clear team iterations throughout Marvel’s history, with the original Guardians lineup bearing no resemblance to the more familiar lineup out of modern Marvel cosmic.
Below you’ll find a complete guide to Guardians of the Galaxy comics from the original lineup through present day. Enjoy the comics!
Guardians of the Galaxy Reading Order
Original Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow’s Avengers – Volume 1
For many fans of Guardians of the Galaxy, especially those who have grown to love the Guardians of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll want to start with the modern Marvel Cosmic era beginning below with Annihilation.
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If you really want to dive deep into Marvel history, though, and to see where original Guardians like Yondu come from, you can start here with the true origins of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s worth noting that no members of this Guardians crew are a part of the modern Guardians, although the original Guardians do continue to make appearances throughout the Marvel Universe.
Collects: Marvel Super Heroes (1967) 18, Marvel Two-In-One (1974) 4-5, Giant-Size Defenders 5, Defenders (1972) 26-29, Marvel Presents 3-12
Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow’s Avengers, Vol. 2
Includes the Avengers Korvac Saga, in perhaps the most essential original Guardians reading of the 1900’s.
Collects: Thor Annual #6; Avengers (1963) #167-168, #170-177, and #181; Ms. Marvel (1977) #23; Marvel Team-Up (1972) #86; Marvel Two-In-One #61-63, and #69
1990’s Guardians of the Galaxy by Jim Valentino
Guardians of the Galaxy by Jim Valentino Volume 1
Destined to a life of being overlooked, the Guardians returned in the 1990’s under the creative vision of Jim Valentino, for a lengthy run.
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy (1990) 1-7, Annual 1
Guardians of the Galaxy by Jim Valentino Volume 2
Collects: Collecting: Guardians Of The Galaxy (1990) 8-20
Guardians of the Galaxy by Jim Valentino Vol. 3
Collects: Guardians Of The Galaxy (1990) 21-29, Annual 2
Guardians of the Galaxy Classic: In the Year 3000 Vol. 1
Collects: Guardians Of The Galaxy (1990) 30-39, Annual 3; Material From Marvel Comics Presents 134
Guardians of the Galaxy Classic: In the Year 3000 Vol. 2
Collects: Guardians Of The Galaxy (1990) 40-50, Galactic Guardians 1-4, Guardians Of The Galaxy Annual (1991) 4
Guardians of the Galaxy Classic: In the Year 3000 Vol. 3
Collects: Guardians Of The Galaxy (1990) 51-62, Material From Guardians Of The Galaxy Annual 4
Modern Guardians of the Galaxy – Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Run
The modern Guardians won’t really begin to form until Annihilation: Conquest, but it’s worth noting that the modern Marvel Cosmic era begins with the Annihilation event, and every arc really flows from there.
This is our first encounter with Peter Quill in the modern Marvel Universe, and while fans strictly here for the Guardians will want to jump to the first Abnett and Lanning collection, I recommend the Marvel Cosmic reading order for anyone looking to dive in deep.
If you want the true modern origins of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, look no further than the Annihilation: Conquest Star-Lord tie-in! Watch Groot’s dialogue evolve in real time!
Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 1
For my money, the best Guardians of the Galaxy story arc ever told. I think it’s best when integrated in the full Marvel Cosmic picture, but you could conceivably just read these 25 issues and Thanos Imperative and come away fulfilled.
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 to #12
Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 2
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy #13 to #25
If you want to know more about Thanos, I recommend the Comic Book Herald complete Thanos reading order.
Marvel NOW! Guardians of the Galaxy – The Brian Michael Bendis Run
In anticipation of their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut the Guardians of the Galaxy were relaunched as part of Marvel NOW!, this time with 2000’s New Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis at the helm.
The Bendis run focuses on the Guardians lineup MCU fans will recognize, moving well away from the more varied crew of the Abnett and Lanning days.
If you want to see how all these Guardians issues fit in within the context of the complete Marvel NOW! launch, I recommend Comic Book Herald’s Marvel NOW! reading order.
Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic (2013) #1 to #4
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Angela
Note that Guardians of the Galaxy issues #8 and #9 are crossovers with Marvel’s 2013 Infinity event. You can find their appropriate timeline placement within Comic Book Herald’s Infinity reading order.
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 to #10
Guardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey
Issues #11 to #13 of GoTG crossover with Bendis’s work on All-New X-Men, alternating issue by issue for the Trial of Jean Grey. You can find the full reading order in the Marvel NOW! guide.
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy 11-13, All-New X-Men 22-24
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Guardians Disassembled
The third volume of Marvel NOW! Guardians of the Galaxy comics starts to make some broader Marvel Universe connections, introducing Marvel NOW! Captain Marvel and Agent Venom. If you’re unfamiliar with either character, this collection will give you brief overviews.
You could also learn more about each character through Comic Book Herald’s Captain Marvel and Venom reading orders.
Collects: Captain Marvel (2012) #1, Amazing Spider-Man #654 (B story), Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians Of The Galaxy) 1, Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #14-17
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4: Original Sin
Guardians of the Galaxy Original Sin tie-ins mark the official point when I stopped defending the Bendis run. For the first time in the run, Bendis addresses some of what Abnett and Lanning left behind, and it reads very much like the creative team and editorial never actually read the Abnett and Lanning run.
Nonethless, if you want to place this crossover within the Original Sin timeline (not a huge necessity honestly), you can check out Comic Book Herald’s Original Sin reading order.
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #18-23, Annual #1
Guardians 3000 Vol. 1: Time After Time
The original Guardians are back for their own series with Dan Abnett at the helm joined by Gerardo Sandoval!
Collects: Guardians 3000 #1 to #6
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 5: Through The Looking Glass
Guardians Team-Up Vol. 1: Guardians Assemble
Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex
Issues #24 and #25 of Guardians of the Galaxy are part of the Black Vortex crossover event with the X-Men. You can find their placement in the timeline with Comic Book Herald’s Black Vortex reading order.
Additionally, note that Guardians Team-Up launches around this time, with tie-ins for the Black Vortex event.
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy #24 to #27, Guardians Team-Up #1 to #5
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
Guardians Team-Up Vol. 2: Unlikely Story
Collects: Guardians Team-Up 6-10, Deadpool Team-Up 883
Guardians of the Galaxy: Best Story Ever
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy: Best Story Ever (2015), Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow ‘s Avengers 1, Free Comic Book Day (2014) Rocket Raccoon 1, Guardians of the Galaxy : Galaxy ‘s Most Wanted 1; material from Thor (1966) 314, Logan’s Run 6, Marvel Holiday Special 2
During the events of 2015’s Secret Wars, Bendis teamed with artist Mike Deodato for this Guardians of Knowhere crossover. This is an “alternate reality” of sorts that makes the most sense set within the context of Secret Wars as a whole.
For timeline placement, check out Comic Book Herald’s Secret Wars reading order.
All-New All-Different Guardians of the Galaxy… Still by Bendis
Guardians of the Galaxy: New Guard Vol. 1: Emporer Quill
If you thought the Guardians roster got weird during Marvel NOW!, just wait for All-New All-Different Marvel.
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy (2015 – ) #1 to #5
Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians of Infinity
Collects: Guardians of Infinity #1 to #8
Guardians of the Galaxy: Tales of the Cosmos
Collects: Guardians of Infinity (2015) #1-8 (B stories)
Smaller, “slice of life”-type adventures of the Guardians originally collected as back-up in stories in the short-lived Guardians of Infinity series!
Guardians of the Galaxy: New Guard Vol. 2
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy (2015 – ) #6 to #10
Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Infinite Comic
Guardians of the Galaxy: New Guard Vol. 3: Civil War II
As you’d expect, these issues make more sense within the context of Civil War II. You can check out Comic Book Herald’s Civil War II reading order for placement.
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy (2015 – ) #11 to #14
Guardians of the Galaxy: New Guard Vol. 4: Grounded
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy (2015 – ) #15 to #19
Marvel Legacy to Marvel Fresh Start Guardians
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mother Entropy
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy: Mother Entropy (2017) #1-5
Jim Starlin and Alan Davis team up for this mini series taking the Guardians back to Knowhere and featuring Pip The Troll
Secret Empire: United We Stand
Collects: Secret Empire: United (2017) #1, Secret Empire: Underground (2017) #1, Secret Empire: Uprising (2017) #1, Uncanny Avengers (2015B) #24-25, All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Annual (2017) #1
In order to help Captain Marvel and Earth, the Guardians need to team up with Star-Lord’s old mentor, Yondu Udonta!
For the full guide, check out Comic Book Herald’s complete Secret Empire reading order.
All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 1: Communication Breakdown
Collects: Free Comic Book Day 2017 All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #1, All-New Guardians of the Galaxy (2017) #1-2, 4, 6, 8 & 10
Gerry Duggan begins his own cosmic trilogy here!
All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2: Riders In The Sky
Collects: All-New Guardians of the Galaxy (2017) #3, 5, 7, 9 & 11-12
Solo stories of the All-New Guardians era, a new member and subplot for the next chapter!
All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3: Infinity Quest
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy (2017) #146-150
The Guardians are drafted into the newly reformed Nova Corps as cosmic chatter begins to heat up about the return of the Infinity Stones!
Collects: Infinity Countdown Prime (2018), Infinity Countdown (2018) #1-5, Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock (2018) #1 and Material from Free Comic Book Day 2018 (Amazing Spider-Man)
The Guardians break up as a new Infinity Watch is formed!
Collects: Infinty Wars Prime (2018) #1, Infinity Wars (2018) #1-6, Infinity Wars: Fallen Guardian (2018) #1, Infinity Wars: Infinity (2018) #1, Material from Thanos Legacy (2018) #1
Gamora versus the Guardians for the Infinity Stones!
For the full guide, check out Comic Book Herald’s Infinity Wars reading order.
Guardians of the Galaxy by Donny Cates Vol. 1: The Final Gauntlet
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) #1-6
What’s left of the Guardians pick up after the Infinity Wars- just in time for the last will of Thanos to set off another cosmic crisis!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Faithless
Collects: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2019) #7-12, Guardians of the Galaxy Annual (2019) #1
Guardians of the Galaxy by Al Ewing
Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy (2020) #1 to #19, Rocket #1 to #6
Where does War of Kings come in? I recall they were present in that story.
I’m also confused by this. how do those books fit in?
José Vieira says
needs to be updated
Where does “Old Man Quill” fall into? I havent seen that title anywhere on CBH.
That’s a different universe, not the 616 universe this all takes place in
Kevin H. says
I recently wrote a review of Guardians of the Galaxy comics to read for more of the everyday person that is getting into Guardians of the Galaxy. I linked to your website for readers that were more inclined to get the back story.
At any rate, love what you’re doing here. Keep up the great work! Would love it if you had any thoughts on my review.
I’m struggling to catch up with the most recent spate of Guardians comics. It seems like the All-New All-Different Gaurdians (including the Free Comic Book Day issue) has some continuity that I may be missing. Drax is a pacifist now? Everyone is pissed at Peter? The Nova Corps is back together and policing the galaxy?
I haven’t been following the post-Civil War II solo books other than Star Lord by Chip Zdarsky (no Drax, Gamorra, Groot or Rocket), do I need those to make sense of what’s going on?
I realize that with the 2nd movie just out that there will likely be a focus on the Marvel Cosmic side of things. Are you going to keep this and the other lists updared? That would be super helpful.
No right now it’s a mystery
Is there a reading order for Grounded?