Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is perhaps the most hotly anticipated Marvel movie of the decade, with the highest franchise approval rating of any of Marvel’s immensely popular properties.
To celebrate, I’ll be taking a look at every era of Guardians of the Galaxy comics, highlighting the great moments, and which series will appeal to different types of fans.
When all is said and done, I’ll also be ranking the greatest Guardians of the Galaxy comics of all time!
For those who just want to get started reading as many Guardians comics as possible, I recommend the below Comic Book Herald reading guides!
Related Reading Orders:
Dan Abnett Returns To Writing Guardians of the Galaxy
While he’s best known for his writing partnership with Andy Lanning on Marvel’s acclaimed 2008 to 2010 Guardians of the Galaxy, from 2014 to 2016, Dan Abnett wrote two 8 issue series titled Guardians 3000
Guardians 3000 launches during later Marvel NOW!, as the Marvel Universe rapidly approaches Secret Wars. I missed out on this series the first time around, but was pleased to find it’s one of the best Marvel Cosmic books from this period of Marvel, and may well be my favorite single Guardians story of the 2010’s.
As the name suggests, Guardians 3000 concentrates on the original Guardians of the Galaxy roster of Vance Astro, Charlie-27, Yondu, Martinex, Nikki Gold, and Starhawk/Aletta. Abnett and Lanning showed a healthy respect for the classic lineup in their defining run on the new Guardians, but in Guardians 3000 Abnett explores a deep appreciation for these characters, particularly as established by Jim Valentino in the 1990 to 1994 Guardians of the Galaxy.
The first issue takes its cues from Edge of Tomorrow (Live Die Repeat), with newcomer Geena Drake able to relive moments in time as the Guardians plot in secret to ward off the Badoon.
It’s quickly very apparent that Guardians 3000 isn’t just more of the same Guardians v. Badoon, as the roster relies on the help of 3000 A.D’s Star-Lord and Gladiator to solve the mystery of collapsing timelines and confused memories. Much like Valentino’s run, Abnett uses this free-form timeline to tie into the larger Marvel Universe in creative ways, welcoming the likes of Galactus and Korvac into the foray.
Most surprisingly, I had no idea Guardians 3000 – a series set ostensibly some 1,000 years in our future – bled into 2015’s Secret Wars as effectively as it ultimately does. As a whole, Guardians 3000 is as welcome a surprise as the 90’s series, and definitely my favorite take on the Guardians in the Marvel NOW! era.
Unfortunately, after Secret Wars, Abnett’s story loses some momentum with Guardians of Infinity. Conceptually it’s just as interesting (we have a Guardians 3000, Guardians 2000… why not an original Guardians 1000?) but the eight issue arc struggles to pick up momentum with an enormous cast of three Guardians rosters.
After the success of Guardians 3000. I had hoped to make a case that the Abnett pairing together was the rival to the 2008 to 2010’s series throne, but Infinity lets down too often for that. To its credit, Guardians of Infinity does include a modern Guardians backup story in each issue, with some verging on excellent.
Who Are These Guardians For?
Fans of Jim Valentino’s 90’s series, or anyone who was particularly interested by the classic Guardians 3000 cameos in Abnett and Lanning’s 2008 to 23010 Guardians of the Galaxy run.
Do Guardians Movie Fans Need This Comic Run?
Likely not. Good for fans of Yondu, and the backup stories in Guardians of Infinity provide more connections to the Guardians roster closer to the MCU.
Where Can I Find These Comics?
Best Moment of Guardians From This Time Period
Rocket Raccoon getting his mind swapped with a Russian general.