Update 12.15.16: Comic Book Herald’s updated, complete Guardians of the Galaxy reading order
A bit late with this week’s “Question of the Week” not due to lack of awesome questions (seriously you guys went nuts!), but because of some other comic book writing commitments. That’s right, your fearless Comic Book Herald mastermind has taken has talents to South Beach! Wait, what’s that, it’s 90 degrees and humid down there? Scratch that, I’m sweating just thinking about it.
You will find me reviewing comics on Tuesdays and Thursday over at Capeless Crusader, though. And on occasion, I provide comic book suggestions on Ript Apparel’s blog (if you like custom tees for $10, you gotta give this site a look).
This leads me to today’s question, which I covered in some detail over at Ript: Where do you start with Guardians of the Galaxy comics? More specifically, this week we have a question from Adil:
I have been interested in guardians of the galaxy but am not sure of the reading order. I found this source but I don’t know if this is the correct order: http://www.megacitycomics.co.uk/acatalog/Guardians_Galaxy_Bestsellers.html
As I mention in my top 3 Guardians story suggestions, technically, the original Guardians of the Galaxy first appeared all the way back in 1969 in an issue of “Marvel Super Heroes #18.” There are some interesting characters and stories from this early run of the Guardians (for example, they play a pivotal role in The Avengers’ classic “Korvac Saga”), but your father’s Guardians are not the ones we’ll be seeing on the big screen in August (for the most part).
As a result, you’re going to want to start with the more recent runs on Guardians of the Galaxy. The question here becomes “Which recent run?”
Catch up on the Guardians Movie, or Simply Enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy Comics?
You have two options. First, you have the 2008 run from Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett, and Paul Pelletier, which ran for 25 issues before crossing over with the six issue Thanos Imperative. Your second option is the Marvel NOW! reboot of the franchise led by Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, and Sara Pichelli. You’ll notice in the bestseller link from Adil above, that it is the more recent Bendis penned stories they feature.
In a vacuum, I would recommend starting with the Abnett & Lanning GoTG. This is really the core formation of what the modern Guardians would become and this is a fantastic 25 issue run. It is worth noting that this Guardians of the Galaxy intersects heavily with the other Marvel cosmic events from the time period. Fortunately, I have a solid guide to Marvel Cosmic.
Possibly, you may be most interested in getting ready for the movie this summer in as prompt or cost-effective a manner as possible. In that case, the Marvel Now! reboot of Guardians is definitely more geared towards their eventual cinematic presence. You’ll be missing out on my favorite Guardians of the Galaxy stories (that would be the Abnett & Lanning run), but you will feel caught up for the movie.
Any Guardians of the Galaxy Characters Have Good Solo Books?
Solo Guardian books are actually pretty rare. Peter Quill (aka Starlor) will be getting a solo series later this year, but otherwise, you’re only real recent bet is the Annihilation Conquest: Starlord tie-in. It’s a solid tie-in, and starts to establish both Quill and the Guardians, but it’s also still finding the team’s sea legs.
I’d also recommend the Drax the Destroyer 4 issue mini series, especially for Marvel Unlimited subscribers. This series completely redefines modern day Drax. You may remember the Destroyer from Jim Starlin Thanos stories, but the Drax you’ll see in the movie is quite a bit different and based on this run.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t reach back in the vault for Rocket Raccoon from Bill Mantlo and Mike Mignola in 1985. This four issue miniseries is pure unadulterated comic book adventure. Rocket has grown a lot since these humble beginnings, but this four issue mini establishes his origin and his place of birth: the crazy Halfworld.