We really do need a battle cry.
We really do need a battle cry.
Now that we’ve all seen the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer (one million times), I’m sure there are some of you out there who are curious about just who this group of proclaimed
a-holes space pirates cosmic superheroes are. Well never fear, comiXology unbound is here to shed some light!
If you haven’t seen it already, check out our earlier post which gave you a general introduction into the GotG, but if that little taste wasn’t enough for you we’re going to break it down for you one character at a time starting with the fearless leader of the gang Peter Quill aka Star-Lord!
The first appearance of Star-Lord was in Marvel Preview #4 (Jan 1976) written by Steve Englehart with art by Steve Gan. It shows the story of Peter Quill’s childhood and eventual ascension to the role of Star-Lord (a position he steals in a fit of rage). Star-Lord’s whole character is based on revenge and anger, and frankly he’s kind of a jerk. Creator Steve Englehart had plans for the character that went unrealized, however, later reflecting on his website:
I conceived something very large. My hero would go from being an unpleasant, introverted jerk to the most cosmic being in the universe, and I would tie it into my then-new interest in astrology. After his earthbound beginning, his mind would be opened step by step, with a fast-action story on Mercury, a love story on Venus, a war story on Mars, and so on out to the edge of the solar system, and then beyond.
But — after his earthbound beginning, where I established him as an unpleasant, introverted jerk, I left Marvel, so no one ever saw what he was to become.
After Englehart left Marvel, the character was taken over by legendary Marvel writer Chris Claremont and was changed to have more of a hard sci-fi/action feel. The Claremont issues also introduced Star-Lord’s companion, Ship, and added more backstory to his origins, namely that he was actually the son of a galactic emperor and his mothers death was actually part of a Hameltesque plot for the throne crafted by his evil Uncle. Both the Englehart and the early Claremont stories can be read in Star-Lord: The Hollow Crown and the the continuation of Claremont’s run can be read in Star-Lord: Worlds On The Brink
For a long time after that, Star-Lord didn’t see too much action in the Marvel universe, and it wasn’t until 2004 in Thanos #8 by Keith Giffen and Ron Lim when he made his return, revealed to be a captive in an intergalactic high-security prison called The Klyn. His reintroduction was followed up by Annihilation and then Annihilation Conquest (along with a spin-off miniseries starring Quill) which saw Star-Lord team up with the mightiest galactic heroes to fight the apocalyptic forces of Annihilus, lord of the Negative Zone and the techno-organic Phalanx.
The Annihilation event lead directly into what is considered the quintessential Guardians of the Galaxy book written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. It was in this series that Star-Lord assumed the role as leader of the Guardians.
If all this seems WAY TOO MUCH, then don’t worry. brianmichaelbendis rebooted the series and it’s crazy fun. You can start with issue 0.1 to get a retelling of Peter Quill’s origin and go on from there. You’ll be caught up in no time.
Congrats! You’re now a Star-Lord Scholar, brag to all your friends, and get working on your finger-machine.
Gotta admit, though, 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a pretty cool name.
So you want to get started with the Guardians of the Galaxy?
The first thing you gotta know is these aren’t your every-day, goody-two-shoes, superheroes. The Guardians are some of the most badass space pirates this side of the Milky Way, and before they make their big screen debut, comiXology is here to make sure you’re the most well-versed person in the theater opening night.
First you gotta meet the team:
Jump into the renowned 2008 run by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. This series put together the characters that we have all suddenly become obsessed with. You can pick it up in 25 single issues or 4 collected volumes, or for the frugal minded grab the whole thing with our Guardians of the Galaxy Bundle
Maybe you just want to get reading right now and don’t care about all that backstory. You’re the type of reader with modern sensibilities, eh? Well lucky for you GotG just got a fresh coat of paint early last year, by the man, the legend, the prolific writer and answerer of many a hair-dressing question on tumblr, brianmichaelbendis. Dive into now and you could be caught up by tonight! Pick up Vol. 3 right here.
And for the completists among us, we present to you some Universe-Expanding reads in Annihilation, where bug-like villain Annihilus enters the universe from the Negative Zone with the Annihilation Wave, a massive armada of warships. The Annihilation Wave begins to destroy anything in its path, including huge chunks of galactic civilization. Nova (Richard Rider) assembles a force to fight back. Check it out here.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 15 second Teaser Trailer
The best day of the week is back again! It’s #NewComicDay! Here’s some of the books we’re looking forward to reading most this week:
Saga #18 - The end of the arc! Our heroes’ stay on Quietus comes to and end! Oh man, what is going to happen!?!
Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW - Jumping on point!! THE TRIAL OF JEAN GREY - When an alien race discovers that the original Jean Grey is back on Earth, they decide to hold her accountable for the acts of the Dark Phoenix, and it’s up to the Guardians to help the X-Men save her.
Adventure Time 2014 Winter Special - It’s winter time in the land of Ooo! Join your favorite characters in a collection of short stories as they embrace the cold! Snow, sweaters, and chilling adventures!
Inhumanity #2 - Written by Matt Fraction! Medusa’s kingdom is destroyed, her king is dead and her people’s population just increased exponentially. Everything is different—how can she possibly deal with it all?
Lost At Sea 10-Year Anniversary Edition - Raleigh doesn’t have a soul. A cat stole it - or at least that’s what she tells people - or at least that’s what she would tell people if she told people anything. But that would mean talking to people, and the mere thought of social interaction is terrifying. How did such a shy teenage girl end up in a car with three of her hooligan classmates on a cross-country road trip? Being forced to interact with kids her own age is a new and alarming proposition for Raleigh, but maybe it’s just what she needs - or maybe it can help her find what she needs - or maybe it can help her to realize that what she needs has been with her all along.
Li’l Sonja - Li’l Sonja is a warrior girl who travels the lands testing her mettle against monsters big and small, a younger pluckier version of the famous She-Devil With a Sword. When Li’l Sonja encounters a town plagued by eccentric bandits, she needs to figure out the pattern behind the thefts and bring the baddies to justice. No task is too tough for our crimson-haired hero. And if that isn’t enough, each Li’l book comes with a two-page activity sheet!
Superior Spider-Man #26 - Goblin Nation Prelude! The Green Goblin vs. The Original Hobgoblin! Plus: That thing that happened at the end of #25… That thing that raised all of those questions… You don’t have to wait any longer. You’ll get your answers THIS ISSUE! Honest.
Batman: The Dark Knight #27 - Batman will stop at nothing to shut down the Penguin, who has forced Gotham City’s illegal immigrants into slave labor.
Worlds’ Finest: Annual #1 - In one of their first adventures together, Earth 2’s Supergirl and Robin team up to face their world’s Wonder Woman.
Rocket Raccoon #3, July 1985, cover by Mike Mignola and Al Gordon
Hey! We’ve got that!
Crimes, Cruelty, and Chaos: An Introduction To Villainy
Part Two: Thanos
Thanos. The name alone strikes fear into the hearts of the entire Marvel Universe. In this introduction to The Mad Titan you will read the first ever appearance of Thanos in Jim Starlin’s Iron Man #55, and then some of his first encounters with The Avengers, Captain Marvel, and Adam Warlock all leading up to Thanos Quest. After reading these you will have a good starting idea of who Thanos really is and be ready to jump right into one of the most famous Marvel events of all time Infinity Gauntlet. See Thanos in top form; complex, driven, and unfathomably evil.
Thanos Art by Jon Hughes & Blake Henriksen
comiXology University is a regular post by the fine folks at comiXology Unbound where you can learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about comics through thematically curated reading lists.
Freeze Frame: Yondu vs. Yondu
While actor Michael Rooker is perhaps better known for his more villainous roles in The Walking Dead and The DC Showcase Jonah Hex Short, Yondu is all hero. How do you think his turn as one of the original Guardians of The Galaxy play out on the big screen next summer?