10 Best Guardians Of The Galaxy Comic Book Issues Ever

Thor: Love And Thunder takes several plot cues from the fantastic 2013 and 2014 Thor comic book storylines from writer Jason Aaron and artists including Esad Ribić and Russell Dauterman. Fans curious where the Guardians of the Galaxy live-action story is headed next may find hints in their best comics, including some that connect them to Thor and the Avengers.

The best Guardians of the Galaxy comic books ever include their epic origins both in the 31st century with the original team and in the present with the modern team most fans know and love. They pit the team against truly cosmic odds in villains like Thanos and Annihilus and pair them with unexpected heroes like the X-Men.


Thor Annual #6

Thor teams with Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel Comics.

The Guardians of the Galaxy play a large role in the new movie, and their connection to Thor goes back many years in Marvel Comics. Thor Annual #6 from 1977 ranks among the best Guardians of the Galaxy comics for aligning the original 31st-century team with the present day of the main Marvel Universe, Earth-616.

This oversized issue pitted the Guardians against Korvac, a key Avengers villain, and also paved the way for the team to travel back to the present to continue their adventures with the Avengers.

Avengers #177

Korvac fighting the Avengers.

Avengers #177 ranks among the best Avengers comics ever, as well as the best Guardians of the Galaxy books, for bringing the two groups together against a massive cosmic threat. The two teams join up for the final battle against Korvac, who threatens the entire universe after absorbing the Power Cosmic from Galactus.

The template for the Guardians' role in the MCU against Thanos clearly begins here, as do many significant cosmic storylines in Marvel Comics that followed in the years after, like The Infinity Gauntlet.

Marvel Super-Heroes #18

The original Guardians of the Galaxy debut in Marvel Comics.

Marvel Super-Heroes #18 in 1969 starts everything rolling for the Guardians of the Galaxy. The original team, including Vance Astro, Martinex T'Naga, Captain Charlie-27, and Yondu Udonta, come together in this issue to fight against the evil Badoon conquerors in an alternate future timeline from the main Marvel Universe known as Earth-691.

Signature elements of the Guardians franchise, like Yondu and his home planet of Centauri IV, debut in this key issue. Some original team members appear in the MCU like Starhawk, appearing in cameo roles that may expand as the franchise moves forward.

Galactic Guardians #1

The Galactic Guardians so far remain an unexplored aspect from Guardians of the Galaxy lore, but an intriguing one for fans nonetheless. Galactic Guardians #1 from 1995 represents the debut issue for the first offshoot from the team, with legacy members like Martinex joining new ones in the form of Firelord and Hollywood, a future Wonder Man variant.

Comic book fans know Wonder Man enjoys a long lifespan thanks to his unique ionic energy-based powers. His cosmic connections to the team both in this issue and The Korvac Saga may play a role in the upcoming Wonder Man series from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton.

Guardians of the Galaxy #6

Angela from Marvel Comics

Guardians of the Galaxy #6 takes the team back into battle against the Badoon, the original villains from the 31st century, but with some surprising additions to the team that makes this issue a must for comic book fans. Angela joins the team in this book, and as comic fans likely know, she began as an angelic warrior in Spawn comics.

Legal issues between writer Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane eventually led to Gaiman selling Angela to Marvel Comics and her integration into the Guardians mythos. The books eventually reveal she is the long-lost sister of Thor, another strong connection between the team and the God of Thunder.

The Black Vortex Omega #1

Comic book fans know Kitty Pryde was no stranger to space during her time with the X-Men, but The Black Vortex Omega #1 from 2015 integrates her into the Guardians in many powerful ways. Star-Lord proposes to Kitty at the end of this issue, setting off a storyline that eventually upends the team and leaves her in charge of it.

Though Kitty doesn't marry Peter Quill in the end and likely won't in the MCU, this issue presents a classic cosmic story with real growth for her character in particular that offers a lot for comic book fans.

Guardians of the Galaxy #18

The Guardians of the Galaxy fight in Marvel Comics.

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 from 2010 brings together the original 31st-century team and the modern one MCU fans know and love, making it one of the best Guardians comics. The two teams come together during the War of Kings crossover, an important Marvel Comics event, which sees the Shi'ar and Kree intergalactic empires go to war.

The original Guardians take the new team to the future to warn them about The Fault, a rift that threatens to destroy time. The teams join forces to fight the Magus, a powerful Adam Warlock variant who potentially appears in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

The Thanos Imperative #6

The Thanos Imperative

The Thanos Imperative #6 concludes a major storyline from 2010 in which beings from the Cancerverse invade the Marvel Universe. The climactic issue represents a major moment for the team as Thanos kills Drax the Destroyer and Star-Lord seemingly sacrifices himself by staying in the Cancerverse as it collapses.

Nova remains with Star-Lord and his apparent demise also has major consequences. Both the Nova Corps and the Guardians of the Galaxy break up after this eventful issue.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Guardians of the Galaxy Comics

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 counts among the best Guardians comics ever for introducing the modern team. This 2008 issue from writer Dan Abnett and artist Andy Lanning completely reinvents the original concept and establishes the off-kilter crew that has since become so popular in the MCU, including Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and others.

This issue goes a long way toward establishing the team's new irreverent tone, a marked contrast from the otherwise straightforward comics featuring the original 31st-century squad.

Annihilation #6

Marvel Comics Annihilation Nova

The modern Guardians of the Galaxy emerge from Annihilation #6, making this epic issue among their best. This epic final issue in the Annihilation storyline, a major cosmic event in the Marvel Universe, sees established characters like Gamora, Drax, and others joining Nova to stop Annihilus from destroying everything.

The team organizes to prevent galactic threats like Annhilus and his Annihilation Wave from happening again. Though the MCU chose a different origin for the team, their future in live-action may head in this direction after Thanos' actions.

NEXT: 10 Times Thor Lost In Marvel Comics

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About The Author Darby Harn (834 Articles Published)

DARBY HARN is the author of the sci-fi superhero novels Ever The Hero, The Judgment Of Valene, and Nothing Ever Ends. He talks all things pop culture on The Shelf Warmers podcast.

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