Thor: Love And Thunder caught up with the Guardians of the Galaxy for a brief moment before they return next year for what James Gunn suggests is an ending to the current MCU team. Many great comic book storylines featuring the Guardians remain unadapted if it is the end, but their best stories hint at where the team is headed next in the MCU.
The Guardians of the Galaxy play a role in major modern storylines like Secret Wars and Annihilation, both of which are destined for the screen. Though the Guardians likely evolve in the MCU from their current form, big events lead to regular roster changes in the comics and the same probably holds true for the live-action crew.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Secret Wars caps The Multiverse Saga in the MCU and the Guardians certainly play some role. Star-Lord numbered among the few survivors of the multiverse's collapse in the 2015 crossover, among Marvel Comics' most important events, and helps to restore it along with other key heroes, making this an essential Guardians comic book storyline.
Star-Lord survives by joining Reed Richards, Spider-Man, and others aboard a liferaft that preserves them during the final incursion between Earth-616 and 1610. This concept likely makes it to live-action as incursions themselves have, introduced in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The Trial Of Jean Grey
The Guardians share many comic connections with the X-Men that make for intriguing MCU possibilities and one likely intersection comes in The Trial of Jean Grey. A young Jean Grey stands trial for her older variant's crimes as the Dark Phoenix and the Guardians intervene, leading to an epic storyline that weaves in many characters and ideas.
This crossover event plays out in Guardians of the Galaxy #11-13 and All-New X-Men #22-24 and sets up some key plot dynamics between the two teams that lead to equally compelling storylines later on.
Realm Of Kings
Realm Of Kings brings together the modern team MCU fans know and love and the original comic book team from the 31st century in a time-spanning storyline full of characters and concepts. It also pays off the 2008 reimagining of the team by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and artist Brad Walker in a suitably cosmic fashion.
The storyline brings back Thanos, something at least on the table in the MCU, and introduces the Council of the Guardians of All Galaxies, an interstellar group that could emerge in the MCU through the multiverse.
The Thanos Imperative
Thanos counts among the most powerful cosmic beings in the Marvel Universe and The Thanos Imperative shows why. It also offers another dimension to Thanos as the team joins forces with him in order to tackle a greater threat. When an incursion threatens Earth-616 with the Cancerverse, the team enlists Thanos to create death in a universe where it doesn't.
This dark storyline includes epic action and challenging choices and also provides some inspiration for the MCU's future, especially as incursions become a factor in The Multiverse Saga.
The Black Vortex
Comic book fans know Kitty Pryde loves science and technology and she brings that love to her time with the Guardians of the Galaxy. She plays a major role in The Black Vortex, a cosmic comic storyline involving the Guardians and the X-Men as they both try to contain an unimaginably powerful weapon from falling into the wrong hands.
The storyline leads to Kitty Pryde achieving her greatest power potential in the multiverse, something the MCU likely touches on eventually, and also features her engagement to Star-Lord and joining the Guardians.
Kitty Pryde ultimately takes over the team in Wanted, a fun storyline that jumbles the line-up in major ways. With the MCU Guardians roster destined to change, this storyline presents numerous possibilities for live-action. Many new characters join up, including Angela, Thor's long-lost sister and among the best Thor comic book characters not yet in the MCU.
This storyline also revisits the Badoon, the alien race that played a foundational role in the original Guardians of the Galaxy's formation, and may appear in live-action at some point soon.
The Korvac Saga
The original Guardians team, including Vance Astro, Martinex T'Naga, Captain Charlie-27, and Yondu, initially resided in an alternate future timeline. They intersected with Earth-616 in The Korvac Saga, among the best Avengers comic book storylines, and became a vital part of the Marvel Universe proper as a result.
The Guardians help the Avengers fight Korvac, a powerful cosmic villain who may appear in live-action someday. Their experience in this storyline, running in The Avengers #167–177 in the 1970s, led to further adventures in 616's present day.
Legacy recontextualizes the Guardians for the modern day and creates the eventual MCU team, making this a landmark comic book storyline. Abnett and Lanning launch a brand-new era for the team in the 2008 volume, bringing together the now-familiar characters of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot.
The storyline also features some major differences from live-action that readers likely find compelling. Characters like Adam Warlock are there from the beginning and concepts like the Universal Church of Truth prove major villains, and they may yet in the MCU.
Gamora's fate remains a major question in the MCU and Memento Mori is a great comic book storyline that could hold clues to her live-action future. Written by Nicole Perlman with art by Marco Checcetto, this storyline explores Gamora's origin and also her character really for the first time in the comics.
Gamora struggles with her past as Thanos' weapon and instrument and this journey could inform where the variant Gamora goes next in the MCU, as her character effectively reset in Avengers: Endgame.
Annihilation presents a major cosmic storyline sure to appear in the MCU eventually. Annihilus launches the Annihilation Wave from The Negative Zone, leading to an all-out war that brings together the modern Guardians team, making this 2009 storyline an absolute must-read.
Nova leads the fight, organizing the disparate members of the new Guardians together along with many other major cosmic characters like the Silver Surfer. The storyline's epic scope completely refaces the cosmic Marvel Universe for years to come.
NEXT: 10 Best Guardians Of The Galaxy Characters Not In The MCU