Comics to Read Before ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ #1
The cosmic crew’s latest ongoing series begins today on Marvel Unlimited! Get a full recap here!
Dive into a new era for the cosmos’ most ragtag renegades! Al Ewing and artist Juann Cabal’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2020) #1 is now available to read for all MU subscribers. Throughout the opening arc’s first four issues, Ewing and Cabal have put the team through the wringer with the death of a founding member, the introduction of several new members, and even a rival team of Guardians!
It can be a lot to take in. Fortunately, most of the resources to get ready for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2020) are already at your fingertips on MU. You just need to know where to start, and that’s where we’re here to help! Once you’ve read these suggested picks, you’ll be more than ready for the new series which pits the Guardians against the gods of Olympus, and sets the stage for EMPYRE!
Read the (curated) event in full!
This 2018 epic fractured the Guardians as we knew them. Gamora seized control of the Infinity Gems, nearly killing Peter Quill in the process. As a precursor, Gamora actually managed to murder her adoptive father, Thanos. It took Drax the Destroyer’s sacrifice to set reality right. But the aftermath left the universe badly in need of new protectors.
Additionally, the Phyla-Vell and Moondragon of a neighboring reality were forced to stay in the Earth-616 universe after Gamora’s counterpart destroyed their world. Their presence proved to be crucial for the next Guardians of the Galaxy series.
Thanos’ last will and testament revealed that he had left a backup copy of his mind in an unsuspecting victim. Everyone believed that the person in question was Gamora. To save her, Star-Lord and Groot re-formed the Guardians of the Galaxy with Beta Ray Bill, Phyla-Vell, Moondragon, and even the Cosmic Ghost Rider.
However, the new team was rocked by an early betrayal that left Rocket on his deathbed, while Gamora fled into hiding. The necessity of the team’s mission, both for themselves and for the universe, forced everyone back together. Even Drax was restored to life as their extended family had a happy ending… of sorts.
That’s the thing about “happy endings” in the Marvel Universe. The story always continues, regardless of anyone’s wishes.
Rocket has a co-starring role in this ten-part limited series as a member of an emergency Avengers roster that includes Hercules, Voyager, Hawkeye, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Spectrum, and even the Immortal Hulk! Conan the Barbarian also returned to the Marvel Universe in this run, as Nyx, the Greek goddess of night, slaughtered Zeus and the rest of his pantheon.
Beyond Rocket’s appearance, NO ROAD HOME set the stage for Hercules’ latest stint as a cosmic hero. It also ended with the rebirth of the Greek pantheon as vengeful space gods. That leads directly into the events of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2020) #1-2!
Read in the following order: ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE – ALPHA #1; ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE – FANTASTIC FOUR #1; ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE – NOVA #1; ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE – BETA RAY BILL #1; ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE – SILVER SURFER #1; ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE – OMEGA #1.
With the Guardians of the Galaxy temporarily out of the picture, Nova: Richard Rider was forced to turn to the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, and other heroes when the Cancerverse returned to eliminate death itself. Since the survival of the entire universe was at stake, Nova was even forced to make an alliance with his old foe from the Negative Zone, Annihilus.
Nova fell in battle, but Annihilus resurrected him shortly thereafter. And Richard hasn’t been the same since. His trauma has carried over into GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2020), and since the Nova Corps is now largely disbanded or destroyed, he is truly without direction.
Technically, EMPYRE takes place after GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2020) #1. Regardless, the first issue of ‘Guardians’ was clearly setting the board for Marvel’s ongoing cosmic event. The first issue even dropped hints about the end of the Kree Civil War and the Skrull armada’s unsettling moves. Even the existence of a new emperor is a precursor for Hulkling’s ascension to the throne as the ruler of two united empires. Ewing is writing both series, and his impressive level of foreshadowing makes for a more rewarding experience.
See the rest of this week’s Marvel Unlimited titles here, including a handful of Throwback Thursday arrivals hitting July 30 which complete the classic ATLANTIS ATTACKS event!
NEW ON JULY 27
- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #38
- ATLANTIS ATTACKS #1 MAJOR DEBUT!
- BLACK PANTHER #20
- CAPTAIN MARVEL #14
- FANTASTIC FOUR #18
- RUINS OF RAVENCROFT: DRACULA #1
- EXCALIBUR #6
- GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 MAJOR DEBUT!
- MARAUDERS #6
- WEB OF VENOM: THE GOOD SON #1
NEW ON JULY 30
- SOLO AVENGERS (1987) #7
- SILVER SURFER ANNUAL (1988) #2 ATLANTIS ATTACKS TIE-IN!
- THE PUNISHER ANNUAL (1988) #2 ATLANTIS ATTACKS TIE-IN!
- PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL (1979) #9 ATLANTIS ATTACKS TIE-IN!
- WEB OF SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL (1985) #5 ATLANTIS ATTACKS TIE-IN!
Looking for more classic arcs and Marvel must-reads you can read for FREE? Read online here, or download or update the Marvel Unlimited app for iOS or Android at the Apple or Google Play app stores today.
For more of Marvel’s greatest comic books in print, please reach out to your local comic book shop to ask about services they may offer, including holding or creating pull lists, curbside pick-ups, special deliveries and other options to accommodate. Find and support your local comic book shop at http://comicshoplocator.com.
The Hype Box
Can’t-miss news and updates from across the Marvel Universe!