Showtime, A-Holes
The Guardians of the Galaxy’s origins can be traced to Earth native Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, betraying Yondu Udontu and his Ravagers and pre-emptively stealing a valuable Orb they were after. In retaliation, Yondu put a bounty on Quill’s head, which mercenaries Rocket and Groot were eager to claim.

Also on Quill’s tail was Gamora, a warrior assassin and adoptive daughter to Thanos. She had been loaned out as muscle to the Kree zealot Ronan the Accuser in order to help him track down the Orb. Gamora decided to betray Ronan and Thanos, not wishing the Orb and its potentially lethal power to get in their hands, and made a deal to sell the Orb to a being known as the Collector.

On Xandar, Quill and Gamora battled over the Orb, as Rocket and Groot intervened to detain Quill. During their skirmish, they were all captured by the Nova Corps and arrested. The four were sent to a high security prison, the Kyln, where they were joined by fellow prisoner Drax, whose family had been killed thanks to Thanos and Ronan. While locked up, the wary partners formulated their escape and a plan to sell the Orb and split the profits. In the wake of their breakout, the five outlaws would all come realize the threat Ronan held, and put their own lives on the line to stop him, in the process becoming the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy

A Powerhouse of Mercenaries
All members of the Guardians of the Galaxy have been involved in some sort of mercenary activity and are exceptional hand-to-hand combatants with notable tactical skills.

Guardians of the Galaxy

While the team has, in theory, redeemed themselves for earlier crimes, and were pardoned by the Nova Corps, they frequently continue to operate outside the law. The group often work for money, taking jobs from wealthy clients like the Sovereign high priestess, Ayesha. They will also do good deeds without the promise of payment, though often with the hope that a reward will be included in the long run.        

Enemies of the Galaxy
The Guardians have amassed a number of foes in their quest to protect the universe, and make a little dough on the side.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Mad Titan Thanos is Gamora’s adoptive father and a being of immense strength and cruelty. He will stop at nothing to get ahold of all six Infinity Stones, which puts him in conflict with the Guardians, and inadvertently sets into motion the events that bring them together.

Ronan the Accuser of the Kree Empire is a radical zealot who first works for Thanos to gain possession of the Power Stone, before deciding he wants it for himself. After Gamora betrays him, the Guardians battle Ronan for control of the Power Stone.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Sovereign and their High Priestess originally give the Guardians a job to defeat an Abilisk, a creature feeding off their home planet’s power source, Anulax Batteries. After they defeat the Abilisk, Rocket steals some of those same batteries, leading the Sovereign to hunt the team.

Ego is a Celestial being, and biological father of Peter Quill. He attempts to conquer the universe with Quill’s help, but the Guardians stand against him when the truth of his intentions is revealed.

Friends of the Galaxy
The Guardians have also gathered a number of friends and allies, despite their outlaw status.

Yondu Udontu straddles the ally and enemy roles depending on his mood and the payoff, but he ultimately ends up an ally of the Guardians—first helping them against Ronan in order to profit from the Orb, and then making a stand for good against Ego.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Nova Corps are an intergalactic armed force led by Nova Prime. Initially pitted against each other, they become allies with the Guardians when the latter work with them to protect Xandar from Ronan’s plan to annihilate the planet. Corpsmen Dey and Denarian Saal specifically are among the Nova Corps officers that detain the outlaws, but later team up with them against Ronan.

Nebula, like Gamora, is Thanos’ adoptive daughter, and is similarly cybernetically enhanced and trained as an assassin. While she is first an enemy of the Guardians, assisting Ronan, she and Gamora mend fences, and she eventually becomes an ally against both Ego and Thanos.

Guardians Historical Account
During their detainment in the Kyln, Gamora, Quill, and the duo of Rocket and Groot agreed to work together to escape and then sell the Orb Quill had stolen. They were joined by fellow prisoner Drax, whose own family had been killed by Thanos and Ronan. After Drax was convinced that Gamora too, despite her previous affiliation, was an enemy of Thanos and Ronan, the five outlaws broke out together.

Guardians of the Galaxy

On Knowhere, the group met with their buyer, Taneleer Tivan, the Collector. He revealed to them that the Orb held the Power Stone, an Infinity Stone capable of mowing down entire civilizations. Before their deal was completed, Tivan’s slave, Carina, attempting to strike back at Tivan, grabbed for the stone, only for it kill her and destroy Tivan’s museum. The sale to Tivan disrupted, the group debated what to do with the Orb, with Gamora insisting that it go to the Nova Corp and stay out of Ronan’s hands.

When both Ronan and Yondu separately arrived seeking the outlaws and the Orb, a space battle ensued. Gamora implored with Nebula to prevent Ronan from obtaining the stone, but Nebula instead shot her sister’s craft, sending Gamora into space while Nebula retrieved the Orb. Quill exited his pod to save Gamora, nearly sacrificing himself in the process.

Guardians of the Galaxy

After Yondu took Quill and Gamora onboard his ship, Quill convinced Yondu to partner with them against Ronan, promising him the Orb when Ronan was defeated. When Rocket, Groot, and Drax arrived to save their new teammates, they learned of this new plan, as Quill begged the group to help him save the galaxy. Realizing the odds against them, Rocket noted Quill was essentially asking them to die, but even he relented and joined the others in their pledge to help.

In the battle that followed on and above Xandar, Groot showed his true prowess as a fighter, slaying a large group of Ronan’s men, while Nebula fled after a fight with Gamora. When Ronan grabbed Drax by the throat, Rocket flew his ship into Ronan’s craft, the Dark Aster, sending the Aster careening towards the ground. Despite Rocket’s protests, Groot enveloped his friends in his protective branches, absorbing the impact, but causing his own death.

Guardians of the Galaxy

When Quill needed help harnessing the Power Stone, Rocket, Quill, Gamora, and Drax all joined hands with him, and the teammates were able to defeat Ronan. Now dubbed the Guardians of the Galaxy—a name Ronan had called them in jest—the group were pardoned for their previous crimes by the Nova Corp. As promised, Quill gave Yondu the Orb, but revealed to Gamora that he switched out the Orbs and retained the stone, which was given to Nova Prime for safekeeping.

In the aftermath, Rocket, mourning his friend, planted one of the twigs remaining from Groot’s sacrifice, only for that planting to sprout into a new spawn of Groot.

Guardians of the Galaxy

A short time later, the Guardians were hired by the Sovereign and their High Priestess Ayesha to defeat an Abilisk, a creature feeding off their home planet’s power source, the Anulax Batteries, which were worth thousands of units a piece. Successful in their battle, the Guardians were granted custody of Nebula, who the Sovereign had previously captured. However, Rocket stole some of the prized batteries for himself and the Sovereign, discovering the betrayal, chased after them.

The Guardians were saved from the Sovereign attack by the Celestial Ego, accompanied by his assistant, Mantis. Ego revealed himself to be Peter Quill’s father, and Quill, Gamora, and Drax decided to travel to Ego’s planet and learn more about him, while Rocket and Groot stayed behind to repair their ship, keeping an eye on Nebula. Yondu and his Ravagers arrived to secure the batteries and ended up battling Rocket, with a Ravager mutiny leading Yondu and Rocket to be locked up together, while Nebula was set free and went looking for Gamora.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Upon arriving at Ego’s planet, Quill, Gamora, and Drax learned that he was effectively the planet itself, able to manipulate matter and energy on a massive scale, while Quill bonded with his father.

Nebula’s attack on Gamora led to the two sisters finally beginning to repair their relationship, only to discover the grisly truth about Ego—that he’d killed scores of his own children, after finding them to not have the Celestial gene he required. Ego, in the meantime, informed Quill of his “expansion” plan, where he and Peter would use their combined power to unlock seeds Ego had left on planets throughout the galaxy, allowing him to turn them all into aspects of himself. An entranced Peter was, at first, seemingly going to comply, until Ego revealed he had caused the fatal tumor that killed Peter’s mother, undoing any attempt to sway Peter to his side.

Meanwhile, with the help of Groot—who was not locked up, but turned into an abused Ravager “mascot”—and a regretful Kraglin Obfonteri, Rocket and Yondu broke free and laid waste to those who’d turned on Yondu. Bonding over their similarities, Yondu agreed to help Rocket save the rest of the Guardians.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The reunited Guardians, joined by Nebula, Yondu, Kraglin, and Mantis—turning against her master—fought against Ego, even as they had to also battle against the Sovereign, who had tracked them down once more. The Guardians were ultimately victorious, setting off a bomb at Ego’s core that destroyed him, with Quill accepting that Ego’s death would also rob him of any Celestial abilities. Yondu sacrificed himself in order to rescue Quill from the exploding planet, with Quill realizing in Yondu’s final moments that he was the father figure he’d always been looking for. Nebula left to search for Thanos, intending to kill him, while the Guardians of the Galaxy, now joined by Mantis, returned to their adventures—even as Groot grew into adolescence, and an accompanying belligerent nature.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Sometime later, the group received a distress call from a ship of refugee Asgardians who had come under attack. They arrived to find the ship destroyed, but discovered only one survivor, Thor. Thor informed the Guardians that Thanos was behind the attack, having accelerated his hunt for all six Infinity Stones, retrieving the Power Stone from Xandar and now the Space Stone from the Asgardians. Gamora warned that should Thanos succeed in bringing all the stones together, he could succeed in his goal of exterminating half the universe with a simple snap of his fingers.


Thor, Rocket, and Groot left together on a mission to forge a weapon Thor could use against Thanos, while Quill, Gamora, Drax, and Mantis traveled to Knowhere, hoping to protect the Reality Stone, which was in the Collector’s possession. On the way, Gamora made Quill promise to kill her should Thanos get hold of her, explaining she knew sensitive information which he could use to destroy the entire universe.


Unfortunately, the group arrived on Knowhere too late. Though Thanos first fooled them with an illusion that made it seem like he didn’t have the Reality Stone yet, and that Gamora was able to fatally stab him, in truth he had already gotten the stone and laid waste to Knowhere. When Gamora was grabbed by Thanos, Quill reluctantly tried to shoot her, as promised, only for Thanos to turn his blast into harmless bubbles and teleport himself and Gamora away.


On Nidavellir, Rocket used his ship to assist Thor and the dwarf Eitri to create a new axe for Thor, Stormbreaker. Thor nearly died making the weapon, and Groot—until this point acting uninterested in the events around him—used his own arm to make the axe’s handle.


As Thanos’ prisoner, Gamora learned he also had captured Nebula, and seeing her sister tortured caused Gamora to give Thanos the location of the Soul Stone. On the planet Vormir, Thanos learned he must sacrifice something he loved to gain possession of the Soul Stone, and threw Gamora from a cliff, proving he truly loved her in the same moment he ended her life.

Guardians of the Galaxy

On Thanos’ home planet, Titan, Quill, Mantis, and Drax encountered Earth heroes Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man and initially battled them, before they realized they were are all enemies of Thanos. Quill came up with a plan to wrest the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos when he arrived to take possession of the Time Stone from Doctor Strange. Joined by Nebula, the group nearly succeeded in stopping Thanos. When Quill learned Thanos had killed Gamora, his rage caused him to strike out, breaking the hold Mantis had on Thanos, who fought back at full strength. With Strange trading the Time Stone for Iron Man’s life, Thanos departed for Earth, with an incredulous Star-Lord asking if they just lost.


On Earth, Thor, Rocket, and Groot fought Thanos’ forces alongside several Avengers and their allies in Wakanda, with their arrival turning the tide of the battle. However, when Thanos arrived, he was able to get the Mind Stone, the last of the Infinity Stones he desired. With a snap of his fingers, he ended half the life in the universe, including Groot, who disintegrated into nothingness, along with many others on the battlefield. On Titan, the same tragic fate befell Star-Lord, Mantis, and Drax, leaving Rocket as the last surviving member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

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