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The Best Guardians Of The Galaxy Storylines In Comics

Updated February 9, 2021 2.5k votes 974 voters 173.7k views21 items

List RulesVote up the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book story arcs every fan must read.

The unbelievable success of Marvel’s most out-there film franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy, has sent countless new fans seeking out the very best Guardians of the Galaxy comics. However, these potential converts may be surprised to find out that the list of the modern Guardians of the Galaxy’s greatest adventures is actually quite short. That’s because the current version of the team has only been around for a decade or so, and before that the team name was used by a completely different group of heroes from the future. Even after Star-Lord formed the modern unit, it still took a number of years for the Guardians to really enter the Marvel mainstream.

Due to the relatively small amount of Guardians of the Galaxy story arcs out there, the team’s recent history has been crafted by only a handful of creators, which has helped to give their storylines a real consistency. Writing duo Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are primarily responsible for defining the modern Guardians, while Brian Michael Bendis spent more than four years as the team’s primary author. These individuals, and a few others, have combined to produce the very best Guardians of the Galaxy comic books in modern history.

  • Issues: Annihilation: Conquest #1-6

    Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

    Artist: Tom Raney

    Annihilation: Conquest is a sequel comic that maintains the impressive scope and epic narrative of its predecessor. Although a cosmic story, Conquest features an earthly villain, Ultron, who has taken over the technological race known as the Phalanx.

    The action features most of the core Guardians, and the events of this series actually provided the impetus for the formation of the modern team.

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  • Issues: Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #1-4

    Writer: Keith Giffen

    Artist: Timothy Green

    This spinoff of the larger Annihilation: Conquest event put Star-Lord into a leadership role for the first time, paving the way for him to form the Guardians of the Galaxy. Star-Lord’s adventures in the fight against Ultron brought him into contact with all of the characters he eventually invited to join his team.

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  • Issues: War of Kings #1-6

    Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

    Artist: Paul Pelletier

    War of Kings is an epic cosmic crossover, featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy in a small, but key, role. The overall narrative involves a multi-faceted war between space empires with the Inhumans at the center, but the Guardians got themselves involved in most of the action, too. The storyline includes a time-bending team up between the modern Guardians and their “predecessors” from the year 3000.

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  • Issues: Thanos Imperative #1-6

    Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

    Artist: Miguel Sepulvida & Brad Walker

    The Thanos Imperative is not only considered one of the greatest Guardians of the Galaxy stories, but also one of the best Thanos tales ever written. A cosmic epic packed into a scant six issues, the story features an incursion from the neighboring “Cancerverse,” a nearby, bloated dimension where death had been defeated and life itself was perverted.

    The Guardians go on a mission to bring Thanos into the Cancerverse as a means of reintroducing death, and things only get more dire from there.

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