Beard: Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy?Written by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
You may have seen the trailer for Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy” film coming out this August and even grooved on its use of Blue Swede‘s “I Can’t Stop This Feeling,” but of course your big question is “Who the heck are these guys?” Well, that’s a little complicated.
The characters in the trailer – Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon – are actually from a third comic book incarnation of the Marvel Comics team, popular now, but sprung from a concept that never truly caught on with a majority of Marvel fans. The original Guardians launched in 1969 as a group of crusaders from an alternate future and comprised of an eclectic mix of aliens and augmented humans. They kicked around the galaxy for a few years, guest-starring in other superheroes’ books, but it wasn’t until 1976 that they got a small spotlight of their own in an anthology title. After that, they went back to guest appearances, fighting for space justice, but never really clicking with the larger Marvel readership.
In the 1990s, the Guardians finally gained their own title which ran for a respectable sixty-two issues, but featured a mostly new line-up from the previous one. Still set in an alternate 31st century, the teams’ major storyline involved a search for the legendary Captain America’s shield, aided by future versions of present-day Marvel heroes like Ghost Rider and Wonder Man. Are you getting all of this?
Today’s Guardians of the Galaxy kicked off in 2008 and heralded a new popularity for Marvel’s “cosmic” side of their universe, and they too have been cobbled together from other series. Marvel’s making something of a gutsy move by adapting such a ragtag band to the big screen, seeing as how no one outside of the inner circle of comic book fanboys knows who they are, but, then again, Iron Man wasn’t exactly a household name before Robert Downey Jr. flashed his smile and a cottage industry was launched. Will “Guardians of the Galaxy” be Marvel Studios’ “Star Wars”? Or will it suffer its first real disappointment since 2003’s “The Hulk”? The answer will be read in the stars…