Tomorrow sees the latest release from Marvel studios; the eagerly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy. Rumoured to be in development since 2010, the film was officially confirmed as being in production in July 2012 and was being written and directed by James Gunn.
Many fans have thought that the choice to bring the Guardians to the big screen is an odd one but when you look at the direction of the Marvel cinematic universe which seems to be heading towards adapting the Infinity Gauntlet it makes sense to bring the space faring bunch of anti-heroes to life. Mostly because the team have many ties to the cosmic super villain Thanos, the owner of the fabled Infinity Gauntlet and the big purple guy that was revealed in the mid credits scene of the Avengers. Thanos is once again pulling the strings of the enemies of the Guardians just like he did with Loki in the first Avengers movie.
The Guardians first appeared way back in January 1969 in Marvel Super Heroes #18. Created by writer Arnold Drake and artist Gene Colan, the team then appear sporadically in several Marvel titles for the next twenty years until they finally starred in their own self-titled comic in the early 1990’s which ran for 62 issues.
This group of Guardians are active in the 31st century in an alternatate time line to the regular Marvel Universe. The team consists of Vance Astro, an astronaut from 20th century Earth who comes into ownership of Captain Americas shield. Matinex T’Naga a being of crystal from Pluto. Charlie-27 a soldier from Jupiter and Yondu, a blue skinned savage with uncanny archery skills.
Each is the last of their kind and they are forced to come together as a team against the Badoon, an alien race who wants to rule Earths solar system. Over the course of the war against the Badoon, the team slowly grows to include new members such as Starhawk and Nikki, a genetically engineered being created to live on the planet Mercury. When they appear years later in their own title the team consists of several members which lead Martinex to create a second unit called the Galactic Guardians to work along side the original team.
The most well-known version of the team and the one that the feature film is based on is the modern Guardians of the Galaxy who first appeared in May 2008. Created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the new team is formed of existing characters from the Annihilation storyline with an initial roster of Star-Lord, Adam Warlock, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Quasar and the two most popular characters the gun toting Rocket Raccoon and the sentient tree Groot.
The team have gone from strength to strength and are more popular then ever even popping up in the X-Men event The trial of Jean Grey and have grown to include even more members such as Iron Man for a time and the refugee Angel from another Universe and recently revealed sister of Thor Angela.