The Guardians deal with being stuck on a backwater planet like Earth!

Celebrate this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s tenth anniversary while also prepping for the May 5 release of the new film with these gems from Marvel Unlimited!

After coming all the way across the cosmos to help former member Captain Marvel in her fight against another fellow former pal, Iron Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy found themselves torn apart thanks to one piece of information: Thanos was imprisoned on Earth and neither Marvel nor Star-Lord told anyone. Feeling betrayed, Gamora left first, followed by the others. It didn’t help, of course, that their ship had been destroyed in the events of Civil War II, so the remaining issues of the series—GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1519—featured solo stories from Brian Michael Bendis, Valerio Schiti, and a group of guest artists.

The first story focused on Ben Grimm, the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing. After he enjoyed the perks of being one of the most beloved heroes on the planet, Maria Hill approached him about leading a task force looking into Doctor Doom’s recent turn into a hero. This tale carried directly into another Bendis book, INFAMOUS IRON MAN.

The next issue found Bendis channeling his inner Dr. Seuss as he told a rhyming tale about Groot fighting Armadillo in New York City, even though it raised the ire of some passersby. Thanks to a little boy, though, the Flora Colossus had friends to back him up.

Up next, Gamora ran into a task force consisting of Sasquatch, Aurora, Ms. America, and Spectrum while scoping out Thanos’ prison. After seemingly making short work of the Earthlings, the most dangerous woman in the galaxy found herself punched-out and, soon, talking to Captain Marvel while fully bound. Carol told her old teammate that Thanos had escaped and that she’d arranged for a Shi’Ar ship to take Gamora anywhere she wanted. Assuming she had been lied to again, the emerald assassin escaped and made her way to the Mad Titan’s cell only to discover that he no longer filled it and that she would be its new occupant.

We then flashed back to immediately after the Guardians’ first battle during Civil War II to see Angela fly off in an effort to take care of some unfinished business. After failing to find Sera, she fought Maxilin the Accuser who had a few run-ins with Gamora previously. Following his defeat, the Accuser told Angela that others were coming for them all.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #15

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #15

This brought us to the final issue of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY from Bendis, Schiti, and guests like Phil Noto, Ed McGuinness, Kevin Maguire, Sara Pichelli, Andrea Sorrentino, Arthur Adams, Mark Bagley, and Filipe Andrade. After escaping Earth, Thanos met with Annihilus, the Brood Queen, and others to ally themselves against the third planet from the sun. Upon arriving, the Mad Titan told the world that he intended to help Earth become part of the cosmic collective, but only after giving up the Guardians. While Carol took Rocket to a spaceship graveyard, Drax and Star-Lord faced Thanos first, soon enough joined by Groot, Venom, Kitty Pryde, and The Thing.

Meanwhile, Thanos’ alliance intended to betray him and just destroy Earth anyway, but Angela made short work of the Brood and threatened to do the same to the rest of them. As you might expect, they left with haste. By then, Rocket had rigged up a spaceship and arrived in time to join his fellow Guardians as Gamora made her way to the battlefield…and let her friends beat her enemy for her. In the end, the Nova Corps came to pick Thanos up and then Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Gamora, and Drax left for all new adventures in the stars!

Transmissions from Knowhere

Though the team found themselves split up on Earth, they continued to thrill readers in a variety of solo series. GAMORA looked at the heroine’s early days thanks to Nicole Perlman and Marco Checchetto. Matthew Rosenberg and Jorge Coelho chronicled Rocket’s further adventures while Chip Zdarsky and Kris Anka did the same with Peter Quill in STAR-LORD.

That’s all for Guarding the Galaxy. Go see “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in theaters today and look for ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 by Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder, which launched this week!

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The Guardians head to Earth to back-up Captain Marvel against Iron Man!

Celebrate this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s tenth anniversary while also prepping for the May 5 release of the new film with these gems from Marvel Unlimited!

When a friend needs help, the Guardians have their back. So, when Captain Marvel called at the end of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #10, the team flew to Earth with a quickness to get involved in Civil War II. The conflict swirled around a young Inhuman named Ulysses who seemed to be able to predict the future. Tony Stark saw the danger in someone abusing this kind of power while Carol Danvers decided to use every tool at her disposal to keep Earth safe. The ensuing event left War Machine dead at Thanos’ hands, She-Hulk comatose, and the super hero community in a shambles.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1114 by Brian Michael Bendis, Valerio Schiti, and guest artist Kevin Maguire showed what the team got up to when not appearing in the main book, CIVIL WAR II, which you can read about below. The first issue actually kicked off with the team voting on whether they should assist or not. Just about everyone wanted to go but Rocket and Thing. Rocket preferred space to Earth while Ben Grimm didn’t want to get wrapped up in another battle between friends. Still, the group decided to go.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #11

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #11

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When they arrived, Carol filled Star-Lord in on what had happened up that point, specifically the presence on Earth of Thanos, who had been locked up after the fight in CIVIL WAR II #1. Peter and Kitty then struggled with whether to tell Gamora and Drax this information or not. Ultimately, they decided not to. We see the CIVIL WAR II #4 fight from a few different angles, including Rocket’s reaction to losing the ship he called home. Of course, things got so much worse when Gamora finally heard about her father’s Earth-bound captivity.

The most dangerous woman in the galaxy started making her way through guards until Captain Marvel herself stepped in to end her rampage. The two fought until Carol let slip that Quill knew about Thanos as well. Feeling betrayed on all sides, Gamora told Danvers to let Peter know that they are officially done before roundhouse kicking Captain Marvel in the face.

When the rest of the team found this out, they also left Peter and Kitty to their own devices, effectively ending the Guardians of the Galaxy. To lessen the blow, Bendis and Maguire flashed back in issue #14 to show how the group saved Spider-Man from Skrulls and why that added to Rocket’s distaste for Earth.

Transmissions from Knowhere

In the actual CIVIL WAR II series by Bendis, David Marquez, and other artists, the Guardians first appeared at the very end of issue #4. Carol faced off against the seemingly more powerful group backing Iron Man on the top of the Triskelion, but then her old teammates popped up out of nowhere to even the sides. The next issue kicked off with a huge brawl that included Miles Morales poking fun at Rocket Raccoon and then running into Venom for the first time. During the fight, the Guardians’ ship got destroyed, which set up the rest of the series until its conclusion. Later, after everyone saw Ulysses’ vision of Miles killing the original Captain America and the fight ended, Peter Quill told Carol that he totally related to her decision to use the Inhuman’s abilities to save whoever she could. The Guardians didn’t play much of a role at the end of the story, but were set up to spend the final arc of their own series on Earth.

Next, Brian Michael Bendis, Valerio Schiti, and some impressive guest artists close out this GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY run with “Grounded”!

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The Guardians pull off an epic scheme to save one of their own!

Celebrate this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s tenth anniversary while also prepping for the May 5 release of the new film with these gems from Marvel Unlimited!

In the wake of Peter Quill’s disastrous reign as the leader of Spartax, the Guardians focused on one task: freeing Angela from the Badoon. That’s the thrust of Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #610. The intricate plan involved Peter and Kitty Pryde infiltrating a prison planet. In an effort to wipe that evil out of existence, Kitty wrecked shop on the joint, but Peter got captured and sentenced to a kind of gladiatorial combat.

Meanwhile, Rocket and Thing attacked another prison area while Groot and Venom discovered a huge group of Skrulls who had had their shape-shifting abilities removed by their captors. Drax and Gamora led a more direct attack that resulted in the latter’s apprehension. Of course, the place her jailers took her to also housed Angela. The most dangerous woman in the universe used up the last bit of the cosmic energy she received from the Black Vortex to save her friend and sometime teammate.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #6

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #6

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With everyone in place—including Star-Lord sentenced to die in an arena—the Guardians attacked, backed by many of the people they saved from the various prisons. Earning a victory with their blood and sweat, Angela stood with the former leader’s head in her hand. “The Badoon brotherhood is no more!!! Your days of enslaving and terrorizing the galaxy are over!!! We leave you to restructure your entire view of yourselves!!! You will fix what you have done or you will be destroyed! I will destroy you! The entirety of Asgard will come here and destroy you!”

With that, the Guardians left the planet to deal with itself, but almost immediately found themselves headed to another one: Earth, where a second Civil War and a request for aid from Captain Marvel awaited…

Transmissions from Knowhere

Angela first appeared in the Marvel Universe in the pages of AGE OF ULTRON and then palled around with the Guardians in the previous volume. The forsaken daughter of Odin starred in ANGELA: ASGARD’S ASSASSIN, which ran for six issues in 2015; Kieron Gillen, Marguerite Bennett, Phil Jimenez, and Stephanie Han delved into both her past and her place in the cosmos. During Secret Wars, she appeared in books like A-FORCE, M.O.D.O.K.: ASSASSIN, and 1602 WITCH HUNTER ANGELA. After the Guardians saved her from the Badoon prison as seen in this story, she also featured in ANGELA: QUEEN OF HEL, which ran for seven issues and came from Bennett and Kim Jacinto.

Next, the Guardians head to Earth, smashing face-first into Civil War II and their own batch of problems in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #11-15 by Bendis, Schiti, and guest artist Kevin Maguire. 

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Star-Lord takes control of the Spartax and the Guardians regroup!

Celebrate this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s tenth anniversary while also prepping for the May 5 release of the new film with these gems from Marvel Unlimited!

After the events of Secret Wars—which we covered last time—the Guardians looked a bit different than before. Stalwarts like Rocket, Groot and Drax remained as well as newer additions like Venom, but two major pick-ups made their presence known as soon as GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY by Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti re-launched: Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, and Kitty Pryde, now calling herself Star-Lord.

Of course, that left one big question for readers: where’s Peter Quill? Well, as the title hinted at, he took over as the Emperor of Spartax, but not having a great time of it. There also seemed to be some bad blood between the former Star-Lord and his former team that came to light as the latter landed on Spartax just in time to see a beaten Gamora crash to the surface. The most dangerous woman in the galaxy apparently ran afoul of Hala, a Kree warrior who first appeared in the GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE series. She blamed the Guardians for the destruction of the Kree home world, which Mister Knife actually planned during the Black Vortex crossover.

Not interested in understanding their side of things, Hala smashed the Guardians before trapping Peter in a satellite so he could watch her destroy one of his planets before moving on to Earth. The people of Spartax had something to say about that, though, which gave the Guardians enough time to cause their specific brand of chaos. After getting Quill back, the team then faced Hala once again and put her down.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #1

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #1

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Instead of having time to celebrate, though, they found themselves faced with yet another challenge—and another GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE character—in the form of Yotat, who dubbed himself the destroyer of destroyers. Another huge battle ensued, this one also ending in a victory for the team, but a big hit for Quill. As it turned out, the people really in charge of Spartax didn’t appreciate their planet coming under fire from two ridiculously powerful beings on the same day. As a result, they kicked Peter off planet, which actually suited him just fine as he rejoined his pals and went off to save Angela…but that’s a story for the next entry!

Transmissions from Knowhere

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #5 featured a flashback to three months prior and the events of the main story set on Knowhere. While familiarizing Ben Grimm to the outer space lifestyle, Kitty, Flash, Rocket, and Groot all ran into Yotat for the first time. Our heroes jumped into the fray, but another group actually took over: the Guardians of Knowhere. This squad consisted of Cosmo, Bug, Moondragon, Mantis, and Prism. The first four characters have clear connections to the Guardians, with many being former members. They’ll show up one more time before this wild trip comes to a close!

Next, newly reunited, the team runs a multi-pronged attack on the Brotherhood of the Badoon to get Angela back! 

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Brian Michael Bendis lists his favorite moments from nearly five years with the team!

Stuck on Earth and scattered across the planet, if there’s one thing that can bring the Guardians of the Galaxy back together, it’s a common enemy. On April 12, “Grounded” reaches its conclusion with the final issue by writer Brian Michael Bendis in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #19!

After close to five years of wandering around the universe and sometimes saving the day, it’s time for the Guardians to part ways with one of Marvel’s most prolific writers. An era of Guardians history comes to a close in this special doubled-sized issue, featuring work from Valerio Schiti and an all-star team of guest artists.

To celebrate the achievement, Brian gave us a retrospective look at his favorite moments alongside the most dysfunctional super group in the galaxy.

Marvel.com: Let’s start with the best of the worst: favorite villain?

Brian Michael Bendis: Peter’s father. It was one of the reasons I wanted to write this book, having done the research working with the Marvel Cinematic Creative Committee. They were debating whether or not Guardians was a movie franchise—this was when Guardians was as cult as it gets. They sent me some material and some things they were thinking about and I started reading—and I had read it as a fan—but to read it considering its global potential was an interesting thing to do. And then reading Peter’s origin story was so exciting to me because, if you read it, it’s as good as Spider-Man or Superman, it’s just not as well known. The purity of narrative is beautiful. This king crash-lands on Earth in the middle of a space war, falls in love with an Earth person, knocks her up, goes back to his space war, and she’s left on Earth with a half-alien baby—and the boy will never know. This is phenomenal stuff. And then he grows up to find out who he is and “Oh my god, your father’s an a-hole across the galaxy!” Most kings of anything are not known for their warmth. So, to dive into that and cover that for almost the first entire volume was very fun and something I was dying to write.

Marvel.com: Favorite guest star?

Brian Michael Bendis: Just last night, I wrote my goodbye to Guardians, so it’s all fresh on my mind. I think having Tony Stark up in space for as long as we did in the middle of golden run as a movie star was pretty exciting. Also, we had a lot of fun with him—what a great field trip for Tony to go on. And then, hilariously, him and Gamora hooking up, which shows up on my Tumblr feed every three days. It’s going down well as one of the great super hero hookups.

Marvel.com: Favorite event or tie-in?

Brian Michael Bendis: I’m very, very fond of “The Trial of Jean Grey,” even though that was a self-executed mini-crossover. I love when the X-Men go off into space, I love the weird X-Men stories. And the idea of bringing Jean Grey into the present and Jean Grey being a gigantic cosmic serial killer, as far as most people are concerned, a genocidal maniac. To put her on trial and be actively writing both books, making sure the trial happened organically in both books, was very exciting. It was like, “Ooo, you know what’s never been told before, this story. And I’m writing both books!? And, oh my god, Kitty and Peter fall in love in the process!” So everything about that, I really enjoyed and I hear from a lot of people about that. That’s probably everyone’s favorite story from my run? That’s the one I hear about the most.

But the one I think is my favorite tie-in stuff is probably the Black Vortex stuff, which is Sam Humphries’ storyline, but I thought it spoke well to what we, as a group of writers and artists, added to the galactic books over the course of the last couple years. There were interesting interactions between all the characters. We were just way into it.

But I also gotta say, for as weird as it is, the Guardians were always kind of in their own little world, and I know people like that about them as well. One of my mandates was to bring them more to a centered position in the Marvel Universe, so I added them into Infinity, which was the first time they crossed over in one of my books. Just having them show up in the event was so surprising because they’d never shown up in anything before. So that moment was really exciting for me.

Marvel.com: Favorite fight?

Brian Michael Bendis: Kevin Maguire is one of my favorite comic book artists of all time and we got him to do a couple of issues. And it was an issue with a Gamora and Angela team-up, [GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #10], I thought he did an outstanding job with that issue. It was a big, big fight, breaking into a planet, and I thought he did an exceptional job.

Marvel.com: Favorite Groot quote?

Brian Michael Bendis: I actually have a very funny story about that. We were making the “Powers” TV show last year and I was on set, because I wrote episodes. And I’d be in the video village and I had a little desk where I’d sit and literally write Marvel comics while they were setting up the lights and stuff. There were sometimes hours where I literally had nothing to do, so I’d sit and type. So I was sitting in the corner, typing. And one of the actors, whose name is Sharlto Copley, he’s in the show—he keeps looking over, thinking I’m writing the TV show. And I’m writing GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Sharlto comes up behind me and just out of nowhere, reads what he sees on my screen, and yells “I am Groot!?” And it turns out, Sharlto has no idea who the Guardians of the Galaxy are, he never saw the movie, he has no idea what “I am Groot” means. And it was one of the pages where Groot keeps interrupting, that’s the joke, he’s just saying “I am Groot, I am Groot,” so Sharlto looks at it and thinks I’m crazy. He yells, “I am Groot,” everyone else in the video village jumps because they’re like, “Why is he yelling ‘I am Groot,’” because they get the reference. It was a totally unique, once-in-a-lifetime, hilarious moment where he’s yelling “I am Groot, I am Groot” and has no idea why people are laughing.

But one of my favorite moments of writing the entire series was the variant cover that Dale Keown did where the joke is that Jean Grey is talking to him and she can translate “I am Groot” into his actual words and his words are very poetic—and I probably worked harder on those words than anything I worked on that year. You got a little taste of what goes on in Groot’s head for real and I heard from a lot of people on that, so that went well.

Marvel.com: And favorite Guardian?

Brian Michael Bendis: Ahh! See, having written other team books, it’s never about “favorite Guardian,” it’s really “favorite relationship.” We knew that Rocket and Groot are the relationship. But when you discover friendships, or antagonisms, or a new type of relationship within the group of friends, that’s always my favorite stuff. So when something like Angela and Gamora—they really like each other. I think Angela just adores Gamora, and they fight well together and are happy to know each other—that kind of stuff I really like. And I liked writing Tony and Rocket, because Tony is sometimes like Rocket, but in the Avengers. He’s kind of caustic and like “I know everything and everyone’s gonna do what I say.” So for him to [be] faced with this little animal version of his own ego, on a ship—it’s really fun to write. On Avengers, it was discovering that Luke Cage and Spider-Man were hilarious together. That was a surprise, it wasn’t planned. The same thing happens here, where the characters start to gravitate towards each other or away from each other, and the towards each other is always the most fun stuff. And you can’t force it.

I also like this—and I know people really like this and it’s the thing that I’m [guiltiest] of—but, if Kitty Pryde’s not busy, I will grab her and put her in my book. And the most outlandish incident of me doing this is putting her in outer space for a while. I thought Kitty’s no-nonsense, once-a-teacher, strong-Jewish-woman-up-in-space was a ton of fun. And her juxtaposition to Gamora was a great bit of fun. I think her presence on the team, with Tony’s, was very different. What I wanted, and liked, was adding this element that wasn’t in the movies. Just to see what shakes out differently—and with Tony and with Carol [Danvers] and with Kitty and Venom and Ben Grimm, I thought we were able to do that every time.

Marvel.com: What about the team dynamic did you enjoy writing most? How did you approach the characters differently as time went on?

Brian Michael Bendis: I kind of got it in my head that they’re kind of on a road trip that never ends. They’re in a big RV, or on a tour bus, and the tour never ends—the dynamic of a tour. Traveling with family or traveling with friends—you ever go on a long trip with friends? It’s unique. So I wanted that dynamic to be constant, fighting over food and chairs and where we’re gonna stop and where we’re gonna eat. Just making sure that the life seemed like it was being lived inside that ship in a way that most people can relate to—you get on each other’s nerves, you laugh at stupid stuff, you get the giggles. Just normal traveling stuff. I also like that they all go away from each other for a while too.

It’s a very unique book in how they interact with each other. They are as close to family as anything in comics, but they also have their adventures. Always making sure that it felt like they were living together. There’s a lot of detail in the scripts about what’s in their rooms; Peter’s room is messy, Gamora’s room is perfect—how their lives interact with their environment. It’s a fun part for me.

Marvel.com: And finally, what are your overall thoughts looking back on nearly five years with the Guardians of the Galaxy?

Brian Michael Bendis: When I got the job, I originally came into comics as a crime fiction writer, and the things I was most known for, Daredevil or Jessica Jones, real-world crime fiction, that is what’s been my additive element to comics—my love of this and where my strengths are. So I found myself, just a few years later, writing a talking raccoon book—and dying to do it. That’s the other thing: I wasn’t doing it just to see if I could; I really wanted to do it. And when I got the call to do it, I was so excited because the challenge is enormous. Because, we haven’t mentioned, when I got the book, the book hadn’t been produced for a while. The last volume [before] was considered one of the great standards of Marvel Comics and one of the great runs of all time. The reason that there’s a movie is because of them. Stepping into a book that was already so well-loved among the core fanbase, no matter what I had accomplished in comics, I knew I was going to have to prove myself over time. So I was grateful that I was allowed the chance to do so.

The other thing that has to be mentioned is that there wasn’t one issue of any Guardians book that I had my name on that wasn’t drawn by one of the great talents of this generation of comics. From Steve McNiven, to Sara [Pichelli], to Frank Cho, to Kevin Maguire, and finally with Valerio Schiti—every annual, every special, every tie-in, everything we did had these great artists, including our finale, which is packed full of these awesome artists that I love so much. People just love these characters so much and they love drawing them, so every time you call up anybody in comics and say “Hey, you wanna draw raccoons and trees and spaceships for an issue?” the answer is “Yes I do!” So I was, and will forever be grateful, that the book was so beautiful, and exciting, and poppy on every single page. This book was gorgeous.

I also became very aware, of all the books that I write—and I write some very mainstream books that people have heard of—from the moment that I took the book, all the way through to this weekend at a sleepover that my kids had, if you tell kids that you’re the writer of Guardians of the Galaxy, they crap their pants. And I write Spider-Man and Avengers and Iron Man, but Guardians—my children’s friends stare at me like Rocket Raccoon actually just walked in the door. So, of all the books that are out there right now, I think Guardians is the one that has the most gateway potential. Kids are going to be seeing this and I’m so proud that when they see our stuff, they’re going to be seeing such beautiful comics—because on top of the characters, that’s how people fall in love with the medium. And I hope, when people see Valerio’s work or Steve’s work—and how exciting a visual and inspiring for the imagination it is—that people will find a way to stay with us. So my takeaway is that I’m very happy that the movie took off and that I bet right—because I bet on this a year before the movie came out and I was very happy that it did. But I’m also immensely proud to have put my name on such beautifully illustrated books.

Witness the end of an era with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #19, by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Valerio Schiti, on April 12!

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With Star-Lord and company grounded on his home planet, we document some of their past adventures!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #15 on December 14 finds our interstellar team of heroes grounded on Earth after the destruction of their spaceship during Civil War II. While many of them will find the change in setting unexpected and jarring, most have visited Earth before—even the few who didn’t originate there.

Before these new Earth-bound adventures start, take a look back at how some other trips turned out for the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy!

Welcome Home
For several members—including Thing, Kitty Pryde, and Flash Thompson—becoming “grounded” simply means they’ve returned home. The Thing and Kitty Pryde both served on other Earth-based super teams—the Fantastic Four and the X-Men—while Flash spent his pre-Venom years as a thorn in the side of, and later a close friend to, the Amazing Spider-Man!

Tales to Astonish (1959) #13

Tales to Astonish (1959) #13

What is Marvel Unlimited?
I Am Groot!
Groot—or at least members of his race—have visited Earth before to conquer it. Debuting in TALES TO ASTONISH #13, the floral colossus could not only say more than three words, but came to our planet seeking specimens to study. A scientist stopped the wooden invader using termites. Groot returned years later and joined S.H.I.E.L.D.’s monster troop, the Howling Commandos!

Drax’s Death & rebirth
Before becoming the green-skinned powerhouse we know today, Drax lived a normal life on Earth until that fateful night when Thanos killed the then-Arthur Douglas and his wife, leaving the Mad Titan’s father Mentor to raise their daughter, Moondragon. But Drax would return when Mentor and the Titan god Kronos put his spirit into a new body—a body built for vengeance!

Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #0.1

Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #0.1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
Birth of a Star-Lord
Also born on Earth, a young Peter Quill saw Badoon kill his mom and joined NASA so he could journey to the stars. Once he escaped Earth’s gravitational pull, he’d spend most of his time in the far reaches of space—except of course when he’d return years later to sometimes save the planet or visit his Earthbound girlfriend, Kitty Pryde!

Infinity Watch
Before joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, both Drax and Gamora helped protect the Earth as members of Adam Warlock’s Infinity Watch. The team, which also included Moondragon and Pip the Troll, used the Infinity Gems to enhance their powers and defend the planet from threats both alien and terrestrial, all from their base on the Mole Man’s Monster Isle!

Guardians Team-Up (2015) #1

Guardians Team-Up (2015) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
Guardians Team-Up
In 2015, the Guardians found themselves pursued by a Chitauri ship commanded by Nebula, as she hunted Gamora. They crash-landed on Earth and fought their alien pursuers with the help of Hawkeye, Black Widow and other Avengers. GUARDIANS TEAM-UP would feature other stories of their exploits on this planet, as we saw Gamora team with She-Hulk, Spider-Man with Star-Lord, and Rocket with Deadpool!

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Brian Michael Bendis wraps his time with the interstellar super team by stranding them on Earth!

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Brian Michael Bendis knows this better than anyone after opening and closing his fair share of comic series over the years. His latest soon-to-end run will kick off with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #15 in a story called “Grounded” this December.

Thanks to a call for help from Captain Marvel, the Guardians traveled to Earth in an effort to help out, but with the Civil War II conflict coming to an end, they’re left with a problem: they’ve got no way off this green and blue rock. Luckily for the various members, they have new ongoing series ready to launch, but before the squad goes their separate ways, Bendis and artist Valerio Schiti plan on giving them an appropriately epic sendoff.

We talked with Bendis about his plans for going out in style.

Marvel.com: With Civil War II coming to a close, how do the Guardians feels about getting involved in this conflict?

Brian Michael Bendis: Conflicted. Like everyone else in the Marvel Universe. Sides are drawn. Everyone came back to Earth as a favor to Carol, but when they got here they were faced with the moral choice. Some, like Peter, see Carol’s hard choices as big truths that need to happen and others see Tony’s side totally.

And in the battle they lost their ship and now have no way home. Yes, there are spaceships on Earth—at least three—but they aren’t for sale and nowhere near as advanced as the one Rocket put together for them.

Marvel.com: What does being stuck on Earth mean for the Guardians themselves? I’m guessing some won’t take kindly to be being in just one place for a long period of time.

Brian Michael Bendis: Some get to go have their favorite pizza and reunite with old friends and maybe even call it a night for their Guardians tour of duty. Peter gets to see what life would be like as an Earthbound super hero. Kitty gets to go find the X-Men…

And then there is Rocket and Groot. That is an entirely different story.

Marvel.com: On the other hand, the readers might enjoy seeing these space-bound characters interacting with a few familiar faces. Were there some specific characters you’d been just waiting to meet the Guardians?

Brian Michael Bendis: Yes. I do want those to be a page turn surprise so you’ll pardon my vagueness, but it does give us a lot of “Star Trek IV” stuck-on-Earth-fun. They are almost all fish out of water and those who aren’t, like Venom, have changed so much from their travels that it’s a whole new world to them.

Marvel.com: This arc will also lead into solo ongoing series for the members of the team. What has the communication been like between you and the writers of those books?

Brian Michael Bendis: This is where Jordan [White] and the other editors shine. Other than the friendship-ending disagreements between me, Chip [Zdarsky] and Kris Anka over Peter Quill’s facial hair, the writers seem to get a big kick out of classic fish out of water stories for their characters.

When you’re writing a team book and a franchise book part of the fun is throwing out ideas and story concepts for other writers to pick up and play with if they see fit.

Marvel.com: How do you feel about the place you’ll be leaving these characters with this last arc after shepherding them along for several years?

Brian Michael Bendis: Well, even though we are ending most of the last arc on Earth we are still leaving big. Big! First of all, as some readers already know, Thanos is on Earth. When Gamora and Drax get ahold of this information all hell is going to break loose. We have an issue about Groot that is all told in a style that is a big tip of the cat hat to Dr. Seuss, one of those ideas that is much harder to pull off than you might think.

And a big triple or quadruple sized 100-page big finale that is going to wrap up my very long, longest actually, run on Guardians. A lot is going to happen.

All this plus, Ben Grimm comes back home; we discover why he went out to space in the first place and why he is going to stay on Earth. It ties right into INFAMOUS IRON MAN.

Witness the beginning of the end of Brian Michael Bendis’ run on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY starting with #15 drawn by Valerio Schiti in December!

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Valerio Schiti launches a new iteration of the intergalactic team!

This October, blast off into the stratosphere as the recharged group of galactic guardians explode into the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1! Coming to you from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Valerio Schiti comes a team unlike any you’ve seen before!

Eight months have passed since the end of Secret Wars, and Peter Quill didn’t waste any time abandoning the Guardians and taking the throne as ruler of Spartax. And Rocket didn’t waste any time taking his place as leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy either! Leading a team comprised of Kitty Pryde–now known as Star-Lady–Drax, Groot, Venom and newcomer Ben Grimm, the everlovin’ blue-eyed Thing, Rocket and the Guardians are out to show that even though Secret Wars may be over, the galaxy still needs guarding.

Strap in and hold on this October for their bombastic new debut in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 (AUG150760)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art by VALERIO SCHITI
Cover by ART ADAMS
Variant Covers by SKOTTIE YOUNG (AUG150763), VALERIO SCHITI (AUG150766), and JASON LATOUR (AUG150768)
Action Figure Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (AUG150765)
Hip-Hop Variant by SHAWN CRYSTAL (AUG150761)
Cosplay Variant by CONTAGIOUS COSTUMING (AUG150762)
Kirby Monster Variant by MIKE ALLRED (AUG150769)
Adams Sketch Variant Available (AUG150767)
Blank Variant Also Available (AUG150764)
On-Sale 10/14/15

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Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti discuss their plans for Rocket, Gamora, Star-Lord, the Thing, and more!

When it comes to swashbuckling sci-fi adventure, comic readers need only to look to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for their monthly fix.

In the wake of Secret Wars, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Valerio Schiti promise even more outlandish intergalactic fun including new worlds to explore, the departure of old members, and the arrival of new Guardians.

We sat down with the interstellar duo to talk about some of these changes and how they’re handling them from a creative standpoint. So, sitdown, strap in, and prepare for lift off!

Marvel.com: Brian and Valerio, last we left off in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #27, it seemed like the Guardians were coming apart at the seams. Gamora became a sort of cosmic-powered demi-god of war and Peter Quill found himself elected king of the Spartax, not to mention facing what might be his great challenge of all: marriage! Where do we see the rest of team go from here?

Brian Michael Bendis: As has been reported, the Marvel Universe is not the same place it was before Secret Wars started. So, while there are some elements of our previous run that we will follow up on, like the ones you mentioned, there are many other story elements and characters that will be in a very different place physically, emotionally, and cosmically. This is a brand-new chapter for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Things are very different all over the cosmic map. Even before Secret Wars, entire empires had fallen, entire planets had been destroyed, and heroes had been tested and changed.

Valerio Schiti: We are moving forward almost exactly from where we stopped in issue #27, trying to answer to all the questions that you asked us and more. The galaxy is still a mess, our heroes are dealing with the consequences of their decisions, and there’re a couple of major “problems” to face soon; something very big is coming.

Marvel.com: With Star-Lord out of the picture, who will be filling in as the de facto leader for the team? How will this change the group dynamic?

Brian Michael Bendis: The raccoon is in charge!! So says the solicitation!! So says the raccoon!! But, there may be other people on the team who are not taking this as seriously has he would like.

Valerio Schiti: The raccoon is in charge now! This is the moment I waited for since the beginning of my run on this book.

Marvel.com: Looking back at Gamora, she left the team out of fear of putting her friends into even greater danger and then left in search of her father, Thanos. What directions are you looking to explore for her?

Brian Michael Bendis: This is a big spoiler so I’m going to say: big spoiler!! But when Gamora finds a way back into the book, it will be a surprise.

Marvel.com: Then there’s the roguish Peter Quill, whose narrative seems to be placing him in positions of immense responsibility—not so dissimilar to Han Solo, another scruffy galactic starfighter who found himself rising up in station. Are we looking at a similar trajectory for Star-Lord or can we expect something different?

Brian Michael Bendis: Well, I can honestly tell you what happens to Peter in the first issues of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY never happened to Han Solo. What we have with Peter is a very unique perspective on the galaxy and its ever-changing dynamic. Plus his quest, his hero’s quest, is always evolving. This is the next chapter of that journey.

Valerio Schiti: I tried to show Peter’s changes with a new design. He’s the same person, of course, but the new garments, the uniform, the haircut, everything is different and somehow a bit “wrong.” Does he like it or not? I still can’t talk about it just yet but he’s definitely not the Star-Lord that we used to know.

Marvel.com: Valerio, with the All-New, All-Different initiative, many creators are taking advantage of this reboot to give characters a bit of a redesign. What sort of changes do you have in mind for the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy?

Valerio Schiti: I was so excited to have the chance to do the redesign of our characters. I already provided Venom and Groot with new looks, and now you’ll see some new outfits for Rocket and Drax. And there are two brand new characters, too: the Thing and the new Star-Lord.

They’re all pretty different, but in general, I tried to design some cool multifunctional clothes; something good for wearing in everyday life as well as for fighting in outer space. They’re pirates, pilots, mechanics, and warriors. They don’t need super hero costumes: they need useful stuff.  

I also think that the Guardians shouldn’t have proper uniforms because they’re not soldiers. That’s why I like to show different ways to wear their new clothes and, moving ahead with the books, maybe some new and cool stuff.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #1 cover by Arthur Adams

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #1 cover by Arthur Adams

Marvel.com: What are some of the other ramifications from Secret Wars for the other members of the team that you can share with us?

Brian Michael Bendis: Well, as you can tell, the Thing is on the team. Ben’s first dream was to be an astronaut, and he finally got his wish. Also, placing him in space makes him less of a creature and more normal to his surroundings. It’ll be interesting to see that play out. And wearing pants. [Laughs]

Venom is also still on the team with new, yet undefined powers.

And we have the the mystery of the new Star-Lord—with a very frustrated Rocket.

Marvel.com: We often see the Guardians interact with many of the other super hero teams within the Marvel Universe, especially the Avengers. Do you see this interconnectivity between the different series continuing or do you envision this series taking on a more independent, stand alone place within Marvel’s All-New lineup?

Brian Michael Bendis: Big goings on for the team. They are going to meet a lot of new friends and enemies. Also, some new villains that debuted in GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE will be crashing into the book. Let’s just say the Guardians aren’t the only band of pirate super heroes in the galaxy.

Valerio Schiti: The Guardians are an essential part of Marvel Universe and I really hope that they’ll be still connected with other characters. At least, I hope so because I really love to draw all kind of different Marvel characters in my style!

Marvel.com: Given what’s come before and what’s to come, who’s your favorite character on the roster and why?

Valerio Schiti: I’m very happy to draw the Thing now but my heart is tied to Rocket.

Brian Michael Bendis: I truly love them all but there is something very unique about writing a full-fledged character with many complex emotions and powerful nobility—and all I’m allowed to write as his dialogue is: “I am Groot.” For someone who can really dig in with the back-and-forth dialogue, I find this very inspiring. And with the right artist like Valerio, a lot can be expressed with very little.

Marvel.com: Brian, you’ve been working on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for a few years now. What sort of plot developments are you most looking forward to exploring in this new period?

Brian Michael Bendis: I told Valerio that with this new volume we have an opportunity to amplify everything about the book: The look, the drama, the comedy, the cast, and the romance. What I have discovered is that people who like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY like to be surprised. They literally don’t know what we’re capable of with these characters and want to be surprised.

And we are more than ready and willing.

Marvel.com: Likewise, Valerio, this isn’t your first time around the block with Marvel’s preeminent intergalactic super team. What about the all-new, all-different GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY has you most excited?

Valerio Schiti: I’m really excited about this new start and, as an artist, I think that the most exciting thing is that I’ll have the opportunity to do my design of the whole team.

I love this book, this kind of science fiction in general, and of course, I love these characters. They are bigger and older than me, they’re important for a lot of people, and usually, we artists are just the guys going with them for a little while. The readers like the stories and the art, but the real, deep love is for the characters. We have to respect them, so it’s not often there’s a chance to change them somehow. It’s a privilege.

So, when Marvel gave me this opportunity to do something new, to leave my mark on these great characters and help Brian to take them to the next level, it was something really huge for me!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY blasts off this fall, and the All-New All-Different Marvel news keeps coming on Marvel.com and our social channels!

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