The first appearance of The Guardians of The Galaxy in comic book form came way back in 1969. It was created by Stan Lee, Arnold Drake and Roy Thomas, and the team was brought together, assembling characters that already existed in one form or another in the Marvel brand. Despite strong sales, the comic had an intermittent time at press … after their first appearance; they were only continued five years later. The comic series gained attention over the years every now and again, but gained fame and notoriety again in 2008.
The series has spawned two films in the franchise, released in 2014 and 2017 to great success and rave reviews. An all-star cast floods the screen in both instalments and audiences were along for the action and laughs. The films were released by Disney and are a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: a series of films depicting many Marvel heroes united under one banner.
The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker and Benicio Del Toro. Other major stars appear in both films, giving the series international appeal.
And as always, with such franchise films come excellent memes, comics and online videos that depict the great characters in a plethora of imagined circumstances. Here are twenty such comics depicting our favorite characters from the films and they’d probably make good old Drax bust a lung laughing fitfully, well into the night.
20 A Voice Made For Animation
Action superstar Vin Diesel embodies the character of Groot in the Guardians franchise … literally. The famous bald-headed action hero isn’t anywhere to be seen in the film, but his remarkabkle voice is heard throughout—although he does have a limited amount of lines, his character has made a lasting impression.
No stranger to voice acting, Diesel does the character justice and his deep raspy voice is unmistakeable.
And it was at the start of Vin’s illustrious career that he voiced the character of The Iron Giant in 1999's The Iron Giant. Groot, an alien/tree-like creature is definitely one of the oddest characters in the series, but he is also one of the most loved. The animation for the character is impressive in the first instalment and well, just plain adorable in the second as the lovable Baby Groot.
19 Perfect Blend Of Comedy And Action
Hollywood has been spawning action/comedies for a long, long while and to great box office success. Audiences all over the globe love watching action films where heroes of all kinds are pitted against really great villains, yet all the while having the time to crack a few jokes along the way. What comes to mind more than any genres of film were the action flicks of the eighties, which saw the action heroes of the era blasting villains.
Each action packed scene ended with one-liners the audience is unlikely to forget: “I’ll Be Back.”
Films today—especially action flicks — need to be multi-dimensional, and in that department Guardians of The Galaxy doesn’t disappoint. The film is infused with action, spectacular sci-fi and humor that hits a chord with audiences everywhere … and yes, even Drax.
18 Pals Til The End
On-screen relationships are made to inspire. And what’s important to remember, is they’re not always between men and women. Indeed there have been great love stories unfolding on the big screen for many generations. But what mustn’t be forgotten are the great “buddy comedies” that have graced theaters and home entertainment centers for decades.
It started with Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, went on to Tango and Cash (interestingly enough both stars from that film have appeared in the Guardians of The Galaxy franchise), and who can forget the Rush Hour series.
Rocket and Groot—as unlikely a couple of buds they seem to be—have indeed inspired millions to appreciate what it means to have a best bud and the two are truly an embodiment of the term as is depicted in the films and the comics—no matter how frustrated Rocket can sometimes get.
17 Bradley Cooper's Rocket
This particular comic is taken from an Avengers joke where fans have suggested Guardians is basically the Avenger team themselves playing a Dungeons & Dragons style game. Thor is basically Drax, Natasha would be Gamora, Tony would would be Quill, and Cap...... well Cap would be Rocket.
We need a sitcom of Avengers basically living their lives in Stark Tower like roommates, playing board games and figuring out toasters.
A hard working actor, Bradley Cooper churns out films at a regular pace, with audiences flocking to see him on the big screen in droves. What makes him such a draw is the fact that he can play any role that comes his way … ranging from the dramatic to the outright hilarious. So it didn’t come as a surprise when the actor was cast to voice the character of Rocket in the Guardians film franchise.
16 From Big To Small
Anyone who missed the first instalment of the film and subsequently caught the trailer for Volume 2 was left wondering one thing … why the heck did Groot suddenly shrink?
Well, audiences and the teams and teams of fans were most definitely “in the know” and the reason just shows what a great writing team is working on this series and the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Writing credits for the film go to screenwriter and director James Gunn and Nicole Perlman.
If you haven’t seen the first film, by the end, Groot has sacrificed his life to save the other Guardians and they plant a sapling that was cut from Groot and await it to grow: hence, Baby Groot.
This provides limitless amounts of funny scenes—one in particular is when Baby Groot is dancing in a planter as Drax’s back is turned.
15 Poison Ivy's Ideal Man
Cross-overs of any kind are most definitely hilarious for any fan of comics and the multitude of artwork based on the characters that fill the pages of both the Marvel and DC labels.
It’s probably pretty rare these days to find comic book fans that’ll just stick to one brand, either DC or Marvel, so everyone pretty much knows what’s going on at either camp.
This comic shows Poison Ivy, a DC villain made famous in Batman comics, falling head over heels in love with Groot. What’s indeed hilarious about this is the simple fact that Ivy is obsessed with anything that comes from the ground … hence her name, and the fact that she meets Groot and instantly falls for him is absolutely insane and yet totally logical. So of course that’s what makes it funny.
14 Branching Out
Film producers know they’ve got a success on their hands when their characters can branch out and appear in countless spin-offs, or in this case, an existing successful franchise. The Avengers is a huge film franchise and even that, dear reader, is an understatement, but it needs saying. The Guardians have and will be appearing in The Avengers: Infinity War film that is soon to be released and the world is abuzz with rumors as to just what will be going down when it hits theatres.
An Avengers film such as this is a dream come true for any fan of the franchise, the Marvel brand, or any comic book that’s been released in the last few decades. The only thing missing would be Superman and Batman suddenly dropping in for tea and biscuits at Stark Tower.
13 When Rocket Met Groot!?
Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally hit the theaters in 1989, and audiences flocked to theaters to get a glimpse of the hilarious Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in what critics have called their greatest performances on screen, respectively. Even more than the massive success of the film is a particular scene in a diner: it has lived on in the minds of film buffs everywhere. The scene in question has been spoofed and recreated countless times in film and television.
What makes the above comic stupendously funny is the fact that Groot and Rocket are recreating that unforgettable scene, only with a definite twist to fit their characters and the thought of it has had many who’ve seen it to rumble loudly with laughter.
Art by AxelMedellin.
12 Rocket's Inception
Rocket Racoon first appeared in Marvel comics during the summer of 1976. He was created by writer Bill Mantlo and designed by artist, Keith Giffen. The character is an anthropomorphic racoon with the intelligence of a human. Far-fetched? Maybe, but its great sci-fi writing at its very best we’re afraid, as the success of the comics prove. He’s an expert at fighting and battle tactics and is a perfect marksman.
This character is responsible for a large portion of merchandise sold for the whole franchise both in print and in film form.
He first appeared under the name “Rocky” … as a reference to Rocky Racoon, and as he continued to appear in numerous Marvel comics features, it was explained to readers that “Rocky” was short for Rocket.
11 A Dynamic Team
There have been times on the big screen when a giant cast had the power to make a great film, but unfortunately when it came time to reap the benefits of so many stars together for one film, the movie fell short of expectations. Some examples: Batman & Robin, The Big Wedding and Valentine’s Day.
An ensemble cast can either make or break a film.
On the other hand, when it works, the audience’s voice is clearly heard … as in The Expendables, The Avengers and classics such as Pulp Fiction and The Magnificent Seven.
A cast such as the aforementioned ones include a group of actors that can play off each other in their sleep and the cast of Guardians of The Galaxy can indeed do that as they have proven. But what more is their ability to get the audience to genuinely like them … that’s where the true secret lies.
Art by JoeyVasquez.
10 Critical Reception & Box-Office Success
Therefore, the proof is in the pudding. It’s obvious that audiences flooded theaters as the box-office success of both films is, in fact, quite huge. The numbers don’t lie. The first instalment kicked in at 773.3 million in grosses, at a production budget of 232.2 million. The second volume came in at a whopping 863.8 million, with a budget of 200 million dollars.
Is it any wonder why producers are planning a third instalment slated for release in 2020?
How can a movie with so many dynamics thrown in fail? Critics everywhere agreed, for the most part, and the franchise is doing quite well. Numbers aren’t as high as The Avengers films, but they definitely shatter the earnings of most films opening in theatres these days and well, we’re sure nobody can argue with that.
Art by AxelMedellin.
9 Special Effects Now & Before
We’re sure most of you can remember the old sci-fi and action films of the eighties. Most of them were great and have definitely achieved classic status in the minds and hearts of audiences everywhere, but we’ve gotta be honest with ourselves … the graphics—if any—and special effects were at times horrendous. If we look back at the classic Terminator film released in 1984, it is clearly seen that the version of the T-100 we’re looking at in most scenes is unmistakably a prosthetic doll of sorts.
These days, that isn’t so much the case, and with the birth of CGI technology, movies with talking trees and racoons have indeed become easier to make and are a little more believable to audiences everywhere.
8 Repetitive ... But It Never Gets Old
Introducing yourself to somebody can be quite hard. There’s a level of nervousness to overcome; maybe you’re a little self-conscious. But at least you’ve got options when it comes to things to say. But imagine if you were limited to the same introductory statement. How awkward would that be?
As it turns out, our loveable Groot knows what that’s like.
It’s become a parody in such comics like the ones depicted in this article and in memes all over the internet that Groot is very limited when it comes to his vocabulary, but instead of becoming boring and repetitive, it has endeared him to audiences everywhere.
Let’s try to picture Vin Diesel in the studio voicing the same sentence over and over again in different intervals. Pretty funny thought, isn’t it?
7 From Ring To Screen
The list of A-List wrestlers that have made it from the ring to the screen is larger than people would think; especially these days. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one in particular that has been the most successful at parlaying his performance chops from one business to the other. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is yet another one.
But Dave Bautista, formerly “The Animal” Batista in WWE has been another of the more successful to steer away from in-ring action in search of a Hollywood career. His foray into the acting world started with low budget fare, but it didn’t take long for his star to rise and he is slowly becoming a household name that anyone can recognize.
His portrayal as Drax is spot on and he’s proving how talented an actor he can be. Also, watch him in Kickboxer: Vengeance where he plays the iconic character of Tong-Po. And stay tuned for him in Escape Plan 2: Hades, where he stars alongside Sylvester Stallone.
6 Awesome Tunes
The actual greatness of the Guardians of The Galaxy film wasn’t the only thing to draw audiences to theaters. The soundtrack that was prominently featured in the many sneak previews that were released before the film hit theaters was indeed full of hit songs, predominantly songs from the past, and great ones at that.
Cue the band: Ugachaka, ugachaka … hooked on a feelin’ …. The famous song by Bjorn Skiffs was once again made famous when previews of the film started airing back in 2014, and it let audiences know that a soundtrack of great classic songs was sure to come with the excellent film. And it couldn’t have been more fitting considering Peter’s penchant for music.
Other awesome songs included in the film are Spirit in The Sky by Norman Greenbaum and Moonage Daydream by David Bowie.
5 Zoe's Gamora
Actress Zoe Saldana first gained notoriety in an episode of Law and Order back in 1999. An actress and dancer, she then moved onto film in Crossroads in 2002 acting alongside pop star Britney Spears. She is also famous for starring in James Cameron’s Avatar and the re-booted Star Trek series of films, in which she plays the iconic character of Nyota Uhura.
In Guardians of The Galaxy, she stars as Gamora and has embodied the character beautifully and expertly. She received rave reviews and fans of the comic book series marveled at the first ever live action embodiment of the character in a live action setting.
According to the above comic however, no matter how beautiful an alien she is, she sure isn’t to be messed with, as she is indeed a trained assassin, and we can hear Drax laughing heartily at poor Peter’s expense.
4 Great Actors On-Board
Within the remarkable cast of characters featured in the film are actors that play smaller roles in both instalments and are probably expected to return in sequels. The films are teeming with talented actors from the screen and they bring an excellent dynamic to the fray; especially screen icons such as these.
Iconic screen legend Sylvester Stallone plays Stakar Ogord and director James Gunn stated that he was impressed by Stallone’s performance and that the character would definitely be returning for more of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
Also added to the fray is the charming and always entertaining Kurt Russell of Escape From New York fame, and here he plays Ego, an ancient celestial and Peter’s father in the film, which is great as they both share the same sort of mass appeal as actors.
Art by Javas.
3 Michael Rooker — Veteran Of The Screen
Most people these days will probably remember Michael Rooker from his time on the famous Walking Dead series, but Rooker is a veteran of the screen and has a career that dates back over thirty years and the hits he has under his belt are definitely impressive. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Cliffhanger, JFK, Sea of Love and Mallrats are only a few of his great films.
In Guardians, he plays Yondu Udonta, a blue-skinned leader of the Ravagers and he sort of serves as a father figure to Quill. The actor ran with the character and James Gunn, the film’s director, stated that he had written the character’s scenes with Rooker specifically in mind.
As a side note, it has been stated by a source on set that his make-up took a whopping four excruciating hours to apply.
2 Groot's Creation
No one can argue that the character of Groot isn’t unique. He first appeared in Marvel comics in 1960 and was created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber and Dick Ayers. In his original manifestation, he appeared as a villainous alien invader of earth intent on capturing human beings for the reasons of experimentation and study.
In 2006, Groot re-appeared, only this time he was a good character who joined the Guardians team.
At the time, it seemed risky, but the character has proven to be a multilayered one in the comics and has provided the already rich story line to grow and branch out further (no pun intended). In the films, so much is dependent on him and the audience couldn’t be happier.
Besides, he's always good for a chuckle, as Drax already knows.
1 A Star Is Born
Actor Chris Pratt’s star is definitely on the rise and has been for quite some time now. The star of the Galaxy films and the rebooted Jurassic Park franchise has indeed been seen quite a bit as of late and rightfully so. He’s charismatic and talented and no doubt dedicated, as his weight loss and bulking up muscularly for his roles has no doubt garnered him the respect of his peers and audiences alike. He’s charismatic and funny and handsome in that classic film star way and we’re sure he’s got great things in his future in film.
In Guardians, he plays Peter Quill (or Star-Lord as he’d like to be known), a character that first appeared in Marvel comics since 1974. His “crush” on the character of Gamora always leads to a good laugh, as Drax can surely agree.
Art by Jetxwaveluva.
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