The colorful heroes from the 31st century may not be the first thing that springs to mind in the 21st century when “Guardians of the Galaxy is brought up in conversation, but if you came of age in the Bronze era of comics, your memory banks probably load an image of the original group of space adventurers.
The first Epic Collection featuring the original Guardians entitled Earth Shall Overcome opens with Arnold Drake, Gene Colan, and Mike Esposito’s 1969 origin story from Marvel Super Heroes #18 that introduced the world to Vance Astro, Charlie-27, Yondu, and Martinex.
The Guardians wouldn’t appear again until 1974’s Marvel Two-in-One #4-5 when the Thing and Captain America are rocketed to the future and team up with the Guardians.
After the successful reintroduction of the space heroes to the Marvel Universe, the group would add Nikki and Starhawk and guest star in Giant Size Defenders #5, The Defenders #26-29, and Thor Annual #6 (which also introduced Korvac), before getting top billing in Marvel Presents #3-12.
The Epic Collection includes work by Steve Gerber, Chris Claremont, Gerry Conway, Scott Edelman, Roger Slifer, Len Wein, Mary Skrenes, Roger Stern, Sal Buscema, Don Heck, Al Milgrom, John Buscema, Frank Giacoia, John Tartaglione, Dave Hunt, Vince Colletta, Pablo Marcos, Howard Chaykin, Terry Austin, Bob Wiacek, Joe Sinnott, and Klaus Janson.
The Guardians of the Galaxy: Earth Shall Overcome Epic Collection contains 408 pages for a suggested retail price of $39.99.
Check out the cover by Milgrom below and stay tuned to Conskipper for all of your vintage comic news.