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When We First Met – The Cast of Guardians of the Galaxy

by  in Comic News Comment

In this feature we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ’em out!

With the release of the film, I thought it’d be a good idea to revisit the original piece I did on the current Guardians of the Galaxy and expand it to feature ALL of the Marvel characters appearing in the movie, not just the Guardians themselves.

Before getting to the new characters, though, we will look at the main team, the Guardians of the Galaxy.

First up is the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill, Star-Lord. Star-Lord made his debut in 1975’s Marvel Preview #4 by writer Steve Englehart and artist Steve Gan.

The concept of the character is that a young man was born on a day that all of the planets were aligned. His father felt that he was not his own son so tried to kill him as an infant, but instead died of a heart attack before he could kill his boy. The boy’s mother was then killed by aliens visiting the Earth. Young Peter vowed revenge and dedicated his life to destroying the aliens who killed his mother. He became an astronaut and when a mysterious figure offered to give an Earthling the role of a Star-Lord (a sort of cosmic cop), Peter sort of went nuts and stole the opportunity away from another. He then met the mysterious and powerful Master of the Sun…







Next up is Drax the Destroyer. He made his debut in 1972’s Iron Man #55 (by Jim Starlin)…


The same issue also introduced Thanos…




Next up is Gamora. She made her debut in 1975’s Strange Tales #180 (by Jim Starlin), where she met Warlock’s ally, Pip the Troll…


In the following issue, we learn her name and her famous tagline…


Go to the next page for the debuts of Groot and Rocket Raccoon!

Up next is Groot. The alien being made his debut in the lead story of 1960’s Tales to Astonish #13, with art by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers and a story by…I dunno…maybe Larry Leiber?






Finally we have Rocket Raccoon.

He made his debut in a sci-fi story by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen in 1976’s Marvel Preview #7…



but wasn’t known as Rocket Raccoon (and didn’t have his current personality) until he made his color debut in 1982’s Incredible Hulk #271 by Mantlo and Sal Buscema…




Go to the next page for the debuts of the villains of the film!

First up is Ronan the Accuser, who debuted in 1967’s Fantastic Four #65 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott). The Fantastic Four are first visited by the Supreme Intelligence in their minds and then Ronan shows up to carry out the sentence…




The FF battle him and then Reed has a plan…



Next is Korath the Pursuer. This one is a bit tricky.

First up, in 1977’s Inhumans #11 by Doug Moench, Keith Pollard and Jim Mooney, we are introduced to the concept of the Pursuer, as the Kree plot against the Inhumans…




Fifteen years later, Mark Gruenwald debuted Korath, the until-now unknown CREATOR of the Pursuer program in 1992’s Quasar #32 (by Gruenwald, Greg Capullo and Harry Candelario)…



You got to love the lack of an editorial box referencing Inhumans #11 there. As if we’re just supposed to know what he’s talking about.

Nebula debuted in 1985’s Avengers #257 by Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer, when Captain Marvel (who found herself lost in space) met up with Nebula’s crew…




After the events of Infinity Gauntlet (when Nebula made a move on capturing the Gauntlet), Nebula ended up with brain damage.

In 1992’s Silver Surfer #72 (by Ron Marz, MC Wyman and Tom Christopher), we see the debut of her shaved head look as a doctor fixes her brain damage…



The next issue, with pencils now by Ron Lim, debuts her new look in its entirety…



The Collector made his first appearance in 1966’s Avengers #28 by Stan Lee, Don Heck and Frank Giacoia…


but it wasn’t until 1977’s Avengers #174 by Jim Shooter, Dave Wenzel and Pablo Marcos that we learned that the Collector was a cosmic being (and was planning to try to stop Korvac)…




His daughter, Carina, takes on the role of the Collector’s assistant in the Guardians of the Galaxy

Go to the next page for the debuts of the supporting characters of the film!

As far as I know, the only original member of the Guardians of the Galaxy to appear in the upcoming film is Yondu, who debuted along with the other original members of the Guardians in 1969’s Marvel Super-Heroes #18 by Arnold Drake, Gene Colan and Mike Esposito.

We see him captured along with Vance Astro by the Badoon…




Kind of iffy “Tonto-speak” For Yondu there.

Rhomann Dey, the Nova member played by John C. Reilly in the film, debuted in the first issue of Nova all the way back in 1976 (by Marv Wolfman, John Buscema and Joe Sinnott). He was the Nova-Prime who gave Richard Rider his powers…




In Nova #8 (art by Sal Buscema and Frank Giacoia), we learn the name of this Nova…


Finally, played by Glenn Close, Irani Rael is another Nova member. We first met her at the end of 2008’s Nova #18, by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Wellington Alves and Scott Hanna…



And was named the next issue…


That’s it!

If you have suggestions for characters that you’d like to see the first appearances of, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com