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Marvel Universe 

Guardians of the Galaxy


Earth-691, Earth-616

Base of Operations
Mobile aboard the starship Icarus, primarily in the early 31st century era of Earth-691 realm; (formerly) space station Drydock; starship Captain America II, Freedom’s Lady, starship Captain America; Avengers Mansion; a suburban home in Saugerties, New York; Europa, moon of Jupiter; the basement of an abandoned tenement building

First Appearance
Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (1969)

Even the 31st Century needs heroes, and the call has been answered by the Guardians of the Galaxy, a team of superhuman and extraterrestrial adventurers dedicated to the safeguarding of the Milky Way Galaxy from any force that threatens the security or liberty of its various people.

The alternate future of the Guardians began with many changes from Earth-616 starting in 1982. When Earth's environment collapsed, an American astronaut, Vance Astrovik (Vance Astro), embarked upon the first manned space flight to another star system. Also, in the 90's, Bionic Wars ignited among the growing cybernetic population of Earth, culminating in a nuclear attack on western Canada. In 1995, the Confederation of Nations was established, uniting mankind in a global society. However, anti-mutant prejudice remained strong, prompting Earth’s mutants to relocate to Jupiter’s moon of Europa.

The most significant moment occurred in 2001, when Martians invaded Earth, decimating and enslaving humanity. For years, the Martians ruled Earth, before mysteriously abandoning the planet in 2075. Afterwards, Earth was ruled by “Techno-Barons” in various warring city-states. By 2525, the last of these Barons were dethroned, enabling Earth to create a World Federation by 2553. Over the course of the next century, Earth colonized the other planets of the solar system, genetically engineering each specific populace to withstand the environment of each colony, many of which were specialized outposts-- Pluto became Earth’s manufacturing colony, Mercury was a mining colony, Jupiter housed scientific expeditions, etc. Earth began a new golden age of scientific and social advancement.

Unfortunately, this golden age was not to last. The alien Badoon invaded the solar system in 3007 A.D, destroying many of Earth's colonies, ultimately killing nearly every inhabitant of the three settlements on Pluto, Mercury, and Jupiter. The Badoon then invaded Earth itself, decimating the technologically inferior space fleet of the United Lands of Earth. Millions of human beings were exterminated and the remainder forced into slave labor.

Space militia pilot Charlie-27, a native to the Jupiter colony, returned from a solo tour of duty to see his home world overrun by the Badoon. Managing to escape by jumping into a teleportation tube, Charlie-27 arrived on Pluto and joined forces with Martinex, the last Plutonian left on the planet, who had volunteered to stay behind when his people evacuated in order to destroy Pluto's industrial complexes to keep them out of enemy hands. Charlie-27 and Martinex teleported to Earth, hoping to learn the extent of the Badoon invasion.

At about the same time, Vance Astro arrived on the planet Centauri IV over a thousand years after his space launch, having been in suspended animation en route. In the meantime, Earth had developed faster than light travel, traveled to Alpha Centauri centuries ahead of him, and founded a settlement. Upon learning his achievement was meaningless, Astro left the human colony to complete the surveying mission he was assigned to anyway. He soon met Yondu, a member of the native humanoid population of the planet, and when the marauding Badoon exterminated Yondu's tribe, Yondu accompanied Astro back to Earth. Taken captive by the Badoon upon arrival, Yondu and Astro encountered Charlie-27 and Martinex. Managing to escape the Badoon, the four decided to band together to rid the Earth and its colonies from Badoon oppression. They named themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy, becoming a force for good and committed to resist the Badoon occupation of the galaxy.

In 3014, the Earthwoman Tarin was accidentally transported to the modern era of Earth-616. She encountered Captain America, Sharon Carter, and the Thing and elicited their help in returning to her time. They joined with the Guardians of the Galaxy in freeing New York City from the last of the Badoon before returning home.

The Guardians later hoped to retrieve a Badoon memory tape-- a detailed account of the aliens' first invasion attempt in the 20th Century that had ultimately failed. They traveled to 20th Century Earth, where they encountered the Defenders and helped them defeat the monster Eelar. Although they failed to learn what they came for, they recruited the Defenders to help them liberate Earth. Once back in the 31st Century, they were joined by Starhawk, and the heroes finally routed the Badoon Empire.

Since then, the Guardians dedicated themselves as a group of space explorers. Among their various adventures, they recruited the last surviving Mercurian colonist, Nikki, and discovered the truth about Starhawk's alternate female form, Aleta, Starhawk’s wife. When their spaceship Captain America was destroyed in battle against the Reavers of Arcturius, the team recovered a lost Federation space station Drydock and built a new ship, Freedom’s Lady.

They encountered another citizen of Earth-616 when Thor traveled to their future to stop the menace of Korvac the Enemy. The Guardians helped Thor, even to the point of journeying with him to the 20th Century. They hoped to protect Vance Astro’s counterpart, Vance Astrovik, who was a likely target, and the Guardians soon joined the Avengers in confronting Korvac. During their stay, the Guardians were all granted honorary Avengers membership. They continued their stay in the 20th Century for some time, joining other heroes such as the Thing and Spider-Man in various adventures. Also during this time, Astro took the opportunity to unleash his younger self's latent psionic powers, thus ensuring that the boy would not grow up to make the same mistakes he made, despite the protest of his teammates who were loath to alter the timeline in such a manner. They soon returned to the 31st Century, realizing they only truly belonged in this era.

The Guardians soon embarked on a quest dedicated to recovering the shield of Captain America. One of their first encounters was with the alien Stark, which resulted in Starhawk and Aleta splitting into two beings and in the destruction of the Freedom's Lady. They claimed the Stark spaceship for their own, calling it the Captain America II. Their quest was ultimately successful, despite the recurring competition of the mercenary team Force, and Vance Astro claimed the shield, later creating his new identity of Major Victory. Later, Martinex relinquished leadership of the Guardians to Major Victory, hoping to expand the Guardians’ operations, and he eventually created a new team, the Galactic Guardians.

During another visit to Earth, the Guardians found Earth in ruin, victim to an overwhelming addiction to a holographic television created by Doctor Doom, who had survived as a living brain in the Adamantium skeleton of Wolverine. They joined Tarin and her team of guerilla fighters in thwarting Doom as well as a remnant of Badoon who created human agents in the form of an army called the Punishers. During this time, they recruited Hollywood into their ranks, as well as Talon.

When Talon was hurt in battle, the Guardians had to return to Earth-616's present to receive specific aid due to his Inhuman physiology. The team used the Avengers headquarters, briefly stopping an invasion by the Masters of Evil. When they returned to their future, the Guardians found they had a hitchhiker-- Yellowjacket, who had helped them against the Masters of Evil, and the team welcomed her into their membership.

Receiving a call for help from Talon's mentor and honorary Guardian, Krugarr, the Guardians found themselves battling Dormammu with the Galactic Guardians. In the battle, the station Drydock was destroyed, and the Galactic Guardians gave their sister team a new ship, Icarus. They again returned to Earth to help Tarin, who at this time became President of the Northeast Corridor, and a later adventure led the Guardians to resurrect Cuchulain and his guardian, Shamrock. The two declined membership, hoping to serve as Earth-bound heroes, although when Charlie-27 had a brief falling-out with the team, Cuchulain took his place, joining as the Irish Wolfhound.

The Guardians had their biggest shake-up when they were asked to help the Martians against the threat of Bubonicus, a genocidal alien that had decimated the Martian race centuries earlier. Vance Astro had allied with the Martian Ripjak, to the defiance of other members, but soon Bubonicus was defeated. The Guardians regrouped, and Charlie-27 was elected their leader.

Under Charlie's direction, the team traveled the 21st Century, hoping to stop the Martian invasion from ever occurring in at least one timeline. Although they were successful, they encountered the alien Wormhole when trying to return, and they became lost in space-time, seeking a way to return to their rightful home in the 31st Century.

The current regime of the Guardians of the Galaxy was operating within the 616 universe, with their base of operation being Knowhere, which was the severed head of an unknown Celestial. This incarnation of the Guardians was founded by the Star-Lord who saw the need for a proactive strike team to protect the universe form violent attacks such as the Annihilation Wave or the villainous Phalanx. Star-Lord recruited cosmic heavyweight such as Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Mantis, Phyla-Vel and Rocket Raccoon to his team of universe protectors. During their first mission these Guardians destroyed a Templeship belonging to the Universal Church of Truth in order to close a fissure within the fabric of reality. The Guardians act was considered as blasphemy by the Matriarch who summoned Raker and the Cardinals to mete out retribution and penance, and to verify the identity of one of the Guardian members.

While attempting to prevent another fissure disturbance the Guardians discovered massive rock, metal and organic matter, frozen solid in time. In an effort to uncover what appeared to be a metal wall, Phyla-Vell discovered the front gate of the Avengers Mansion. Before the heroes could piece together the puzzle of when and where the gate came from they were attack by unknown aliens that were beginning to thaw from the ice. During the battle with the aliens an amnesia ridden Major Victory was rejuvenated from the thaw of ice and time. Adam Warlock incinerated the mass as the other Guardians retreated back to Knowhere with the disoriented Major Victory.

Later on Binary Stasis Twelve Dyson Sphere, an artificial habitat shell with a caged sun at its heart. Raker and the Cardinals engaged the Guardians in combat. Raker and his religious comrades revealed the power of the belief-battery, (this was a fundamental power of the mind allowing them to achieve all that they believed), allowing them to withstand any form of assault that the Guardians unleashed upon them. While in a direct struggle with Adam Warlock, Raker exclaimed that Warlock’s new powers were nothing more than malevolent witchcraft, before releasing a ferocious blast of energy from his midsection dispelling the threat of the golden hero. Another Cardinal revealed that the power of belief could also regenerate severed limbs, during his confrontation with Drax the Destroyer. At the height of this battle two of Raker's Cardinals were engulfed by the biomass of the Dyson Sphere. All fifty-two hundred of the sphere's inhabitants had been fused into one dreadful biomass. Raker believed Warlock to be the culprit behind the demonic biomass that consumed his faithful brethren. Raker assaulted Star-Lord as a ploy to distract Warlock so that he could stab him and get the DNA evidence needed to reveal if the assumption of the Matriarch were correct.

Contributors: WSST and Jstephens