Marvel released a prelude/comic tie-in for Guardians of the Galaxy in what I assume is an attempt to introduce people to these new characters. It might possibly have led to some more confusion. Maybe spoilers? It's some plot points for the movie, and some old plots from comics.

What you need to know about Guardians of the Galaxy, according to Marvel

I picked this book up because I know very, very little about GotG except for things I've gleaned from various press pieces about the movie. But look! Marvel is releasing a tie-in collection of stories about the characters! Maybe this will clear some things up!

1: Prelude - Nebula

What you need to know about Guardians of the Galaxy, according to Marvel

This story starts off great, explaining a little bit about Nebula and her relationship with Gamora. According to this story, they are both being trained by someones named Thanos and Ronan to become top fighters and assassins. Thanos seems to really emphasize replacing 'weak flesh with strong robotic parts' which just makes me think of Darth "He's more machine now, than man" Vader and we all know how well that worked out. Gamora and Nebula are now on a mission to find this Orb Thingy and Nebula finds herself caught in some sort laser-barbed-wire net. Instructed by Thanos to leave Nebula there to learn form her mistakes and become stronger for them, Gamora gives Nebula a wicked knife to free herself. Except metal cannot cut laser-net. Wasn't this the beginning plot of Saw? Suffice it to say, both these women are hardcore and can probably kill you with their pinky fingers.Not even their whole pinky fingers. Like, just the first knuckle.

2: Prelude - Rocket and Groot

What you need to know about Guardians of the Galaxy, according to Marvel

Things you need to know about Rocket:

  • Talking Raccoon with deadly aim and a mercenary's heart
  • Never misses a chance for a wisecrack

Things you need to know about Groot:

  • I am Groot.

3: Dangerous Prey

We now turn our attention to Gamora, who is entering a shady bar straight out of Mos Eisley. But first, let's recap what happened at the end of Thor 2, but in comic book form:

What you need to know about Guardians of the Galaxy, according to Marvel

  • Lady Sif and, uh, Titus Pollo from Rome go to Benecio Del Toro's Cave of Wonders to deposit The Aether into his safekeeping.
  • They somehow manage to miss the giant klaxons announcing 'HEY MAYBE THIS GUY IS A LITTLE SHADY AND NOT QUITE WHAT HE APPEARS TO BE"
  • Collector Man ("Tanaleer Tivan" according to his assistant who is simultaneously an alien and Britney Spears circa 1998) quietly announces "one down, five more to go"
  • SERIOUSLY. KLAXON-SIZE ALARM BELLS

Back to Gamora and Space Dive Bar. Because patrons of Space Dive Bars are not known for their intelligence, they try to pull some funny business with Gamora but she is having none of that shit. None of it. Half of the bar is now missing half their limbs.

It is stated that Gamora is no longer working for Thanos/Ronan, and runs a small yet profitable real estate agency in this galaxy's version of Orlando, Florida.

No? Okay, fine: The entire point of this is for her to meet The Collector, as he would like to commission her to go find The Orb. The Collector muses that this will be dangerous, as surely others will be searching for The Orb! To be continued... in the movie!

4: Thanos and Drax the Destroyer

Now this is where it starts to get a little weird, as Marvel plopped some classic stories in here to acquaint us with some other characters in this Galaxy. Specifically, an Iron Man comic from nineteen-dickety-two (the Kaiser had stolen the word for 'twenty'). The Invincible Iron Man #55, if anyone knows that particular vintage.

Alright, this is how I understood it:

  • Thanos is the son of Mentor, the ruler of the Titans
  • Titans live in some sort of paradise on Saturn's largest moon called, you guessed it, Titan
  • Thanos says "screw this, I'm making weapons and getting out of here" and declares war on Titan
  • Mentor is upset by this, obviously, and asks the "disembodied entity known as Kronos" to intervene. Kronos says he can sort-of help? Maybe? You know what, I'll send a guy down to help you out. He's my buddy Drax, and he can like, totally fix your problem. Pay him in cash and you'll save on the tax!
  • Thanos sets up base on Earth
  • Drax finds him, gets trappe, sends a mental message to Iron Man (while he was in a meeting! How rude, Drax!) to come help
  • Iron Man comes and punch-punch here, slap-kick there, Thanos tricks them and escapes but everyone is fine

Okay. Sounds good. I got it. Let's move on because the next one is an I don't even know.

5: Strange Tales Featuring Warlock

I recognize none of the characters in this story (from 1975) except for Gamora. There's a protagonist named Warlock. He is captured by the Church. They try to mentally change his allegiance by putting him in a head-fantasy with clowns. He mostly saves himself but Gamora and some troll-dude along for the ride help.

I literally do not know what the point of this was. Are they going to introduce another white dude hero (Warlock? What?) instead of giving us Black Widow and Captain Marvel movies? This better not be that. This part just raised more questions and I'm not even sure it answered any in the first place.

6: Incredible Hulk 20th Anniversary Issue

We've now reached the 80s, everyone. And The Hulk is having an anniversary! Awwww. Let's celebrate by shooting him through space to the planet Rocket Raccoon is from. Which is in this Galaxy that is surrounded by a wall keeping things in and keeping things out. I assume this comic was to explain the galaxy and it's villains. I must admit, the villainous turtle Uncle Pyko and bumbling humans as inept British bobbies did amuse me. I hope we see those in the movie!

7: Groot! The Monster from Planet X!

Huh. Apparently Groot is from a pulpy monster-of-the-week comic. How sweet.

Our hero is a biologist with a wife who is the epitome of the 'shrew wife' stereotype, which is obviously gross, but let's move on. Groot (who actually talks here) has come to take their little town back to Planet X so they can experiment and study them. Which is hilarious to me, let's have more Scientist Groot, please. Scientist man ("Leslie" can we bring back Leslie for men? Also, Ashley.) defeats Groot by infesting him with termites which legit made me laugh.

Seriously. Can we have Scientist Groot?

8: Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1

Ah! How Star Lord came to be!

What you need to know about Guardians of the Galaxy, according to Marvel

Lonely Meredith Quill chats on the phone with her mother, when from the sky, a mysterious man crashes in his mysterious plane! This mysterious man from the sky is awfully good-looking and humanoid and awfully injured. Meredith takes him in and nurses him a bit and watches him wake up with a shotgun pointed squarely at him. Heh.

His name is J'Son of Spartax (J'Son? Really?) and he needs to repair his ship and get back to his people! Anyway, I don't even know if I should bother writing out the rest as this trope is pretty well done. Just in case: J'Son and Meredith bond, have a romantic night of passion, J'Son leaves. And they did that thing where the woman touches her stomach and just knows, only hours after coitus, that she is baby-cooking. Which is just... no. No.

Anyway, baby is Peter Quill! We see him at about ten years old and he's a jerk to his mom, but defends the bullied from the bullies at school. He comes home one day after school and, uh oh, mysterious lights in the forest! Yeah, they're not good. They are bad aliens who have come for the Spartax bloodline. Peter shoots them with a shotgun, and finds the weapon his dad left behind. Alas, the house explodes and Peter is shuffled from foster home to foster home, looking for any way to get off the planet.

We then see him as an adult, wearing fancy space gear but not really telling us ho he managed to get into space. He's got one hell of a chip on his shoulder, thanks to the absentee dad who let those bad aliens kill his mom and didn't do anything about it. And he's telling this to Gamora, Rocket, Drax, Groot and Iron Man. I... what? Apparently this story will be continued in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1: Cosmic Avengers.

This whole story for the comic line? What?

I don't even know how much of this story will be movie canon. If this book is a "Marvel Cinematic Universe Official Tie-In" how much of it was actually a tie-in?

I read this damn thing so I could get a bit more insight into GotG before I went to see the movie on Thursday night. It just raised more questions! But not interesting questions. Just annoying ones I'm going to forget.

They should have just released the first few chapters as the movie tie-in and removed the rest. It was unnecessary and cheap and now I'm upset going into what's supposed to be the best movie this year.

Bad Marvel!