Marvel announced Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 during their Hall H event at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2022. The third installment for James Gunn's trilogy hits theaters in spring 2023 and it promises to be the most ambitious of the three.
Before the movie comes out, let's refresh ourselves with some of their greatest adventures through the galaxy. The Guardians team up with Marvel's biggest hitters and go against the most frightening villains. And as always, Gunn may take inspiration from a title or two listed here.
What 10 comics should you read before Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is in theaters? Let's have a look.
1) War Of Kings
Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, C.B. Cebulski, and Chris Yost pit three major forces from the Marvel Universe against each other in this space epic. The common on-again-off-again X-Men rival, the Shi'Ar, clash against the Kree Empire and the Guardians get caught in the middle.
To top if off, the Inhumans lead the Kree in this war of kings, putting the Guardians way over their head. Many characters from across the Marvel Universe cameo in various ways. The Nova Corps showed up at one point along with the Starjammers and Darkhawk. The Guardians split into two groups in an attempt to appeal to both sides of the war, but things don't go as planned.
2) Annihilation: Conquest
The miniseries is a sequel to 2006's Annihilation and also focuses on the cosmic side of Marvel. When Ultron leads Phalanx, the techno-organic entity, it leads to a cosmic war with dire consequences.
Nova investigated Kree space only to discover that he was trapped in the middle of a hostile takeover. When the Guardians got involved, they suffered multiple casualties.
This series returned Adam Warlock to the Marvel Universe, which could easily be used as inspiration for his role in the upcoming film. It would be fantastic if fans got to see a major cosmic event like this play out on the bigscreen.
3) Rocket Raccoon: A Chasing Tale
Rocket Raccoon easily became a fan-favorite in his live-action debut with his grit and predisposition to chaos. If this little science project of a rodent fascinates you, then check out his solo series that sees him run from authorities in order to prove his innocence.
When an imposter Rocket frames the Guardian for murder, the real one has to clear his name with bounty hunters and official police authorities on his tail. With his buddy Groot, you're sure to have a laugh if you pick up this story that's been collected into a trade-paperback.
4) Guardians Of The Galaxy: Legacy
After the events of Annihilation: Conquest, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning return to writing duties on a Guardians-focused story. In Legacy, the boundaries of the universe have weakened thanks to Annhilation Wave after Annihilation Wave and the Guardians take a more proactive approach to the event.
James Gunn announced that Cosmo, the Russian space dog will be in his movie. This may be a good place to start reading to get an idea what that story is going to be about, especially since Adam Warlock also played a vital role in Legacy. This may be the blueprint for Gunn's final Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
5) Avengers #177
If you want a top tier Guardians of the Galaxy story, you'll find it in an Avengers comic. The two teams join forces to defend the galaxy against a cosmic threat: Korvac. This universe-jumping villain steals the Power Cosmic from Galactus, making himself a godlike being. Naturally, he has to be stopped.
6) The Black Vortex Omega
Fans of X-Men need to pick up this 2015 story as it features Kitty Pryde join the Guardians of the Galaxy. It even shows Star-Lord and Pride in a series relationship together. How serious? Serious enough for Peter Quill to propose to the X-Person. By the end of the story, Pryde ends up in charge of the team and Quill ends up heartbroken.
7) Guardians Of The Galaxy: The Final Guantlet
Thanos is a formidable force even in death. He's not alive for this storyline, but his presence is felt as the galaxy discovers there might be a way for him to return to the land of the living and they want to prevent it. This puts Gamora front-and-center as the inheritor of his power.
The Final Gauntlet brings in every major cosmic force along with anyone that was ever a member of the Gaurdians of the Galaxy. This story continues some threads writer Donny Cates began in previous tales while planting fresh story seeds with this arc.
8) Guardians of the Galaxy: Then It's Us
Al Ewing took over writing duties from Donny Cates with Then It's Us and chose to start fresh. The Guardians here retired from saving the galaxy until Richard Rider (Nova) shows up to warn them of a new threat.
Peter Quill spends much of the beginning of the story trying to get the band back together and recruiting new members. Of course, members that wanted nothing to do with the team again have strong words for Star-Lord when he doesn't respect their wishes.
9) Guardians of the Galaxy: We're Super Heroes
And then there was Doom. Al Ewing's final act as writer for the Guardians of the Galaxy was making them the official response team for multiple cosmic empires. If there was a problem, they would call on the Guardians of the Galaxy to handle it. This made them a significant force within the Marvel Universe.
That's not to mention that Star-Lord and Nova make an ally out of Victor Von Doom. Yes, Doctor Doom. Also, why wouldn't anyone want to read a story where Dormmamu possesses Ego, the Living Planet? Sounds like a job for Doctor Doom.
10) Planet of the Symbiotes
Leave it to Brian Michael Bendis to pit the Guardians of the Galaxy against one of the most lethal forces in all of the Marvel Universe. This 2014 story sees the Guardians of the Galaxy, along with Flash Thompson, try to survive on a planet run by the parasitic symbiotes.
Flash Thompson had only wanted to use the Venom symbiote for good since he got ahold of it, but when the symbiote returns to its home planet, will it continue to cooperate with his pure intentions? Brian Michael Bendis doesn't let his readers down. Not only does he push the Guardians of the Galaxy to new heights, but Venom too.
I am Groot premieres on Disney+ August 10, 2022 for more Guardians of the Galaxy fun.