Meet the Guardians

The Original Guardians of the Galaxy
The name GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY was given to a group of superheroes created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colon for Marvel Comics in 1969. The original "Guardians" first appeared in the comic series Marvel Superheroes #18. At that point, the team consisted of Major Vance Astro, Martinex T'naga, Captain Charlie-27, and Yondu Udonta. The comics based around these characters took place in the 31st century, as the Guardians patrolled the galaxy, defending it from the evil Badoon.

The Guardians of the Galaxy made appearances in various comics throughout the 70's and early 80's, before getting their own series in 1990. Volume One was written by Jim Valentino until taken over by Michael Gallagher after issue #28. It was unfortunately cancelled in 1995 after 62 issues.

2008 Guardians of the Galaxy
Fast forward to 2008. Marvel had spent the last couple of years trying to build up their cosmic line of characters with a interconnected series of comics, called Annihilation. Two of the writers from Annihilation, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, took various characters from Marvel's expansive catalog, and named them after the former team of superheroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy. The new team of Guardians consisted of Peter Quill (Star-Lord), Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Adam Warlock, Phyla-Vell, Bug, and Mantis. The team chose the name "Guardians of the Galaxy" after finding Major Vance Astro (of the former Guardians of the Galaxy) frozen in space. When Astro mentioned the name of his former team, Rocket Raccoon (who had been trying to think of a name for this new team) decided they should also be called Guardians of the Galaxy.

The team eventually disbanded, but was brought back by Marvel due to the announcement of a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, set to be released on August 1, 2014, directed by James Gunn. Volume Three is currently being written by Brian Michael Bendis and it's team consists of Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon.

The "new" Guardians of the Galaxy

Current Guardians:

Actor: Chris Pratt
Actress: Zoe Saldana
Actor: Dave Bautista
Actor: Bradley Cooper
Actor: Vin Diesel