Last weekend many of you out there helped make "Guardians Of The Galaxy" a box office smash. Once thought to be an unlikely candidate for record ticket sales, this outer-space epic was turned into a crowd-pleaser through the judicious use of a grumpy raccoon and a hit soundtrack of Moribund Music Of The Seventies (c) Dick Vaughn. And that got us to wondering, how many are familiar with previous, less accessible versions of these characters? How different were the Guardians Of The Galaxy back when their hit soundtrack was actually current? Let's find out!


Hey movie audience! Recognize the crystal guy or Blue Angry Man or the masked wrestler, or the guy with the giant fin? What about the girl being changed... destroyed? Feel like spending a couple hundred million seeing them in a movie? Didn't think so.


Like all great comics, this one starts with an introductory paragraph up at the top that informs new readers who these people are and what's happening. And then the actual story begins and you realize that little introductory paragraph didn't tell you nearly enough, as you prepare to... "Embrace The Void", which, as a description of your journey into the world of comic books, is not without merit.


"How Sad"?? Even mottled-green Mother Superiors are throwing shade on this iteration of the Guardians Of The Galaxy!


These aren't some silly kiddy comics here, these are important, meaningful, deep science-fantasy stories that dare to grapple with the irrelevance of good and evil, as expressed by super-logical crystal men from Pluto and women from Mercury whose hair is actually fire.


Uh oh, looks like the Guardians Of The Galaxy must actually guard the galaxy! Well, one of them does, and of course it's the woman. Because women are always sacrificing themselves in comic books, and at home, slaving over a hot stove, picking up all your toys, etc


And just when you think this comic could use a little more mid 1970s Roger Dean psychedelic style outer space cosmic freakout-osity, here's a shot of an enormous man, larger than most solar systems, clutching two stars in his hands, entire planets worth of continents, oceans, deserts, and space aliens living all over his body - and our heroes are actually inside this giant star dude! Far out, huh? No, I'm not high. Why do you ask?


Meanwhile, our last Galaxy Guardian, America's #3 Spaceman Vance Astro, who has survived a thousand years wrapped in a metallic life-preserving substance, engages in a mental force "psyche-blast" battle with one of the outer space giant's food-gathering particles which has adopted Vance Astro's own normal human appearance.

I can see where Hollywood might be a little apprehensive about green-lighting a film involving mental force bolts versus long, icky streams of nasty somethings erupting from the mouths of fake astronauts. Well, sure, David Cronenberg might go for it.


How can you tell this comic was written in the 1970s? Check for keywords like "ultimate sensual experience." Luxuriate in the softness of the garment as your mind is expanded to the farthest reaches of the universe! Unless you took some of the brown acid, in which case you need to get over to the "bad trip" tent immediately. Only take what you can handle, always know your dealer, and don't forget to breathe!


Meanwhile in outer space, Vance Astro in his Vance Astro body observes our giant Topological Man about to detonate both of his fist-stars, initiating a chain reaction of exploding suns that will destroy the entire galaxy! In fact, since such an explosion would propagate through space at less than the speed of light, this may have already happened and we just don't know about it! Such a zany cosmic farce we're enacting.


And a Comics Code-approved naked spirit woman floats free into the void in a comic book panel drawn to resemble a medieval religous triptych. Pretentious much, mid-70s comics?


Please pay attention to the middle panel here. Vance Astro, inside the Topological Man's puppet body, is thinking about when he thought about a thing. And then he, like this comic book, disappears up his own ass.


Two giant naked space beings, serene, reaching out gently, awakening with their touch, finding out that they do in fact like pina coladas and walking in the rain, and they're not into health food, and I CANNOT WAIT FOR SOMEBODY TO INVENT PUNK ROCK


Yes! The galaxy is being saved, just as our greatest philosophers and scientists predicted, by two giant na