Look at that sweet pickle. Look at that honey. So obviously, at work, I’ve been talking about Guardians of the Galaxy a lot. And playing the soundtrack a lot. And getting fired a lot.
And there’s a very cool story that I’ve been telling everyone. Did you know that Groot is one of the oldest Marvel characters still in print? His first appearance was in Tales to Astonish #13, which came out in November, 1960! He’s been in print longer than Marvel comics have been Marvel comics! (Timley comics officially changed their branding to Marvel in 1961).
He’s older than the Fantastic Four, the X-men, AND The Avengers!
Insert tree puns here! (Make like a tree and leaf? Idk.)
What’s really crazy, is Groot disappeared from comics for the next sixteen years! He next showed up in 1976, in The Incredible Hulk Annual #5, with a crew of other monsters intent on giving Hulk a really bad day.
WATCH OUT HULK IT’S BLIP!
So sixteen years? That’s a hell of a gap. But Groot’s third appearance didn’t come for another TWENTY-ONE YEARS! In Sensational Spider-man #21, a young Peter Parker reads Tales to Astonish #13 and then encounters Groot in a nightmare that is portrayed as reality.
It? Oh my god, Peter, that giant tree clearly has a name.
After that, Groot bounced around from book to book until finding a more permanent home in Abnett and Lanning’s Guardians of the Galaxy (which just came back into print and you should ALL READ IT BECAUSE SPACE LESBIANS DRAGONS TREES RACOONS TALKING DOGS AND ADAM WAAAAARLOOOOOOCK). That run of Guardians was cancelled in 2010 (WHICH WAS A BONEHEAD MOVE), and then Groot returned to a permanent place in our hearts with the announcement of the GotG movie, and the new ongoing comic series of the same name.
So when you go and see Guardians of the Galaxy thisweekend (or tonight, like me) remember not only is it the first marvel movie written by a woman, but you’re also looking at a great piece of comics history!
(Technically Jim Hammond, Captain America, and Namor are the oldest Marvel characters still in print, but we don’t count Namor because he’s a bitchy gay fishlord.)
(also huge thanks to dragonklaw82 who probably told me this story at some point)