The definitive issue-by-issue comic book collecting guide and reading order for Marvel’s Drax the Destroyer in omnibus, hardcover, trade paperback, and digital. Part of Crushing Krisis’s Crushing Comics. Last updated March 2023 with titles scheduled for release through July 2023.
Drax the Destroyer was a character made for vengeance and built to be tinkered with by each successive generation of writers.
He was originally created alongside Thanos in Iron Man (1968) #55 in February 1973. Thanos was an unstoppable force of destruction, and Drax was his personal destroyer. His desire to destroy Thanos was driven by the forces of vengeance of Thanos’s entire race and, as it turns out, his own extremely personal vendetta against the mad titan.
The original version of Drax the Destroyer was completely unlike his familiar Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnation. He was a gallant, green, caped psychic born from the soil of Thanos’s abandoned homeworld, who could fly through space and emit powerful energy blasts. He seemed to be a deliberate copy of DC’s Martian Manhunter visually and in his powerset.
Drax made a strong early foil for Thanos, but Jim Starlin used him only for a cameo once his own late-70s saga of Thanos and Warlock got underway. That saga lead to the apparent death of Thanos, which meant Drax had no meaning – both within the story and as a Marvel character. After harassing Captain Mar-Vell for taking away his chance to slay Thanos (not realizing or believing it had been Warlock), he was hastily written out of comics via a peculiar two-part Avengers story by Jim Shooter in 1982.
When Jim Starlin returned to Marvel to revive Thanos, Warlock, and Gamora, he also brought Drax back to life – reasoning that if there is a Thanos there must also be a Drax. However, playing off of the peculiar circumstances surrounding Drax’s origin, Starlin used the reincarnation to tweak his character to be a cartoonish oaf with a low intellect. The MCU version of the character shares many qualities with this comedic relief version of Drax that starred in Starlin’s Infinity trilogy and Infinity Watch. However, the screen incarnation is never portrayed as being unintelligent the way he was in the comics. Onscreen, he is simply literal.
After briefly regaining his intelligence and losing it again, Drax was reinvented again in 2005 by Kieth Giffen. This version visually matches up with the screen version – a terrifyingly swift hunk of muscle capable of canny strategy. After anchoring his own mini-series, he was pulled into the first of Marvel’s mid-00s cosmic events, Annihilation and Annihilation Conquest – along with a few other familiar faces: Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot – along with Nova, Warlock, Mantis, and Moondragon.
That group of character transformed into the original Guardians of the Galaxy, launched by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning in 2008. Drax appeared throughout their initial run. Despite being written off at the end (along with Star-Lord and Nova), he was back in the line-up in 2012 when Brian Bendis was brought aboard to navigate the comic franchise towards the impending MCU film.
The version of Drax in the comics since 2013 may be the Guardian who feels the farthest apart from his movie incarnation. He’s simply never been the comedic relief of the comics team quite as much as he has been in the films. He has also seldom been at the center of the team’s plots the way Star-Lord, Gamora, and Rocket often are – though he did have a major moment in 2018’s Infinity Wars by Gerry Duggan. [Read more…] about Drax the Destroyer – Definitive Collecting Guide and Reading Order
I’m happy to announce that my Guide to Legion of Super-Heroes (LOSH) is now available to all CK readers as part of the Crushing Comics Guide to Collecting DC Comics! This guide covers ever Eternals series and every major Eternals character!
This Guide to Legion of Super-Heroes was originally launched back in June thanks to the ongoing support of the legion of outstanding Patrons of CK. It is newly updated with EVERY Legion title and EVERY Legion collection EVER published, plus links to buy them all physically and digitally or read them online at DC Universe Infinite.
If you’ve never read Legion of Super-Heroes before, here’s the briefest crash-course through their history that I can manage (with apologies to Legion super-fans):
(Longtime Legion fans, please forgive me.) [Read more…] about Guide to Legion of Super-Heroes – now available to the public!
The definitive issue-by-issue collecting guide and trade reading order for Legion of Super-Heroes (LOSH), Legionnaires, & Legion Lost comic books in omnibus, hardcover, and trade paperback collections. Part of Crushing Krisis’s Crushing Comics. Last updated August 2022 with titles scheduled for release through December 2022.
DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes (LOSH) are a far-future team assembled from the best and brightest young heroes from many different planets, each with their own unique powers and physiology. Think of it as a cross between the Teen Titans and the Green Lantern Corps.
We usually think of DC comics as arranged by their publishing era, like Silver, Bronze, Post-Crisis, or New 52, which also tend to come with a continuity reboot (or, at least, a light reshuffle). Legion of Super-Heroes is different. LOSH fans do think about their heroes in terms of continuity reboots, but those do not line up DC’s publishing eras. LOSH is considered to be rebooted whenever their future continuity is radically changed such that not all new LOSH stories line up with prior ones.
Sometimes this happens right in the middle of series!
You can read and enjoy any LOSH story or series on its own, but to understand how certain stories rely on each other and where you can follow a specific group of LOSH characters, it makes sense to think in terms of reboots.
For many DC heroes, the first examples of this come with the Silver Age, or immediately after Crisis on Infinite Earths. Yet, the original LOSH) stories extend from the Silver Age through the Bronze Age and past Crisis on Infinite Earths. While they did have a slight pivot after Crisis in 1989 with “Five Years Later,” it was still within the same era of storytelling.
LOSH’s first major inflection point comes with Zero Hour in 2004, which begins what fans refer to generically as “Reboot” continuity.
Then, DC rebooted LOSH continuity prior to Infinite Crisis. This is known to LOSH fans as “Threeboot” era. Characters are sometimes referred to as “New Earth” versions.
However, there is a fourth reboot tucked into 2009 called “Retroboot” that kicks off with the Lightning Saga crossover. It’s called Retroboot because Geoff Johns retroactively inserted his version of the team back into the original continuity just after Crisis on Infinite Earths before handing the team to their author from that period, Paul Levitz. While the rest of DC reboots significantly after Flashpoint in New 52, LOSH continued their “Retroboot” era.
And, finally, Brian Bendis launched a familiar-but-new rebooted LOSH after Doomsday Clock and the explosion of the Source Wall in 2019 as a home for his newly aged-up Jon Kent.
This page exists thanks to research and consultation from @Atmageth!
I haven’t been doing much back-issue reading this week, which means this Back Issue Review isn’t as sprawling as its been in past weeks.
I did manage to knock out four volumes worth of youthful titles. None of the were major standouts, but they all presented nuanced looks at the meaning of friendship and identity.
- Lumberjanes (2014) #25-28(AKA Vol. 7 – A Bird’s-Eye View), Boom! Entertainment, Inc
- Titans (2016) Rebirth & #1-6 (AKA Vol. 1 – The Return of Wally West), DC Comics
- Titans (2016) #7-10 & Annual 1 (AKA Vol. 2 – Made In Manhattan), DC Comics
- Titans (2016) #12-18 (AKA Vol. 3 – A Judas Among Us), DC Comics
- The Unstoppable Wasp #1-4 (AKA Vol. 1 – Unstoppable), Marvel Comics