That was in 1988. What a difference 20 years makes. The new team to be called Guardians of the Galaxy started in 2008. I know this is getting off topic for here, but how popular was the comic before the movie?
Actually '94. (That's where my Marvel reading is right now)
I don't know how popular this incarnation of the team was in the last 6 years, as I haven't bought too many new comics in that time. I know I was very surprized when Marvel started advertising for this movie, and even more surprized when it was a hit! My thoughts on reading that first Rocket Raccoon issue in the Hulk were, "Bill Mantlo made a whole comic based on a Beatles song? And not a very good comic, too!" Not one of their best songs, IMO, either.