So I’m sure the majority of tumblr has now learned all about Phase Two of Marvel’s Diabolical Plan To Ruin All Our Lives, One Movie At A Time. Three of the titles you’re hopefully familiar with, and Ant-Man has been so long gestating in Marvel’s dark and terrifying vault of ideas (and is such a prominent character in past and present comics) that it would be impossible not to have at least an idea of what that movie is going to be about. That leaves the Guardians of the Galaxy, a relatively unheard of title in the long history of Marvel comics, which even a well-read Marvelite might be completely ignorant of. So unless you’re like me, who has been obsessing over this band of alien misfits ever since reading their most recent run just about a year or so ago, you probably took one look at Marvel’s announcement of a Guardians of the Galaxy movie and went ‘huh?’. But never fear, I am now going to put all your questions and concerns to rest.
To put it in as simple terms as possible, the Guardians of the Galaxy are the Avengers of space, except rather than protect a single planet, they protect the entire known galaxy, keeping it in a state of balance and safe from unknown cosmic threats. They first appeared in Marvel comics in 1969, and in an alternate dimension as well as in the 31st century, though it’s the most recent team, (created in 2008 and thankfully still in the 21st century), that forms the basis of this upcoming movie.
This more recent team spawned from the events of Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest, two comic crossover events that started in 2007. This team was led by a half-human, half-alien by the name of Peter Quill, also known as Star-Lord, and was originally formed to deal with a threat from an alien race known as the Phalanx (who were being led by Ultron, an artificial intelligence created by Ant-Man aka Hank Pym ironically enough). With assistance from future Guardians members Rocket Raccoon, Mantis, Bug and Groot, (as well as a few other characters who die during their mission) Star-Lord helped save the day. With the galaxy still reeling in the aftermath of this cosmic catastrophe, and having realized how effective this group of ragtag aliens truly was, Star-Lord recruited a few more members (Gamora, Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer and Quasar), and formed the Guardians of the Galaxy.
This new version of the Guardians of the Galaxy eventually landed its own title and lasted for 25 issues, continually adding more and more members to its roster (the final count was about 14) and played a major role in each of the cosmic events the creative team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, aka DnA, created over the course of about four years. This entire run, starting with Annihilation and ending with The Thanos Imperative, makes for some very good reading, so I highly recommend you pick them up if large-scale space adventures are your sort of thing.
Now the movie only has five of these awesome characters in the team’s line-up, and they may have lost a few of their heavy hitters (as well as a large portion of their ladies, but it’s too early on to tell if Gamora really will be the only female character to appear in the movie, so rest easy for now, fellow fans), and they are such:
Star-Lord. He is one cocky sonuvabitch, with a wide knowledge of anything cosmic, and a master at strategy and combat. His ability to lead others is nearly unparalleled; he has all the skill, confidence and leadership abilities of Captain America with almost none of the old-fashioned values, and though that might make him a wild-card he’s ultimately a good man.
Gamora. She is known as The Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe. She’s an excellent combatant and swordswoman, with superhuman strength and a healing factor much like Wolverine, and is highly intelligent, confident, and sexy (which you can bet she uses to her advantage). But if you think Gamora is only there to look pretty and let all the strong, manly men do the fighting, you can kindly stop reading this and leave. She’s not my favorite for nothing, I can assure you.
(Gamora is also the adopted daughter and sworn enemy of a little alien psychopath you may have heard of named Thanos, who appears at the end of the Avengers. And because of Thanos’ relationship to the next character Drax, I believe this neatly ties the Guardians to the MCU, so this movie isn’t so far out of left field as you might think.)
Drax the Destroyer. He was once a human named Arthur Douglas, but died after an unfortunate run-in with Thanos (fun fact: Thanos then takes Arthur’s daughter Heather to raise as his own and she later becomes Moondragon, another member of the Guardians in the comics.) His spirit is later rescued by a couple of gods, who place it into a new and incredibly powerful body, and give him one focus: kill Thanos. Drax is ruthless and smart, and incredibly deft with his pair of knives, but his hostile demeanor hides a simple but loving heart.
Rocket Raccoon. He is an anthropomorphic raccoon who once worked as a caretaker, where he and his fellow workers (other anthropomorphic animals of the adorable variety) took care of the mentally ill. But don’t let his past fool you; he is a highly intelligent strategist and leader, and is very handy with a gun (or two or three or five, depending on his mood). He’s a wise-cracking, gun-totting, talking raccoon, and he’s fucking amazing.
Groot. At first glance, Groot is simply a giant, talking tree; but he’s also quite powerful, noble and smart, and completely stoic and unafraid in the face danger. He’s able to regenerate himself from the smallest of his sprigs, enhance his strength and size to epic proportions, and bend other trees to his will. He’s also the semi-reluctant best bud to Rocket, seeing as Rocket is the sole member of the team who can understand him when he speaks, as Groot is only able to repeat the phrase “I am Groot.” Yes, it’s weird, but go with it. He’s awesome.
And based on what I’ve read from the comics, I can make the assumption that two other characters from the comics named Mantis and Cosmo might very well make an appearance in the movie. This is pure conjecture on my part, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Cosmo (a powerful telepath and former test dog astronaut of the Soviet Space Program) and Mantis (a master of martial arts, telepathy and precognition) frequently act as the team’s handlers back at their base of operations, a little place called Knowhere located on the very edge of space itself. It is highly possible these characters, as well as a few others from the comics, will join and/or interact with the five known members of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Guardians are a group of aliens who are the last of their kind. They don’t belong anywhere else, and are all unique and dangerous individuals, each with their own quirks and skill sets that together make up one hell of a team. They kick butt, save the universe, and look fucking cool while doing so, and all before breakfast, and I’m incredibly excited to see exactly how my favorite team of ass-kicking aliens will translate on the big screen.
But there’s quite a few of you skeptical of this movie already. A talking raccoon? A giant tree? Actually green aliens? How could this movie possibly work? But rumors are floating around of an excellent first draft of a script, and Marvel seems to be incredibly excited about tackling this monster of a movie. I believe with a great director and a strong cast, this thing could be good. It just has to be approached with a certain mixture of respect and self-deprecation, (because, yes, let’s face it, the Guardians are all sorts of ridiculous). This movie has the potential to be something spectacular; give this team a chance, and I think they just might surprise you.
Now this post was originally going to be a masterpost with links to some GOTG comics, but seeing as a few of my other masterposts were taken down by tumblr, and in an effort to avoid that happening to this post as well, I’ve decided not to have any direct links on the post itself. But I do have comics of their origins in Annihilation: Conquest, one through twenty-five of their actual comics, and the Thanos Imperative (which many people believe may be the basis of the upcoming movie) uploaded for your downloading pleasure, so just leave me a message here saying you’d like to read some Guardian comics and I’ll give you the links.
Also please follow my fuck yeah guardians of the galaxy blog. I created it a few months ago and it only has 16 followers AND I PROMISE IT WILL BE TASTEFUL AND UPDATED REGULARLY!!