Let's Take a Closer Look at Marvel's New 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
by Ethan Anderton
July 17, 2012
Though most of the people paying attention to Comic-Con after seeing The Avengers were preoccupied with Iron Man 3 footage, the test reel for Ant Man shot by Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright, and the title reveals for Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (check out our reaction to all of those things on our Marvel panel video blog), comic book fans were just as excited to hear that Guardians of the Galaxy was officially heading to theaters on August 1st, 2014 complete with a team including Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot and Star-Lord. Who the hell are these guys?
A lot of people don't know anything about the Guardians of the Galaxy, and unless you're a Marvel comic book fan, the first time you heard about this cosmic superhero team likely came when news hit the internet. And considering this is one of the strangest assembly of galaxy defenders the big screen will ever see, we figured it would do our readers well to highlight each team member and talk about what we might see from this ambitious Marvel Studios adaptation. After all, there's a lot to learn about an intergalactic team that has an anthropomorphic, gun-wielding raccoon among their members. But we'll get into that more later.
In case you missed it, here's a good look at the entire team thanks to concept art unveiled at Comic-Con:
First up, let's start with the guy on the left. That's Drax the Destroyer, and in a second you'll start to see how Marvel is tying up their Second Phase of the cinematic universe they kicked off with The Avengers and all the team members' preceding films. Drax used to be a human saxophonist named Art Douglas, but he and his wife were killed by Thanos while driving in the Mojave desert. That's right, the guy from the credit scene after The Avengers already has a direct tie to this new Marvel movie. The death of his wife already gives Drax an axe to grind, but that's not all. Thanos also kidnaps his daughter and hands her over to his father Mentor. Meanwhile, it's another God named Kronos who brings Arthur back as Drax complete with superhuman strength, energy blasts from his hands and the ability to fly (including in space), in order to kill Thanos. Oh, and he can sense the villain's presence across space. That's kind of a big deal.
The second guy from the left is named Groot, so it makes sense that he looks like a tree (possibly even an Ent from the world of Tolkien). The guardian is a plant monster from the Floral Colossus species of aliens. His planet is on the verge of death, and while he came to Earth to capture humans for some sort of experiment to save his planet, S.H.I.E.L.D. captures him and got him to work for them instead. Groot can regenerate (surviving by absorbing wood) and control plant life with his mind, but that doesn't stop him from still being incapacitated, albeit briefly, by simple things like fire and even termites.
Now let's look at the main guy in the middle who looks like he came from Halo or Gears of War. That's Star-Lord, and obviously he's ready to kick some ass. He's the second human on the team with a troubled history. Peter Quill may have gone on to be an astronaut, but as a child his father died trying to kill him and his mother was killed by an alien. It's not wonder he grew up to be an astronaut. But while on a space station, Quill is visited by Master of the Sun and gets transformed into Star-Lord, who is tasked with policing the galaxy. His suit allows him to travel through space, increase his strength and he has a powerful weapon called an element gun which fires earth, water, fire and air, but not heart (sorry, Planeteers). But the guns pictured above are Kree sub-machine guns (from the alien race that created his suit), which shoot various types of ammunition, including explosives. He also has a psychic link to a sentient spaceship aptly called Ship. Hey, his powers don't include clever names for things.
Let's skip to the far right of the picture for a second to learn about Gamora and her huge sword. Herein lies our second link to Thanos as she is the adopted daughter of Thanos who took her under his wing after wiping out her entire race, the Zen Whoberi, leaving her as the sole survivor. Trained to become an assassin, Gamora got wise about her adopted father, turned against him, and ended up being asked by Star-Lord to join the Guardians of the Galaxy (though in between there she has some time with characters like Adam Warlock and Nova). Gamora's skills lie with martial arts, gymnastics, but also has an ace up her sleeve with a dagger that can kill god-like beings (look out, Loki). Oh yeah, and she has superhuman strength, agility and speed, because why not?
Finally, and this is where things get really weird, there's Rocket Raccoon. No, that little furry guy with a giant gun isn't from StarFox. That's an anthropomorphic raccoon, who draws inspiration from the Beatles tune Rocky Raccoon (so both the Fab Four and comic book writers love to smoke pot). Rocket is known as the Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant, tasked, along with his partner Wal Russ (can you guess what kind of animal that guy might be?), take care of the mentally ill in an intergalactic insane asylum. This character is the most far out of left field, but is certainly a fan favorite. He's a really good shot, an awesome pilot and, for obvious reasons, has incredible senses of smell and hearing.
So what does this all mean for the newly announced "Second Phase" of the cinematic universe Marvel has created on the big screen? Well, that nod after The Avengers, and a couple of the above character descriptions, having direct ties to Thanos pretty much guarantees that the god-like villain will be terrorizing space, and likely Earth, in Guardians of the Galaxy. Clearly, Thanos looked pretty excited about a challenge on Earth stopping his evil plans. Does this mean Thanos will be the villain in both The Avengers 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy? That remains to be seen.
But let's not forget that a certain Captain America villain got sucked into space thanks to the cosmic cube, and he has to return at some point. It's doubtful Red Skull will return in Captain America: The Winter Solider as the title implies who the villain will be for that sequel (and some complications will likely arise between him and Cap's new sidekick Falcon, to be played by Anthony Mackie). Perhaps Red Skull and Thanos will team-up to take on the Avengers for the sequel. That would be quite an epic team of villains. Of course, this is all speculation as three films have to fill the void between The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. But still, all of this universe building is exciting for movie and comic book fans alike, and we look forward to seeing it unfold. But who can direct this cosmic comic book film? What do you think?