EDITORIALS

Let's Take a Closer Look at Marvel's New 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

by
July 17, 2012

Guardians of the Galaxy

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:

Guardians of the Galaxy - Concept Art

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.

Guardians of the Galaxy

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?

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  • DAVIDPD
    GROOT!
  • Neyvn
    This is awesome, but to be fair they did have a showcase in the recent Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. But regardless. Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.
    • DAVIDPD
      RIP AEMH: We hardly knew thee (Damn Jeff Loeb).
      • http://www.fusedfilm.com/ Michael Lee
        still holding a grudge on the cancellation of the Spectacular Spider-Man, another great marvel series cancelled before it hit its prime.
        • DAVIDPD
          Yeah, his, Jeff Loeb, idea about unifying all the animated series is so freaking dumb. Its like lets kill off all these good shows and replace them with watered down garbage. Urg!
          • Jericho
            on the bright side just like the writers for Spectacula Spiderman went to do Young Justice, the writers for AEMH are moving on to do a new Batman animated show... it seems for a good DC show you have kill a few Marvel shows....
          • DAVIDPD
            Yeah, I guess that's good about YOUNG JUSTICE as that show is the No.2 animated show on right now. But that new Batman show looks like absolute shit!!! They are using that terrible Green Lantern show animation, and they announced there will be NO JOKER. LAME.
          • Alex
            There cannot be a Batman show without the Joker. It is his number one enemy. That's like saying "We're going to do a Harry Potter movie without Voldemort." There is almost no point in making it.
    • karl
      wolverine and the x-men, bastards
  • Richard M
    This is my new Wallpaper... Marvel give us something new to wait. I'm sure that don't will disappoint us.
  • The Truth
    I'm excited! But I'm worried if Rocket Raccoon will make this look cheesy and silly. I know they will want to be true to the comics universe but I'm afraid Rocket Raccoon might ruin it. They better do it right designing him for the big screen and make him fit in the "real world"
  • DoomCanoe
    this article is so nerdy i love it
  • http://twitter.com/EdwardMCurtis Edward Curtis
    I can't see the picture.
    • David Banner
      Are you using Explorer? That is why, switch to another browser.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=827055106 Jon Willings
    Keep Joss on, and things will be AMAZING!!
  • David Banner
    I didn't know much/anything about Guardians of the Galaxy before reading this, reason is I stopped reading Marvel in the mid-90's(moved on). GoG was rebooted in 2008, if I am not mistaken-so only "4.5 years old" (well, it's from 1969, but only a few thousand people have read those old comics). Almost no one I know has heard of them/read the comics. <----This! should "worry" Marvel-Disney, it's not like X-Men, The Avengers, Spider-Man, The Hulk, ect who are over 40 years old, a part of pop culture, "household names", these are a bunch of un-known toons. A friend of mine tells me they have not sold in huge numbers, the comics(in the hundred thousand range). Why the "worry" part? They will be spending a few hundred $ million on this, I think this will be, at best, the first Marvel-Disney to break even-not be a huge success. So, as a fan, it's mildly puzzling they would want this out there. They will have to spend a lot of cash the next years on PR for these "unknowns"-but maybe it will take off with sequels?
    • rocky728
      I love that Marvel has the balls to try something radical and new. Is this any different than any new original film like Star Wars, Avatar or District 9 for example. If they stuck to the tried and true we'd castigate them for playing it safe. I'm with them 100% and glad for it. And for right now the Marvel brand is like Pixar to a degree, everyone expects and assumes a certain level of quality so even those on the fence should be willing to take a leap of faith. Lastly, how is a raccoon, a badass one at that, any harder to digest than any of the creatures we've seen in the aforementioned films
      • http://www.facebook.com/BradleyATL Bradley Almy
        By using relatively unknown properties, they avoid all the fanboy nonsense and might be able to draw bigger directorial talent. no one can bitch about them ruining the costumes on this one.
        • GordoftheNorth
          You underestimate the fanboys. There will be whining.
  • gauch0
    Peter Jackson?
  • Zach JC
    I actually know nothing about Guardians Of The Galaxy but I'm looking forward to it, as ridiculous as some of it sounds, and I think if they get the right director it'll be great fun!
  • Kaine241984
    Joss Whedon and should star the same cast as firefly Nathan Fillion for Starlord at least and we want Cosmo too
  • jeda
    Why do ppl keep sayin that rocket raccoon would look wierd? Did we not already have silly characters in movies like Yoda & freakin Chewbacca that worked so y not have a badass gun totin raccoon. Im all in wit marvel on this. This is y I luv marvel movies over DC cause they r not afraid of keepin the movies comicbookish. No need 2 b all realistic like the batman movies which is a thorn in DCs ass cause yes the movies r good but its so real that it could never mesh wit say a justice league movie or an expanded universe like what marvel is doin.
  • rennmaxbeta
    Nothing but fucking Marvel adaptions... Is this what cinema has come to? Sad.
    • IronMan4ever
      You dont like it dont watch them then
  • Foxfan12
    Man, I am so excited for phase 2 of The Avengers! I just hope that the roster doesn't grow so big that it takes away from the story of Avengers 2 (actually, this is what I thought was the biggest weakness of The Avengers.) Also I freaking knew it! As soon as I saw Thanos at the mid-credits teaser, I knew they had to be working on a Guardians of The Galaxy title. Now when are we going to get to see Black Panther!?
  • Alex
    Spoilt alert for the Avengers ending, asshole?
  • hchdhdhdhdhdhfj
    I hate that homo guy his article is sooo borin
  • Nicholas Olson
    I wish DC would have some integrity like Marvel does when it comes to making these movies. Even with the silly raccoon creature i know nothing about that reminds me of the squirrel in ice age, I will happily go see this because I know Marvel will show me something that is meant to do justice to the comic which is apparently quite beloved to its followers. No matter how hard you try you can't make Batman, his gadgets, and his villains 'realistic'. If they wanted gritty, they should have just borrowed their creativity from the Arkham Asylum/City games and not gone with that hack Nolan. But no, he ruined Batman 3 times with characters who have no likeness to their comic book counterparts beyond their names. then they pick him to ruin the Batman reboot and Superman too.
    • IronMan4ever
      Oh yeah hes a terrible filmmaker his movies are only critically acclaimed and loved by fans everywhere oh he ruined Batman for sure
  • Tsikanoy
    Why is Nova not included here? is it because the Nova Corps hasn't been destroyed yet?
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dakota-TheViking-Parks/100000886984021 Dakota TheViking Parks
    a superhero raccoon, huh? I will watch the movie only because I love marvel movies, but the fact that these characters seem like they were made for little kids makes me think that movie might be terrible. who knows... maybe they'll surprise me
  • IronMan4ever
    Will be an awesome movie
  • Burgy
    This makes me exceedingly nervous - Marvel's general move towards science and realism in the the movies looks to be taking an abrupt left turn here. This looks awful, and I hope it doesn't screw up the overarching Marvel movie universe, which I am (mostly) thoroughly enjoying right now (excepting Captain America: the Worst Avenger, but nobody's perfect.....)
  • Nah
    might just be an april fools joke
  • Eternal fan
    Kronos is Thanos grandfather and was an earth Eternal not a god ... Accident during an experiment cause him to turn to a Abstract being of space and time and the other earth eternals godlike.
  • Hax0r
    Thanos is such a boss; Infinity Gauntlet SWAG, and he is @in a relationship status with Death herself...
  • Jakarri Williams
    What seen are they talking about at the end of the Avengers in the Mojave Desert? I'm confused.
  • Rebel
    People had a problem getting into Green Lantern and your going to throw a walking tree and a f***ing raccoon with a laser gun. Worst idea sense John Carter... Make anything but this!!! Do Nick Furry!!!
  • KevBot
    Thanos was excited about death, seeing as how he has a romantic relationship with Death herself.
  • RamonH
    Time to read up on some GoG
  • Incredible Hog
    This is a horribly written article. My god, it was difficult to read the paragraph about Drax the Destroyer... (plus I doubt they will focus on that incarnation of Drax)
  • Julius Orangebottoms
    yeah... i have no idea why they decided to make this. could turn out to be really fun but there are so many better known properties. Guardians seems like a DC book anyway. they still haven't quite figured out how to bring most of their characters current and so many of them are so cheesy and cartoonish. whatever. this could be a good pairing with popcorn and ac in the summertime.
  • aztecace
    Too bad these Guardians of the Galaxy have nothing to do with the real ones, which are from the Earth's future, where mankind have been genetically modified to live on all the planets in our Solar system, each with an appropriate power, and they fight to free Earth from the Skrulls rule. Bet this film will not even touch on any of that.
    • GordoftheNorth
      The Badoon not the skrulls. If your going to geek out get the right geek info.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sophie-Alicia-Pixie-Kenna/855940532 Sophie Alicia 'Pixie' Kenna
    Joss Whedon. Always Joss Whedon.
  • vangpo
    having grown up a child of late 70's, early 80's Marvel comics I'm soooo excited about Guardians. The only film that would geek me out more would be The Inhumans.
  • Tired of Marvel let downs
    You have seriously got to be f###ing kidding me... I mean seriously that isn't even close to the spin off team the Galactic Gaurdians roster... like the Marvel Universe Online game this is destined to flop harder than a narcoleptic pornstar gobbling man junk and hopefully doesn't see a release date as well... YAY an Ent and a Racoon are gonna save us from HORSE SH!T... What next a new Spiderman featuring a bisexual Latino named Miguel oh wait Marvel comics already made love to fans prison style in the book... well looks like Marvel is gonna take another huge dump on the fans and say "Hope ya like it... it's our own special gold." and no matter how much you throw glitter on it or make it into gold it's still going to be sh!t
  • WHO
    I'm just wondering, do the creators remember that Spider-man had a hand in stopping Thanos, or not? Sorry for the spoiler, but if they really are going to make Thanos a multi-movie boss, then Guardians 2 would include the Avengers and Spider-man... after the Guardians lose in record time and get sealed by Thanos.
  • antonjo
    These aren't the Guardians of the Galaxy I grew up with....not a single one. The Thanos tie-ins to Gamora & Drax are cool (will Moondragon & Mar-Vell show up?) but these are NOT the Guardians of the Galaxy. If this is some recent book of the last few (or even dozen) years, I'm not hip to it and I don't like it. Because the original Guardians of the Galaxy were GREAT. Go pick up "The Power of Starhawk," it collects them all into a graphic novel. (Yes, I'm a nerd.)
    • Psyker
      It's based off the 2008 reboot. So no, it's no the ones you grew up with. Don't pass them over too quickly just because their not the originals.

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