A Guide to the Guardians

By Caleb Hennington
On February 27, 2014

An abducted human from the late ‘80s, a voluptuous green-skinned assassin, an intelligent tree-like humanoid, a tattooed alien behemoth and a gun-toting talking raccoon join an intergalactic, rag-tag team of superheroes whose goal is to protect the universe from chaotic conquering baddies such as Thanos, Phalanx, and the Universal Church of Truth. It sounds like the beginning of a bad and complicated joke, but it’s the plot of the next hopeful blockbuster movie from Marvel Studios, the “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (Vin Diesel), Drax the Destroyer (Bautista) and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) make up the unusual ensemble of the Guardians. They’re a disheveled, unique, narcissistic, and, in many cases, misunderstood superhero team that, unless you’re an avid reader of comic books, is relatively unknown to the majority of the world.

The first full-length trailer dropped a little more than a week ago and has created a stir on social media sites, so for those who might not be familiar with the history of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s role in the Marvel universe, here’s a list of the top 10 facts about GOTG and why this series is integral to the future of Marvel films. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

1. The original team of the Guardians of the Galaxy came about in 1969 in Marvel Super-Heroes No. 18, and was created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan. The team was from the 31st century, featured varying members and was known as the 31st Century Avengers, but it consistently featured team leaders Major Victory, Martinex, Yondu and Charlie-27.

2. Marvel’s movie adaptation of the comic book is based off the second incarnation of the Guardians, which was revamped in 2008 by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. This team is led by Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, and features some of the characters from the first volume, as well as many new heroes. This version also introduces the two most well-known and unique members of the Guardians, Rocket Raccoon and Groot.

3. The film is directed by James Gunn, who is most recognized for writing “Super” (Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page) and “Movie 43,” so expect a lot of gags, wise-ass remarks and all around goofiness thrown into the mix of sci-fi action and drama.

4. One of the original members, Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker), will make an appearance in the film. Although his involvement in the plot is as of yet unknown, Gunn could be using him as a way to bridge the gap between the Guardians of the ‘60s and the current team.

5. Some classic Guardians scoundrels will make appearances in the movie as well. Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a notable leader in the alien Kree empire, is the main antagonist of the film, and is aided by other Kree leaders such as Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou), also known as Korath-Thak in the comics.

The Kree race is one of the most feared and powerful alien races in all of the Marvel universe, so expect this introduction to be one of many appearances by the Kree.

6. “Doctor Who” fans have a reason to be interested in the film thanks to Karen Gillan (the 12th Doctor’s companion Amy Pond) and her portrayal of the space-pirate Nebula. Nebula serves as one of the key connections to another villain in the Marvel universe, Thanos.

7. Now comes the interesting connection between the GOTG and the rest of the Marvel films.

First off, let’s look back at 2012’s “The Avengers.” Remember that smirking, raisin-faced looking dude from “The Avengers” after credit scene? His name is Thanos, an alien from Saturn’s moon, Titan, and he’s one of the biggest villains in the entire Marvel universe.

If you look at the history of Thanos and the GOTG, you’ll find two characters from the movie have an immediate connection to Thanos.12

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