Ever since 2008 with the release of Iron Man, supposedly a B-grade tier superhero, Marvel Studios have been defying the odds time and time again. Guardians of the Galaxy are the newest, and possibly riskiest, undertaking by Marvel since announcing their Avengers ambitions to the world way back in 2008. GOTG is a property that has never yielded a huge following at any point in time. The team that will appear on film only came together in 2008, where a franchise like the Avengers, for example, has lasted for more then 60 Years. Guardians of the Galaxy promises to be a fresh, new, unique experience for all, including comic book fans who, like the rest of us, have no idea what to expect… except awesomeness from Rocket Raccoon!
So what exactly makes GOTG the most important Marvel undertaking in a recent years? The short answer, the Cosmic universe.
THE FUTURE OF MARVEL DEPENDS ON IT
Thus far, Marvel have done a magnificent job of establishing the Marvel Universe, giving fans the main Avengers, while showing us other realms and giving us a taste of Magic. GOTG is a brash, in-your-face, unapologetic, space adventure that will open audiences up to the Cosmic Universe in way they have never seen before.
If GOTG succeeds, on all fronts, at the box office, with critics and audiences, then Marvel would have reached a plateau that all other studies would envy. Marvel will be in a position to do as they will. Gone will be the days of subtlety. More and more of Marvel’s properties will be unabashedly transferred from panel to big screen.
TIES TO AVENGERS: THAT POST CREDIT SCENE
Remember at the end of Avengers we had that post credit scene with a purple guy who turns to the camera and smiles? Well, that guy is Thanos and he will only be appearing as the villain in Avengers 3 (that’s Marvel’s ambition for you).
Thanos is one of the classic Avengers legendary villains. He is totally in love with Death, who is an actually character in Marvel, and he will do just about anything for her, including killing half the population of the entire universe. That’s exactly what he’s done in the classic Infinity Gauntlet series.
We know Thanos will be in the film, however, we still don’t who will be playing him. What we do know is that there are many characters in the film that have ties to Thanos but, more importantly, have been players in major story arcs that pertain to him, most notably the Infinity Gauntlet and The Thanos Imperative.
DRAX THE DESTORYER
One of the Guardians of the Galaxy, played by Batista; Drax was a human who, alongside his family, was killed at the hands of the Mad Titan, Thanos. He was then revived, reborn and remade into a killing machine, called Drax the Destroyer whose sole purpose in life is killing Thanos.
Another member of Guardians of the Galaxy, played by Zoe Saldana, Gamora is an assassin and the adopted daughter of Thanos. He found her when she was very young. Her species fell victim of genocide, leaving her as the last her species. Thanos raised her and trained her to be a weapon, but as she got older she learned the truth about the mad titan and his malevolent ways and decided to fight against him.
Nebula, played by Karen Gillian, is one of the primary villains of the film. She is the granddaughter of Thanos. Nebula is quite the formidable opponent, managing to hold her own against the Avengers. However, her biggest contribution to the comic book folklore comes in the Infinity Gauntlet.
RONAN THE ACCUSER
Lee Pace plays Ronan, the main villain of the first film. He is a member of an alien race called Kree and has been both an ally and enemy of Thanos. In recent years, Ronan has actually made the turn into heroism, so you could see more of him in future.
Side Note: in the Ultimates version, Ronan is actually the son of Thanos.
KORATH THE PURSUER
Played by Djimon Hounsou, Korath is a Kree, an advance alien race, who is an ally to both Ronan the Accused and Thanos.
Benecio Del Toro plays The Collector, who is one of the Elders of the Universe. As his name suggests, he likes to collect things, in his case souvenirs that cross time and space itself.
In the comics, The Collector foresaw the rise of Thanos and the threat he would wield to the universe and the Elders. To protect the universe, the Collector created a massive museum of countless life forms to keep them safe from Thanos.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE GUARDIANS
The Guardians are a team of cool villains who just happen to do right thing. Don’t expect to see them get along, or be supportive of one another, because they wont be. Each one of them is ruthless and deadly, but quick with wit.
Being a film that set in Space in the MCU, there is sure to be some bizarre and weird aliens lurking far and beyond anything you have seen thus far. For example, a gun totting Raccoon who is voiced by Bradley Cooper.
Sony might have Spider-Man and Fox might have Wolverine, but Marvel has Rocket Raccoon, who is just as witty as Spidey and ruthless and aggressive like Wolverine. Rocket will undoubtedly be the star of the film, as he certainly won’t be like anything you have come to expect in any sort of fiction.
While this is set in the MCU, don’t expect to get any Avengers or SHIELD references, this movies is probably the first true STAND-ALONE film that Marvel has ever done. There are definitely references to the Marvel Universe at large but for the most part this film wont be affecting Avengers: Age of Ultron, but could certainly factor into Avengers 3.
THERE ARE NO A-LIST, B-LIST OR C-LIST CHARACTERS AT MARVEL
Being almost a completely original, unknown entity, Guardians gives Marvel an air of freshness, boldness and unexpectedness. It turns what we come to expect from the MCU on its head, and it shows the world that no character within the Marvel Universe can be considered to obscure for the big screen. Even if those characters might not be the most popular, it doesn’t mean they cant make a good film.
POSSIBILITIES FOR FUTURE FILMS
CAPTAIN MARVEL/MS. MARVEL
As I mentioned before, Ronan and Korath who appear in the film, are both part of the Kree race. For any of you who don’t know Carol Danvers, formerly known as Ms. Marvel, now Captain Marvel, attained her powers through a Kree hero named Mar-Vell.
With the Kree being introduced to audiences in this film, and if the rumour that Carol Danvers will be appearing in Avengers: Age of Ultron is true, Marvel might just be buttering general audiences up for the inevitable Captain Marvel film.
The Nova Corps is a kind of an Intergalactic SHIELD organisation; they protect the entire universe from all sorts of threats. One of the coolest and most popular Marvel Cosmic Superhero has to be Richard Rider aka Nova.
In recent times the title of Nova has fallen to Sam Alexander, who isn’t quite as popular as Dick Rider. One thing Sam has in his favour is that he is half Latino and if Marvel had to create a superhero film where the title hero is Latino, it will certainly be a first for the big screen and will make the MCU a little more diverse.
The Nova Corps plays a substantial role in Guardians, basically filling the SHIELD void in the film. NOVA just might be another superhero that Marvel could be considering in future, depending on Guardians success.
The Inhumans were prehistoric humans, but after being subjected to experiments by the Kree alien race, they became superhuman. The Inhumans would go on to establish their society on the moon.
Now there has also been a rumour for sometime that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will be Inhumans in the MCU, instead of mutants, as Fox owns the rights to all mutants. We also know that Kevin Fiege, the genius behind the whole MCU thing, is particularly fond of the Inhumans, and sees them as potential replacements to the X-Men/Mutants, in the MCU.
The Inhumans certainly have ties to all the Marvel Universe, so bringing them into the MCU can fill the void left by the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, by having Black Bolt and his Inhuman Royal Family fill that role. Not to mention the fact that Black Bolt has a role in World War Hulk and Secret Invasion, two hugely popular comic series that fans desperately want to see adapted.
The Eternals are essentially offshoots of the evolutionary process that created sentient life on Earth. Created by alien celestials for the intended purpose to be the defenders of Earth. The Eternals soon find themselves in an inevitable war against their destructive counterparts, the Deviants.
Thanos was born on Saturn’s moon Titan, and is the child of Eternals, Mentor (A’lars), and Sui-San. Thanos was carrying the Deviants gene, and as such shared the physical appearance of the Eternals’ cousin race.
Earlier I mentioned that Drax was brought back to life as a Destroyer to kill Thanos. Well, the person that brings Drax back to life is Kronos, who was originally one of the immortal Eternals of the moon Titan and also is the father of A’lars aka Mentor, which makes him Thanos’ Grandfather.
It should also be noted that the hero, Eros of Titan aka Starfox, is an Eternal, an Avenger and Thanos’ brother.
While you might not know who the Guardians of the Galaxy are, the film will be introducing you to a vast amount of characters and alien races, leaving you with a myriad of Easter eggs that could essentially form the basis for Phase 3 or Phase 4 of the Marvel Universe. It definitely opens up the Marvel Cosmic Universe to many cool, unique, intriguing, story possibilities. Not to forget that the film will be fun, zany, action filled mind trip, which will be one of the most unique comic properties to make the big screen in a long time.