In a recent Twitter-based interview, writer/director James Gunn revealed that he is looking to mine the history of the Guardians Of The Galaxy to beef up the roster for the next film:
Naturally, this has already led fans to start speculating. Who could this be? The Guardians have a long and colorful history: the first team comes from the 31st century, and includes no members of the squad seen in the movie. In 2008, the team got a modern day revamp to become the squad most recognizable in the film. That gives Gunn many options – which will he choose? We looked at 10 candidates, starting with:
The most well-known of the candidates, Adam Warlock is perhaps the one who makes the most sense. The hero was essentially artificially generated by scientists seeking to create the perfect human. Fleeing into space, Warlock eventually becomes the protector of the "Soul Gem," which in the comics is one of the six Infinity Gems – referred to as "Infinity Stones" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He would be a logical addition in regards to the mythology, as he is the hero most closely associated with the ultra-powerful gems in the comics. The character is also known to preserve himself in a cocoon, and since there is a cocoon spotted in The Collector's headquarters in Guardians Of The Galaxy, the reality is that we may have already seen him.
In the comics, the origins of Dave Bautista's Drax are a bit more complex. He was actually originally an Earthling before Thanos murdered him and his family. While his spirit entered the alien body of Drax, his daughter survived, and was soon recruited into the spaceways by Thanos' father (!) to join an interstellar monastery – where she would train and become known as Moondragon. Because Thanos is a jerk who ruins everything, he also destroyed the monastery, but not before Moondragon discovered her true potential, which included telepathic mental abilities. Bringing her into the picture would add more levels to Drax’s character, bringing seriousness and depth to a role that mostly added comedy to an already-funny movie.
The Nova Corps were already seen in Guardians Of The Galaxy, but when referring to Nova, most fans are referencing Richard Rider - who was an Earthling granted the powers of Nova – including flight and super strength/speed - from a dying Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly in the movie). After this, he is recruited to lead a massive Xandarian war against the Skrulls. In the recent comics, young high schooler Sam Alexander is the new Nova, and he's inherited the mantle from his estranged dad - a fact he learns from Gamora and Rocket Raccoon. Nova himself has never been an official Guardian of the Galaxy, but if he was added to the team, only the most pedantic fan would find an issue with it.
One of the more controversial Guardians, Angela is actually a character borrowed from another company. At Image, where she was largely featured in Spawn titles, she was a bounty hunter from Heaven who eventually perished. Because of a legal loophole, she's appeared in Marvel, and they've relaunched her to make her one of the universe's heavy hitters. Coincidentally, several of the changes made to her character correspond really well to the movies. She was "revealed" to be Odin's daughter, "killed" during a war with the secret Tenth Realm. That's right, she's Thor and Loki's sister. Marvel has announced she will be a part of a new Avengers team in the comics, so she's definitely a character ready for a close-up.
One of the original Guardians from the 1969 comic series, Major Vance Astro was introduced as an Earth astronaut from present day. A risky mission kept him in suspended animation for years as he eventually developed mental powers by the time he arrived in the 31st century. Going by the superhero name Major Victory, he has an unusual journey through the Marvel universe, eventually meeting his younger self and triggering his latent super powers even earlier in his own life. This leads to him joining the Avengers both before and after his fated space trip - the only Avenger to serve in two separate forms. He eventually revealed his fandom of Captain America through a new costume and shield, which is conceivably something we could see in a sequel.
Again, a little bit of juggling is needed here. The best known version of Captain Marvel is Carol Danvers, who is expected to be the version of the character used in the movies. In the comics, however, the fourth version of the character is named Phyla-Vell and recently joined the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics. So she's not necessarily one of the "older" Guardians. And yet, it makes perfect sense that she would be introduced here, as her classic origin story has the genes of a Kree soldier interacting with the genes of a human. It seems certain Captain Marvel is a a contender for her own film, but if you can twist things around and pack her origin into a Guardians sequel, you get the chance to launch the character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an interesting way.
Starhawk, one of the founding members of the original team, is from the planet Arcturus IV, and is the kidnapped son of modern world hero Quasar. He and his new adopted sister Aleta were granted abilities beyond any man (but familiar to any comic fan – flight, super strength, etc.), though he eventually ended up falling for his sister (!) and having children with her (!!). Eventually, they melded together, which is why sometimes Starhawk takes on the physical appearance of a man, sometimes a woman. Even stranger, Starhawk is in a time-loop much like Edge Of Tomorrow – upon his or her death, he/she reverts back to infant form and begins his lifespan all over again. He's also sort of a blowhard, so you've at least got some personality there. His/her prior affiliations plus all around general weirdness make him kind of a perfect fit for the live-action Guardians, no?
You want your Guardians AWWWWESOME? Well here ya go: Firelord is a former Nova Corp member from Xandar who earned special abilities by becoming a herald to Galactus (a character unfortunately owned by 20th Century Fox). Firelord, true to his name, is basically ALWAYS ON FIRE. He's the keeper of the "cosmic flame," which explains why the fire does not go out in deep space. A radical re-interpretation of the character would be needed in order to include him in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but you can keep the bones: he could be another Xandarian-turned-Nova Corps soldier irate at Ronan, and thus Thanos, for the massacre of Nova Corps members at the end of Guardians Of The Galaxy. His main thrust early in his comics' existence was avenging the death of his brother. Perhaps his brother was fighting in the battle and was vanquished.
Oh, sweet sweet Cosmo. We've now seen Cosmo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as he was imprisoned in the Collector's museum – though he later returned during the post-credits sequence. Originally descended from Earth, Cosmo is a dog that hails from Russia and has telepathic abilities. Eventually, he becomes the security chief of Knowhere, but in the comics he is also at one point a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy team. We've got a talking raccoon and a walking tree. A telepathic dog really isn't so strange, is it?
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