Since the release of Guardians of the Galaxy this past summer, fans have been making comparisons between the titular team and Marvel’s other golden group, The Avenges. After all, Star-Lord and Iron Man are both charismatic badasses; Gamora and Black Widow have a similar bloody histories and path towards redemption; and both Groot and Hulk are limited in speech but incredibly powerful. But what sets them apart? According to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, one key difference is the depth of his characters’ flaws.

Yesterday morning, I attended a small Q&A with James Gunn promoting the upcoming Blu-ray release of the Marvel Studios movie, and while answering a question about the in-development Guardians of the Galaxy 2, the director made the interesting comparison between the Guardians and The Avengers. Answering a question I asked about delving into more backstories in the sequel, Gunn noted that it is more about getting to know who the characters really are, saying,
"[We get] deeper into the characters themselves and who they are, and how they work, and how they think, and what their flaws are, and what their strengths are. They’re a much more flawed group than the Avengers. They have major, major issues."

It goes without saying that The Avengers certainly have plenty of issues of their own: Iron Man has daddy issues and a touch of PTSD; Captain America is a man out of time; Thor has a bit of an arrogance problem, Hulk has a bit of a rage problem; and, as Loki would put it, Black Widow’s ledger is "gushing red." At the same time, though, Gunn is definitely not wrong about the Guardians of the Galaxy. Let’s do a quick rundown, shall we?

  • Star-Lord: He never knew his father, he was abducted by aliens mere moments after his mother's death, and he was raised by space pirates to be a thief

  • Gamora: Her family was slaughtered when she was a young girl, and after being adopted by a galactic tyrant she was tortured until she would serve as one of his "daughters."

  • Drax The Destroyer: His family was slaughtered by a war criminal, and is so damaged as a result that his rage completely clouds reason and judgement

  • Rocket: He was just a normal space racoon until he was captured and made the subject of medical experiments that left him forever scarred and perpetually angry.

  • Groot: He's the last of his kind and can really only be understood by a forever scarred and perpetually angry wicked little beast.
Sorry, Avengers – the Guardians definitely have you beat in the issues department.

Sadly, it’s going to be a while before we get to see James Gunn advance his beloved cinematic Marvel characters, as Guardians of the Galaxy 2 won’t be out until May 5, 2017 (which is admittedly better than its original July 28, 2017 date announced at San Diego Comic-Con). In the meantime, you’ll be able to pick up your own copy of Guardians of the Galaxy when the Blu-ray and DVDs hit shelves on December 9th.

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