This week will see the U.S. release of this year's second blockbuster comic book movie, with Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 swinging into theaters about one full month after Joe and Anthony Russo's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but things are really only heating up. Not only will Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past be arriving at the end of next month, Marvel Studios will be sending James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy into cinemas at the start of August, and today we have three new stills to get you pumped for the movie.

The new images popped up over on the official Guardians of the Galaxy Facebook page, and while they don't show off anything too striking or breathtaking, they do give us a closer look at two important characters. Starting up top we have Nebula, who is being played by Doctor Who's Karen Gillan. If you couldn't already tell from her stern expression and badass appearance, Nebula is one of the main antagonists of the film and has been given the mission to track down Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and the mysterious orb in his possession. Speaking of which...

Guardians of the Galaxy

Those of you who saw the first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer when it launched back in February or in the months since then will probably be very familiar with this image. This is taken from the scene where Star-Lord first gets his eyes on the aforementioned mysterious orb and decides to steal it. But not before giving it a thorough inspection...

Guardians of the Galaxy

We're not exactly clear why Star-Lord is interested in it or why Nebula has been hired to steal it from Star-Lord, but one thing is for certain: the orb is seriously bad news. Not only does the official plot description for Guardians of the Galaxy say that the ornate ball poses a menace to the cosmos, but smart money also says that the item is one of the Infinity Stones - putting it on the power level of the Tesseract from The Avengers and the Aether from Thor: The Dark World. Basically, let's hope that it winds up staying in the hands of the good guys.

Both written and directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy also stars Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and Benicio del Toro. Look for the movie in theaters on August 1st.

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