Since 2014, Marvel fans have been wondering who Peter Quill's father in the MCU is, since Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn revealed early on that it wouldn't be J'Son of Spartax like in the comics. On Saturday, the question was finally answered at San Diego Comic-Con, when it was confirmed during the special footage that Ego the Living Planet, played by Kurt Russell, will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Even in a universe where a talking raccoon and tree are walking around, the idea of a sentient planet is a head scratcher, though DC Comics fans are familiar with the concept through Green Lantern Corps member Mogo. While we can't promise that Ego will look or be any less weird when he appears next year on the big screen, we've gathered together everything you need to know about the sentient planet beforehand.
Ego was created by Marvel legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appeared in 1966's Thor #132. He was originally hailed from the Black Galaxy, and as he grew to the size of a planet, he also developed consciousness and intelligence. It was later revealed that The Stranger, an ancient cosmic being, created Ego, and he originally planned to have the Living Planet fight Alter-Ego, The Collector's world, to see which of the two were stronger. Aside from being extremely intelligent, Ego's abilities include complete control over its own mass (allowing him to adjust his terrain or create constructs), absorbing living things, heating up its core temperature to eliminate intruders and psionic powers. Oh, and his inner workings look quite similar to how a normal living organism's do, so it's not just on the outside that he resembles a person.
In his early appearances, Ego tried to conquer other worlds, but he was stopped by Thor. Humiliated by the God of Thunder, Ego ended his plans for conquest, but soon after, he was threatened by Galactus, the legendary world eater. Seeing Galactus as a the greater danger, Thor prevented him from consuming Ego, as as gratitude, the Living Planet allows himself to become the new home for The Wanderers, an alien race who had just had their world consumed by Galactus. In the 1970s, an alien named Tana Nile stole a part of Ego's mass and transformed it into her own living planet for her own experiments, but like the original, this mass soon grew planet-sized and intelligent, and called itself Ego Prime.
This creation was defeated defeated by Thor and The Stranger when it tried to transform Earth to make it look like itself, but the original Ego soon went insane from having a piece of himself taken. After devouring the Wanderers, Galactus, who had tried to consume Ego yet again, realized the planet had lost his mind and tried to stop him. He was unsuccessful, but when Ego came to Earth, the Fantastic Four were able to stop him when they sabotaged a thruster that Galactus had attached to Ego to drive him away from populated worlds. Ego was pulled apart by our Sun's gravitational forces, but he was able to use that same energy to reform himself.
These are just Ego's first appearances in the Marvel universe. In the decades since, he has tried to assist the Elders of the Universe in destroying Galactus, fought Beta Ray Bill, waged war with Thanos and took control of the Nova Corps when they attempted to recruit him using the Worldmind, their sentient supercomputer. Oh, and remember Alter-Ego? The "brothers" eventually did clash, and while Ego was forced to hurt Alter-Ego in self-defense, Thor prevented him from striking a killing blow. Alter-Ego's remains now orbit Ego as a moon, giving the Living Planet a companion while traveling across the galaxy.
Outside of the comics, Ego's appearances include the Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer animated shows from the 1990s, as well as cameoing in The Super Hero Squad Show. He was most recently being voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., seen below. In that series, the true Ego is actually only the size of a basketball and controls his planet form via wires within the "brain."
That brings us to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, where Kurt Russell will bring the character to life. In Guardians of the Galaxy, Ego (still unnamed) was described as an "angel" by Meredith Quill and something that the Nova Corps had never seen before. Yondu also called him a jackass, which might explain why he kept Peter Quill with the Ravagers rather than to deliver him to Ego like he was hired to do. James Gunn revealed at Comic-Con that Ego will have a human form, allowing him to learn and "interact" (wink, wink) with humans. While Ego isn't expected to look anything like his comic book counterpart when in his true form, we can still look forward to be a mighty being. Much like Rocket, Ego is the only one of his kind, so the upcoming sequel will explore how his loneliness and how he's tried to form connections with other life forms. This version of Ego also raised Mantis, one of the Guardians' newest recruits.
Ego, the Living Planet will debut when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is released on May 5, 2017. Let us know in the comments below what you're looking forward to most from Kurt Russell's Ego, or if you have a favorite Ego moment from the comics.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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