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IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII’M…HOOKED ON A FEELING! Next week is glorious for several reasons: That asteroid is going to miss us, it’s another four-day working week and best of all we’re getting a sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy. Disney’s first big cosmic adventure introduced a core cast of characters in 2014: Star Lord (Who?), Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket.
Characters who you may not be familiar with, but really should be. Don’t worry, we’ve got your backs. If you ever wondered how Rocket managed to become a grumpy badass or how Gamora earned the title of the most dangerous woman in the universe, wonder no more. We’ve got the cliff notes version of their comic book origins below, brief primers that tell you everything you need to know about the Guardians. Let’s get started with their most infamous member first:
Outlaw. Legend. And also a drop out, early in his life. The son of Spartax Emperor J’Son and Meredith Quill, Peter’s origins may have kicked off tragically when his mother was murdered by Badoon soldiers looking to kill the bloodline of his royal heritage, but his thirst for adventure certainly wasn’t. Surviving the assassination attempt, Peter would eventually join NASA as an engineer and steal a Kree Warbird spacecraft as he left Earth to finally reach the stars.
Well not entirely. It wasn’t long before Peter found himself stranded, hitching a ride with Yondu and his gang of outlaws known as the Ravagers. Proving his resourcefulness, Peter managed to earn a spot in their crew as their cleaning boy, learning along the way the ins and outs of the galaxy around him. A regular guy in a big universe, Peter formed the pro-active Guardians of the Galaxy to protect not only his home planet but all worlds from various threats before they could occur.
An average human, Peter’s skills boil down to his genius talent for battlefield tactics, decent close quarters combat skills and a wide knowledge of firearms from all over the galaxy. Quill is especially fond of his Element Guns, pistols which can fire off blasts based on the water, air, earth and fire elements. Peter also a psychic connection to his ship, which happens to be named, er, “Ship”.
An energy form with sentience that has grown attached to Quill, Ship usually takes the form of a starship that can travel through any environment. Ship also happens to be pretty much indestructible, able to restore herself from any damage and even assume a more personal role when she desires to interact more intimately with her crew.
And that’s Star Lord for you! Just s regular half-human outlaw who happens to be heir to a massive galactic empire but would rather spend his days protecting those being who need a helping hand throughout the wider universe.
Once upon a time, the Zen-Whoberis were a thriving race amidst the stars. And then the Badoon came (or the Church of Purification depending on the continuity), wiping their civilisation out of existence entirely, save for one sole survivor. A survivor who the mad Titan Thanos plucked 20 years prior to their mass extinction and decided to craft into his ultimate weapon. Gamora was trained from that day onwards to be a force of vengeance, and soon earned the title of the deadliest woman in the galaxy.
Yet even her harsh upbringing could not extinguish the one spark of decency that still existed within her, as Gamora would eventually rebel against Thanos and seek her own path in the universe. Finding that purpose with the Guardians, Gamora earned the trust of her team, helping Peter Quill prevent the universe fall victim to cosmic dangers and threats that were growing out in the cold darkness of space.
A team player but also a loner by heart, Gamora is a force to be reckoned with. Thanos originally increased her speed, strength, agility and endurance to levels that would rival that of the cosmic powerhouse Adam Warlock, while also training her in multiple forms of armed and unarmed combat. Naturally agile, Gamora combined all of these skills to deadly effect and became known as one of the deadliest fighters throughout the galaxy.
There once was a man named Arthur Douglas, who loved life, his wife and his daughter most of all. Thanos took all of that away from him, attacking Douglas and his family one fateful night and left them for dead. While Arthur’s daughter survived and went on to become the hero Moondragon many years later, a dying Arthur was reborn as Drax the Destroyer, a weapon intended to be wielded against Thanos himself.
Resurrected by the Titan Kronos, Drax would pursue Thanos across all of time and space, dying and living in a constant personal war against the alien who robbed him of his life. With Thanos seemingly dead for good (yeah right), Drax was drafted into Peter Quill’s reborn Guardians of the Galaxy as one of their heavy hitters in a quest to protect the cosmos.
His body artificial, Drax initially had a wider range of powers that included superhuman strength, stamina and durability. Drax could also reach hyperspace speeds unaided, fire energy bolts and sense Thanos across vast intergalactic distances. Subsequent deaths and resurrections resulted in a reduced power-set. Still inhumanly strong and durable, Drax lost the ability to manipulate energy and instead began using his trademark pair of knives in battle.
Even with fewer powers however, Drax is still a force to be reckoned with, as his reduced abilities have resulted in him becoming a more ruthless and dangerous opponent over the years. Good thing he’s on the right side of the justice in our universe at least.
I. AM. GROOT!
And that’s all you need to know. Wait, you want this in English as well? Jeez, you guys are hungry for information. Right, here’s the skinny on Groot. A member of the Flora Colossi race, Groot is much like the rest of the Guardians a survivor of his species. Friendly, somewhat naive and pursued across the galaxy by the Kree for reasons unknown to him, Groot’s best pal in the entire cosmos happens to be the surly Rocket.
Overcoming the language barrier native to his species, Groot quickly found his place with the Guardians of the Galaxy. A few adventures later, the big lug would seemingly perish, only to be reborn…as a sprig offshoot. Eventually growing back to his original size, Groot would find himself trekking across the galaxy and engaging in new missions to help protect life across the galaxy.
The Guardians would eventually reform and Groot would once again find himself joining his favourite life-forms, using his immense powers floral powers as their primary muscle against threats new and old. Whether a Guardian of the Galaxy, a road-trip buddy with Rocket or on a solo mission to help those in need, there’s only one thing you need to know about the gentle giant whose bark is worse than his bite:
He is Groot. Yes he is.
For a character who is usually grumpy, can’t keep his hands to himself and isn’t afraid to start a fight, Rocket’s origins are surprisingly goofy to say the least. Originally the Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant, Rocket patrolled and protected a sector of space with a gang of other animal misfits. But Rocket was meant for menial labour, one of many animals whose intelligence was increased and their bodies painfully augmented to allow them to perform tasks for their masters on Halfworld.
Eventually leaving Halfworld after saving the population, Rocket trekked across the galaxy starting fights and earned a reputation as a fierce troublemaker. A reputation that Peter Quill made good use of when he recruited Rocket into the Guardians of the Universe, as he realised that the cranky fella had a gift for military tactics and engineering. Even if he was a bit of a kleptomaniac.
With a place in the team and his best friend Groot along for the ride, Rocket found some purpose in the galaxy. That was until he returned to Halfworld and found out that most of his memories were fake, all the result of a grand plan by the Star Thief to earn his freedom from a planet that was designed to house the most dangerously insane criminals around.
Rocket eventually defeated the Star Thief and returned to the Guardians, vowing to protect the galaxy once again. Not just a foul-mouthed gun expert, Rocket has an uncanny aptitude for machines and can regularly be found combining his love of weapons and engines together to devastating result. Rocket is also a born leader, having led the Guardians in the absence of Quill, achieving many victories while in command.
Just don’t call him a Raccoon, okay?
Last Updated: May 11, 2017