(WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2)
The verdict is in, and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, the sequel to the 2014 hit Guardians Of The Galaxy, is a success, another jewel in the crown for #Marvel. The film is significant in the ongoing narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a few reasons, one of them being that we see (albeit briefly) the actions of the Guardians affecting events on Earth. This is important moving forward, knowing that the characters are set to make an appearance in the upcoming #AvengersInfinityWar, which will see the full roster of #MCU heroes do battle against Thanos.
While Thanos is a presence in the Guardians Of The Galaxy films as the adoptive Father of Gamora and Nebula — and the one responsible for the death of Drax's family — he has mostly been a distant, shadowy figure quietly carrying out his grand plans. So, what will draw the Guardians to fight alongside the Avengers? There are a few possibilities.
3. An Attack On The Nova Corps
At the conclusion of the first film, the Guardians of the Galaxy became affiliated with the Nova Corps after leaving an #InfinityStone — specifically, the Power Stone — in their custody. Yondu uses this affiliation as his excuse for not delivering Rocket Raccoon and Baby Groot to the Sovereigns in Vol. 2.
With one of the most powerful Infinity Stones in their possession, Thanos (who, of course, aims to gather all of the stones), will definitely be gunning for the Nova Corps at some point. This seems the most obvious way to bring the Guardians into the story. Thanos is close to all-powerful, with his attack on the Nova Corps certain to result in heavy losses. The Guardians will most likely be the only ones available to pursue Thanos and attempt to recover the Power Stone. This quest will lead them to Earth, where they will encounter — and ultimately join forces with — The Avengers.
While Nebula might not be the Guardians' sole reason for heading to Earth, she will definitely become involved, especially considering that her main goal in life is now to destroy her adoptive father. If Gamora and Nebula's relationship is not fully healed (or at least greatly improved), and Gamora aware of her sister's desire to defeat #Thanos, she could easily bring Nebula on board for any mission involving his defeat.
It is also interesting to note that Nebula plays a large role in a few Infinity Stone-related stories in the comics. It will be interesting to see what part she plays in the coming war.
Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed two #ThorRagnorok-related Easter Eggs during Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. One is a blink-and-you'll miss it shot of Thor and the Hulk doing battle as #Yondu, Rocket and Groot are caught in their long jump to Ego, while the other is a longer shot of Jeff Goldblum's Grand Master, a character to be introduced in Thor: Ragnarok, dancing in the film's credits.
As fans have guessed from the teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, part of the film will take place in space. While the film will already be heavy on characters, with Loki, Hulk and Doctor Strange all set to play significant roles, I would not be surprised to see a cameo from one or two Guardians characters thrown into the mix. Ragnarok is probably the best chance to build a solid bridge between the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers. Infinity War could take the alternate route of using Thor to bring the Guardians in on the action.
Whichever way Marvel chooses to go, it will definitely be interesting to see how the Guardians and the Avengers will interact with one another when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters in 2018.