Warning: Mild spoilers about cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to follow.
When someone asks who the Guardians of the Galaxy are, most people automatically think Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these were the founding members of the Guardians, and therefore are the most well-known members of the team.
The original Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics, however, had a completely different roster. While it did include a few Marvel characters we know, it did not include Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, or even Groot. Instead, the original line-up had four different heroes. Here are the founding four members of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics:
1. Vance Astro
Vance, also known as Major Victory, was a bit like Star-Lord, as he is the only member of the team that was from Earth. The major difference between Vance and Star-Lord, however, is that Vance is a mutant. Vance's mutation is based around psychokinesis, as in he is able to move and affect matter using "psyche blasts." It's a pretty cool power, and very unique among Marvel's heroes. Additionally, he uses a Captain America shield, so that's also pretty cool.
The main reason I assume we have not seen Vance Astro in the Guardians of the Galaxy films is that he is a mutant; thus, FOX probably own the rights to this character. However, should something pull through between FOX and Marvel Studios, I would love the chance to see "Major Victory" hit the big screen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and see his psychokinetic abilities on screen rather than just on the pages.
Like Drax, Charlie-27 is the muscle of the team. Charlie-27 was actually a genetically engineered being that was designed to live on Jupiter. In order to endure the insane gravitational pull of the planet, Charlie-27 was built to be about 11 times stronger than the average human. This made him one of the most valuable members of the team, as he is much stronger than just about everyone he meets. In the comics, Charlie-27 is much more than just a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, he has often teamed up with Thor and the Avengers, even showing up in the comic arc of Infinity War to save Avengers Mansion from the Masters of Evil.
Charlie-27 does exist within the Marvel Cinematic Universe; he makes a brief cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as a member of Yondu's original team. I won't go into too much detail to avoid spoilers, but do know that he's there, and hopefully we will be seeing more of this massive in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Unlike Vance and Charlie-27 who were from the same Universe, Martinex actually came from a different reality. In this different reality, the people of Earth had populated all of the planets in the solar system. Martinex came from Pluto (which was considered a planet at the time). His diamond-like appearance comes from him living on Pluto, as his skin needed to harden in order to survive the temperatures of the planet. Because of this mutation, Martinex is stronger than most humans, and can also shoot beams of thermal energy from his hands.
Like Charlie-27, Martinex also made a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Martinex is a seriously cool and unique character who could add a brand new dynamic in a future film, seeing as he is unlike any other Guardian we have seen so far.
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4. Yondu Udonta
Yondu is a talented hunter from the planet Centauri IV. His main talents are undoubtedly his archery skills, as a bow is his weapon of choice. He encounters Vance Astro when Vance lands on his planet. The two do not get along well at first, but an attack from the Badoon (a malignant alien species) makes them work together. From there, they form the Guardians of the Galaxy.
We have seen quite a bit of Yondu on screen already, as he is a prominent member of Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. His origin, however, is radically different from that of the comics. Hopefully, we will see more of the founding members join the Guardians in later films.
While others joined the Guardians later in the comics, including Starhawk, the character played by Sylvester Stallone in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the four listed above were the founding members. They first appeared in the comics in 1969, with those four being the only members for a good 6 years after that.
While this team is radically different from the team we know in the film, hopefully we will see Martinex and Vance join in later films, and possibly see Charlie-27 get a larger role down the road.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!