The second GOTG trailer is out, and August 1st is circled on my calendar – but the responses are still mixed when it comes to this choice for a Marvel movie. The camps seem to be divided between those who don’t think that it is well-known enough to warrant a movie, and those who think that it looks like fun, even if they have never heard of it before.
The part I don’t understand is that almost everyone is talking about how “new” it is. That Marvel has chosen a complete departure from the famous storylines (c’mon, who didn’t rush home after school to watch the animated X-men, or remember the Hulk from childhood?) and that this is a huge mistake. Except that while the comic book Guardians may be new, our heroes are as old as the universe they are a part of. The main characters in the film date back as far as 1960 (first appearance of Groot, in Tales to Astonish #13 – I Challenged…Groot! The Monster From Planet X), and the latest is actually Starlord himself who made his first appearance in 1976 (Marvel Preview #4 – The Star-Lord)! The new comic book series (shockingly enough, titled “Guardians of the Galaxy”) was created in 2013, sure. In fact, this new series was created years after the movie was considered, and the first book came out after casting was announced! I wonder if much of the too-new backlash has come about courtesy of fans seeing a trailer, googling the comic book, and writing it off after seeing the newness of one particular title.
Well, the books may be recent, but these guys have been kicking ass for a long time, and with some surprising teammates! Gamora, despite being one of the good guys in this one (well, good-ish. A movie that starts with the team breaking out of prison can’t be about the totally squeaky clean!!), often plays the villain, and has taken on She-Hulk, Rogue, Cyclops, Thor and Wolverine among others. Drax, on the other hand, fought on the same side as Iron Man. Iron. Man.
And don’t even get me started on the Avengers and Thanos. The post-credits scene in Avengers confused many fans, leading to a slew of “who is that purple dude” posts. You must know it’s Thanos by now, but did you also know that Thanos is a major player in the Guardians story? Gamora is his adoptive daughter and trainee killing machine. He is a Titan, and an amazing villain who is oft named as the nemesis to Drax, which just screams Avengers crossover. As if the voices in my nerdy head weren’t already making enough noise about that possibility.
Two of the most ridiculed characters are Rocket Raccoon and Groot – talking trees and animals seem to some a little less Marvel, a little more Disney. That impression might change when people realize that Rocket Raccoon’s closest ally in the existing movies is none other than the Hulk. Or that Groot, despite his limited vocabulary and use as comic relief, was still considered enough of a threat to be attacked and captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. Oh, and his full title (for those not wanting to call him “that tree thing in Guardians) is actually His Divine Majesty King Groot the 23rd, Monarch of Planet X. Ahem.
These may not be the best known characters in the Marvel universe, but they were there. Oh, were they there.
The [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) doesn’t just bring us an amazing team of well-known superheroes. They bring us a team of semi-superheroes, semi-bad guys. The epitome of neutral evil, which is what Marvel does best. It brings us kick-ass characters with a plethora of possible crossovers, and introduces elements of the universe that I am so excited to see; The Kree, aliens, space travel, Titans, so much that is missing in all the “super power battle in NYC” movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love those as much as the next girl, but sometimes, I want something just a little further from home. (And yes, the Kree finally appeared in Avengers. I know. I want more.)
And the last, best, bit? Unlike basically every Marvel movie released so far, I can walk out of the cinema at the end of the film without overhearing a fan talk about all the stuff that they got “wrong” from the comics. Blisssssss.