Get to the bot­tom of Guardians’ roots

Track­ing down the back­sto­ries of hit fran­chise’s main char­ac­ters re­veals twists and turns in early tales be­fore block­busters

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - JAIME WEINMAN Spe­cial to the Star

So you’ve just seen the lat­est Guardians of the Galaxy movie and want to find out more about the char­ac­ters?

Well, don’t look in the orig­i­nal Guardians of the Galaxy story, be­cause it has only one char­ac­ter who has be­come a reg­u­lar in the films.

For­tu­nately, Marvel comics his­tory is com­pletely clear and never con­fus­ing or bizarre, so we can eas­ily bring you up to speed on the back­grounds of movie­go­ers’ sec­ond- or maybe third­favourite space team.

Star-Lord

In Peter Quill’s orig­i­nal ap­pear­ance, he was born be­cause the plan­ets aligned and caused his mother to give birth to an im­mac­u­lately con­ceived mir­a­cle child. Later, writ­ers thought this was too sac­ri­le­gious, so they de­cided that his mom just had sex with an alien. Af­ter his mother was killed by space visi­tors, Peter gained a racist ha­tred of all aliens and be­came the Star-Lord to “make those space­men pay!”

Yondu

The only movie prin­ci­pal who was in the orig­i­nal Guardians story.

But in­stead of hang­ing around with Star-Lord, he teamed up with a dif­fer­ent Earth kid to at­tack a race of evil space lizards by shoot­ing ar­rows at them.

Re­cently, Marvel re­placed this Yondu in the comics with a dif­fer­ent Yondu, who looks like Michael Rooker and hangs around with Star-Lord. You know, for artis­tic rea­sons.

Drax the De­stroyer

In the comics, he was a dad who was driv­ing home from an Elvis Pres­ley con­cert when Thanos at­tacked his car, killing him.

He was brought back to life as a su­per­strong green man. Then, he was killed again by his tele­pathic priest­ess daugh­ter and when he came back to life, his power was en­hanced, but he’d lost all his in­tel­li­gence.

In comics, stu­pid­ity is a su­per­power.

Gamora

Just like in the movies, she be­came a deadly war­rior af­ter her fam­ily was killed. How­ever, in the comics, her fam­ily was killed not by Thanos, but by a New Age church.

So, she went back in time to wipe out the en­tire church.

She joined the Guardians of the Galaxy af­ter get­ting possessed by an alien hive mind that was to­tally not a ripoff of the Borg.

Groot

In the ‘60s, be­fore su­per­heroes took over, the big­gest fad in comics was for mon­sters.

So, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby cre­ated a story about a talk­ing tree mon­ster named Groot.

Un­like the ver­sion we know, this one could talk. And talk. And talk.

Man­tis

A Viet­namese ex-pros­ti­tute who mar­ried a tree (not Groot, another tree).

Af­ter be­com­ing preg­nant with the half-hu­man, half-plant equiv­a­lent of Je­sus Christ, she changed her name to Wil­low, and then Lorelei, so her cre­ator could use her at two other com­pa­nies with­out get­ting sued. Af­ter be­com­ing Man­tis again, she split into five dif­fer­ent peo­ple, then helped form the new Guardians of the Galaxy by brain­wash­ing most of the other mem­bers into join­ing.

Ne­bula

She was cre­ated as a mer­ce­nary vil­lain who de­lighted in wip­ing out alien races, try­ing to take over the uni­verse, and hav­ing ac­tual hair.

Rocket Rac­coon

The first time he ap­peared, in the same 1970s black-and-white mag­a­zine that in­tro­duced Star-Lord, his name was “Rocky Rac­coon.”

But when he moved to the colour comics, his name was changed to Rocket, to avoid the wrath of the dead­li­est crea­tures in the uni­verse: Paul McCart­ney’s lawyers.

DIS­NEY-MARVEL

David Bautista, left, as Drax and Pom Kle­men­ti­eff as Man­tis in "Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2."

, MARVEL COMICS

Gamora, like Star-Lord, be­came a war­rior af­ter suf­fer­ing per­sonal loss.

MARVEL COMICS

Marvel’s Man­tis split into five peo­ple and helped form the new Guardians of the Galaxy by brain­wash­ing most of the other mem­bers into join­ing.

, MARVEL COMICS

Groot had rather more to say at one time in Marvel Comics.

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