Groot has been a source of constant change in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, going from a behemoth tree monster, to an angry baby shrub, to some kind of angsty adolescent plant. The version of Groot in the Marvel comics however, has been much more of a constant in recent years. Well, until today, that is.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for the first issue of Marvel's Infinity Countdown! Continue reading at your own risk...
For the longest time, the comic Groot has been kind of stuck in his Baby Groot form. Also, keeping with the recent trend, Groot has only been able to speak the words, "I am Groot." That all changed at the end of Infinity Countdown #1.
Not only can Groot now speak complete sentences, but he is more powerful than he's ever been.
Half of the issue was spent with the Guardians of the Galaxy as they fought a deranged Gardener. The Gardener had used a part of Groot to essentially terra-form an entire planet into an ever-growing, Groot-like weapon that he could control. Nothing the Guardians threw at him would work.
This is where little Groot became a hero. He jumped down onto the Gardener and used every ounce of energy he had to send vines and branches throughout the villain's veins. Suddenly, Gardener came to and realized that he had been poisoned by Loki, and that Groot absorbed the poison to save him. In a last ditch effort, Gardener uses his power to try and return the favor.
The Gardener then "fixes" Groot, or as Rocket says, "Restores his factory settings."
Groot emerges as a giant, kneeling in front of his fellow Guardians. "Groot forgives the Gardener," he bellows. "But Groot will never allow the perversion of his limbs to wreak unintended havoc upon this -- or any other -- world!"
The scene concludes with Groot growing a seemingly infinite number of vines at once, getting stronger as he goes to fight off the fake Groot that has plagued the planet.
While Groot was just a child when the Infinity Countdown began, it looks as though he has now become one of the most powerful weapons in all of the Guardians' arsenal. This transformation could be key when it comes to protecting the Infinity Stones from getting into the wrong hands.
Written by Gerry Duggan and illustrated by Aaron Kuder, Infinity Countdown #1 is currently available online, and on the shelves of your local comic book shop.