Now that Marvel Studios has achieved what was seemingly improbable – produced a certified blockbuster with the Guardians of the Galaxy – the time seems right to start speculating about what we might want to see from 2017's sequel.
Very few thought a movie built around Peter "Star-Lord" Quill, Rocket Raccoon, Drax, Gamora and Groot would be a success. But fans of Marvel's comic book Cosmic-Verse will likely note that there's still a deep bench of characters out there to pick from that would all be wonderful additions to the Guardians film franchise (and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole).
Here are five more characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book universe past and present that should on the short list for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (with potential *spoilers* for the current film).
5. Carol Danvers
As one of Marvel's most popular superheroines, Carol Danvers, the current Captain Marvel, has long been rumored to become a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some capacity. With Captain Marvel recently joining the Guardians of the Galaxy in the current Bendis series, perhaps the easiest way to introduce the character to moviegoers is by featuring her as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 ensemble (similar to what Marvel Studios did with Black Widow in Iron Man 2).
Additionally, it would be fairly easy to incorporate someone with Carol's cosmic powerset and Kree background into the space-centric Guardians movie-verse. There is more than 35 years of Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel content to mine from for her cinematic backstory, plus a rabid fanbase (aka the Carol Corps) that would almost certainly support the character at the box office. Then, after showing up in Guardians 2, Carol would be a prime candidate to star in her own Phase Three solo adventure and/or join the Avengers 3 ensemble.
But Kang is an Avengers villain, you say? That's true, but with Avengers: Age of Ultron featuring Ultron as the big bad, and with Avengers 3 likely building to some kind of showdown with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 might be the only reasonable way to get Kang a spot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe this decade. And let's face it, Kang is awesome, and warrants an appearance on the big screen.
Besides, Kang does make a brief appearance during the Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning Guardians run when he warns the team about the potential threat of Adam Warlock and his dark future-self the Magus. And how hard could it be for Marvel Studios to set up some kind of conflict between Marvel's galactic defenders and a time-traveling evil super genius that has a penchant for conquering past, present and future worlds?
3. Vance Astro
Speaking of characters from the future, Vance Astro, aka, Major Victory is one of the original Guardians of the Galaxy (the group of 30th century heroes created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan in 1969). Considering moviegoers got a fairly substantial does of Yondu – another one of the original Guardians – in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, there's no reason James Gunn can't find some screen time for Major Victory in the sequel. And there's even a worthwhile Astro-story from the Abnett/Lanning Guardians run to work from.
During the opening arc of DnA's Guardians, the team finds Astro encased in ice, holding a shield that bears a striking resemblance to Captain America's iconic weapon. Astro eventually joins the team, and even inspires them to name themselves the "Guardians of the Galaxy" when he tells them that it was the name of the team he was a part of in the future.
Of course, in terms of the movie-verse, the group already has its name. But that doesn't change the fact that having Astro and his Cap shield on the team would be a lot of fun, as well as a nice little nod to the franchise's weirder, oft-forgotten about earliest incarnation from the 60s and 70s.
2. Richard Rider (Nova)
One of the biggest surprises about the Guardians of the Galaxy film was that despite the fact that the movie featured a number of characters from the Nova Corps. – the intergalactic police force that has been appearing in Marvel comics since the late 1970s – that the actual Nova was not included in the finished product (some assumed he would show up in the post-credits teaser, but instead moviegoers got Howard the Duck).
Richard Rider, or "Richie" as Star-Lord calls him, was the original Nova as created by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema in 1976. Over the years, the character has played an important role in a number of Marvel cosmic storylines, and was a key part of the genre's revival in the mid-2000s when Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest were published. Abnett and Lanning penned the Nova series concurrently with Guardians of the Galaxy in the late 2000s, and the characters from each series would often interact. Rider was presumably killed alongside Star-Lord at the end of the Thanos Imperative miniseries in 2010 (though Star-Lord would be later resurrected).
As such, it would make sense for Nova to find his way into the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. And similar to Carol Danvers, the potential is undoubtedly there for the character to star in his very own cinematic vehicle down the road. With that said, considering how the Nova Corps are already an established entity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's probably only matter of time before Nova is on the big screen telling Star-Lord to stop calling him Richie.
1. Adam Warlock
Here's another character that can be grouped into the "probably coming very soon" pile for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Adam Warlock, who was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby during their epic run on Fantastic Four in the 1960s as a pseudo-Christ-like figure before being transformed into an existential cosmic hero by Jim Starlin in the 1970s, was a part of Abnett and Lanning's Guardians of the Galaxy cast in the late 2000s. Additionally, Marvel Studios has already confirmed that the cocoon that can be found in the Collector's room in Guardians of the Galaxy (and in the Thor 2 credits stinger) is in fact the same cocoon that Warlock emerged from in the comics. Presumably, that cocoon is going to burst open at some point, so why not make during Guardians of the Galaxy 2?
Meanwhile, Warlock is one of the most iconic cosmic characters from the 1970s. Starlin's "Magus Saga," where Warlock aligned with Gamora and Thanos to fight his future dark self, is considered one of Marvel's greatest stories from the peak of the mind-expanding cosmic era. The story is so revered, DnA penned a Magus sequel for Guardians of the Galaxy where the evil entity and the Universal Church of Truth returned to cause great havoc for our heroes.
Warlock also was the central figure leading Marvel's heroes against Thanos in the celebrated Infinity Gauntlet event, which is reportedly going to be adapted for Avengers 3. So including Warlock in the Guardian's sequel stands to serve many purposes for Marvel Studios as it continues to expand its universe.0comments