History Lesson: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

2813343-guardians_of_the_galaxy__mcguinness_variant__by_martegracia_d5rl1tmWhen I first saw the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy months ago, I was thinking “Why?”

Than I went to see it. Consider this a review: Go. Brave the opening weekend and just go. I’m putting this one up there with Whedon’s Avengers, possibly better.

After the movie, I started mining into the title’s past. I’m a Marvel fan but never knew much about the Guardians and that couple hours of hilarity, action, and well-paced movie got me interested.

Guardians has its roots in the Marvel Universe in the late sixties. A futuristic team of galactic freedom fighters, they had a fairly fluid membership over the years and several crossovers. And once you start following that trail, the puzzle pieces fall into place.

They adventure with the likes of The Defenders, Thing, Spider-Man, to name a few, but mixed in there is a foray with none other than Thor and then, the Avengers. In fact, after saving Earth from an alien invasion and battling the entity, Korvac, the Guardians were given honorary membership into the Avengers. Further plotlines have them returning to their own time period to search for Captain America’s shield which is recovered and wielded by the group’s then leader, Major Victory.

That version of the Guardians (of which Yondu, the scavenger leader from the movie, was a member) quietly left the scene and was last seen in the late nineties appearing in New Warriors number 68.

More recently, the title was picked back up and has included some version of the team assembled on screen. Starlord, Gamora, Rocket Racoon, Drax and Groot along with Mantis and Adam the Warlock helmed the group for a time until recent changes brought things down to the five person team on-screen.

This catches up to the present timeline and dovetails nicely with the movies. In print, Thanos has planned an invasion of Earth which is thwarted by none other than the Guardians along with Tony Stark (yep, that’s him in the team pic up there) and Angela – a lost sister of Thor and Loki (not sure how this plays into the new Marvel “female Thor” plans.)

thanosNow, in the movie, Thanos shows his ugly blue mug as the force behind Kree bad-ass, Ronan. However, for anyone that stayed for the credits sequence after the Avengers, you’ll know that Thanos was shown smiling at the prospect of  challenging those unruly humans.

I know Age of Ultron is slated for the next Avenger’s flick and that should be one heck of a spectacle. However, all the threads are in place for an Avengers / Guardians crossover film or, at the very least, an Iron Man / Guardians crossover. It may not ever happen. Two large teams having a snark battle might make for a poor movie and it is unclear how well Tony Stark and Starlord would share the screen, but at the very least it is something to look forward to other than Howard the Duck… (Of course, maybe I’ll change my mind yet again.)

Whatever happens, Marvel/Disney has been handling these movies with a level of marketing genius that’s hard to deny. If only they could work something out with Fox, I’d be a happy camper. Future Past was one of the better X-Men flicks, but I still want to see those characters mixing it up in this well-woven universe. Probably too much to ask, but a geek can dream.

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