When the Guardians of the Galaxy is released in theaters in August, it will likely mark the introduction of Peter Quill (aka, Star-Lord), Drax, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon and Groot to the world of casual summer movie-goers. Guardians stands to be an enormous risk for Marvel, as the studio has created a movie without any of its A list heroes, instead featuring a ragtag group that only hardcore comic book fans who have weekly pull-lists the size of a telephone book could readily identify. And yet, despite the general public's unfamiliarity with these characters, a considerable amount of buzz has been generated from a very funny and clever trailer (that even jokes about who are these guys?), people now have to consider that maybe this movie will be a success. Maybe Guardians will be so successful, an entire franchise of movies will be made. If thats the case, Marvel has a very deep bench of funny, interesting and cosmically wacky characters that have been featured in various Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series that it can use. The characters mentioned here have all participated in significant story arcs in the Guardians comics, giving Marvel studios a plethora of storylines to choose from if the powers that be want to get ahead of themselves and think sequel.
Honorable Mention: The Original Guardians Of The Galaxy
Does Marvel want to confuse its audience from the onset? Then it should put the Guardians of the Galaxy in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. And by that I mean, the ORIGINAL team, as created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan in 1969. This group consists of heroes even more obscure than the current Guardians: Major Vance Astro, Martinex TNaga, Charlie-27, Yondu Udonta, Starhawk and Nikki. These Guardians operate in the 31st century in an alternative Marvel timeline. For the first 20+ years of the teams existence, they mostly appeared in other superhero comics, before finally getting their own series in the early 1990s. Prior to the Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning run on Guardians of the Galaxys second volume in 1998, the old Guardians had no connection to the new team. But Abnett/Lanning eventually bring them into the mix in their series. The new Guardians find Vance Astro floating in a block of ice, and he is then named Major Victory. In a later story, the two teams interact when Starhawk learns an error in present day has led to the destruction of the future team. Sure, having two sets of Guardians would create brand confusion, but think of the fun hardcore fans of the original series will have trying to explain to people who have grown to accept Star-Lord and Groot about the wonders of Starhawk.
Mark is a professional writer living in Brooklyn and is the founder of the Chasing Amazing Blog, which documents his quest to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and the Superior Spider-Talk podcast. He also pens the "Gimmick or Good?" column at Comics Should Be Good blog.