It seems fitting the new year kicks off with a brand new phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Phase 5 has a lot to offer, including Thunderbolts, Blade, The Marvels, Captain America: New World Order, and the longly awaited Daredevil: Born Again. We will also get to see characters like Nick Fury, Echo and Agatha Harkness play a bigger role in the ever-expanding Marvel family.
Not only will the latest slate bring back some fan-favourites like Ant-Man and Star-Lord, this year will incorporate many new players into the MCU. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will introduce one of the X-Men's most daunting foes, The High Evolutionary. Comic fans are pumped to see Adam Warlock in live-action for the first time. And in a couple of months, we will finally get a taste of the franchise's next big bad, Kang the Conqueror.
If you thought the MCU had used up all its heavy-hitters, nothing could be further from the truth. When you look at all the new superheroes and supervillains set to appear in 2023, it's clear the best is yet to come.
Being the closing entry in the trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be last time we should see Star-Lord, Drax, Nebula, Gamora, Mantis, Groot, and Rocket together. Just to make this instalment more emotional, GOTG Vol. 3 will introduce Rocket's old flame - a sapient otter called Lylla.
Although Lylla and Rocket were born as ordinary creatures, they were endowed with heightened intelligence after undergoing genetic experimentation. Because they went through the gruelling procedures together, the pair share a special bond. Together, Lylla and Rocket have battled all sorts of zany enemies, including killer clowns, a mercenary jackrabbit, and and a toy-obsessed mole. (Those guys probably won't be implemented into the movie.)
As ridiculous as Lylla sounds, GOTG's director, James Gunn, has a talent for making viewers fall in love with wacky characters. After all, he's made us care about a tree, a man-eating shark, and a guy called Polka Dot Man. Not only is Lylla sure to be a welcome and adorable addition to the team, it'll be interesting to learn of Rocket's origin and see a more vulnerable side to the furry critter.