Warning: SPOILERS for Guardians of the Galaxy #1
Marvel promised they would reboot the Guardians of the Galaxy with a brand new team of cosmic heroes, and now that the new roster has been revealed, comic fans are guaranteed to go to war over who made the cut… and who got killed, instead.
Fear not, fans of Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord, the human is still technically the leader of the team. But while the movie future of the Guardians of the Galaxy has never seemed less certain, the comic book version isn’t wasting any time giving fans the team-ups they really want. Even though they have just assembled for the first time, it’s clear the NEW Guardians of the Galaxy are even crazier than the old ones.
And yes… that includes Beta Ray Bill, at long last.
- This Page: To Make New Guardians, Kill The Old Ones First
- Page 2: The New Guardians Finally Revealed [SPOILERS]
The Old Guardians are Dead
Fans of the MCU may be surprised to learn that the Guardians had actually had their comic canceled, and disbanded long before this reboot, proving to be less bankable than their movie counterparts (oh how the tables can turn). But to further hype the recent Infinity Wars event, Marvel promised that the galactic story would reunite the fan-favorite roster… before killing a Guardian of the Galaxy for good. When the villain who opened the event by murdering Thanos was revealed to be Gamora, fans knew the publisher wasn’t fooling around.
Eventually Gamora’s plan to do evil for the sake of good was thwarted, but not before Drax died to save the Marvel Universe. And so, the stage was set for the Guardians of the Galaxy reboot. Gamora exiled across the universe. Drax finally at rest. Rocket missing (for reasons not yet clear). And as the new Guardians of the Galaxy #1 begins, Groot and Peter are already late for the funeral of Thanos.
Marvel’s Cosmic Heroes Unite… For an Ambush
Before the issue was released, new writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw teased that just about every cosmic Marvel superhero would be in the running to be enlisted as a member of their new Guardians. In the first issue fans learn why, since every one of those cosmic characters has gathered to hear the Last Will and Testament of Thanos… and probably verify that his head is still missing, and he truly is dead. Naturally, the most suspicious are soon vindicated, as the Black Order (known as the Children of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War) crash the party to recover their fathers corpse.
But before they leave, they make sure to clean up their mess by tearing a massive hole through the fabric of space, swallowing up the shop and every attendee of the funeral. But it’s at that very moment that Star-Lord and Groot appear with the Nova Corps… and a single lifeline bursts back through the wormhole.
The Fan-Favorite Hammer & Chain Survive…
At last, the mad plan of the new Guardians creative team becomes perfectly clear. By attending the funeral, the host of cosmic heroes and villains got a chance to be the only ones who survived to fill out the new roster. And as an Asgardian hammer blasts back into this universe, dragging a red-hot chain behind it, Marvel fans who know their comics can confirm two of the new members. As they pull their way aboard Star-Lord’s new ship, it isn’t just two new recruits revealed – but FOUR.
As the sole survivors, the new Guardians are born, and we would recommend every fan of the comics or films seek out the issue and reveal for themselves. But if you’re not afraid of SPOILERS, and too eager to wait to see the brand new Guardians of the Galaxy unite, then keep on reading…
The All-NEW Guardians Are Born
Marvel’s decision to spread the possible new Guardians across Marvel’s covers guaranteed that fans would start pulling for their personal favorites, but only four manage to escape the cosmic cyclone and scramble aboard the Ryder. When the Nova Corps officers at the scene demand that Star-Lord turn them over to be questioned, he puts an end to the questions by citing his own authority over his own ship… and the protection that allows for Beta Ray Bill, the Cosmic Ghost Rider, Phyla-Vell, and Moondragon as his crew. But to the readers, they’re better known as the new incarnation of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Star-Lord’s main priority is keeping the Nova Corps red tape out of this situation entirely, so that he and Groot can more easily get their own answers (especially since the Black Order used the criminal haven Knowhere to launch their attack). The answers will have to wait for the next issue, but it’s likely readers will have their own questions. Like who these new, alien heroes actually are, how they connect to some of the most important Marvel heroes in history… and how long it will take for Cosmic Ghost Rider and Star-Lord to kill eachother, leaving Beta Ray Bill to command the Guardians himself.
To provide the best answers we can, let’s start with the two Guardians who best embody the term “space outlaw with a death wish.”
The Outlaw: Cosmic Ghost Rider
More than the other former Guardians of the Galaxy, the team’s leader Peter Quill is the closest to his MCU version, so little explanation is needed for fans wanting to jump in with this rebooted team. The same can’t be said for the Cosmic Ghost Rider, whose origin story was one of the most delightfully absurd aspects of Cates and Shaw’s work on the recent Thanos comic series. In its trip to the very end of the Marvel Universe, the series revealed the day that Thanos defeated every one of Earth’s heroes. Not one to miss the chance for a kill, Frank Castle made a deal with the Devil, agreeing to become the new Ghost Rider to get his revenge.
Unfortunately, Thanos had moved on by the time he returned – leaving the former Punisher alone for thousands of years, his mind slowly losing itself completely. When Galactus showed up in need of a new herald, Frank signed on, getting a boost of “the power cosmic.” After a brief adventure in which he traveled back in time to kidnap Thanos as a baby and accidentally raise him to be a cosmic version of Punisher, he’s back. And from that origin, the Guardians is probably the safest place he could be.
The Muscle: Beta Ray Bill
Everybody knows and loves Groot, but he’s changed since the days when he more closely resembled the version debuted in the first Guardians movie. For starters, Groot can speak perfect English now. In a less hopeful twist, however, he’s been seriously hurt by whatever happened with Rocket Raccoon. The new issue starts with him carving himself into a Mohawk and spiked shoulders, so he’s dealing with his abandonment issues in a totally normal, healthy way. Thankfully, the team has gotten an upgrade in muscle.
We would hope most fans have heard of Beta Ray Bill, and if not, they have seriously been missing out. As one of the noblest members of his race of humanoid-horse-like aliens, Beta Ray Bill distinguished himself as one of the few Marvel beings who could raise Thor’s hammer (before just about everybody was doing it all the time). While Bill and Thor met as rivals, Odin was so impressed he awarded Bill his own Asgardian hammer, dubbed “Stormbreaker,” and the powers of Thor along with it. Fans have been begging for the alien Thor to join the MCU, but aside from an Easter Egg confirming Beta Ray Bill in Thor: Ragnarok, no progress has been made. But you better believe him joining a rebooted Guardians team will get those petitions running all over again.
The Lovers: Moondragon & Phyla-Vell
The final two members of the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to be new to some, but classics to others. Especially with their prominent roles doing regular battle with Gamora in the aforementioned Infinity Wars series. As poetic as it may seem for Moondragon a.k.a. Heather Douglas to join the team after the death of her father, Drax a.k.a. Arthur Douglas, the psychic space warrior has proven herself formidable enough to have been a member of the Guardians in Marvel’s history. The same can be said for Phyla-Vell, who is herself the (artificial) daughter of the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell.
Diving into Phyla’s past as Captain Marvel, Quasar, and the Avatar of Death would be too complicated for even seasoned fans, so we’ll say only this: these two women are powerful apart. In fact, both are so fueled by passion, emotion, and loyalty to their friends and loved ones, it’s hard to imagine a limit they wouldn’t go to for family. Now that their love and partnership seem to have leveled out, they bring an invaluable resource to the mission of figuring out what to even do in the wake of the first issue’s calamity. It’s a motley crew, that’s for sure… but one that we can’t wait to see more of–in the comics… for now.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.