Who Should Appear in Guardians of the Galaxy 2?

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::Guardians of the Galaxy spoilers, obviously::

Yeah, I know, another fluff piece, but let’s be honest here:

August sucked. Like, a lot.

Ferguson, the attacks on female game journalists, and the celebrity nude photo hack -all of which highlighting the very worst in our country. Double standards of race, internet laws, and gender that, time and again, Americans blind themselves to. There are signs of progress, thankfully, but the shift is glacial and traumatic. This on top of greater world issues like the Russian/Ukraine conflict, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Ebola, multitudes of undocumented immigrant children, global warming, and more.

So maybe we need a little fluff. A breather from the hard truth that this world has a long, long way to go. And the one thing we all seem to agree on? Guardians of the Galaxy.

My GOD, did we love that movie. Breaking records left and right, Marvel’s “biggest risk since Iron Man” just seems to keep winning people over. Sure, it’s a little rough around the edges with a lot of exposition and plenty of little bumps in internal logic, but that ain’t half bad for a movie starring a gung ho raccoon and a silly tree man. Characters like that made the movie.

Never thought these two would win you over, did ya?

And that’s what this was. A character movie. From the man-child Star-Lord to the arrow-whistling Yondu, Guardians was filled to the brim with unforgettable, quirky characters in an unforgettable, quirky version of space, and I’m sure you’d be utterly unsurprised to learn that it was just the tip of the iceberg. So why not, here’s a list of my most-wanted characters for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Buckle in. You thought Rocket Raccoon and Groot were weird?

You ain’t seen nothing yet.

10. THE CHURCH OF UNIVERSAL TRUTH

An ultra-dogmatic space religion literally powered by the faith of their congregation. Each of their crusaders –“Cardinals”- are as dogmatic and twisted in their beliefs as Claude Frollo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Their wackiest ability? They’re able to manifest nearly any power by shouting, “I BELIEVE!” Naturally, the power of their faith affects the strength and duration of the power employed.

He’ll later do penance for checking her out.

Sure, they seem a bit overpowered, but simplified considerably, a group of space zealots with a black and white morality could be perfect villains for the much grayer Guardians of the Galaxy, policing the galaxy with an insane gusto that’d make Ronan the Accuser seem understanding.

“…and I hereby ban The Five Stairsteps…”

9. EGO THE LIVING PLANET

The name pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? An omniscient, omnipotent world capable of shaping its surface at a whim and space-travel, he devours everything in its path. He also has a penchant for toying with its hapless victims before consuming them. Ego’s been a thorn in just about everyone’s side: Thor, the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and even Galactus, the OTHER devourer of worlds.

They fought, by the way, to a standstill until Thor and the Fantastic Four bumped up Galactus’ power.

Ego seems like he’d make a great choice for a “Belly of the Whale” segment of Guardians 2. Perhaps he detains the team on their way to save something, or perhaps they have to stop him from eating a planet. That kind of insanity is movie gold, my friend.

8. STARHAWK

 

“Here’s the weird one,” I say, realizing that’s not terribly specific.

Starhawk’s a member of the future Guardians of the Galaxy (3014, to be precise), and he’s basically like“Space Batman.” Long story short, he and his sister Aleta wound up being mystically fused into one behing by a Hawk God, causing them to occupy the same space in time and space, constantly swapping who’s entire being was present in the universe. Eventually, Starhawk and Aleta more or less gained separate bodies, but retained their space-faring superpowers. Crazy shit, huh? That’s before I mention that Starhawk and Aleta got married and had three children.

To get even crazier, Starhawk was ripped from his native era to 2012,  to prevent an unknown time/space anomaly from ending time an existence . With the Guardians’ every action altering the future, Starhawk existed in a constant state of flux, often swapping sexes in the blink of an eye.

If you’ve seen my Star Trek or Man of Steel posts, you’ll know how much I like alternate-dimension-time-traveling-mindfuckery, and Starhawk here promises that in SPADES. Think of it this way: the movie Guardians have settled their broad goal of unity, but what happens when their personal goals supersede that and they have tangible evidence in Starhawk that their actions could dramatically change the future? A WHOOOOLE LOTTA interesting sci-fi drama, that’s what.

I also picture Star-Lord having trouble deciding whether or not to hit on her/him.

7. J’SON OF SPARTAX ::Probable Guardians of the Galaxy 2 SPOILERS!::

How about an easier one before diving back into insanity?

J’Son of Spartax, is, the Emperor of Spartoi, one of the ruling races in all of space. He’s forged alliances with countless alien races, and has ruled his people through a combination of propaganda, technology, direct manipulation, and outright war. And he fathered a child with an Earth woman. That child was Star-Lord.

In recent comics, J’Son manipulated the rest of galaxy’s leaders into making Earth a DMZ, making it a ripe target for space-pirates. When the Guardians of the Galaxy intervened to save Earth, they were promptly arrested as criminals –all so J’Son could exert control over his ‘failure’ of a son.

Dickhead, right?

What’s interesting about the MCU version of Star-Lord is that his dying mother describes his father as “an angel” and “made of light,” leading me to believe that a potential movie J’Son wouldn’t be quite so mortal –especially since Star-Lord was able to hold, let alone wield the Power Gem. That leads me to think that the MCU J’Son might be mixed with someone a little more overpowered… and a little more weird…

6. MICHAEL KORVAC ::Possible Guardians of the Galaxy 2 SPOILERS!::

Another universe-hopping villain, another day.

Let’s see how simple we can keep this: an office worker from another dimension was caught napping by his alien masters, so was grafted to a computer, only to be sucked through an interdimensional wormhole where he gained unlimited cosmic powers, rendering him psychotic and unstable.

Yep. That’s a fail.

Determined to reshape, Earth, the Galaxy, and the universe into a utopia in his own image, Korvac came into conflict with the Avengers and the Future Guardians of the Galaxy, who eventually defeated him at the cost of nearly their entire team. Realizing the hell he’d wrought, Korvac committed suicide, using the last of his power to resurrect all those he’d slain.

Naturally, should Korvac find his way into Guardians 2, his origin would be considerably simplified, but his unlimited power and apparent godlihood may be a sticking point for combining him with J’Son. Afterall, in Guardians, the Collector suggests that mere mortals are incapable of handling the Power Gem, but immortals, well…

And there’s more than enough reason to believe that Star-Lord might be at least half-immortal. After all, the guy survived the void of space, didn’t he?

5. STARFOX

No, not the amazing Nintendo 64 game.

Also known as Eros, Starfox hails from a race known as the Eternals, all with various superhuman abilities. Starfox’s? Seduction. More or less the god of pick-up artists, the guy’s seduction skills are basically mind-control, and they’ve gotten him into all kinds of trouble. This culminated with a sexual assault case that spun out of control until it surfaced that Starfox had even manipulated She-Hulk –his defense attorney. Now stripped of his powers, his current fate is unknown.

Pictured: Galaxy’s biggest sleazeball.

James Gunn has a talent for reinvention. Ever seen the original Yondu? Glad Michael Rooker didn’t play that. I’d picture Starfox as some washed out, universally reviled bum, slumming in the depths of Knowhere. Something like Star-Lord’s drinking buddy. Maybe Starfox once picked up a girl and named himself that after Quill named himself Star-Lord. Or maybe he really is a higher being just down on his luck. Either way, I picture him as a sleezy informant who Rocket regularly abuses.

4. ANGELA

More universe-hopping, but this one’s a doozy: Angela made the leap between comic book companies. Created by Neil Gaiman in Spawn #9, Angela’s a relentless bounty hunter angel who trades in the pelts of slain hellspawn. Like Spawn. Who is a hellspawn.

After decades of lawsuits between Image Comics founder Todd MacFarlane -who’d stated that creators owned their characters- and Gaiman -who wanted his character- Gaiman recovered the rights to Angela and sold her to Marvel comics. They introduced her in their Age of Ultron event, and quickly made her a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and of the Avengers.

Costume’s a hair better, but at least she won’t be tripping over those damn ribbons.

In theory, this is a great idea, which would’ve allowed Marvel to widen the doors on its undervalued mystical universe. Instead, they made Angela an Asgardian –Thor and Loki’s long-lost sister. To me, that’s a waste of a perfectly good bloodthirsty angel, especially when Marvel has a slew of underrated horror heroes on the wrong side of Heaven. But that’s just me.

Either way, in Angela’s debut appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy #5, she’s enraged and confused at being ripped from her native universe, and is hell-bent on murdering the person responsible.

In the MCU, I could picture Angela doing gangbusters in a movie with The Church of Universal Truth and Starhawk –the Church rips her from Heaven to prove there’s a god, Starhawk comes from the future to correct this universal anomaly before existence ends, and Angela… goes from a brutal, immortal warrior, to metaphysical, existential soul-searcher, struggling to determine why she exists and if she even should exist. Heavy stuff which could hit extra hard, using Guardians’ humor to misdirect until it all comes to a head.

3. MANTIS

Mantis has a long, troubled history, where she’s been half-plant alien, a celestial Madonna, and now communications expert and medic for the Guardians of the Galaxy. Mantis is a powerful psychic with the ability to predict the future –everything from petty conversations to universe-altering events. Often, she neglects to warn the team of the latter, should intervening destroy time itself. Fatalism embodied, really. More interestingly, Star-Lord had her to ‘tweak’ everyone’s brain into joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, where they otherwise would’ve declined. As you might imagine, they were furious when they found out.

Rumor has it that Mantis was originally slated for Guardians of the Galaxy, and given her fatalistic humor, and constant spot-on predictions, it’s easy to see why. In addition to psychically bantering with everyone during missions, her predictions about people –turns of phrase, winning arguments, etc. would add another layer of depth to the team, especially in a story thematically about the natural order or universal balance.

2. PHYLA-VELL

Artificially created from the DNA of legendary space hero Quasar, Phyla-Vell later inherited his cosmic powers and joined the Guardians of the Galaxy. A beneficent heroine of justice, she’s similar to a Space Superman who’s still new at superheroing. Wielding swords comprised of pure energy, she later became the Avatar of Oblivion to save her girlfriend, Moondragon, from the realm of death and from demonic possession. The trade off? She was charged with slaying the Avatar of Life and shortly thereafter gave her life to save the Guardians.

Hey, nobody said space comics were simple.

Bright side: she lived on to be every heavy metal album cover ever.

At its heart, Phyla’s story might actually be the most human: wanting to help people, and sacrificing herself for those she loves. At full power, Phyla might be a bit much for the MCU Guardians, who are comparatively underpowered, but as a girl just coming to grips with power beyond her ken, her shaky steps into godhood could go from hilarious to heartwrenching, just as the first movie had.

1. MOONDRAGON

Ophaned after Thanos slew her family, Heather Douglas found a new home in space, where she developed enormous psychic powers and martial arts under the tutelage of Thanos’ father. Like many of the Guardians, she’s utterly obsessed with slaying Thanos for his slaughter of worlds. She’s classy, a perfectionist, and head over heels in love with her girlfriend, Phyla-Vell. She was also once became the Dragon of the Moon –death and evil incarnate.

Really.

Couple Moondragon’s superior intellect with martini-dry sarcasm and a predilection for revealing embarrassing thoughts, and Moondragon could be a perfect compliment for the movie Guardians team. Especially if you run the “ice cold psychic lady who can turn into a dragon” thing. The current line up is a hair short on super powers, and this could really shake things up.

Best part? A Moondragon/Phyla-Vell relationship could be a transformative LGBT moment, where the couple kisses… and nobody bats an eye. Just another perfectly normal part of life.

0. THE SLITHER ALIEN

Slither’s an underrated horror classic with one of the freshest takes on zombies in the past decade, not to mention one of the greatest hive-minds in cinema history. Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves for not seeing it in theaters.

The creature itself is a parasitic alien life-form that mutates its hosts into hideous mutants before bonding their flesh into a macabre blob. Once a planet’s taken over, it jumps to the next planet. And to the next. And to the next. It nearly took over Earth, but there was one thing it didn’t count on: falling in love.

Just try to tell me you wouldn’t love to see the Guardians fight or bargain with this thing. Just. Fucking. Try.

C’mon, James! You know you wanna!

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Disney owns Marvel. Disney owns Star Wars. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 needs to cameo the Millennium Falcon.

Seriously, how cool would that be?

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