Last time, we took a look at the comic versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy and did a very quick overview of their background with an eye towards details relevant to the movie due in August next year. Now it is time to begin delving into the movie itself.
Let’s begin with a look at the film synopsis on IMBD:
“A U.S. pilot ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone wants.”
Not terribly descriptive, but these things rarely are. However, it does provide some important points to speculate upon.
First, the U.S. pilot in question is clearly Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord who is the leader of the team in the current comic books. How he winds up in the middle of said universal conflict is in question but we might have gotten a hint with a recently released still which shows young Peter with an alien ship of some kind.
As for the universal conflict…who knows? In the books, the conflict in question is between the Phalanx and the Kree, both known quantities to comic fans but totally unknown to people who only know the movies. Another possibility is the Badoon, a race (mentioned in Part 1) that runs around conquering things. They are also featured in the recent comics attacking present day London. Considering Marvel is increasingly trying to increase visual and thematic (if not outright continuity) ties between its comic and cinematic universes, it is a fair bet the Badoon will be involved. As for the
people they are in conflict with, safe money is the Chitauri or the Kree. The Chirauri is in some ways the safer bet as we met them in The Avengers in the capacity of pawns of Thanos. And based on words from many sources, Thanos is almost certainly involved in the Guardians movie. However, a strong case can be made for the Kree as well. First, they are mortal enemies of the Skrull, which are basically the original Marvel comic universe version of e Chitauri. Second, they play major rolls in the origins of many Marvel heroes, especially Ms. Marvel who is a prominent Avenger in the comics. This connection is strengthened even further by the fact that Kevin Feige has recently told us that a Ms. Marvel script is in development. Third, the Kree is the source of Star-Lord’s armor. It would be difficult to imagine that being altered when the Kree is such a key part of the Marvel universe.
There is a fourth possibility though – the Nova Corps. The Nova Corps is essentially a galactic police force much like the Green Lanterns in the DC universe. The most prominent member of that force is Richard Rider, known to earthlings simply as Nova (note similarity again with Green Lantern?). So why are they a possibility? One good reason is that Nova was involved in the storyline that launched the current Guardians in 2008, the aforementioned conflict between the Kree and Phalanx. We’ve also started to see Nova Corp-like symbols showing up in concept art for the Guardians as you can see in the background here:
Another possible hint at their involvement is the description of the Guardians as ex-cons. If they are ex-cons, who imprisoned them? Could it be the galactic police?
Now, the final point of the synopsis. What do they have that everyone wants? In the comics there are a large number of objects that could fit that bill, objects that grant the possessor great power. In the movie universe almost all of them are apparently in one place – Odin’s Vault.
For the moment I will only mention two of them. One is the Eye of Agamoto. This is important because it is one of the primary sources of Dr. Strange’s mystical abilities and those who have been following Marvel Studios know that Dr. Strange has been name dropped as getting his own movie for a couple years now. That would perhaps be something we could just ignore but that is exactly how Guardians was first mentioned to the public – casual but persistent name drops. Also, Kevin Feige (the guy running the show at Marvel Studios) recently said that with Iron Man 3 out of the way there are people now working on building a rough outline for Dr. Strange. So, if that is going to happen, the Eye needs to find its way out of Odin’s collectible corner.
The other big item in the Vault is the biggest of them all. Glimpsed for a fraction of a second in Thor, the Infinity Gauntlet is a large golden gauntlet with six gems embedded within, gems that together grant the Gauntlet’s wearer infinite power over space and time.
This was something that pretty much made me salivate as soon as I learned of it, as one of the first comics I ever bought was Infinity Gauntlet #4 which featured this on the cover:
Yep, that guy wearing the Gauntlet is Thanos, the purple-skinned mystery man in the mid-credits scene from the Avengers. In IF#4, he basically takes on the entire Marvel universe from Spiderman to Eternity (the physical embodiment of the universe itself). Obviously, things won’t happen exactly that way due to rights and budgets but you can bet your own pile of collectibles that Marvel is gearing up for a major throw-down somewhere down the road. Initially, it was thought that we would be seeing this mega battle in Avengers 2 but recent hints and comments have suggested that we may have to wait until Avengers 3 in 2013. The important thing though is that the Infinity Gauntlet and the Eye of Agamoto both have to find their way out of Odin’s Vault.
Based on that and the fact that the Guardians of the Galaxy have something everyone wants leads me to think that they may be hired at some point to break into the Vault and steal either the Gauntlet in particular or simply as many things as they can.
If this is the case, who hires them? There are three primary possibilities, the most obvious of which is Thanos. However, if we aren’t to get the major battle with him until the third Avengers movie, then we can safely assume that he will remain in the background during Guardians. So if he is the responsible party, he will be working through a proxy who may or may not know that he is being manipulated. One possible proxy is The Controller, a scientist who has received certain enhancements from none other than Thanos. This seems pretty likely since the character has actually been cast.
However, Thanos may have some competition in The Collector, an alien of immense age and power who goes around the universe collecting things, particularly unique and powerful things. And to such a being, Odin’s Vault would be a tempting target indeed. There is also some casting information that lends some credence to this particular theory.
It could be that the Collector hires the Guardians to break into the Vault and then, realizing what they have, the Guardians go on the run to stop the Gauntlet from falling into the wrong hands. Naturally, that last bit is simply conjecture but the Collector’s role in the movie is a certainty given recent casing announcements. But more on that next time.