Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is slowly coming into Marvel’s spotlight, and it’s clear that from the first teaser trailer, people are more than excited to see the next adventures of Star Lord and his friends. With the sequel are some added members of the Guardians who are staples of their comic runs such as Yondu and Mantis, along with the already established quirky cast of Rocket, Groot, and Drax. While these names are becoming more and more known throughout pop culture, there are several other names that people aren’t quite familiar with yet.
This is true with just about any comic book movie to date. People like the films and become fans of superheroes. As a matter of fact, they could know everything about the movies and shows in the world, and still know absolutely nothing about the true origins of said characters. The Guardians of the Galaxy are no different. There are a slew of more heroes and creatures that all served under Peter Quill that you probably haven’t heard of (and a few that you’re likely already familiar with).
Luckily for you, you won’t have to go back and read all of the Guardians comics to see just who made it on the team, because we at TheRichest have you covered! In anticipation of the upcoming film, we’ve found some of the most obscure and a few familiar heroes that were with the Guardians of the Galaxy at one point.
15. Cosmo the Space Dog
No, casual fans, I’m not kidding you. Marvel has a sentient dog that can talk, be witty, and hold his own with the best intergalactic superheroes in that universe. Cosmo the Space Dog is one of the most valuable sources of information the Guardians have ever been friends with. This powerful pooch spent most of his days heading security on the sketchy planet of Knowhere (that place made out of the giant’s head in the movie). During his time there, a mysterious string of deaths led him and Nova on a manhunt. This search eventually led Cosmo to come toe to toe with a mind-controlled Gamora and Drax, both known members of the Guardians. After helping them out, Cosmo became a valiant aid for the Guardians, and went on numerous journeys with them, plotting courses with Star Lord, taking down some alien baddies, and was even almost killed by Thanos. That being said, there were some times where the Guardians did doubt the loyalty of their canine companion. Eventually, Cosmo was cleared of suspicion (not without confrontation), and remained a big help for the Guardians as he was needed.
14. Agent Venom
We’ve all heard the age old story of Peter Parker, high school nerd turned amazing superhero, but as the character grew, Marvel began bringing new spider-like buddies to help him out as well as go on their own adventures. One of their more recent additions is Agent Venom.
Originally the high school bully, Flash Thompson’s life changed when he came in contact with the Venom Symbiote. Naturally, the symbiote controlled him, becoming the iconic villain, but after some time, Flash was able to gain dominion over it. Then he became one of Spider-Man’s greatest allies under the guise Agent Venom. With his newfound powers, Agent Venom helped save New York on multiple occasions and even had a great appearance on Ultimate Spider-Man. However, in the All-New All-Different Marvel relaunch, Agent Venom was seen going on a mission in space where he met up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. As a team, they went to the Venom Symbiote planet and discovered that not all of the symbiotes were evil. As a matter of fact, they were a peaceful race that sought to work with and not harm others. Since then, Agent Venom is now serving as a current member of the Guardians lineup.
13. Captain Marvel
Okay, so admittedly, this character is not very obscure, but I did say there would be some familiar faces in this piece. Be aware though, there have been many heroines who took up the Captain Marvel mantle over the years, but the most notable one is Carol Danvers. Originally appearing as the hero Ms. Marvel, Carol’s powers came from a genetic fusion between human and Kree DNA (if you don’t know what Kree are, just think of them as aliens). After some time, she eventually took up the mantle of Captain Marvel and has gone on to be Marvel’s most notable female superhero as well as one of the mightiest Avengers to date. This has led to her having many more high profile roles, including Iron Man’s opponent in Civil War II, as well as her own feature in the Guardians of the Galaxy Free Comic Book Day storyline that added her to the Guardians team. Naturally, this led to an interesting dynamic as well as much speculation from fans that Captain Marvel could have some sort of connection with the Guardians in an upcoming Marvel film. Don’t expect her to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 though.
If you’ve never heard of the hero bug, you are most certainly not alone. The Guardians of the Galaxy were established on the grounds of some of the weirdest “out of left field” characters in the Marvel universe. This alien character originated in the Micronauts comic book run, where he was called Galactic Warrior instead. Due to some licensing conflicts with a toy company though, Marvel ended up changing the name to Bug (not very original, I know).
This character’s powers are unique and give him the upper hand in battle. He gets his namesake by being able to crawl along walls and has increased agility and sensory abilities (particularly his sight). Eventually, he crossed paths with the Guardians and was asked personally by Rocket Raccoon to join the modern team. He ended up fighting alongside them through thick and thin, including large events like the War of Kings. Unfortunately, the team could not save the day, but that hasn’t discouraged Bug. While he is not a current member of the team, he has appeared in a few Guardians/Avengers crossovers and was even in an original draft for the movie Guardians of the Galaxy.
11. The Thing
Since the Guardians movie came out, Marvel’s most obscure comic book actually got in chance in the spotlight. As such, they’ve been able to experiment and crossover other Marvel heroes into the space team. One of these instances was when Ben Grimm, AKA, The Thing, joined the team for some time. He was a prime candidate seeing as how FOX was so determined to hold on to the Fantastic Four, so Marvel decided to end their comic run altogether with the launch of their All-New All-Different rebrand. In this new timeline, Human Torch got put with the Inhumans, and Thing is with the Guardians of the Galaxy. This new team sees them saving the galaxy after the events of Secret Wars and cleaning up any leftover messes. Considering that at the time, Star Lord had become the ruler of Spartax and Rocket took the reigns as team leader, the Guardians were going to need all the help they could get. With Thing and a few other new members (more on them later), the Guardians are now in tip top shape to take on the All-New All-Different Marvel Universe. What I wish is that Marvel and FOX could reach a deal to allow something like this to happen in live action.
In the Marvel universe, there exists what is called the Multiverse. For those of you not debriefed on comic book lore, there are alternate realities within the Marvel world, where events didn’t unfold as we know them. One of these alternate realities is Earth-691. This is a universe where a child was born. After a falling out with his original parents, the infant child ended up with a different family, who named him Stakar. As the boy grew, he became a space Indiana Jones of sorts, exploring ancient ruins and discovering old intergalactic artifacts. One expedition saw him and his adopted sister accidentally awaken the Hawk God. Once they did this, the god transformed them into a shared body with immense powers and intelligence (it gets a bit more complicated than that though). This being was named Starhawk, for obvious reasons. This new joint hero was given a much longer life, and lived through the year 3000, where he helped establish Earth-691’s version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Eventually, his adventures led him to the Marvel universe we know and love, Earth-616, where he fought and teamed up with that iteration of the Guardians.
9. Major Victory
Earth-691 has more than just one story to tell, as it contains a number of new and unique Guardians that are more than you can shake a Baby Groot at. Perhaps the most notable newcomer is Major Victory. Starting out as a man named Vance Astro, he was a normal guy who took part in the Air Force. Eventually, his love of travel led him to become an astronaut and was sent off on an expedition in space. During the trip, he was essentially put in cryo sleep to suspend his aging process. When he finally awoke, he was centuries ahead of his time. Wearing an adamantium suit that prevented him from aging quickly, Vance began many quests in this new world. After being captured along with a familiar Yondu, Vance led himself and a few other captives to freedom. These captives would eventually become the Earth-691 Guardians of the Galaxy. Major Victory also ended up with a very special weapon at his disposal: Captain America’s shield. He used it in combat along with psychic abilities to be as effective with it as the Captain was. Together, he and the Guardians time traveled across multiple periods and even ran into the Avengers at a point in time.
8. Iron Man
In the Marvel NOW run for the Guardians of the Galaxy, one of the best ways Marvel decided to gain more attention to those characters in anticipation for the film was by putting an Avenger with the team. In this case, it was Tony Stark. As he was flying in space for whatever reason, the villainous Badoon came and attacked him. During the fight, the Guardians showed up in hot pursuit. As the events generally grew more dire with each passing minute, Iron Man helped the team out and ended up as a member. After he became a member, in the most Tony Stark way possible, he developed a new Iron Man suit designed specifically for space travel. Dubbed the Deep-Space Armor, Stark was now ready for intergalactic combat while keeping himself safe and protected. Along with the suit were impressive upgrades such as Warp Travel and Sub-Warp Travel. To make matters even better, Stark even developed a Hulkbuster-like extension for the suit called the Saturn V. Its sole purpose was to provide six times the charge of a regular Iron Man suit, and hit speeds faster than Mach 10. Guardians 3 anyone?
Another result of Earth-691, Nikki is the result of fictional human progress. As the years went by, humanity wanted to be able to colonize other planets. Eventually this led to them even wanting to colonize the hot planet Mercury. However, people were not designed to survive there. The solution? Genetically engineer a group of superhumans who could withstand the severe conditions of the planet and thrive off of them. This is how Nikki was born. She was one of the humans created to live on Mercury. However, she ended up living on her own in space until she was found by the Guardians of the Galaxy. She was ecstatic once they allowed her to join the team, and it’s no secret why either. Being genetically enhanced, Nikki can withstand extreme temperatures, see in the brightest of lights, is immune to UV rays, and can even expel heat from her body. On top of that, she also has a natural skill with acrobatics and shooting- just the kind of hero perfect for the Guardians. She accompanied this new team on many adventures, including going back in time to fight with the Avengers. She also went back herself and teamed up with the Amazing Spider-Man for a time.
6. Adam Warlock
You might be a little familiar with Adam Warlock. Those of you who have any clue of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline know exactly who I’m talking about. Adam Warlock is essentially the reason that the Avengers were able to save the world from Thanos. Adam Warlock is one of the strongest characters Marvel has created, and with godlike powers, how can you disagree? However, he spends most of his time in space, and these days, that typically means that he’ll be meeting up with the Guardians. Long after the destruction of Thanos, Warlock and a few others took on a powerful form of Ultron. After successfully defeating him, they formed their version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Seeing it as a necessity, Warlock understood that the universe was very delicate and vulnerable to all kinds of invasions. Naturally, he was one of the frontrunners when it came to fighting evil. Unfortunately for the Guardians though, the existence of Warlock also constituted the existence of Magus, and that was quite a story in and of itself. And it became a bit of a recurring problem.
5. The Spirit of Vengeance
If you’re looking at this guy and thinking that he looks exactly like Ghost Rider, then you’re on the right track. Another Guardians member in Earth-691, the Spirit of Vengeance was one of the deadliest and scariest aspects of the team to date. Beginning his life as a devout priest, Wileaydus (don’t ask me how to pronunce that) began to question the truth of his religion. After some time, he determined that it was indeed a false religion and somehow (it was never explained) became the new Ghost Rider, or Spirit of Vengeance. During a misunderstanding, he ended up attacking the Guardians, who tried to make things clearer for him. Luckily for them, he eventually figured out the truth when the religious aliens of his past church captured the Guardians. Hating those that he once called brothers, the Spirit freed them all and held of the Sarkans. Major Victory then asked this new Ghost Rider to join the team, but he declined. However, he made his reappearance and worked with the Guardians once more when the demon Dormammu came to light and threatened the universe’s existence. And yes, Ghost Rider still kept his bike.
Heather Douglas was a terrible victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While she was still very young, her parents were driving through the desert when they witnessed a mysterious spaceship crash. Unfortunately, the captain of said ship turned out to be the Mad Titan, Thanos. Wanting to remain hidden, he blew up the car killing the parents instantly and throwing Heather several feet. However, Thanos’s good-natured father found her and took her back to their home world, where she was trained by the monks of Titan. As such, she was taught psychic abilities and genetic engineering. She became one of the best students the monks ever had, so powerful that she mentally fought off a dragon. In commemoration of that event, she took the name Moondragon. Eventually, this led to her crossing paths with the Guardians. However, when the super form of Ultron appeared (where Adam Warlock was involved), Moondragon was killed. However, her friends were able to retrieve her from the Land of the Dead and she was resurrected. Afterwards, she became a member of the Guardians, working very closely with Cosmo and Mantis for psychic support and analysis.
When people think of Quasar, mostly they think of the Wendell Vaughn incarnation. However, much like Captain Marvel, there have been a handful of heroes who taken up the mantle of Quasar. The version that joined the guardians was named Phyla-Vell. Phyla is the offspring of Captain Mar-Vell, and naturally inherited a lot of interesting powers such as super strength and the ability to absorb and expel energy at will. Ironically enough, her earlier adventures led to her taking up the mantle of Captain Marvel. However, after she worked with the Guardians for a bit, she came across the bands used by an older version of Quasar. Using them for herself, she decided to take up the mantle as the new Quasar, with a host of new powers. Eventually, this would lead into a pivotal role in the Annhilation series, where Ultron reared his ugly head once more. After the evil robot was subdued, Phyla ended up joining the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, her time as Quasar didn’t last long. After a bad scuffle with Maelstrom, Phyla was fed to a dragon and emerged as a much different hero- Martyr, a much more aggressive and violent person than before. Because of this though, it ended up with her death at the hands of Thanos.
2. Phoenix (Giraud)
When you hear Phoenix and Marvel, naturally the first thing to pop in your head is Jean Grey and the Dark Phoenix saga. If that’s the case, then you’re on the right track. This version of the Phoenix is the ninth host of the Phoenix Force since Jean took it on herself (at the request of Starhawk). Originally, Giraud was just a normal human, so he didn’t have any powers or mutations beforehand. Everything that he can do is made possible through the Phoenix Force. After he took the Force, he was able to save the entire population of the planet Haven. This obviously got the attention of the Guardians of the Galaxy, whom Giraud ended up joining. His power is so unique and great that when the villain Ubiquitor came into town, he was ready. He augmented the Phoenix Force through the famous hammer Mjolnir, and was able to bring the baddie down. However, he is aware of the dangers that the Phoenix Force can give, so he gave himself a psychic failsafe of sorts to monitor that side of himself.
1. Star Lady
Don’t be too confused by the name, people. In the light of All-New All-Different Marvel, there were a lot of changes to many famous characters and teams. Perhaps the most interesting of all of these changes came with the Guardians of the Galaxy. One of their newest members was also former X-Man, Kitty Pryde. After meeting Star Lord, they began a long-distance relationship, but she eventually went out to space to give them a hand. During a fight over an object called the Black Vortex, Star Lord ended up proposing to Pryde and she happily accepted. However, it was eventually revealed that Peter Quill had been elected as the new ruler of Spartax. Willing to support him, she encouraged her fiance to take the job. He became the ruler and she stayed at his side for quite some time. Due to unfavorable conditions, however, she left Spartax and took Peter’s place as Star Lord, but was instead called Star Lady. Under the leadership of Rocket Raccoon, the new Star Lady went on great journeys that led her to cross paths with the X-Men and the Avengers, as well as end up rekindling her romance with Star Lord.