By now, there's a good chance you've seen the #1 movie in America, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. If you haven't, fair warning--there are big ol' spoilers in this article in regards to some of the surprises found in this film. So go see Guardians Vol. 2 (really, it's pretty great, you should see it) and then come back and read this. We good?
So Yondu's (Michael Rooker) original group of Ravagers who show up during the final moments of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (as well as during one of the many post-credit scenes) who were all played by well known actors (specifically Sylvester Stallone, Ving Rhames, Michelle Yeoh, and Michael Rosenbaum) are playing pretty famous characters from the pages of Marvel Comics--They're the original Guardians of the Galaxy.
For the less comic-book inclined out there, the original Guardians of the Galaxy first appeared in 1969 in the pages of Marvel Super Heroes #18. The characters were from the 31st Century, and they included the space-faring heroes Charlie-27, Martinex, and Yondu, and eventually expanded to include Starhawk and Aleta. They appeared sporadically throughout the '70s and '80s, until in 1990 they were finally rewarded with their own comic book, which lasted five years and a not-unimpressive 62 issues.
Eventually, in 2008, a new "modern day" Guardians were created by the creative team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and they were set in the present, with a roster made up of previously known outer space oriented Marvel heroes like Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon. That's the team that went on to become household names...but there was a completely separate team using their name for some 40 years prior in the comics.
Below, we'll break down each of the original Guardians featured in the movie, and then speculate on just where and how we'll see them again. And let's start with the biggest star among the group, old Sly himself:
Sylvester Stallone/Stakar Ogord "Starhawk"
Sylvestor Stallone's Stakar Ogord first showed up in the early parts of the film, where he explained how Yondu was once a member of his Ravagers team, before breaking the code and abducting a child, which resulted in his exile. At the end of the movie, he sees that in death, Yondu redeemed himself and came back to honor him at a Ravager funeral.
Although he is only referred to as Stakar in the movie, in the comics Stakar becomes the powerful cosmic being and superhero who goes by the name Starhawk. And how he accomplishes this is super weird. Read the next entry for the details.
Michelle Yeoh/Aleta Ogord "Starhawk"
Ok, this is where things get weird. Aleta Ogord was born with light manipulating powers, but that's not the weird part. She was raised by an awful father, but she fell for her adopted brother Stakar and eventually married him (creepy). The two encountered a powerful Hawk God, who was able to merge Stakar and Aleta in the super powerful cosmic being with a very silly costume named Starhawk.
If/when we see the original Guardians again in the movies, will Michelle Yeoh and Sylvester Stallone merge and form a weird, winged super being? I'm not sure James Gunn can resist making that a thing, if only for the jokes that would result.
Martinex is the crystal dude we see standing along with Stakar early in the film, and who turns up again in the finale. Although it's next to impossible to tell, he's played by Smallville's very own Lex Luthor, Michael Rosenbaum, trading the DC universe for Marvel.
One of the original Guardians dating back to 1969, he's a silicon-based life form composed of crystal instead of carbon matter (and he should never be in the same room with Iceman, because that would be super confusing for everyone). His unique physiology gives him super strength, as well as the ability to manipulate temperatures of extreme heat or cold, which he can then project in battle.
Every super team needs their muscle, and for the original Guardians, Charlie-27 was it. In the comics, the big guy was was a soldier and a pilot, genetically engineered to live in Jupiter's gravity, and born in Galileo City on Jupiter in the 30th Century. Because of being born on Jupiter, he had eleven times the muscle mass of a normal human.
Charlie was also a Captain in the United Lands of Earth Space Militia, and joined with Yondu and Martinex to fight the alien Badoon invasion. Since the movie versions of the original Guardians are not from the future (that we know of), the Ving Rhames version of Charlie-27 will probably have a totally different backstory not involving Earth. But clearly, he's still going to be an intimidating big dude.
This is the weirdest cameo, and if you don't actually read the credits or sites like this one you'd probably never know that the Ravager's computer was voiced by mega pop star Miley Cyrus. But who is Mainframe? In the comics, the Avengers' resident android the Vision evolves into Mainframe in the future, and becomes an operating system for an entire planet in the 31st century.
Mainframe was also the protector of a very vital Marvel historical artifact: Captain America's shield. In the film, Mainframe is played by Cyrus as just her voice coming out of a robot head. Will she come back for more? Who knows, but it sure would be interesting if she came back with a larger, juicer role.
What's Marvel's Plan For The Original Guardians?
So clearly, Marvel Studios and James Gunn have bigger plans for the OG Guardians, since they cast such big names in the roles. While Peter Quill and the rest of the team we know and love will no doubt return for Volume 3, what about the future? Could the original comics team be getting their own spin-off film? The main conceit behind the original Guardians of the Galaxy comics was that it was a window into the future of the Marvel Universe. Could Stakar and his team find themselves in the far-flung future, exploring the 31st century of the Marvel Cinematic Universe soon?
It's possible a Guardians 3000 could already be in the planning stages. But it's interesting to note that one of the main original Guardians, Vance Astro, was not among the cameos at the end of Volume 2. In the comics, Vance Astro was born in our era, and was the young telekinetic super hero and member of the New Warriors (and later Avenger) named Justice. He survives into the far future and becomes a Guardian, and Justice is not among the cast members who are included in the upcoming New Warriors TV series. Could this be the reason? Could Marvel be saving him for a Guardians 3000 movie? It's all just speculation of course, but c'mon...you don't cast all those big names for no reason.
What do you think Marvel should do with the classic Guardians of the Galaxy? A part in the third installment, or should they get their own movie? Let us know down below in the comments.
Images: Marvel Comics/ Marvel Studios / Paramount Studios / Sony / Warner Brothers / RCA Records
That Ego tho...