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Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 - What I'm Hoping of Marvel's Latest

by James Giles 5 years ago in comics / movie / pop culture / superheroes
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As a comic book fan, here's what I'd like to see of the new Guardians film.

(L to R - Nebula, Yondu, Gamora, Start Lord and Drax)

Marvel's latest galactic adventure hit UK screens on 28th April 2017, but I personally won't be seeing it for a good week or two - a social anxiety about crowded cinemas keeps me at a certain distance from blockbuster releases. But make no mistake, I am excited about the Guardians 2, not least because the original was such an unexpected joy, but also because it introduced some and hinted at other elements of the Marvel's wider Cosmic Universe. I was introduced to it as kid reading my first Fantastic Four annual, which featured Galactus, The Silver Surfer and The Watcher, all iconic Cosmic figures in Marvel; I was blown away by the idea of characters with motives and purposes, not just above the heroes, but bigger than Earth and our cosmos.

The first Guardians film did a great job of presenting a variety of cosmic entities, including Benicio Del Toro as The Collector and the Nova Corps, and I'm intrigued how they may present certain characters, and which new ones may be introduced.

Ego, the Living Planet

Already confirmed prior to release was that Kurt Russell would be appearing as Ego, the Living Planet, and that he would be revealed as Star Lord's father. In comic continuity, Ego was a planet given sentience by the Stranger (another ancient being), and became an exceptionally intelligent but arrogant creation that clashed with Thor, among others, and often showed up in major cosmic crossovers (such as Infinity Gauntlet). Generally portrayed in comics as less important and powerful than other significant conceptual entities, Marvel clearly has bigger plans for Ego, casting a huge star and positioning him as the father of a popular character. The trailer seems to show Ego appearing in a human form, but hopefully James Gunn pays tribute to his classic planetary form too. Time will tell whether he is heroic or antagonistic...

The Celestials

A race of ginormous humanoid beings that have probably existed since the beginning of the universe, The Celestial's motives appear unknowable but they spend much of their time visiting planets, 'genetically testing' indigenous species and determining their 'worth' - unworthy races, and sometimes whole planets, are destroyed by them. They created the Eternals, the Deviants and the mutant gene on Earth, and genetically manipulated other races (including the Kree and Skrulls). It takes consuming the mass of an entire galaxy for a new Celestial to be produced, and an unimaginable amount of power to harm, let alone defeat, one. Ominous and mysterious, the Celestial's presence usually signals something significantly destructive.

Their presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was hinted at in Guardians Vol.1; the space hub Knowhere is said to built from the severed head of a Celestial, and one is briefly seen, in their familiar giant form, during a hologram shown by the Collector. Although their role is likely to be altered somewhat, my hope is that it will still be an important one (likely to involve the creation of the Infinity Stones), and their visualization will remain faithful to their classic Jack Kirby design.

A Celestial, as glimpsed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1

Conceptual Entities

We already know Ego will feature, and his presentation should give a good idea how Marvel may handle other fantastical characters. The comics are full of conceptual creations, such as Eternity, who is the embodiment of all life in the universe, and his opposite, Death (whom Thanos is in love with); they have no single physical form but require visualization in comics. Translating them faithfully to screen could be difficult, but hopefully Marvel is up to the challenge. How Ego, and any others that appear in Guardians Vol.2, are handled could also be suggestive of what direction other cosmic adventures, such as Infinity War, might go.

Eternity faces down Thanos, in a panel from The Infinity Gauntlet

The film in general

Overall I'm hoping Guardians Vol.2 remains as playful and light-footed as its predecessor, and doesn't suffer similar issues to previous Marvel sequels like Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World, which had muddled, bloated narratives, and not enough focus on a compelling villain. Both had a lack of good humor too, but with the chemistry and comic timing of the Milano crew it is unlikely to be a problem with Guardians. A focus on building and developing the existing character dynamics, with one eye on the direction of the wider Universe, and more of imaginative action sequences would do plenty to keep me happy.

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About the author

James Giles

Writer, confessed geek and pop culture enthusiast, loves film, TV and video games. Blogged and written for various websites on all the above.

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