HOW THIS SERIES WILL RUN:
1. DAY 1. Background information that will help make Cosmic Marvel (as it’s sometimes called) make sense. Highlights include Oblivion’s pants.
2. DAY 2. Stuff that’s in the trailer—who all those people are, what you ought to know about them, and what they might be doing in the movie. Highlights include steampunk in space.
3. DAY 3. Stuff that’s not in the trailer—other notable GotG characters and storylines and miscellaneous stuff that might show up in the movie. This post will contain potential spoilers, natch, though I won’t know what is and isn’t a spoiler until the movie comes out. Highlights include a talking dog with a Russian accent.
4. DAY 4. Why I invented the term “nerdsad” for this movie. There’s one thing in the trailer that bugs me … and while it probably won’t bug you like it does me, I’ll try to be entertaining as I whine. Highlights include my secret theory on why the movie might not suck after all.
5. DAY 5. The dreaded bibliography, including capsule descriptions and what to read in order to catch up on the different bits I’ve talked about. Highlights include descriptions like “This is the book where Rocket shoots everything.” [Rocket shooting]
DAY 2: STUFF THAT’S IN THE TRAILER
Today’s blog entry is all about people and things you’ve seen in the trailer, and how they connect to the comic-book GotG. To refresh everyone’s memory, here’s the trailer in question:
So who are these crazy people, anyway?
1. Peter Quill / Star-Lord. This one will take some explaining, not least because Star-Lord is one of my favorite characters and the reason I started reading GotG in the first place. Plus there are five different versions of him, more or less.
Peter Jason Quill is the son of an alien prince and his human one-night stand. Peter didn’t find out about his dad until a gang of reptilian aliens showed up to murder his mom. Orphaned Peter grew up bitter, antisocial, and determined to get out into space and show those aliens a thing or two. He did manage to make it as an astronaut, despite having a personality like a chainsaw, and he lied and connived his way onto a space station, where he then lied and connived his way into getting selected by the Master of the Sun (God? An alien? We don’t know) to be a new superhero called Star-Lord. Version One of Peter Quill is Asshole Peter. The writer who created Star-Lord was going to write a long, drawn-out space epic transforming Peter into a true hero and cosmic messiah … but then he quit Marvel, and Peter kind of stayed an asshole.
The 1970s rolled along, and Star-Lord starred in a series of pretty decent science-fiction stories. With his element gun (it fires fire, water, earth, and air), his ability to fly and survive in space, and his sentient starship (cleverly named Ship), he zipped around the galaxy saving people from themselves and having a very strange romance with his mode of transportation. Yes, he was in love with Ship … or at least, she was in love with him, and toward the end there it seemed like he was reciprocating. The relationship was good for him; he ended up almost human. Version Two of Peter Quill is Hero Peter. The series trailed off around the mid-eighties.
|And then this happened!|
|Peter in prison, doing his Snake Plissken impression.|
|Much shooting ensued.|
|Death = costume change, but only for Pete.|
|Would somebody please tell Pete that a pregnant silence is not an answer? Aargh. *fanrage*|
|Also Worst Costume Ever Pete.|
One more note on Peter Quill—yes, I know his hair changes color. His early appearances were mostly in black and white, so all we know for sure is that his hair wasn’t meant to be black. I’ve seen it both blond and brown, and once even orange. As a general rule, Asshole Pete and Hero Pete were blond, Not Pete had brown hair (because he was Sinjin, remember?), Antihero Pete had brown hair, and Idiot Pete is back to blond again. Just go with it.
2. Gamora. This character is pretty much as she was portrayed in the trailer. Routinely described as “the most dangerous woman in the galaxy” or “the most dangerous woman in the universe”, she’s the ultimate badass. She’s got the usual comic-book enhancements to her strength, speed, and constitution that enable her to pretty much kill anything and, because she’s female, wear practically no clothing if that’s what the artist wants. And she’s green. Most importantly, though, she’s the adopted daughter of Thanos, the purple guy from the end of The Avengers. He found her after her species was wiped out, raised her to use against one of his enemies, and then lost control of her. She bounced around from comic to comic for a few decades as one of her foster father’s most implacable foes. He’s still got a soft spot for her, though; he’s been known to avoid invading and/or destroying planets she’s on. Their relationship is complicated.
Oh, and she goes through male partners even faster than Captain Kirk; she’s most notably linked to Adam Warlock (more on him later) and Nova—Richie. Comics still has quite the double standard where sex is concerned, but Gamora comes closer than most to breaking that particular glass ceiling.
3. Drax the Destroyer. Another guy who seems to be pretty much the same in the movie as in the comics, although he’s got more layers in the comics. Drax began life as a human named Arthur Douglas. He and his family were murdered by Thanos, after which one of Thanos’ enemies put Douglas’s spirit into a new, amped-up body and programmed him to kill his own killer. He used to be able to fly and shoot energy blasts out of his hands, but now he’s just really strong, really tough, and really vicious. He makes a good tank in a typical GotG fight, despite a near-permanent attitude problem and an obsession with killing Thanos (which is an issue on the rare occasions when the Guardians need Thanos to stay alive for five minutes). A couple of years ago, after dying and being resurrected, he reunited with his human daughter, Heather, a telepath who survived Thanos’ attack and joined the Guardians under the name Moondragon. Drax’s daughter, or girls who remind him of her, are his major weakness. If you want Drax to go postal, threaten a little girl.
|It's a coping mechanism.|
The other interesting thing to know about Rocket is the reason he was recruited to Peter’s Dirty Dozen in the first place. He’s got a set of instincts that border on precognition; he always knows the right thing to do, or almost always, even if he doesn’t know why. Rocket is a nearly infallible guide to when and how the situation is going to go south. He’s also an understandably lonely guy; his only friends in the world are Groot and Peter, and he’s had his issues with Peter. He might have a case of OCD; he’s been seen compulsively hand-washing objects he’s given, and he keeps the cleanest arsenal any of his teammates have ever seen.
|The Monarch of Planet X enjoys his sprinkle-baths.|
|Richie. Looking more competent than usual.|
Oh, and did you catch that line in the trailer about how the characters were “arrested on Xandar”? Xandar is the home planet of the Nova Corps. That means that either the speaker picked up a group of prisoners who’d been arrested by the Novas and held temporarily on Xandar (which seems like an odd procedure) or the Novas arrested a bunch of loonies who were trying to cause trouble on Xandar itself. Right now it amuses me to imagine Peter and the Guardians trying to break into Nova Prime’s office for some reason. Maybe she took Pete’s coffee.
|But really, sometimes you just want to choke Drax.|
There are a few planets of note that show up in the trailer—Xandar, of course, is mentioned by name, and the prison scenes match up well with comic-book depictions of The Kyln. The presence of two important Kree characters (Ronan and Korath) suggest that the Kree homeworld, Hala, may be important at some point, so look for a shiny, futuristic, obsessively master-planned city-planet with a lot of spires and people with blue skin. The presence of Rocket and Groot could pull in Halfworld or Planet X, though those are less likely. And Thanos, a major villain and a common threat among many of the characters who appear in the trailer, has been known to hang out on Titan, a moon of Saturn.
I could be here all day talking about the tech that shows up in that trailer, but there are only a couple of pieces that interest me. The first is the scene that shows a masked and helmeted humanoid stomping toward the camera, carrying two guns. Not long afterward, you see his back as he faces a door. That figure looks a lot like the version of Star-Lord that was running around with the Guardians from 2008 to about 2011, right down to the two guns. Those guns were not his trademark element gun from his Hero Peter phase—they were a pair of pretty ordinary space-age blasters that had a few different ammunition settings, most notably “knock people out” and “melt your face off”. So we might have Peter’s adjustable guns showing up here.
|Let's just look at those again, shall we?|
|It's a bird! It's a plane! It's ... a cookie?|
|Look behind his right shoulder.|
Obviously, there are a billion and one crazy costumes on display in this trailer. But here are the bits that stand out to this particular GotG nerd:
1. Hmm, that’s a grittier-looking version of the Nova uniform.
2. Gamora is wearing clothes. Hooray!
3. Drax still has no shirt. Ho-hum.
4. Helmet and Mask Boy (who I’m guessing is Pete, based on the concept art where the helmet and mask go with the old Star-Lord insignia on his chest) looks a lot like the steampunk-inspired GotG uniform of 2008. While it wasn’t my favorite space-hero uniform ever, I did like the fact that the team uniforms actually looked like uniforms, and that Pete kept his face covered a lot. This aligned nicely with his desire to avoid awkward conversations with people who recognized him and a sort of passive-aggressive desire to get back at the people who took out his cybernetic implants. Because this is what they said about it at the time:
|Before and after. HA HA, BLUE ALIEN GUYS. I PUT METAL BACK ON MY FACE ANYWAY.|
This is why you should never try to dictate fashion to Peter Quill. Much as you'd like to try.