So, you think you know the Guardians of the Galaxy?

With the incredibly epic “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” coming out in May, it’s time for you to brush up on the history of the Guardians.

Let’s start with the team’s heroic members…ALL of them. Don’t be surprised when you’re told by hard core fans that the first movie barely scratches the surface when it comes to the team’s lore. Did you know that there are two different teams? From two different universes? That’s right. The quirky, yet valiant, team of Peter Quill (aka Star Lord), Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and Drax the Destroyer are only a small part of the group. The first formation of the group starts in the distant future of the 31st century, in alternate universe, where a couple of unlikely heroes emerged, including Yondu Udonta (yes, you read that right). For now, let’s begin with some familiar faces.

The Current Guardians

With their first appearance in 2008, these Guardians of the Galaxy formed as a group opposing the Phalanx conquest of the Kree system and stayed together in an attempt to prevent any further catastrophes from ever occurring. 

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #1

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #1

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Peter Quill

Peter Quill

Peter Quill was conceived from the love between the terran Meredith Quill and the Spartoi Emperor J’son. After being abducted by a pirate crew, captained by the fearsome Yondu, Quill would eventually escape and set out to become “Star-Lord,” a title his father once dawned. After the events of the Phalanx Invasion, Quill realized that the universe was in dire need of protecting. With the aid of Mantis telepathically urging his recruits, Quill formed the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Spartoi Physiology: Peter is half-Human, half-Spartoi giving him peak human abilities such as human strength, durability, agility, stamina, and longevity
  • Link with Ship: He is psionically linked to his starship, “Ship,” a living entity

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Kree Heat-Dampening Espionage Battle Suit: Star-Lord was outfitted with a Kree-issued heat-dampening espionage battle suit, his hallmark look; a battle helmet; and a universal translator. His famous battle helmet analyzes strategy data, as well as improve vision and regulate oxygen while in space.
  • Star-Lord Armor: Quill wears a suit that grants augmented strength and durability, and the ability to travel through space with ease.
  • Mandalay Gem: Alien technological mineral of celestial making; the gem utilizes cosmic energies to provide its user with vast and versatile capability, both in combat and travel
  • Element Gun: A pistol capable of conjuring one of the four elements
  • Kree Sub-Machine Gun: Star-Lord’s chosen weapons are two Kree sub-machine guns with various types of ammunition, including explosives

First Appearance: Marvel Preview #4 (January, 1976)

Marvel Preview (1977) #4

Marvel Preview (1977) #4

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Drax the Destroyer

Drax the Destroyer

Originally a real estate agent, this unlucky soul bumped into Thanos, setting off a chain of events. Thanos’ grandfather, Kronos, fashioned a new body made from the Earth’s soil to give Arthur Douglas superhuman abilities, transforming him into the awesome Drax the Destroyer. After the events of Annihilation, Drax was recruited by the legendary Star-Lord to join the butt-kicking Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Enhanced Physiology: Due to his new body, Drax has a number of superhuman abilities including strength, stamina, durability, senses, and an accelerated healing factor
  • Cosmic Awareness: He possesses a low-level form of cosmic awareness that allows him to track Thanos

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Twin Knives: While Drax is more than proficient in combat, he is always carrying his handy twin Knives

First Appearance: Iron Man #55 (February, 1973) 

Iron Man (1968) #55

Iron Man (1968) #55

  • Published: February 10, 1973
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 05, 2008
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Cosmo

Cosmo

A former test animal of the Soviet Space Program, Cosmo launched into Earth’s orbit as part of an experiment. He drifted off into space during the 1960’s, arriving in “Knowhere.” Mysteriously mutated, this daring Golden Labrador Retriever mix came to serve as the station’s security chief. Currently, Cosmo acts as a liaison for the Guardians and assists them in plotting courses for areas of the universe in peril.

Powers:

  • Telekinesis: A wide range of telekinetic powers including telepathic cloak, illusions, mind control, mental paralysis, psionic blast, and mental detection
  • Extended Longevity: Cosmo is decades older than the normal life expectancy of other dogs

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Space suit: Cosmo’s original Soviet Space suit given to him during the space race of the 1960’s.

First appearance: Nova #8 (January, 2008)  

Nova (2007) #8

Nova (2007) #8

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Bug

Bug

Bug is a master thief from the Insectivorid homeworld “Kaliklak” based in the Microverse. A member of the Microns, Bug is an adept fighter who joined the Guardians after Rocket Raccoon asked him when the original group disbanded.

Powers:

  • Insectivorid Physiology: Bug’s native abilities are considered superhuman compared to other humanoids. His powers include great strength, speed, stamina, agility, durability, reflexes, recuperative powers, balance, coordination, and sense of equilibrium.
  • Wall-Crawling: Ability to cling to surfaces and scale them like any insect
  • Danger-Sense: Similar to Spider-Man, this ability, in the form of a tingling sensation at the base of his skull, alerts him to danger
  • Antennae: Ability to communicate with other antennae-beings over a limited amount of space

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Gilder-Pac: A telepathically-controlled glider-pac enabling flight
  • Rocket Lance: Bug’s weapon of choice, which can fire varying intensities of energy, and can return to his hand if thrown

First Appearance: Micronauts #1 (January, 1979)

Gamora

Gamora

Gamora is the sole survivor of an alien humanoid race called the Zen Whoberis, a peace-loving tribe whose population was wiped out by a zealous religious order seeking to establish a galaxy-wide empire. The mad Titan Thanos rescued Gamora and brought her to a time period at least two decades prior to her people’s deaths, travelling from Earth-7528 to Earth-616. Aboard his space station Sanctuary, Thanos raised Gamora and used advanced technology to endow her with enhanced humanoid abilities. Feeling lost after the Phalanx Invasion, Gamora joined the Guardians of the Galaxy to give new purpose to her life

Powers:

  • Zen Whoberis Physiology: Slight superhuman strength, durability, endurance and reflexes, as well as a healing factor
  • Enhanced Physiology: Raised to be a deadly assassin by Thanos, he enhanced her body with advanced technologies; because of this, Gamora is a master in martial arts, various weaponry and an expert marksman and tactician.

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Time Gem
  • The Godslayer

First Appearance: Strange Tales #180 (June, 1975)  

Strange Tales (1973) #180

Strange Tales (1973) #180

  • Published: June 10, 1975
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 30, 2012
  • Writer: Jim Starlin
  • Penciler: Jim Starlin
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Groot

Groot

Groot is a Flora colossus from Planet X, the capital of the branch worlds. During his adulthood, Groot wandered around Kree space exploring galaxies until he was captured and imprisoned. While in jail, he formed a rapport with Rocket Raccoon and was assigned to a covert ops team led by Star-Lord, which would eventually become the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Cellular Regeneration: As a flora, Groot can regenerate any part of his body. He has almost died on three separate occasions, each time regenerating from a twig.
  • Growth: Apart of the cellular regeneration, Groot can grow and extend his body at extreme speeds
  • Plasticity: Ability to stretch his limbs for long distances and reshape them for a variety of tasks
  • Superhuman Strength: Groot’s tree-like form provides him great strength
  • Control Over Other Plants: Groot has the power to control other plants, especially his own physical form. He can turn his hands into blades, grow in size altogether, or even use that power to heal himself from fatal wounds.

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Groot’s Body: As mentioned before, Groot can manipulate his body in various ways as well as manipulate other plants, using them as weapons in place of more conventional ones

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish #13 (November, 1960)  

Tales to Astonish (1959) #13

Tales to Astonish (1959) #13

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Jack Flag

Jack Flag

Born Jack Harrison, he took on the alias Jack Flag to impress Captain America. During an undercover mission accident, Jack Flag was drenched in chemicals created by Mr. Hyde, giving him superhuman abilities. During a time in Prison 42, he crossed paths with Star-Lord who saved his life by bringing him back to his base. Grateful, Flag decided to stick around and join the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Hyde Formula: Various superhuman attributes as a result of being doused with the chemicals that Calvin Zabo used to transform himself into Mr. Hyde. These attributes include superhuman strength, stamina, durability, and a regenerative healing factor.

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Weapon Technology: Various weapons and tech designed by his brother, Drake, including a boom box which contained rockets and fireworks

First Appearance: Captain America #434 (December, 1994)  

Captain America (1968) #434

Captain America (1968) #434

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Mantis

Mantis

As a child, Mantis trained with the alien Priests of Pama, a sect of the Kree, who believed that she might become the “Celestial Madonna.” Experiencing a vision during the time of the Annihilation Wave, she allowed herself to become imprisoned to wait for Star-Lord to aid in his quest. After a series of events saving and being saved by Star-Lord and his crew, she joined the ranks of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Telepathy: Repeatedly demonstrated telepathy as well as a variety of other mental powers
  • Astral Projection: Projects her astral form, allowing her to travel interplanetary distances. Recreating a body out of the destination planet’s local vegetation, her fighting skills remain intact and her emphatic abilities heightened to a superhuman degree and extended to the planet’s flora and biosphere.
  • Chlorokinesis: The ability to control the vegetation within her vicinity. Mantis was able to accelerate her teammate Groot’s cellular growth rate.
  • Pyrokinesis: Mantis burned her teammate Groot’s internal sap with her mental powers, immediately lighting him on fire from the inside
  • Precognition: The ability to foresee almost all the events that would occur during her mission with Star-Lord and their teammates
  • Enhanced Durability: Physically-enhanced durability as well as immunity to mental and metaphysical assaults
  • Self-Healing: The ability to will herself to heal

Weapons & Equipment: None

First Appearance: Avengers #112 (June, 1973)  

Avengers (1963) #112

Avengers (1963) #112

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Moondragon

Moondragon

Heather Douglas is the daughter of Arthur Douglas, whose reanimated corpse had transformed into Drax the Destroyer. After a car explosion killed her parents, Thanos’ father Mentor took Heather back to Titan. After unlocking her psychic powers, she came under the influence of a powerful entity known as the Dragon of the Moon. Escaping his clutches and filled with pride, she took the name Moondragon. Like many of the other members, Moondragon crossed paths with Star-Lord after the Annihilation Wave and joined the Guardians of the Galaxy where she continues to fight alongside them.

Powers:

  • Psionics: One of the most powerful human born telepaths ever; repeatedly demonstrating mental psionic energy usage far in advance of all human and human mutants, including that of the world-renowned telepaths Professor Charles Xavier, Emma Frost and Jean Grey. Some of the abilities with this power include telepathy and telekinesis.
  • Dragon Form: The ability to assume the form of a strong and durable dragon capable of faster-than-light speed travel and surviving in outer space without air

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Conventional and Unconventional Weapons: Guns, staffs, and plasma weapons

First Appearance: Iron Man #54 (January, 1973)  

Iron Man (1968) #54

Iron Man (1968) #54

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Phyla-Vell

Phyla-Vell

When a new universe was created (after the destruction from the insane Genis-Vell), Phyla-Vell emerged as one of the new alterations. She is the second artificially-created offspring of Captain Marvel. After the events of the Annihilation Wave, Phyla-Vell decided to join a group that would protect the universe, the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Kree Heritage: Possesses superhuman strength, the ability to fly, and a fraction of her father’s cosmic awareness
  • Energy Absorption: Like a sponge, she can absorb most outside energy sources directed at her

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Nega Bands: These powerful bands give the wearer a wide array of powers and abilities including: increased physical strength, interstellar flight, the ability to absorb & manipulate various types of energy, increased invulnerability to physical attacks, survival in the vacuum of space, and no need for food, water, air or sleep

First Appearance: Captain Marvel Vol 5 #16 (January, 2004) 

Rocket Raccoon

Rocket Raccoon

Rocket Raccoon is the result of sentient robots who used genetic engineering to give intelligence and sentience to animals so they wouldn’t have to take care of crazy people, and instead, could start their own colony far away. Think that sounds crazy? Well, clearly you haven’t met Rocket Raccoon. A near diabolical genius and weapons expert with a love for violence, this raccoon has it all. During the events of the Phalanx Invasion, Rocket was paired with Star-Lord, Groot, and others to form a tactical team. Eventually they would form the Guardians of the Galaxy where Rocket would act as a second-in-command, sometimes acting as a de-facto leader.

Powers:

  • Raccoon Physiology: Rocket possesses the same enhanced abilities attributed to Earth raccoons, including an acute sense of smell and sharp eyesight
  • Enhanced Physiology: Enhancements from the robot stewards gave Rocket enhanced intelligence, which over time, allowed him to become an expert in marksmanship, martial arts, tactician, and strategist.

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Rocket-Powered Jet Boots: Also known as his “rocket skates,” not only do they propel him around but the exhaust is powerful enough to be used as a short ranged weapon
  • Dual Laser Pistols: One of Rocket’s go-to weapons are his dual laser pistols as well as other assorted heavy weapons

First Appearance: Marvel Preview #7 (June 1976)  

Marvel Preview (1977) #7

Marvel Preview (1977) #7

  • Published: July 10, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 28, 2016
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Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock

Created by a group of researches known as “The Enclave,” Adam Warlock is the pinnacle of future human evolution. Adam Warlock commands the mighty Soul Gem, given to him by the High Evolutionary. Due to disastrous events after the Annihilation Wave, he was given newfound powers and became an active force in the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Enhanced Biology: Possesses a number of superhuman properties and powers derived from his artificially-altered genetic structure including strength, speed, stamina, durability, and agility
  • Immortality: While Warlock can be killed, he never truly dies due to the fact his soul is so strong, even Death herself cannot claim his soul
  • Matter Manipulation: Ability to convert energy into matter and the ability to have absolute control over the process
  • Cosmic Awareness: Ability to detect or produce wormholes and other irregularities in space on a cosmic scale

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Soul Gem (Formerly): At one point Warlock possessed the Soul Gem, one of the legendary Infinity Gems, giving him the power to drain and control the life essences (or spirits) of living (or dead) organisms. This gem possessed a consciousness of its own, and displayed a vampiric hunger for the life-essences of living beings. Warlock was so accomplished at the gem’s usage that he could use its energies to project energy blasts, protective shields, and blasts of mystic energies capable of disrupting the karmic centers of living beings.
  • Karmic Staff: An extension of Warlock’s own life-essence, and its properties make it seemingly unbreakable. He can focus mystic energies through this staff with greater accuracy than he could by other means.

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #66 (September 1967)  

Fantastic Four (1961) #66

Fantastic Four (1961) #66

  • Published: September 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
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Guardians of the Galaxy (3000)

Guardians of the Galaxy (3000)

The original group under this galactic moniker, first appeared in the January 1969 publication of Marvel Super-Heroes! Forming in the year 3007, after the Badoon held each member captive and invading their solar system, the team escaped to kick major butt and continued to fight for peace and prosperity throughout the galaxy.

Charlie-27

Charlie-27

Genetically engineered to live in Jupiter’s gravity, Charlie-27 is a soldier and space pilot, once captain in the United Lands Earth Space Militia. In 3007 A.D., the alien Badoon invaded the solar system, performing various acts of genocide. Charlie was the only survivor of his world due to being on a long-term space mission. He joined forces with Martinex, Yondu, and Vance Astro to form the Guardians of the Galaxy, a band of freedom fighters.

Powers:

  • Jovian Ancestry: His Jovian ancestry makes him 11 times stronger and 11 times denser than a normal human being, giving him superhuman strength, stamina, and durability

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Guardian Communicator/ Teleporter Star: Allows the Guardians to access their ships’ teleportation system
  • Yondu’s Yaka Dagger: Given as a gift from Yondu, Charlie is never seen without it

First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (January, 1969)  

Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #18

Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #18

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Martinex T’Naga

Martinex T’Naga

Pluvian scientist Martinex’s body is completely covered by facets that were crystalline in appearance, allowing Pluvians to withstand the extreme temperatures of their world. When the Badoon attempted to exterminate all the Pluvians, Martinex escaped the Badoon and teamed with Vance Astro, Charlie-27, and Yondu to fight the Badoon as the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Pluvian Physiology: Descended from the original human colonists of Pluto who were genetically-engineered to survive on that world. As a result, Martinex is a silicone-based lifeform with strength, durability, enhanced vision, ability to survive in a vacuum, and temperature resistance. He can withstand a greater range of hot or cold temperatures than humans
  • Thermokinesis: Martinex’s physiology can further improve his resistance to temperature extremes by siphoning excess heat out of the environment to warm up, or venting his own body heat to cool down. Martinex can also focus this effect offensively to project thermal beams of heat or cold.

Weapons & Equipment: None

First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (January, 1969)

Nikki Gold

Nikki Gold

Born on the Planet Mercury in the 31st Century, Nicholette “Nikki” Gold joined the Guardians of the Galaxy when she escaped the clutches of the Badoon invasion that killed her parents right before her eyes. Discovered on an abandoned spacecraft by the Guardians, she joined their ranks seeking excitement and adventures after years of solitude.

Powers:

  • Mercurian Physiology: A member of the genetically-engineered offshoot of humanity whose traits were designed for survival in the harsh conditions of the planet Mercury. As such, she possesses the ability to see in intense light, has a built-up resistance to heat and most types of radiation. Nikki’s hair is made of fire and she can potentially burn people with just a touch of her hand, due to an incredibly high body temperature.
  • Combat Skills: Extensive proficiency in hand-to-hand combat and proficiency in gymnastics and sharp-shooting

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Wrist Blasters: Twin wrist blasters with a range of settings from stun to kill

First Appearance: Marvel Presents #4 (April, 1976)

Starhawk

Starhawk

Stakar Ogord is the adoptive son of Ogord the Reaver. Growing up, he was raised alongside Ogord’s true daughter Aleta. The two found a statue of the Hawk God, which merged their beings together. Stakar emerged as the dominant being causing him to take on the mantle of Starhawk. At some point, his adult mind was sent back in time to his infant body to repeat his life, with the cycle repeating over and over again. He adopts the title “The One Who Knows,” predicting things that would happen in people’s lives. Starhawk would go on to nudge events in the right direction to allow for the creation of the Guardians of the Galaxy. He joins their ranks and convinces them to lead a life as space explorers and protect the universe.

Powers:

  • Hawk God: The true extent of these powers are unknown. However, his inherited powers include superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, reflexes, and enhanced senses
  • Immortality: No longer ages and is immune to disease and infection
  • Light Manipulation: He can manipulate light to create concussive force blasts of photonic energy, heat, and solid-light constructs
  • Flight: Surrounding himself with intermingled photons and anti-gravitons, Starhawk can fly at great speeds

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Starhawk’s Suit: Made of alien materials, including a retracting transparent face-mask, life support system, and retractable solar wind collector wings, which can harness light waves and photonic particles from solar winds, producing easier and faster flight

First Appearance: Defenders #27 (September, 1975)  

Defenders (1972) #27

Defenders (1972) #27

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Talon

Talon

A member of the Inhumans in the 31st century, Talon is a beastly-looking creature with a heart of gold. Working under the tutelage of Soccer Supreme Krugarr, Talon saved Major Victory after battling a gang of thugs.

Powers:

  • Inhuman Superpower: As a member of the Inhumans, he possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes
  • Beastly Physique: As a literal beast, Talon possesses razor sharp claws on his hands and feet. Aside from being razor sharp and used in the conventional sense, Talon has the unique ability to fire these claws as projectile weapons, re-growing new ones almost instantly. These claw projectiles could be as deadly as high caliber bullets.

Weapons & Equipment: None

First Appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy #18 (November, 1991)  

Guardians of the Galaxy (1990) #18

Guardians of the Galaxy (1990) #18

  • Published: November 01, 1991
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 21, 2016
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Jim Valentino
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Yondu Udonta

Yondu Udonta

Yondu Udonta started his life as a game hunter from the primitive Zatoan tribe native to Centauri-IV. After being captured by the vicious Badoon, he encountered Vance Astro, Charlie-27, and Martinex T’naga, where they banded together to fight the Badoon and become the incredibly impressive Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Zatoan Intuition: While Yondu displays no superhuman physical powers, he is a natural mystic like his entire tribe. He possesses an intuitive sixth sense that permits him limited emphatic relationships with other lifeforms. The higher the lifeform, the more limited his emphatic potential

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Yaka Arrow: Yondu always carries a 5-foot single curve bow and a quiver of arrows composed of Yaka, a special sound-sensitive metal found only on Centauri IV. A Yaka Arrow can change its direction (but not speed) in response to certain high-octave whistle sounds some Centaurians produce.

First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (January, 1969)  

Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #18

Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #18

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Major Victory

Major Victory

Last, but certainly not least, U.S. Air Force pilot turned astronaut, Vance Astro, took on a special mission to colonize a distant planet. After escaping the clutches of an evil organization and realizing he had been in suspended animation for centuries, Astro would go on to lead a group of fellow adventurers called the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Powers:

  • Psychokinesis: Vance Astro possesses the psionic ability to affect matter with his mind

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Passport armbands: Allows him to use Knowhere’s teleporters to teleport instantly
  • Captain America’s Shield: During the time when he carried Cap’s shield in combat, he would use his power to propel the shield and manipulate its flight path, simulating Cap’s use of the shield as a throwing weapon

First appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (January, 1969)  

Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #18

Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #18

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Writer Nicole Perlman joins us for a Voices of Marvel Segment

For this week’s Women of Marvel Podcast, hosts Judy Stephens and Sana Amanat are joined by screenwriter and comics writer Nicole Perlman for a new Voices of Marvel Segment.

Listen to the Women of Marvel – Episode 141 now!

——————–
The Women of Marvel podcast assemble to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes will be released every Thursday, co-hosted by Marvel Director, Content and Character Development Sana Amanat, Marvel.com Producer Judy Stephens, along with Marvel DMG Senior Social Media Manager Adri Cowan.

Have feedback or questions? Email us at WomenOf@marvel.com, or tweet your questions and comments to @Marvel with the hashtag #WomenOfMarvel!

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Your favorite space scoundrels get posters for Marvel Studios' 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' out May 5!

Get a new look at Peter Quill and his band of unlikely heroes in 10 new cosmic character posters for Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” in theaters May 5!

Take a look at your favorite Guardians Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and Drax (Dave Bautista), above! We’ve also got character posters for a couple misfits they’ve picked up along the way — Ego (Kurt Russell), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and Yondu (Michael Rooker).

Plus, check out a new IMAX poster, exclusive to participating IMAX theaters, shared by director James Gunn, for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” directly below!

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 IMAX Poster – Those who have followed me awhile know that IMAX is…

Posted by James Gunn on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” and follow @Guardians on Twitter and like the official Guardians of the Galaxy page on Facebook for the latest!

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Nicole Perlman discusses mining the psyche of the most dangerous woman in the galaxy!

By Josh Weiss

The parenting skills of a sociopathic alien obsessed with death and devastation don’t tend to yield the most properly developed kids. Take, for instance, the life of everyone’s favorite green-skinned gal, Gamora—an invaluable member of the Guardians of the Galaxy who’s got the unfortunate burden of calling Thanos her father. But what was she like before she became the interstellar icon we know her as today?

Luckily, we don’t have to speculate because Nicole Perlman—who, along with James Gunn, co-scripted 2014’s “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy”—explores just that with Gamora’s first solo comic series, in which a younger pre-Guardians incarnation of the woman warrior battles with her childhood demons, the first step in her trying journey from hazard to hero.

With GAMORA #4 on the way March 22, Nicole chatted with us on the challenge of getting into the psyche of and sympathizing with such an emotionally complicated—not to mention damaged–character who, thanks to her charming dad, is unnaturally obsessed with assassination and revenge more than any person—or alien, for that matter—should be.

Marvel.com: You’ve now tackled Gamora in comics and on the big screen. How did the experiences differ when it came to bringing her to life in each medium?

Nicole Perlman: Since the film was an ensemble piece that covered a lot of ground, I didn’t get to spend as much time with Gamora as I would have liked. Writing the comic has been a fulfilling way to go back and fill in some of the gaps in her life story. When I wrote Gamora for the screen her character was already at a place in her life where she had a strong moral compass. In many ways, adult Gamora is the ethical engine for the Guardians in the film; the person who holds everyone else to a higher moral standard. In the comics I was excited to explore Gamora at a halfway point in her life when her identity is still fluid and you get the sense she could really go either way. I was in the unique position of knowing where Gamora started—as an assassin raised by Thanos—and knowing where she ends up—as a heroic member of the Guardians of the Galaxy—so I wanted to give readers a glimpse of the years in-between those two extremes.

Marvel.com: What was your reaction when you found out you’d be headlining Gamora’s first solo comic series?

Nicole Perlman: I was excited by the opportunity to work in a new medium. It’s my first time writing comics, and in some ways it uses a different skill set than writing for film. For example, expanding or contracting time on the page to fit the scene’s emotional resonance is a common storytelling tool in comics, whereas in film, putting things in slow-motion carries a different kind of connotation and is a very specific stylistic choice.

Marvel.com: Did you have specific goals in mind for portraying the character and her journey when you first took on the writing job? Did any of them change over time?

Nicole Perlman: I wanted to focus on a specific relationship Gamora would have with someone who came into her life and turned her perspective upside down. It’s always satisfying when a character starts out at one extreme and by the end of her story ends up on the complete opposite side. One of the challenges was making sure Gamora was still likable when she was at her “deadliest woman in the galaxy” peak; after all, this is a young woman who murders people without hesitation. I thought it was important to see right from the start how traumatized Gamora was by her upbringing, and how it had colored her ability to tell right from wrong.

As for things that have changed over time: one of the big pivot points I was hoping to explore in Gamora’s journey ended up having to shift to something far subtler. It was partially to make sure everything still lined up with canon, but also due to the fact that that I only have room in my schedule this year to write a certain number of issues and I won’t be able to get Gamora organically to that point within that time frame.

Marvel.com: This run explores some of Gamora’s backstory. Was it at all difficult to separate the established character to tell a unique, pre-Guardians tale?

Nicole Perlman: I didn’t find it difficult, perhaps because I think each of us are a composite of many different people at various stages in our lives. Those different versions of ourselves are cumulative, like layers of a watercolor painting. I think back on the person I was at 18, and wonder if I would recognize her or even understand her; however, I know she was foundational to the person I am today. I look at my version of Gamora in the same way. It is a snapshot of who she was, as she was on her path to becoming who she is.

Gamora #4 cover by Esad Ribic

Gamora #4 cover by Esad Ribic

Marvel.com: Was there a particular character trait, scene or power you really enjoyed writing?

Nicole Perlman: I loved writing all the scenes of between Gamora and L’Wit. L’Wit has had just as difficult an upbringing as Gamora’s—and a parallel one in some ways. Both women grew up in exile, with no true family to care for them. They both had to live by their wits in order to survive very harsh childhoods. So they share a lot in common, but they have each handled their lot in life differently. Thanos taught Gamora that she’d only find catharsis through violence and revenge. Whereas L’Wit always held out hope for an escape to a better world—and knew that the truest comfort she could find was through connection with others. Writing the scenes between them has been really fun, because L’Wit is able to get under Gamora’s skin better than anyone else; perhaps because she understands 18-year-old Gamora better than anyone else.

Marvel.com: Apart from being the daughter and assassin of one of the meanest villains in the Marvel Universe, Thanos, what do you think drives Gamora to do what she does both in her own series and as part of the Guardians team?

Nicole Perlman: In my series, Gamora is afraid that she’ll never find a sense of closure and peace unless she has her vengeance. By the age of 18, she has spent years consumed by feelings of rage and depression regarding the massacre of her family. Her mental math is that the only reason she is still traumatized is because the Badoon got away scot free. She’s told herself a fairytale, that once the Royal Family has been wiped out she will finally be able to move on with her life. Of course, it was never about them; it was always about her, and the fact that she doesn’t know who she is. She’s still a teenager, after all. So in many ways, Gamora’s story is one about discovering her own identity once she has shed the crutch of her hatred. By the time she’s on the Guardians team as an adult, I think she has reached at a place in her life where she knows who she is and what’s important to her—and is aware that fighting for good and forging strong bonds with others is more fulfilling to her than anything else.

Marvel.com: What was the process like of getting into her head?

Nicole Perlman: I read a lot about people who have undergone childhood trauma, and what some of their coping mechanisms are. So frequently, the bad habits or personality traits that hold us back as adults started out as things that helped us survive when we were young. From 18-year-old Gamora’s perspective, her anger is a good thing; it protects her, it drives her forward, it keeps her going strong instead of succumbing to despair. But it doesn’t keep her warm at night, and it prevents her from seeing things as they truly are, and from allowing herself to open up to others. I wanted Gamora’s arc to be one in which she had to let go of her anger and hate so that she could ask herself what she really wanted and who she really was. It’s her first step toward adopting a more heroic persona.

Marvel.com: Gamora has the charming moniker of “The Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy.” When writing this series, what were some of the crucial decisions that went into showing her evolution from killer to guardian?

Nicole Perlman: I didn’t want the story to be a simple redemption arc—one where Gamora had an epiphany and then felt remorse and horror about all the deadly things she had done. So I suppose I made a conscious decision to leave a redemption quest out of this arc. Death is something Gamora grew up around; she was constantly emerged in it, and was even born on the day of her people’s genocide. It means something different to her than it does to you or I. Gamora has an edge to her, and it was important that this series kept that. I wanted her to treat killing as something so common as to be almost not worth talking about. Of course, the lack of human connection due to the wall around her heart is precisely what makes that kind of casual murder possible. Those walls are something that Gamora feels she needs in order to survive. Breaking it down is one of the key steps in her evolution, and L’Wit is the first person to crack open Gamora’s shell a bit, and let some light shine in.

Continue to explore the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy alongside Nicole Perlman and artist Marco Checchetto on March 22 in GAMORA #4!

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Jeff Loveness invites you to the reunion of Gamora and Richard Rider!

How can you not love Gamora? She’s brave, tough…and oh yeah, green.

Fans of this awesome space chick have something exciting to look forward to, as she and Rich Rider will meet up again shortly, in the upcoming NOVA #4, available March 8. We caught up with writer Jeff Loveness, who let us in on what we can expect to see when these two former lovebirds reunite.

Marvel.com: Next month, Rich and Gamora will get back together briefly. How will this impact Rich? What do you think draws them to each other?

Jeff Loveness: I see them both as people of action. They met during the most stressful, yet meaningful, times in both their lives. They saw each other at their absolute peak. But sadly, it didn’t last very long, and Rich ended up sacrificing himself to stop Gamora’s dad from destroying the universe…so that complicates things.

But now Rich has come back to life—for reasons he keeps to himself. He has stayed purposefully distant from Gamora and many of his friends on Earth. He’s not the same man he was. He feels traumatized and unsure of himself, and he doesn’t want Gamora to see him this way. But these two have a habit of running into each other, and Rich has to confront all of his issues at once.

Marvel.com: Can we expect to see more of Rich and Gamora in the future?

Jeff Loveness: I hope so. I really like their banter and competitive nature with each other. I’d love to do some Thin Man-esque space-capers with Rich and Gamora in the future.

Marvel.com: Rich has had some other somewhat drama-filled relationships, like his time with Namorita. Who would you ship him with?

Jeff Loveness: Hmm…well, I was a lonely, confused boy growing up in the 90’s, so I ship Rich with Rogue or Psylocke by default. But as a comic book professional, maybe I’d see if he and Jessica Drew got along. She seems like a nice person. On the other hand, perhaps Rich can finally tame Aunt May’s wild heart. Scratch everything. Rich Rider and Aunt May. That’s my ship.

Nova #4 cover by Ramon Perez

Nova #4 cover by Ramon Perez

Marvel.com: What do you think stands in the way of Rich having a lasting relationship?

Jeff Loveness: Well, he was dead for a while. That’ll do it. But also, I feel he has a hard time settling down in general. When you’ve got one of those top jobs, you almost fear normalcy. You fear people getting to know you. People can know what you do—that’s fine. But it can feel terrifying when people want to know you more deeply. Rich still doesn’t have too many close friendships. I think maybe he has a reason for that. He hates letting people in and asking for help; and as you see in our series, that will backfire in a huge way.

Marvel.com: Rich isn’t the only Nova running around the Marvel Universe. Do you foresee anything interesting in Sam Alexander’s dating life?

Jeff Loveness: Things with Carrie, a girl from school, didn’t work out…so goes high school. But Sam has his eye on the new girl, Lina. He usually comes off as a mess with women, so we’ll see how that shakes out. Rich and Cosmo do their best to make him a bit more confident in himself, but that can feel hard when the people surrounding you include a living super hero legend and a psychic Communist space dog. Hopefully Sam pulls himself together.

Marvel.com: Would you like to tease or mention anything else?

Jeff Loveness: [Series artist and co-writer] Ramon [Perez’s] art will blow you guys away. We’ve got some intense stuff on the horizon for these two Novas, but some fun stuff too. I grew up a hardcore X-Men fan, and I always respected how writers like [Chris] Claremont, [Joss] Whedon, and [Grant] Morrison could balance epic, timely storytelling with a sense of fun and wonder—one of the greatest strengths of this medium. So hopefully we give people that same type of balance.

Or we’ll fail, and the fans will hunt me down and drag me through the streets as an example to others. I’d say it’s 50/50 at this point.

Get your hearts racing with NOVA #4 from Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez on March 8!

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Marco Checchetto opens up on his version of the deadly Guardian!

She’s the best in the galaxy at what she does, and what she does is deadly! That’s right, Thanos’ adoptive daughter continues to kick all kinds of butt in the pages of her solo series GAMORA.

“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” screenwriter Nicole Perlman teamed with artist Marco Checchetto to recently launch GAMORA. Instead of following the former Guardian’s post-team adventures, this one flashes back to the days before she became the Deadliest Women in The Galaxy!

We talked with Checchetto about working with Perlman, delving into Gamora’s earlier days, and developing new looks for familiar faces.

Marvel.com: You’ve drawn everyone from Spider-Man and Daredevil to Punisher and the Avengers. What unique challenges does drawing a Gamora-centric book offer?

Marco Checchetto: Yes I [have] worked on a lot of characters for Marvel, but this is my first time with the Guardians of the Galaxy. I prefer to draw dark series and when the editors asked me to draw GAMORA I thought that it could be a new challenge for me. She is fierce, gritty, serious, melancholic—the dark side of the group. My cup of tea.

Marvel.com: This series takes a look at Gamora’s earlier days, the ones leading up to her becoming the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy. How does this version differ physically and visually than the one previously seen in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY?

Marco Checchetto: In the [past she has been] painted like a lethal, sexy, dark character. In recent years she is a warrior with a lot of weapons and [technological] armor.

My version is more like, “I don’t care about weapons or costumes, I’ll kill you!” It was important for me not to create a super hero costume, but only normal clothes. She’s a very recognizable character, she doesn’t need anything too complex.

Marvel.com: Given the book’s time frame, I’d imagine you get to redesign younger versions of existing characters as well as new ones. Can you talk a bit about that process working with Nicole and the editorial staff to get those visuals just right?

Marco Checchetto: I was free to play with the characters and the script helped me so much. I love the scenes, written by Nicole, where Gamora can’t sleep. She is tormented and very angry and sad also. So I tried to give her a look more real and fragile in those moments.

For Thanos I created a costume near to his old version, technology-free. And I drew him a little bit slim. He [is] younger, not yet the old, big guy.

Marvel.com: Along similar lines, what was it like designing an entire planet and its inhabitants as you did with Ubilex?

Marco Checchetto: I drew what I read in the script. Nicole had very clear ideas for Ubilex and its inhabitants. It’s a post-apocalyptic world. It’s fun, because in my previous job I did the same work for another planet and its inhabitants, but in another galaxy—far, far away.

Marvel.com: The series also features the Badoon, one of the most despised races in all of the Marvel Universe. What are the keys to making them look right while also putting your own spin on them?

Marco Checchetto: Poor guys, I can’t despise them. They only suffer in my pages. I kill them in every way possible.

Marvel.com: Nicole’s an experienced screenwriter, but new to the world of writing comics. How has it been working with her on the series so far?

Marco Checchetto: I love Nicole. She is a very detailed writer, but at the same time very cooperative and this was a big help to work on the pages. She knows exactly what she wants for her story. Her Gamora is beautiful and all the characters are engraved in every detail. I hope she had a lot of fun making this series and that she will write many others in the future.

GAMORA, by Nicole Perlman and Marco Checchetto, continues to bludgeon all comers on February 15 with issue #3!

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Find out how the deadliest woman in the galaxy got her start with writer Nicole Perlman!

Gamora may be known as the deadliest woman in the galaxy, but she wasn’t born to be a killer. Now in her own self-titled ongoing series GAMORA—kicking off December 21—we’ll see just how this future Guardian of the Galaxy took her first steps away from being Thanos’ weapon and toward becoming one of the universe’s greatest protectors.

And who better to bring to life Gamora’s heroic turn than Nicole Perlman, a screenwriter on the “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” film? Perlman helped the unlikely team become international superstars two years ago, and now, teaming up with artist Marco Checchetto, makes her comic writing debut by returning to a character who feels like an old friend.

We spoke with Perlman to get an idea of what brought her back to writing Gamora, what kinds of stories and tone we’ll see as the series kicks off, and just how the cunning assassin-turned-hero will shine in her first solo series.

Marvel.com: What drew you into giving Gamora a deeper look in a solo comic? What aspects of her will we see that don’t shine through in team books?

Nicole Perlman: Gamora is a character with a ton of depth and darkness; someone I feel has long deserved her own comic. I wanted to do an origin story in order to explore the time in Gamora’s life where she went from being Thanos’ pet assassin to realizing that she was capable of so much more. Her back story alone is fascinating, with Thanos rescuing Gamora from the Zen Whoberi massacre when she was just an infant and raising her to be his ward. Talk about a toxic childhood environment: knowing you can only earn your father’s approval through mastery of weapons and violence! I also think her relationship with Nebula is very interesting. In some ways they were each other’s only support system, and yet Thanos pitted them against each other knowing it would make them compete for his love. That creates some really interesting sibling dynamics. Ultimately I think the GAMORA series gives audiences the opportunity to peer into Gamora’s psychology, and help us understand how she went from a damaged, angry young woman with zero positive role models, to the heroic protector of the weak that she eventually becomes in the Guardians of the Galaxy. There is an untold story there, and I am so excited to have the chance to tell it.

Marvel.com: Gamora has earned a reputation as the deadliest woman in the universe, as we’ll see in the pages of this book, but how will it show these other sides of her?

Nicole Perlman: Since this series kicks off on Gamora’s 18th birthday, we get to meet her when she is still entrenched as Thanos’ adopted daughter. She has reached peak form with regards to her skills, and because she is still in a dark place in her life, she enjoys killing the same way a prize fighter enjoys knockouts. Because we are meeting Gamora as a teenager, we get to see her behaving like one as well; she is a cool, rebellious, snarky young woman who is secretly grappling with big feelings she doesn’t know how to handle or interpret. She attributes the blame for her emotional emptiness to the fact that she is the only survivor of a planet-wide genocide, and so Gamora believes that she will only feel whole again if she avenges her people. Her journey is one of letting go of the rage that has defined her, so that she can discover who she really is—and define herself by her own actions, and not her oppressors’.

Marvel.com: What kind of tone can readers expect?

Nicole Perlman: GAMORA has the feel of some of my favorite underrated 1980’s science fiction films, like “Enemy Mine” and “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.” It’s a character-driven story of vengeance and redemption, with tons of kick ass action.

Marvel.com: What has it been like to come into comic writing with your background in screenwriting?

Nicole Perlman: Film and comics are both visual-based mediums, and when I was younger I assumed writing comic books would be analogous to creating storyboards for a film. But the more I’ve read over the years, the more I realize that comics are so much more than that; their scripts have a poetry and rhythm that is unique to the form, even before they are illustrated. For me, one of the best—and most intimidating!—parts of writing a comic is knowing that my very first comic book script is going to be published. It takes a long time in Hollywood to get a screenplay produced and it is incredibly rare to have your very first script go into production. So you tend to write dozens of scripts as you get a grasp on the medium, before anyone actually sees anything on screen. I’ve been reading comics for years, but this will be my very first foray into writing them—and just as I feel I’m getting the hang of it, the pages are going to the printers. It is exhilarating and terrifying in equal parts—which I suppose is how all the best experiences in life tend to be.

Marvel.com: How has your process working with Marco on art evolved as the book has come together?

Nicole Perlman: I am so lucky to have an exceptionally-talented artist like Marco working on this project; it feels like I won the lottery. Marco’s character designs in particular have blown my mind; they are so inventive, emotional, and detailed. His depictions make me feel like I’ve known these characters my entire life. And I love the way he depicts action—the fight scenes and battle scenes in space are incredibly dynamic.

Marvel.com: What adventures coming down the line for Gamora can you tease for readers?

Nicole Perlman: All I can say is that in the first five issues of GAMORA, the deadliest woman in the galaxy takes her first step toward becoming its Guardian. But there are a number of bumps, twists, and surprise-encounters along the way…

Follow along in the pages of GAMORA by Nicole Perlman and Marco Checchetto beginning December 21!

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Brian Michael Bendis wraps his time with the interstellar super team by stranding them on Earth!

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Brian Michael Bendis knows this better than anyone after opening and closing his fair share of comic series over the years. His latest soon-to-end run will kick off with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #15 in a story called “Grounded” this December.

Thanks to a call for help from Captain Marvel, the Guardians traveled to Earth in an effort to help out, but with the Civil War II conflict coming to an end, they’re left with a problem: they’ve got no way off this green and blue rock. Luckily for the various members, they have new ongoing series ready to launch, but before the squad goes their separate ways, Bendis and artist Valerio Schiti plan on giving them an appropriately epic sendoff.

We talked with Bendis about his plans for going out in style.

Marvel.com: With Civil War II coming to a close, how do the Guardians feels about getting involved in this conflict?

Brian Michael Bendis: Conflicted. Like everyone else in the Marvel Universe. Sides are drawn. Everyone came back to Earth as a favor to Carol, but when they got here they were faced with the moral choice. Some, like Peter, see Carol’s hard choices as big truths that need to happen and others see Tony’s side totally.

And in the battle they lost their ship and now have no way home. Yes, there are spaceships on Earth—at least three—but they aren’t for sale and nowhere near as advanced as the one Rocket put together for them.

Marvel.com: What does being stuck on Earth mean for the Guardians themselves? I’m guessing some won’t take kindly to be being in just one place for a long period of time.

Brian Michael Bendis: Some get to go have their favorite pizza and reunite with old friends and maybe even call it a night for their Guardians tour of duty. Peter gets to see what life would be like as an Earthbound super hero. Kitty gets to go find the X-Men…

And then there is Rocket and Groot. That is an entirely different story.

Marvel.com: On the other hand, the readers might enjoy seeing these space-bound characters interacting with a few familiar faces. Were there some specific characters you’d been just waiting to meet the Guardians?

Brian Michael Bendis: Yes. I do want those to be a page turn surprise so you’ll pardon my vagueness, but it does give us a lot of “Star Trek IV” stuck-on-Earth-fun. They are almost all fish out of water and those who aren’t, like Venom, have changed so much from their travels that it’s a whole new world to them.

Marvel.com: This arc will also lead into solo ongoing series for the members of the team. What has the communication been like between you and the writers of those books?

Brian Michael Bendis: This is where Jordan [White] and the other editors shine. Other than the friendship-ending disagreements between me, Chip [Zdarsky] and Kris Anka over Peter Quill’s facial hair, the writers seem to get a big kick out of classic fish out of water stories for their characters.

When you’re writing a team book and a franchise book part of the fun is throwing out ideas and story concepts for other writers to pick up and play with if they see fit.

Marvel.com: How do you feel about the place you’ll be leaving these characters with this last arc after shepherding them along for several years?

Brian Michael Bendis: Well, even though we are ending most of the last arc on Earth we are still leaving big. Big! First of all, as some readers already know, Thanos is on Earth. When Gamora and Drax get ahold of this information all hell is going to break loose. We have an issue about Groot that is all told in a style that is a big tip of the cat hat to Dr. Seuss, one of those ideas that is much harder to pull off than you might think.

And a big triple or quadruple sized 100-page big finale that is going to wrap up my very long, longest actually, run on Guardians. A lot is going to happen.

All this plus, Ben Grimm comes back home; we discover why he went out to space in the first place and why he is going to stay on Earth. It ties right into INFAMOUS IRON MAN.

Witness the beginning of the end of Brian Michael Bendis’ run on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY starting with #15 drawn by Valerio Schiti in December!

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Corinne Duyvis discusses her upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy prose novel!

What do young adult science fiction and Marvel Comics have in common? That would be author Corinne Duyvis, writer of acclaimed YA books like “Otherbound” and “On the Edge of Gone.”

Now, Corinne brings her experienced hand to writing an original prose novel for Marvel, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Collect Them All.” While we don’t know too much about the finer plot details right now, we do know that less-than-savory individuals have gotten their hands on a piece of Groot for their own nefarious planting purposes. As a result, the Guardians must become wary allies with Taneleer Tivan, The Collector, to stop a galaxy-wide conspiracy.

We spoke with Duyvis—who couldn’t be more excited for her Marvel team-up—about the highly anticipated novel, her love of sci-fi and favorite member of the Guardians team…

Marvel.com: How did you end up working on a prose novel for Marvel?

Corrine Duyvis: How I ended up wanting to do it is pretty straightforward: I write my own original prose novels, and I’m a long-time Marvel reader. Over the past years, whenever announcements of the prose novels they’ve been putting out came across my screen, I would go, “Hmmmm. How…intriguing.” Imagine me rubbing a non-existent beard [or] twirling a non-existent mustache. I talked to my fabulous literary agent about it, and she was totally open to the idea. She spent some time asking around and keeping her ears open for opportunities, and here we are!

Marvel.com: You’ve had experience writing science fiction—especially for young adults—in the past as evidenced by your first two books, “Otherbound” and “On the Edge of Gone.” Going off that, what draws you to the genre in general?

Corrine Duyvis: I’ve always loved fantasy and sci-fi. Novels, comic books, animation, movies, TV series, games—the works. I’ve been all over this stuff since I was a kid, and while originally it might’ve been because I got drawn to all the pretty explosions and cool magic, it’s definitely developed into something deeper over the years. One thing I love is that there are no real limits. Whether it’s comparatively minor, street-level fantasy elements, or mind-blowing cosmic-level stories—your imagination is the limit, as they say. So much of writing comes down to asking the question “what if?” and you can take that awfully far in the genre. The other part that draws me to the genre is that the above flexibility means you have a lot of room to explore characters and themes. I wanted to talk about which lives are valued most; that worked perfectly in an apocalypse-centric novel where people have to make difficult choices about who gets to survive on a generation ship and who has to stay behind on the planet. I wanted to talk about identity; isn’t a great way to do that by writing about a boy who sees through the eyes of a girl in another world every single time he blinks? All sorts of human conflicts, whether individual or societal, can be explored in speculative fiction in fascinating ways—sometimes abstract, sometimes head-on—and I love all the directions you can take that into.

Marvel.com: Similarly, how did your fondness and prior experience with sci-fi translate into your take on the Guardians of the Galaxy? In addition, how will your version of the Guardians be different from previous iterations of the team?

Corrine Duyvis: Although my Guardians of the Galaxy novel has a very different vibe and style than my personal work, I still bring the same kinds of questions to it that I normally ask. I’m always interested in exploring identity, for instance. What makes us who we are? Which choices, experiences, or inherent traits are responsible for our identity? What kinds of events could change who we are, or what our version of normal is? Asking these questions in a sci-fi setting like that of Marvel’s is great fun—I get to use the tropes of the genre, play with questions I have about the characters, and more. My version of the Guardians is a bit of a mishmash of the versions I’ve seen across film, cartoon, and obviously the comics themselves. As is usually the case with long-running super heroes, each writer has their own take on the characters, so they can differ a lot depending on the creators, medium, or time period. There isn’t any “One True Version.” This is oddly freeing as a writer. It doesn’t mean I get to simply ignore everything and use my own approach—I wouldn’t want to; I love the source material!—but it certainly offered more flexibility. I’ve mostly used a combination of elements that will be accessible to readers and elements that appealed to me as a writer, while trying to stay true to the characters as I understood them.

Marvel.com: Groot is a huge part of the story here. Without giving too much away, why was he chosen as the cause of the main conflict and do we learn anything new about him from it?

Corrine Duyvis: The first thing I did when the possibility of writing the Guardians came up was re-watch the film—which is hardly a chore!—to jog my memory and slip into the world before I branched out further into the comics. It ended up doing a whole lot more than that. It gave me the inspiration for a big part of the book, since by the end of the film, I wondered: Hey, what’s to stop someone else from planting one of those Groot shards? What’s to stop them from planting a whole bunch? So why was he chosen? One, he’s great. Who doesn’t love Groot? Two, there was a promising opportunity for a story there. I leaped on it right away. Lots of other parts slotted into place naturally after that. We’ll learn not only what happens physically when he’s planted en masse, but also how it affects him on a more personal level.

Marvel.com: Who would you say is your favorite Guardians member and why?

Corrine Duyvis: It will come as no surprise to anyone that I love Rocket—both the hilarious parts and the sadder parts that a lot of writers have highlighted in different ways. He’s such a great character, and his interactions with Groot are always a highlight. I also found it really interesting to get into Gamora’s head for the book. She’s often so closed-off that it’s not exactly easy to figure out what’s going on with her on a personal level, but since she’s one of the major players of the novel, I really had to figure out what drove her. It gave me a huge appreciation for her as a character to both write and read about.

Look for “Guardians of the Galaxy: Collect Them All” in 2017!

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The Mad Titan heads to Manhattan in a clip from 'Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy,' airing Sunday at 8:00 AM ET!

The Guardians’ defensive maneuvers have unintended consequences in a clip from “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy”! Watch the clip above and see an all-new “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” this Sunday at 8:00 AM ET on Disney XD.

With Thanos hot on their heels, the Guardians must take evasive measures if they hope to escape his wrath! Ronan helps the heroes deter the foe, but their tactics create a dire situation for Star-Lord’s home planet. See the catastrophic consequences in the clip above!

Tune in to a brand-new “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” this Sunday at 8:00 AM ET on DIsney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on your favorite Marvel animated series.

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