Digging into the roots of everyone’s favorite tree!

Everybody loves him, but nobody really understands him…and not just what he’s saying, either! Quick—where did Groot come from? What’s the name of his species? How did he meet Rocket Raccoon? If you don’t know the answers, you’re not alone.

The history of Groot weaves a complex web. Having started as a minor character, the talking tree finally received more frequent opportunities to shine in the wake of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film. Now he stars alongside the Guardians, his best friend Rocket—and in his own solo series!

On September 27, writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano present the conclusion of I AM GROOT with issue #5!

But before we reach that ending, let’s go back to where it all began for the character. Groot’s story has to be pieced together—and while it doesn’t come to light chronologically, it’d probably be easier to hear it in the order that it happened to him in.

Okay, are you ready? Say it with me: I! Am! Groot!

Groot’s childhood exile

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #14, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Nick Bradshaw, explained Groot’s origins for the first time. Framed as a kind of nature documentary, the story explained that Groot originated as a Flora Colossus from Planet X. The book illuminated the social order of the planet, with the Flora Colossi ruled by a monarchy and an elite group called the “Arbor Masters.” Together, these leaders teach children—called saplings—via a method known as “Photonic Knowledge.” In this process, the accumulated knowledge and experience of generations of elders gets psychically absorbed by the young through a kind of photosynthesis; this ultra-advanced educational practice provides the Flora Colossi with genius level intelligence.

The planet’s biome gets tended to by subservient “Maintenance Mammals” (small, squirrel-like creatures) forced into slavery in service of the Arbor Masters. In his youth on Planet X, Groot finds an unlikely friendship with these oppressed animals—and even prefers their company to that of his fellow saplings; Groot doesn’t get along with his own kind, as the adult Flora Colossi regularly kidnap and perform harrowing experiments on other life forms to further their study of the universe. The moral implications of these scientific atrocities horrify a young Groot, as do his peers’ harsh and violent treatment of his Maintenance Mammal friends. Acting on his conscience leads to his banishment from his home world; an unseen narrator explains that Groot got exiled from his people for injuring another sapling as he protected a Maintenance Mammal from attack.

Later, in GROOT #6 by writer Jeff Loveness and artist Brian Kesinger, the tree communicates, via psychic link, to Jean Grey to explain that the original story of his banishment has actually been sanitized…because the mammal he protected from the other saplings proved to not be a Maintenance Mammal after all, but in fact a little Earth girl named Hannah. He reveals that he saw her trapped and terrified by his people and sent her home in a rescue pod—then came the consequences.

Doing time

While it remains unknown whether Groot got arrested for unrelated reasons or sent directly to a prison for treason against his people, we next see our heroin this chronology  locked up—in GROOT #2—where his roommate turns out to be a certain anthropomorphic raccoon. Rocket learns to understand Groot and they forge a strong friendship in the process.

Communication between the duo took some time to be established—the result of Groot’s most famous feature: seemingly only being able to say the words “I am Groot.” As explained in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #17 by Maximus the Mad, Groot’s race experiences a hardening of the larynx and vocal chords during adolescence, forcing them to make the same sound over and over.

Angst, Phalanx, and robbing banks

After spending an undisclosed amount of time together in prison, Rocket and Groot receive an offer to join a rag-tag group fighting the Phalanx in ANNIHILATION CONQUEST: STARLORD—written by Keith Giffen with art by Timothy Green. This team becomes known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. At this point in Groot’s life, he claims to be the monarch of Planet X while—surprisingly—speaking normal, if somewhat pretentious, English. During this arc, Groot also volunteers for three separate suicide missions—each time saved from a branch clipping by Rocket.

2008’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2, written by Lanning and Abnett with art from Paul Pelletier and Clint Langley, sees Groot’s vocal chords re-harden and his personality settle back into what it had been in his youth: kind-hearted and goofy. The next big change in his life came in the wake of THE THANOS IMPERATIVE in 2011—in a story written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Brad Walker—when the apparent deaths of Star-Lord and Nova cause the Guardians to disband.

In 2011’s ANNIHILATORS bonus story, by writers Abnett and Lanning and artist Tan Eng Huat, Groot returns to Planet X to help liberate his oppressed Maintenance Mammal friends who ran an underground resistance operation. When Groot arrives, though, he’s arrested and tortured for returning after exile and impersonating the monarch. Luckily for Groot, he has the greatest prison breaker in the universe at his side, and Rocket saves him from incarceration. Once the two finish their tearful reunion, they re-start the Guardians alongside Drax—and try to be a force of good in the galaxy.

Rocket and Groot then embark on a road trip to Earth where Groot finds his friend Hannah, now an old woman. This story—in writer Jeff Loveness and artist Declan Shalvey’s GROOT—further delves into the tree’s mind. We hear his psychic words, “Life is not about the shadow you cast on your enemies, but the shade you provide to your friends.”

Most recently, Groot has been spending an unusual amount of time attempting to re-generate from his “baby” state—even missing out on Rocket’s bank heist team in writer Al Ewing and artist Mike Mayhew’s recent ROCKET #1 due to his vulnerable condition. As witnessed in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Aaron Kuder, the nature of this form and the unique abilities that makeit so are explored in this year’s I AM GROOT series—written by Christopher Hastings with art by Flaviano—where a tiny Groot finds himself trapped on a strange planet in another dimension where no one can understand him. And the finale of this series, issue #5, drops on September 27!

I am Groot

He certainly says an answer enough, but, really, who is Groot? Find the long answer above, but here’s the short one—proven by years of moments and stories, trials and adventures: he’s a friend.

Check out Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano’s I AM GROOT #5 on September 27!

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Writer Christopher Hastings catches us up on a long-lost Groot!

I AM GROOT has been a wild ride so far! Catapulted into a strange new dimension, Groot got separated from the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy. No one on his new planet understands a word he says (well, they can understand three) and he’s stuck in his vulnerable—though adorable—baby form. So, what’s a tree to do?

Find out, as I AM GROOT #5, by writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano, launches on September 27!

Groot’s nearly home—but an ancient and unspeakable horror blocks his way back to his friends. Will he get back to the Guardians? Who, or more urgently, what could this mysterious villain be? I am Groot!?

Let’s ask Christopher Hastings to find out more!

Marvel.com: How’s Groot been faring recently? How close is he to getting back home?

Christopher Hastings: Groot is so close to opening the Forgotten Door—the door that will return him across the universe to the Guardians of the Galaxy! Now, the question is…will opening that door destroy the world of Terminal and kill the new friends he met there?

Marvel.com: There’s such a unique visual style and tone to this book. What were your inspirations?

Christopher Hastings: I tried to make this book feel a lot like the scarier children’s fantasies I grew up with—with weird monsters and locations, and a general sense of unease. The world can be a scary place for a kid and I like a story that acknowledges and respects that. So I tried to make frightening, strange scenes—with a mystery for Groot to unlock that ties them all together!

Marvel.com: What was your process in coming up with the “ancient unspeakable horror” through line in this book?

Christopher Hastings: I’ll confess, this horror might have been spoken about before. Throughout I AM GROOT, the inhabitants of Terminal have known some dreadful force brought terror to their world a long time ago, and they must not let it back in. I thought it would be fun if that scary thing might be something familiar to the folks all the way back on Earth, too. A baddie that really gets around, you know?

Marvel.com: That’s a lot for one little living twig to deal with. How has Groot been handling this first solo adventure? 

Christopher Hastings: It’s been pretty scary! But even though Groot’s a little guy, he finds that old strength in him when he needs it. At one point he even makes a connection to his larger, older self, which plays a big part across issue #4 and issue #5 of the series—as the two of them meet across time!

Marvel.com: What was the most challenging aspect of creating this book? The most rewarding aspect?

Christopher Hastings: The biggest challenge has been riding that line between mysterious and confusing. [Laughs] But thanks to the fantastic artists and editors on this book, I think we got it right. And the most rewarding thing has been seeing the awesome interpretation that our artists, Flaviano and Marcio Menyz, brought to the material.

Marvel.com: Any fun stories from the making of I AM GROOT?

Christopher Hastings: I had to start writing this before “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” came out in theaters, so I was very nervous to see if there would be any huge glaring differences between the baby Groot in the movie and the baby Groot in my comic. And I’m a bit surprised to have found out that maybe…I could have made Groot a bit more mischievous!

Marvel.com: But the cuteness—the cuteness is spot-on.

Explore I AM GROOT #5, by Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano, on September 27!

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Congrats to Marvel Animation on their first Emmy nomination!

Thanks to a genetically-enhanced raccoon and a Flora colossus, Marvel Animation has garnered its very first Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Animation Short Form Program.” “Marvel’s Rocket & Groot” features the voice talents Trevor Devall (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Johnny Test”) as Rocket and Groot is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Cleveland Show”).

Featuring animation by Oscar-nominated Passion Pictures, the shorts are directed by Arnaud Delord, written by Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Kevin Burke, executive produced by Cara Speller, Alan Fine, Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Cort Lane, and co-executive produced by Stephen Wacker and Stan Lee.

We spoke with SVP, Animation & Family Entertainment Cort Lane, as well as writers Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Kevin Burke about what makes the Emmy-nominated “Space Walk” short (above) so very special.

Marvel: This is Marvel Animation’s very first Emmy nomination, how excited were you when you found out the news?

Kevin Burke: I was in a state of denial for a bit, I was waiting for Cort to make the announcement. I was texting Doc, “Is this real, is this a misprint?”

Doc Wyatt: I checked the official Emmy website that has the nominations but I was also waiting to hear from Cort. I stalked his social media.

Cort Lane: I also checked the official Emmy website, then I congratulated the folks at Disney XD. Then it was a flurry (ed: on social media).

Kevin Burke: It’s thrilling!

Marvel: Marvel animated shows all have their own uniquely designed look—I know Skottie Young consulted on the series but the final product almost feels like a loving tribute to the style of Chuck Jones.

Kevin Burke: On the writing side, in terms of coming up with bits and gags, the material is very much inspired by that. We had 90 seconds so it wasn’t so much about big plots, it was about a setup and a payoff and some fun gags, and the Chuck Jones style is very much that as well. So we were looking for comedy in that sense, and visually it went that direction.

Cort Lane: Passion Animation in the U.K. brought in Arnaud Delord, who’s a famous French animation director—well known for the Gorillaz music videos—and in the pitch we expressed being influenced by the Skottie Young style from publishing.

Passion Animation delivered something that had that Chuck Jones looseness and comedic sensibility—which really adapted well to the Skottie Young illustration style—but then rendered it in CG so that it felt really rich. It’s hard to capture that level of expressiveness and squash-and-stretch cartoony quality in CG, so they actually gave us a little animation test which showed us what it might be like and they blew us away. Then we got Skottie Young involved in creating some ancillary characters, but a lot of the baseline stuff was what he had already done in publishing.

Marvel: Not to discount the always amazing voice acting work in Marvel animated shorts, but “Space Walk” was gorgeously done with very little dialogue. Again that’s reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons and captivating kid’s imaginations, was that the intention?

Kevin Burke: Absolutely, conceptually it was always about the visual nature of them being unable to speak. So from a pitch when we put it together it was: they’re trapped outside, they can’t say anything, they’re pulling everything they can to make it back inside the ship to survive. And so the setup was always there, in fact it was one of the easiest story pitches that we’ve ever done because that framework was there.

Then the fun part was working with the animators and Doc and I writing up gags because there’s so many different gags you can play, all visual. We got a chance to do something that we don’t do that often. In some of our other Marvel shows they’re very story driven with complex villain plots—this was just a moment in time—to play visually with music and sound, it worked out really well and we’re very proud of it.

Doc Wyatt: The director is French and he had his team with him at the story summit, we got up in front of the room and pitched the story idea and they would confer amongst one another in French for a very long time. Of all the stories that we discussed at our story summit, “Space Walk” was particularly well received.

Cort Lane: It was a strong concept from the beginning. I’ve always had a preference for Blue Danube—so I think I suggested it—and then someone said, “That’s waltz music, on their way back to the ship as they’re holding each other spinning back and forth it will look like a waltz.” Which was one of the little payoffs that we did manage to get in there.

Marvel: Fans truly love the space duo of Rocket & Groot.

Cort Lane: Everybody is so pleased with how these came out, they work so well as a duo. And it’s not just because they’re both funny and odd, it’s because their personalities are so distinct and opposites attract in a wonderful way. Rocket is such a strong personality but he needs Groot’s heart to get him to do the right thing a lot of the time.

Kevin Burke: On the writing side it is some of the most fun stuff we’ve ever written and most of that comes from these characters. As Cort said, Rocket is sarcastic and a big character and Groot has heart, but at the end of it, the whole thing has heart to it. It isn’t just about gags and doing the most funny, outrageous thing, these guys actually care about each other and there’s a friendship there and that helps move along any adventure they go on. I think people really relate to that.

Marvel: It’s inevitable to ask about Easter Eggs in these shorts.

Doc Wyatt: In the “Space Walk” short in particular, no. But there are a couple of…the answer is yes, but we’re not going to give them away!

Marvel: How amazing would it be if Groot was to give an Emmy speech?

Doc Wyatt: He wouldn’t need the teleprompter!

Cort Lane: I think it would be more awesome if Rocket did one because he would just yell at everyone!

Emmy voting is now open. Cast your vote for “Marvel’s Rocket & Groot” short between now and August 28! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on all of your favorite Marvel animated series.

 

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Figure out where in the galaxy this Guardian has gone with writer Christopher Hastings!

Groot the living tree—a tiny baby tree at the moment—has become lost in space. In the first arc of the new I AM GROOT series from writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano, the Flora Colossus finds himself separated from his team and trapped on a strange and menacing planet where no one can understand a word he says.

I AM GROOT is the story of our diminutive hero finding his way home from a brave new world, and learning about himself in the process. We tapped Hastings for more…

Marvel.com: So tell us a little about this planet our tiny hero has been trapped on in I AM GROOT? What or who stands in the way of Groot getting home?

Christopher Hastings: [In] issue #2, we see that the planet is very strange. It’s old, its original culture and society forgotten. The people that live there now carry hints to what life used to be like, but they’re so far removed, they don’t know why. Groot has to discover the planet’s old ways, and how seemingly unconnected events, landmarks, and people all play together in order to unlock the way home.

The main force trying to stop Groot is a man we only know as The Administrator, someone who very much does not want Groot upsetting the order of the planet in order to leave this dimension and get back to the Guardians. He’s aided by an army of shape shifting service robots [who travel via] connected underground tunnels—so they can pop up anywhere [at any time].

Marvel.com: Groot is kind of like a planet himself, made of grass and rocks and wood. If Groot is a planet, is he trapped on a sort of macrocosm of himself?

Christopher Hastings: Macrocosm is an apt word! The story of the planet scales up from and runs parallel to Groot’s own journey right now, as someone who is trapped at a small size, unable to fulfill his purpose and grow.

I definitely agree that Groot has traditionally represented the duality of nature. It is life giving—or nurturing—but can flip and be total power, stronger and fiercer than any human. I think that makes Groot appealing, putting a face on nature.

Marvel.com: Usually Groot is selfless, giving help and support—literally and figuratively—to his friends. But now that he’s alone, what does this story mean for him and his growth as a character?

Christopher Hastings: I think the story of Groot’s literal growth is being handled in the main [ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY] book. But this arc in I AM GROOT is more about emotional growth, adjusting Groot’s mindset for that eventual return to adulthood. [It’s] a “child stuck in a strange and scary land” kind of space fairy tale, with little notes of meditation on Groot’s current arrested development.

Also there are the creepy robots.

Marvel.com: Besides the obvious—i.e. the language barrier—how does Groot stand out from the other super heroes in Marvel’s roster for worse or for better?

Christopher Hastings: Well, right now he really stands out because he’s a super-powered toddler. I don’t believe the Avengers currently has any of those in their ranks. Little Groot is a ton of fun, just very impulsive, and we get a lot of great reactions out of him thanks to Flaviano’s artwork. As for downsides, he’s certainly not as powered up as full size, so we have to get creative with how he uses his abilities.

Marvel.com: The current incarnation of Groot is a fairly new character. Is this series about him finding himself?

Christopher Hastings: That’s very much what we’re trying to do here! It’s why I thought it important to get him away from the Guardians. He has to make this journey alone, and he’ll see pieces of himself in these other new characters he meets along the way.

Join the journey with I AM GROOT #3 by Christopher Hastings and Flaviano, out July 26!

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Case your votes by Friday, June 23!

Marvel congratulates the Marvel Animation team for their work on “Marvel’s Rocket & Groot” animated shorts!  The 12-episode series of animated shorts follows Rocket and Groot as they try to figure out how to get enough credits to buy a new ship after their old one breaks down. View the compilation of all the shorts above!

“Marvel’s Rocket & Groot” is eligible for nomination voting in the “Outstanding Animation Short Form Program” Emmy category now on the Television Academy website! Be sure to cast your vote by this Friday, June 23rd!

Rocket is voiced by Trevor Devall (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Johnny Test”) and Groot is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Cleveland Show”). Featuring animation by Oscar-nominated Passion Pictures, the shorts are directed by Arnaud Delord, written by Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Kevin Burke, executive produced by Cara Speller, Alan Fine, Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Cort Lane, and co-executive produced by Stephen Wacker and Stan Lee.

 

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Christopher Hastings goes down a wormhole with the tiniest Guardian!

Don’t call him a sapling! He may be 1/12th his usual size, but he’s still the universe’s most powerful walking, talking tree. He is Groot!

Alone at the far side of the cosmos, unable to find the rest of the Guardians, and really, really small—that’s where we’ll find the galaxy’s most lovable piece of timber on May 24 with the start of the brand-new series I AM GROOT!

With writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano at the helm, the three-word wonder jumps headfirst into his own adventure as an underdeveloped, unintelligible, and very unlikely hero. To find out more, we spoke with Hastings about the difficulties—and unexpected benefits—of writing Groot.

Marvel.com: What’s the greatest challenge of writing Groot given his signature three word limit?

Christopher Hastings: Well that’s the challenge right there, he can’t quite express complex ideas the same way w’’re used to with the fancy language we communicate with every day. But with some body language, and the occasional assist from another character in the book translating for him, Groot can communicate all the base level important stuff we need in a story.

Marvel.com: And since there’s nothing else like it in comics, what’s the greatest advantage that Groot’s linguistic style brings to a story?

Christopher Hastings: It is a great relief to drop the need for a snappy protagonist who always has the right zinger. But that’s just for me! I’d say in the story, it is nice to change the focus to physicality, to non-verbal expression. Comics is a visual medium after all, so I like to see a character communicate in a purely visual fashion.

I Am Groot #2 cover by Marco D’Alfonso

Marvel.com: He might not say much, but he has such a defined personality. How would you describe Groot’s characteristics as this series begins?

Christopher Hastings: He’s a kid who is just enjoying being a kid. Now, he’s doing that in the most hazardous conditions that space adventure would suggest, so it causes a good amount of trouble. He gets separated from the Guardians, and he’s scared and alone in a place where nobody can understand him, that draws out a few characters that are pretty hostile to Groot for reasons unknown. So he’s still really impulsive, and curious and just running all over the place, but he’s trying to figure out how to get home.

Marvel.com: One of the greatest elements of any Groot story is witnessing other characters interact with—and attempt to understand—Groot. So who might we see hanging with the tree in this new series? How would you describe the dynamic they bring to the book?

Christopher Hastings: Groot’s first ally is some kind of alien dog’s head on a robot body named Buddy, because who doesn’t love a doggie buddy, especially in space? Buddy’s helpful, but dim, frustrating Groot’s issues with communication. Later on we meet Dhamsus, kind of a Ron Swanson type space farmer/ice elemental, and Diplatessa, a woman split into multiple versions of herself at different points in life. They all want to help Groot, and find that Groot awakens them out of a sort of complacency they had on this dead and corrupted world Groot lands on. Each one of them ties into the mystery of the planet’s past, and its key to reuniting Groot with the Guardians.

Also there’s a swarm of shape shifting robots set out to trick and capture Groot at every turn. They’re creepy!

I AM GROOT #1, by writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano, is available this week on May 24, with issue #2 following June 28!

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Open up an exclusive sketchbook featuring our favorite flora colossus!

Groot might be striking out on his own in his upcoming solo offering, I AM GROOT, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be the same giant tree we’ve all come to know and love. Instead, thanks to some cosmic mishaps, he’s tiny and stranded on a brand new world!

These fresh adventures come from the fertile minds of writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano starting May 24, when the new ongoing series kicks off. The creative team will put Groot through his paces, but also leave him plenty of room to explore and make new friends.

We talked with Flaviano about working with Hastings, designing entire planets, and drawing a more diminutive version of the beloved character.

Marvel.com: Like the readers, I’m sure you’re used to seeing Groot as a huge, walking tree. How was it getting used to this smaller version?

Flaviano: Yeah, when my editor Darren [Shan] first asked me to work on Groot he didn’t mention that it would be “Baby” Groot. Well, I should have imagined it, because of [“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”]. So, when I found out I was twice thrilled. When you have to draw a very small and funny character, the realistic approach isn’t the best choice, in my opinion. I tried to make him look a little bit like a character from a comic strip, something like Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes or Frank Cho’s Liberty Meadows. I remember Bill Watterson saying that he used to draw Calvin’s feet like small bread loaves. I took that as an inspiration to draw our Baby Groot like a little running and lovely bread loaf.

Marvel.com: Would you say that Groot’s smaller stature changes how he carries himself on his adventures?

Flaviano: Of course! Everything is huge around him, so he is scared and lost but at the same time cheerful and, in his naive way, interested in everyone and everything. It’s always hard, from a shooting standpoint, to have such a small character, because if you draw a very wide shot, you’ll lose him. If you stay close to him, you have all the other, much bigger characters out of the shot. But I took that as a challenge and it has been very fun to play with panels and character’s point of view.

Marvel.com: It sounds like Groot finds himself on a wild new place. How was it designing an entire planet?

Flaviano: It’s every artist’s dream come true! You don’t have to deal with given environment sets and models, you can create everything from scratch and it’s the most exciting part. Of course Chris Hastings had a very clear idea of how the planet should be. But he challenged me to contribute and design odd places and even more grotesque new characters. And the other cool part of creating a new environment is that even if you only draw part of it, you have the whole planet map in your mind and you can browse through it in order to make the character’s journey more coherent throughout the series.

Marvel.com: Were there any alien elements, creatures or characters that took longer to nail down in the design process?

Flaviano: I made several attempts for Buddy, Groot’s, well, “buddy” in this journey. Chris’ description was very clear and I tried to add more oddness but at the same time, more compassion for him. Groot and Buddy are both kind of naive characters, but their naiveté is the one thing that makes you ignore the danger and act brave, even if everything around you is big and scary. I also had a lot of fun in designing the main opposing character, a very strange looking guy who we’ll see in several different eccentric outfits.

Marvel.com: Does Groot’s inability to communicate with the new beings he finds himself around change how you approach him from a drawing standpoint?

Flaviano: Yeah, without Rocket Raccoon providing answers and translations for him, I had to emphasize his gestures and that was very fun for me since I did animation for like 12 years. Gestures and expressiveness are the core of animation, so I drew fully from that experience in order to make Groot more clear in his intentions but also in his feelings. And of course, he is a baby and his issues with communication make him look so sweet, so I tried to ride this weakness and draw him in the tender, softy way as possible. I expect some cuteness addiction from the web!

Marvel.com: How has it been working with Christopher so far on this series?

Flaviano: As smooth as honey! Chris is very clear in his writing and full of ideas and I’m having a lot of fun translating them into images. Sometimes when you have a lot of new characters to introduce, it’s easy to lose track of the story, but this is not the case since Chris planned everything in the strongest way. He provides very detailed descriptions of actions and characters, but he also left a lot of space for the artist to add his personal view and this is one of the best things in working in team.

The final look of the series is everyone’s contribution and, in this case, everyone did his best, delivering a very strong new world and an amazing story, including our very talented colorist Marcio Menyz, who provided some gorgeous and energetic colors and last but not least, our editor Darren who is always there, smoothing things over and merging all our different personalities into one whole, perfect-as-possible, product.

Join the exploration with Christopher Hastings, Flaviano, and company when I AM GROOT #1 sprouts on May 24!

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The Guardians' dynamite duo reloads for another run!

The next characters to receive a “Marvel Puzzle Quest” upgrade bring bombs, bullets, and rocket fuel to the party.

Prepare yourself for Rocket and Groot reloaded as 4-Star brawlers to celebrate the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the pint-size pair and how they fit into the “Puzzle Quest” universe.

Marvel.com: Following close on the heels of Star-Lord (Awesome Mix Volume 2) we have a revamped Rocket and Groot! How do they differ from their 3-Star incarnation?

Josh Austin: The most obvious difference is the size of Groot! Other than that obvious size difference, this 4-star Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) is more atomic, focusing on their last power, where an Atomic Bomb Countdown tile is created and will damage the enemy team, or if it’s matched before it resolves, it will damage both the opposing team and the players team.

Marvel.com: Thinking about Rocket and Groot’s dynamic as inseparable pals, what’s it like creating different abilities for two characters who work as one?

Josh Austin: Actually for these two it’s a lot of fun. Their characteristics from the trailer sparked the final animation sequence and power change. The “Don’t Push this Button” part of the trailer was fun and found its way into the game. Since Rocket and Groot are so inseparable, it makes it fun to combine them. Though, I have heard the community would like a 5-star “baby” Groot.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk a little about Rocket and Groot’s kit. What kind of trouble will these two be stirring up?

Josh Austin: Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2)’s first power is called Rocket’s Pack and it costs 12 Blue AP. For this power, Rocket zips around the battlefield with his new Aero Rig, blasting any poor schmo that gets in his way. If a Blue Countdown tile hasn’t been created for this power already, this power creates one that deals damage and creates a Black Attack tile each turn.

Their second power is called Welcome to the Team and it’s a Yellow Passive, which means it costs 0 AP. At the start of the battle, this creates a bunch of Strike tiles. If there is another member of the Guardians of the Galaxy on their team, this creates stronger Strike tiles instead. Welcome to the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy.

The final power is the most involved! The last power is called Don’t Push This Button and costs 10 Green AP. Rocket yells at Groot to not push that button [because] it will kill everyone! Using this ability first creates a 3-Turn Atomic Bomb countdown tile that deals damage to the enemy team. If it’s matched away, it deals slightly less damage then if the bomb went off to the enemy team and about 1/4th the damage to the players team.

While the Atomic Bomb countdown tile is on screen, this power becomes “I Aaaaaaam Grooooot!” which is a Green AP Passive. At the start of each turn, Groot makes a match for you. This clears lines and creates critical tiles as normal, but no extra turns. When the Atomic Bomb Countdown tile is matched or goes off, this power becomes Don’t Push This Button again.

Marvel.com: Welcome to the Team is really interesting. There aren’t too many abilities in the game that change depending on your team composition. Is this something the team is looking into exploring for other characters?

Josh Austin: We hope to be adding a lot of these before the end of the year; there isn’t much we can talk about yet, but we are hoping this becomes more of a thing very, very soon.

Marvel.com: And with I Aaaaaaaam Grooooooot!, does Groot make a move before, or after the player makes a move?

Josh Austin: Groot makes a move before the player does, which gives the player AP. This basically gives the player a few rounds of extra AP generation which is nice!

Marvel.com: Who fits best fighting beside the tree and space rodent? Obviously the Guardians work awesome together, anyone else?

Josh Austin: Because the Don’t Push This Button power is so strong, the player may want to focus on characters that fortify the player’s Countdown tiles like Green Goblin, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), or Hawkeye (Clint Barton). The player could also select someone that enhances or is enhanced by special tiles including Medusa, Punisher (Max), Mr. Fantastic, and Professor X.

Marvel.com: And when do we get a shot at these two troublemakers?

Josh Austin: Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) are available starting on Thursday, May 4. They can be found as placement rewards in the Meet Rocket and Groot event that is running from May 4 through May 8 and features their new art. Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) will be featured and available in the Vault for Thick as Thieves that runs May 7 through May 12.

Their special Guardians of the Galaxy story tie-in event is called Backup Plan, which continues the journey in the I Have a Plan event featuring Star-Lord. This event runs May 11 through May 16 and features Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) and grants the player covers in mission rewards. Their Versus Tournament is called Best Buds and runs May 11 through May 15.

Pick up the new 4-Star Rocket and Groot here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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We pay tribute to the beauty of nature with the Flora Colossus!

Arbor Day. A day to appreciate the beauty in nature and to plant as many trees as possible so that we can continue breathing.

Mark Marvel as no stranger to the wonder of trees; in fact we have a whole loveable hero dedicated to this wonderment! We all know and love Groot, and in celebration of Arbor Day, we want to share with you some amazing moments from his comic book history that will have you planting trees all day long, hoping for your own little Flora Colossus.

Tales to Astonish (1959) #13

Tales to Astonish (1959) #13

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Monarch X (TALES TO ASTONISH #13)

What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Groot? Fun? Cuddly? Best friend? Well, boy do we have a surprise for you. The first appearance of Groot from the Atlas days of Marvel Comics proves the exact opposite. This self-proclaimed “Monarch” of Planet X, comes to take a village back to his planet to perform experiments on. A heroic villager challenges this menacing, talking Groot. In response, the extraterrestrial shows his true power and creates an army of nightmarish walking trees!

Groot (2015) #5

Groot (2015) #5

  • Published: October 07, 2015
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 04, 2016
  • Rating: Rated T
  • Writer: Jeff Loveness
  • Cover Artist: Declan Shalvey
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You won’t like him when he’s angry. (GROOT #5)

Just like the Incredible Hulk, it’s probably not a good idea to cross Groot. During an adventure with his best pal Rocket, baby Groot gets “handed” a solar grenade, blasting him with a hyper dose of concentrated solar energy, transforming the cute creature into a monstrous, oversized mega beast. This Groot goes on a rampage taking out a ton of baddies. Eventually Rocket calms him down, brings him back to normal size, and they share a great moment in their victory.

Yggdroot (SECRET WARS #8)

During the Battle in Doomstadt, Black Swan confronts Peter Quill in Doctor Doom’s throne room, which just happens to be below the tree of life “Yggdrasil.” Backed into a corner, Star-Lord drops just a splinter into Yggrasil, which engulfs it entirely, transforming it into a colossal Groot that destroys the castle from the inside out.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #16

Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #16

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What rhymes with “Groot”? (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #16)

In this recent issue, we see the lighter side of our cosmic woodland friend when he and his partner in crime, Rocket, have a nice day in Central Park. Unfortunately, things turn quickly when The Armadillo springs from the ground and launches Groot’s best bud through the air. Our hero springs into action—literally—and fights him off. Things take a turn for the worse when the NYPD surround Groot thinking him the monster. A little boy comes to his rescue, joined by the entire crowd at the park, who defend Groot and showing their gratitude for him rescuing them. The comic ends the way it started, with Groot and his best bud—now joined by the little boy—hanging out in the park. By the way, did we mention the entire story rhymes?


Symbi-groot
(GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2122)

You thought Venom seemed scary with the fury of a trained U.S Army man underneath it? Well how would you feel if a talking tree that can thrash Thanos took on the symbiote? When Flash Thompson as Venom joins the Guardians as a representative of the Avengers, prolonged time in space seems to do some strange things to the symbiote making it too difficult to control. The alien suit goes rouge and attacks Gamora out of nowhere. The team subdues it and get Flash to safety, for the time being. Back at the base, Rocket tries to make a more stable holding cell for the monstrous menace, but the ravaging symbiote breaks out of its tiny cell and attaches to Groot causing the loveable space tree to morph into a powerfully savage hybrid.  This turns a friendly catchphrase sour when he belts out “I am Venom” while giving his team a serious beating.

Rocket Raccoon & Groot (2016) #5

Rocket Raccoon & Groot (2016) #5

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Groot the God (ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT #5)

Rocket and Groot take a tropical day off at the beach relaxing and sipping some cocktails until its rudely interrupted by Gunhild of the Elmhold clan. She takes the pair back to her majesty only to discover that the king believes Groot to be a God. More specifically the very god that the clan gets its namesake from. Groot is then whisked away to be cleaned and pampered so that he can be sacrificed in an active volcano! Learning of this horrible fate, Rocket teams up with his capturer to free Groot.  During their escape, Groot sprouts a wing suit, of sorts, made of branches and leaves, and propels away with Rocket accidentally drops an atomic bomb in the volcano. The last we see of our heroes: Rocket and Groot back in the ocean with a cocktail.

Groot’s Sacrifice (ANNIHILATION CONQUEST: STAR-LORD #2)

Before the Guardians of the Galaxy, they were a rag-tag team put together to do some damage against the nasty Phalanx. When they storm a production facility creating a techno-virus, they run into some fearsome machines that cause them to retreat. However, the bad guys start to overrun the team, until the mighty monarch of Planet X steps in with his enormous stature to give the crew some time to escape. He sacrifices himself by staying behind to take out as many machines as possible in a death befitting a King.

Little Seed, Big Deed (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: TOMORROW’S AVENGERS)

On a far away, un-named planet, a young woman named D’Vorak minds her own business, working her family farm. Preoccupied with thoughts of wars in the stars, she almost steps on a tiny Groot. Not knowing what she just plucked from the ground, she quickly plants him in soil and gives him water until interrupted by a gang of thugs called the Tribbitites. They start roughing up her family and threaten to kill her brother until a gigantic Groot steps in from out of nowhere and hammers down on the jerks. D’Vorak, ever grateful, reminisces about her previous thoughts on the galaxy, this time giving a hopeful look up into the stars.


Howling Groot
(NICK FURY’S HOWLING COMMANDOS #6)

Shifting back to the “original” monstrous Groot from 1963, this intellectual monarch grows to a colossal size to carry a team of the Howling Commandos to battle including Clone of Frankenstein, Gorilla-Man, Zombie, Living Mummy, and more, while majestic unicorns gallop past them. The group leads with an all-out attack against Merlin and his minions causing the sorcerer to retreat.


Two sides to every Groot
(GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ANNUAL #1)

They say there are two sides to every coin, well what about Groot. In this tale, we get to see just that.  Captain Marvel starts it off by sending a video to folks at home on Earth. We get some hilarious moments as some of the Guardians interrupt including a nosey Groot. This gets disrupted further when a portal opens up revealing the Helicarrier and Nick Fury. Eventually, all hell breaks loose as members of S.H.I.E.L.D team up with Guardians of the Galaxy to fight a Skrull invasion. Groot and the rest of the team fight in outer space and crush their enemies with terrifying power. After the end of the battle, Captain Marvel goes back to give her tear-jerking video message to her family, where we get to see that other side of Groot in a sweet moment comforting her.

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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
What is Marvel Unlimited?

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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