Everybody's super-excited about Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, and justifiably so, but there's one problem: if you're only watching the film, you're not getting the truth. The Guardians — the group and the members — have a far weirder history than the movie will acknowledge, and here's the proof.
1) None of the Guardians in the movie were on the original team.
Sorry, but neither Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Gamora nor Drax the Destroyer had anything to do with the team when the Guardians made their first appearance back in Marvel Super Heroes #18 in 1969. The original line-up consisted of a 20th century astronaut fortuitously named Vance Astro, a crystalline alien named Martinex, a human living on Jupiter named Charlie-27, and a blue alien named Yondu from Alpha Centauri. Yondu will be in the GotG movie, played by Michael Rooker as a sort of mentor to Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord.
2) They were the Rebels of the 31st century.
The Guardians were actually formed to fight an alien race called the Badoon, which had taken over most of the galaxy in 3007 A.D., and had destroyed a significant portion of the humans throughout the galaxy. They'd occasionally call heroes like Captain America to the future to lend them a hand, or even travel back to the 20th century to get info about an earlier failed Badoon invasion and completely mess with the time-line (e.g., 20th century astronaut Vance Astro meeting his younger self, awakening his superpowers early, and basically leading to him becoming an entirely different superhero).
3) It took them 21 years to get their own comic.
Despite first showing up in 1969, the first official Guardians of the Galaxy comic wasn't published until 1990. It ran for 62 issues before being canceled; the second GotG comic series, with a line-up much closer to that of the movie and operating in the 21st century instead of the far future, debuted in 2008. The Guardians weren't even part of the official Marvel universe until this second series; the earlier incarnation of the GotG lived in a possible future titled Earth-691, as opposed to the main Marvel universe, numbered 616.
4) Star-Lord was originally immaculately conceived.
Peter Quill's mother Meredith was impregnated when the planets of the solar system aligned in a particularly sexy way. Now, Meredith was married, but this guy failed to see his resemblance in the space baby and assumed his wife had cheated on him. He did not take this well, and tried to kill baby Peter, failing only because he had a heart attack at the last minute. Marvel retconned this before too long, because it's pretty messed-up. Instead, Meredith got knocked up by a humanoid alien named J'son from Spartoi, who leaves because his people are in a war with another alien race, and because it's too dangerous to take his new family. Thus he becomes an intergalactic deadbeat dad, leaving nothing behind for his son but his element gun.
5) Rocket Raccoon was inspired by the Beatles song "Rocky Raccoon."
And I don't mean a little bit. I mean he was created by Bill Mantlo and Keit Giffen in 1976 for a random tale in Marvel Preview, but he made his official Marvel comic universe debut in 1982, in an issue of The Incredible Hulk (#271) written by Mantlo. This comic was titled ""Now Somewhere In the Black Holes of Sirius Major There Lived a Young Boy Named Rocket Raccoon" where Hulk and Rocket (and Rocket's pal Wal Russ) try to stop a villain from stealing "Gideon's Bible." If you know the lyrics to the Beatles song, you know this is ridiculous.
6) Rocket's first job was in an insane asylum.
Without spoiling Rocket's origins in the movie, we can safely say it's not the same as his comic origin, in which he was one of several animals who were caretakers of a galactic insane asylum. See, aliens set up an entire world to house the insane for study, but eventually it lost funding and the aliens who set it up left robots to take care of everybody. The robots felt the patients needed better companions, and genetically modified the perfectly normal Earth animals the aliens had also left behind (I have no idea how they got them). Then things got weirder: the robots started making toys, an evil mole named Jakes had scientists make Killer Clowns, Rocket's otter girlfriend Lylla was kidnapped, and the aforementioned nonsense with Gideon's Bible went down. Eventually the insane patients were cured and Rocket got the hell of the planet to explore the universe.
7) Groot could originally speak.
And what he originally spoke was threats against the human race, because he was one of those crazy aliens that would stop by Earth in the '60s to mess with it. Groot first arrived on Earth in Tales to Astonish #13, yelling that he was the monarch of Planet X, and that he was going to take a small town back to his home planet to study (like you do). He turned a nearby forest into his personal army with a plan of somehow using them to lift the town into space, but a human scientist named Dr. Leslie Evans snuck up behind Groot, dropped a pile of specially bred termites on him, and that was all she wrote. Well, until Groot was rebooted in 2006 into the "I am Groot"-exclaiming alien we all know and love.
8) Gamora and Iron Man totally did it.
Like, recently. Last year, in fact, when Iron Man was one of the Guardians for a bit. Just throwing that out there.
9) Thanos gave Gamora Christmas presents.
Despite being the biggest, baddest villain in the entire Marvel universe, a guy who occasionally dates the personification of death, and has killed half of the entire universe on more than one occasion, it turns out Thanos was quite the family man. Sure, he stole Gamora at an early age and raised her to be his personal assassin, but while she was growing up, they celebrated Christmas. Although they were both aliens who presumably never heard of Jesus. Also Thanos somehow managed to get a Christmas tree. This is as absurd as if Darth Vader delivered Christmas presents to little Luke and Leia on a spaceship-sled.
10) Drax the Destroyer was originally a real estate agent.
In fact, his original name was Arthur Douglas, the Saxophone-Playing Real Estate Agent, who had the misfortune of accidentally spotting Thanos while he was on a recon mission on Earth. Seeing he'd been discovered, Thanos destroyed the car, killing Douglas. But Thanos' father Mentor, feeling this hit and run was effectively the last straw for his evil progeny, imbued the spirit of Douglas in a clay body with the sole mission: Kill Thanos. Drax has died, many, many times in his comics career, and yet has only managed to kill Thanos once, and obviously it didn't take. Whether or not the movie Drax still has a mission to kill Thanos, I promise you he's 100% an alien now, and no real estate will be sold or saxophones played.
11) Ronan the Accuser isn't that evil.
Although Ronan will be the main villain in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and he's been a villain for most of his time in the Marvel universe, he's not entirely a bad guy. In the comics, he's the Supreme Accuser of the alien Kree Empire, which makes him third-in-command of the entire race, and since the Kree rather enjoy war and conquest, he does a bit of invading, but he's not just outright evil like, say, Thanos. In fact, as recently as 2007, Ronan had hired Star-Lord as his military advisor, and Star-Lord accepted. Of course, Star-Lord accidentally let the Borg-like Phalanx take over the entire Kree Empire through a techno-virus, but hey, they were friendly for a little while.
12) Thanos' brother is a sex offender.
While Thanos' daughter Nebula has a major role in the movie, there's no way Thanos' brother (and Nebula's uncle) Starfox is going to be making an appearance because his very existence makes Thanos look ridiculous, because he's kind of a dope — all the while Thanos is trying to destroy the universe, Starfox is dicking around looking for dates. It makes Thanos look far less impressive knowing that he's brothers with a guy who shares a name with a Nintendo character. But the bigger problem is that Starfox's super-power is a pheromone which makes people feel pleasure and attracted to him, which is the rape-iest super-power in the history of comics. Hell, even Marvel acknowledged how messed up Starfox was when he was sued for that very crime in Dan Slott's She-Hulk. So yeah, don't expect Starfox to make his cinematic universe debut anytime soon.