There are a lot of things to look forward to in the near future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After over nine years, Marvel Studios continues to trailblaze the world of comic book movies with dynamic tales of action that span across the universe in Guardians of the Galaxy, and ll the way down to the smallest molecule in Ant-Man.
Next May, Marvel will release the highly anticipated sequel Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2, which will reunite the main cast, along with exciting additions such as Elizabeth Debicki, Kurt Russell, and relative newcomer Pom Klementieff as Mantis. Writer and director James Gunn is once again in the captain’s seat and he holds the keys to millions of comic fans’ cinematic dreams, as he has already decided which characters will get the big screen treatment in his upcoming sequel.
As the first filmmaker to tackle Marvel Comics’ cosmic side, Gunn has an entire galaxy at his disposal. There is a vast library of iconic comic book heroes, aliens, and creatures for him to include in the sequel, and each one has an eager fanbase who have dreamt for years of seeing these weirdos come to three-dimensional life. So, let’s dig into some Marvel mythology and figure out some fan-favorite characters we want to see in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2.
James Gunn’s early career was built on bringing far out creatures and concepts to the screen in movies like Slither, so no character from the comics seems to fit his sensibilities more than the alien humanoid insect, Bug. The master thief and warrior is a certified member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics, and possesses a wit that would make him a perfect fit for the cinematic team. However, there is an unspoken rule in Hollywood that no more than one green alien with antennae can co-star in a major film and Mantis already has a ticket on board the Milano.
However, Bug’s backstory could easily be written into Mantis’ origin, allowing for a brief cameo or nod to the fans. Perhaps they could originate from the same home planet, with Bug being part of what she leaves when she joins the Guardians’ cause. Or perhaps he is simply a street thief at this point, that robs the Guardians much like Star-Lord was swindled in the beginning of the last film. There are many possibilities and it would be a shame to not see Gunn’s take on the peculiar character.
While the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise does have freedom to explore its own corner of the galaxy, it undoubtedly opens up the scope of the entire MCU and is priming audiences for intergalactic superhero action in Avengers: Infinity War. However, who or what is the connective tissue that binds the entire cinematic universe from Iron Man to Captain Marvel? Who is narrating or recording this epic story?
The simple answer at this point would be Thanos. However, we all know that while he certainly won’t go down without a fight, he probably isn’t long for this world once his confrontation with the Avengers ends. Putting aside the Stan Lee conspiracy theories (although if true, it would make for a great reveal), every story needs a sage or a character that imparts wisdom to the hero, which inspires their journey to even greater heights. Uatu, or the Watcher, is the man for that job.
Uatu is from an immortal race that vowed to not interfere and instead to merely watch the story of the universe unfold. The bobble-headed Watcher would seem to be the perfect compliment for Gunn’s quirky sensibilities and could potentially be used to push the narrative forward (though it’s possible that Fox actually owns the rights to the character, since he first appeared in the pages of the Fantastic Four). We do know that a large sub-plot of the movie will be about Peter Quill’s search for his father, and space is a huge place. If the ragtag team needs a pitstop on their adventure, fans would be delighted if they pulled over and got some directions from the Watcher.
In the comics, the Nova Corps are the futuristic space police who fully embody the fantastic and cosmic adventures of classic pulp fiction. In the first movie they were used to great effect, particularly comedically with the presence of John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Peter Serafinowicz, but they were missing the edge that they have in the comics. However, the whole face of Nova Corps would suddenly be taken a whole lot more serious with the presence of Nova.
Richard Rider is a Earthling who was gifted the technology and power of the Nova Corps, which eventually led him into intergalactic adventures. Gunn has noted his own reluctance to include new humans, and Nova in particular, in his Guardians saga. But this isn’t about what he wants, this is about what we want…
If they went with the “Ultimate Nova” version of the character, Sam Alexander, it could allow for Star-Lord to be put in the role of mentor and bring a new dynamic to the series.While Rocket and Gamora tutored him in the comics, having a mentor that’s a complete scoundrel (ie: Bad Santa) could open up a world of hilarity.
Additionally, Marvel Studios has shown a proclivity to have soft origins for the new heroes of phase 3, whether it’s Spider-Man (who has a noted friendship with Nova) or Black Panther. This could also be a great entry point into the world of Guardians of the Galaxy for younger viewers, who might already be familiar with the Nova character from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoons. It’s probably not going to happen, but we want it to!
The test tube baby of the Marvel universe is the most glaring omission from the galactic side of the MCU to date. In the comics, Adam Warlock was engineered by a nefarious group of scientists and geneticists, known as The Enclave, to be the pinnacle of evolution. However Warlock, known simply as HIM at that point, escapes his sterile confines before a series of events leaves him so weakened, that he retreats into a regenerative cocoon to heal and eventually be reborn in a new powerful form.
As is well known, this cocoon seemingly makes an appearance in the Collector’s (Benicio del Toro) chambers, before it’s destroyed by the Guardians tampering with the Infinity stone. Gunn has been coy about the character in general, but his inclusion makes sense narratively. If the superbeing was indeed set free in the explosion during Guardians of the Galaxy, he certainly would be looking for the “heroes” that liberated him.
In the comics, Warlock is an occasional member of the Guardians. His addition would shake up the dynamics of the Milano, as there hasn’t been a character introduced on-screen that could challenge the leadership of the charismatic Star-Lord… so far. Plus, imagine the comedic possibilities of the crafty Chris Pratt trying to get his team’s attention from a being that embodies perfection.
It shouldn’t be overlooked how crucial the character is to Thanos and the trajectory of the “Infinity Gauntlet” run in the comics as well. Eventually, Warlock manifests an evil alter-ego, Magus, who crafts the Infinity Gauntlet and sets the end of the
world universe in motion. Certainly things will change for the big screen, however his absence from the story would be glaring.
His inclusion fits in with the recent rumor from JoBlo that the main villain of the sequel will be Ayesha, who also goes by other names such as Paragon, Kismet, and HER. She was the second genetically engineered being after Warlock’s escape from The Enclave and is far from friendly. Her very existence is part of Warlock’s origin. So while Gunn enjoys a high-level of creative flexibility, it’s hard to imagine that he and Marvel won’t eventually pay off comic fans’ lust to see the character, with so much of his story already in motion.
Howard the Duck
Okay, admittedly geeks can ask for a lot at times. However, there is one character roaming around the cosmos that is guaranteed to satiate fanboys globally. Howard the Duck. The talking fowl, voiced by Seth Green, made his first appearance during the end credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy and there is no better place in the universe for him to make his return than in the sequel.
Another cameo during the film’s runtime would justify the price of admission itself. Whether we catch him in the midst of hitting on Gamora at the bar or getting into a drunken fist-fight with Rocket, we will take whatever we can get from the character. Make it happen, Marvel. Make it happen.
The beauty of the upcoming sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2, is that there is no real rulebook or predetermined path for Marvel to follow. The source material allows for the filmmakers to let the insanity of their creativity guide them. This could lead to disappoint or jubilation depending on if your favorite character will be getting the big screen treatment in May.
There are endless possibilities for the Guardians franchise and we are looking forward to see what surprises pop up in theaters next summer. Which characters are you dying to see in the sequel? Let us know in the comments!
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.