In 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy unleashed on the MCU a giant wave of Marvel characters, including everyone from major characters like Drax and Gamora to C and D-listers like Yondu, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot. The movie gave important characters their first, long-awaited live-action appearances, and brought forgotten characters back to prominence, though some of these had never been famous in the first place.
Considering the depth in which Guardians of the Galaxy made use of Marvel lore, it doesn’t come as a big shock that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 features what could be the largest cast of established characters to appear in any film produced by Marvel Studios. The movie expands on the mythology of the Marvel Universe by introducing over a dozen characters.
Some of the characters included in the movie are so obscure that you’ll only find them in a small number of comics. However, James Gunn didn’t just throw a bunch of nobodies into his film. What you’ll find in the movie are several characters whose names are not well-known, but have key roles in the history of the Guardians. With that said, let’s have a look at 15 Characters in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 You’ve Never Heard Of.
15. Adam Warlock
In one of the five post-credits scenes, we received a glimpse of a cocoon that contained the Sovereign’s greatest creation. Ayesha declared that its purpose would be to destroy the Guardians of the Galaxy. Being the first of its kind, she named it “Adam.”
The name refers to Adam Warlock, a genetically engineered cosmic superhero with gold skin. Warlock bore the heavy burden of carrying the Soul Gem in his head, a vampiric weapon that drained the souls of his enemies. Warlock was the protagonist of several of Marvel’s most important events, including Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War. With a background like that, it’s hard to believe a character like Warlock doesn’t have a bigger presence in the comics.
Though writers tried to give Warlock the proper exposure he needed to become popular, the character failed to take off and was unable to hold a series for long. The character disappeared in the early ’80s, and was finally revived in the ’90s for Infinity Gauntlet. A few years later, Warlock disappeared again and has only been used sparingly since.
The robot head that was shown at the end of the film alongside Yondu’s former teammates is Mainframe, voiced by pop star Miley Cyrus. Mainframe’s comic book counterpart is based in the 31st century in the alternate timeline of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Mainframe is a future version of the android Avenger, Vision.
In this timeline, Mainframe exists on another planet as a super-computer. Mainframe possesses so much power that he alone sustains the planet’s existence. He was also the guardian of Captain America’s shield until Vance Astro came to claim it. Though Mainframe was mostly portrayed as just a face inside a machine, he was eventually able to recreate his old body.
13. The Celestials
The mystery of Star-Lord’s father has existed since the release of the first movie in 2014. Based off the clues given in the movie, it was easy for fans to deduce that he was some kind of powerful alien. When he finally appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, he revealed that he was Ego the Living Planet, a member of an advanced alien race called the Celestials. In the comic books, however, Ego is an Elder of the Universe, not a Celestial.
Celestials are so powerful that they can create life. On Earth, they engineered two different species: the Eternals and the Deviants. The Celestials are often mentioned but hardly ever opposed because of how superior they are to everyone else. The Celestials come and go as they please, observing their creations as they travel from planet to planet, deciding which ones deserve to continue living and which ones don’t.
Another mystery fans had been waiting to unravel was the identity of the character played by Sylvester Stallone. Stallone plays Stakar, the leader of Yondu’s old team. Angry at Yondu for trafficking children, Stakar expelled him from the organization. This was a decision that cut Yondu deep.
Stakar is the name of Starhawk, a member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Starhawk was the team’s powerhouse who always referred to himself as “The One Who Knows.” Starhawk gained this title by having his essence sent back into the body of his infant self, causing him to relive his life over and over again. This makes it possible for Starhawk to always know what happens next. When Starhawk makes a different choice than the one he made in his previous lifetimes, he creates an alternate reality.
11. Aleta Ogord
Another surprise featured in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was the inclusion of martial arts icon Michelle Yeoh as Aleta Ogord, another former teammate of Yondu’s. The comic book version of Aleta was married to Starhawk. Years before meeting the Guardians, Aleta and Starhawk were granted powers by the Hawk God and merged into one being, so that only one of them could physically exist at once. Aleta has the ability to manipulate light.
Though Aleta and Starhawk were married, their relationship was a strained one at best. Starhawk relinquished control of their body only when it was absolutely necessary, meaning that she would often spend months within the prison of Starhawk’s mind. She also blamed him for the deaths of their three children for several years. When Starhawk and Aleta finally split into two separate people, Aleta ended their marriage and fell in love with Vance Astro.
10. Ego the Living Planet
In the comic books, Star-Lord’s father is J’Son of Spartax, though in the movie, his father is actually Ego the Living Planet, played by Kurt Russell. Ego refers to himself as a Celestial, but this too is a deviation from the source material. Ego the Living Planet is actually one of the Elders of the Universe, a group of the oldest beings in the world. Guardians of the Galaxy introduced us to the Collector, the MCU’s first Elder, and in Thor: Ragnarok we’ll meet another Elder, the Grandmaster.
Ego’s first comic book appearance was as a Thor villain. He was a sentient planet who had to absorb other worlds in order to survive. In a way similar to Kurt Russell’s version of the character, Ego could create a humanoid avatar for the purpose of communicating with others. Ego has also been an antagonist for cosmic heroes such as the Silver Surfer and Quasar.
Featured in the film’s post-credits sequence was Yondu and Stakar’s old team of Ravagers. One of the characters was a red, snake-like creature with magical powers. This mystical alien is Krugarr, the Sorcerer Supreme of the 31st century. He was the apprentice of Doctor Strange, now known as the Ancient One. When Doctor Strange gave the title of “Sorcerer Supreme” to Krugarr, he also passed down to him the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation.
Krugarr was made an honorary member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy after helping them fight a cult of fanatics and murderers devoted to the Punisher. Krugarr was too busy to journey with the Guardians, though his apprentice, Talon, joined the team as a full-time member.
Played by Sean Gunn, Kraglin was Yondu’s second-in-command in the Ravagers. As a source of comedy and a loyal subordinate of Yondu, Kraglin had a much bigger role in the sequel than he did in the first film. Kraglin is one of the characters who instigated the mutiny, but his guilt led him to assisting the Guardians. Kraglin was also featured in one of the movie’s post-credits scenes, practicing with Yondu’s flying arrow.
The comic book version of Kraglin is a member of an alien race called the A-Chiltarians. Kraglin’s only appearance was in Tales to Astonish #46 when his people tried to invade Earth. They were foiled by Ant-Man (Hank Pym) and the Wasp, who tricked Kraglin and the A-Chiltarians into thinking that humans were too powerful to be conquered.
In the film, Elizabeth Debicki plays Ayesha, a member of an elite race called the Sovereign who strive for physical and mental perfection. She serves as a secondary antagonist for the Guardians as she struggles to recover batteries stolen by Rocket. We find out at the end of the movie that Ayesha has created Adam Warlock to take revenge on the Guardians.
The Sovereign don’t exist in the source material, where Ayesha is only the second of her kind. The first was Adam Warlock. Ayesha’s purpose was to be Warlock’s mate, but this was not to be. Instead, she fell in love with Quasar, the Protector of the Universe.
In an alternate timeline, the two had a child who turned out to be Starhawk, the character played by Sylvester Stallone. In the final issue of the 1990s Guardians of the Galaxy series, Starhawk and Ayesha reunited and flew off into the cosmos to seek new adventures together.
When Taserface led a mutiny against Yondu, he had one of the Ravagers tortured and thrown out into space so that Yondu could watch him suffer an agonizing death. This character was Tullk, played by Tommy Flanagan.
In the comic books, Tullk was an insignificant character who only appeared in the limited series, Annihilation: Ronan. Like Kraglin, Tullk had no association with Yondu or the Guardians of the Galaxy. He was an alien bounty hunter who accepted contracts from anyone in the galaxy who had the money to pay. He was hired by Ronan the Accuser to find Tana Nile, a woman whose testimony was the basis of a sedition charge made against Ronan. Before he could find her, Tullk was killed by the Annihilation Wave.
In all of Stallone’s scenes, his character was accompanied by a strange alien, played by Michael Rosenbaum, who appeared to be made out of crystals. We find out later that he’s another member of Stakar’s old team.
Who is this mysterious character? He’s more important than you might think. His name is Martinex, and he’s a founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Martinex was a Pluvian, an evolutionary offshoot of humans based on Pluto. Martinex’s super power is that he can emit both heat and cold from his body.
As the Guardians’ science officer, Martinex was often the voice of reason, which was partly why his teammates elected him as their leader. He eventually left the team to follow in the footsteps of the Avengers by forming a separate branch of the Guardians called the Galactic Guardians. Martinex’s goal was to make the Guardians more expansive, since he knew it was impossible for one small team to protect the entire galaxy.
Though most of the Ravagers are original characters created for the movie, a few have their origins in the comics. One of these is Brahl, played by Stephen Blakehart. Brahl is portrayed as one of the Ravagers who sides with Taserface.
In the comics, Brahl was a villain of the original Guardians of the Galaxy and a member of the Minions of Menace. Brahl had the ability to phase through solid objects like a ghost. Brahl and the other Minions were working for Korvac when they fought Thor and the Guardians. Years later, Brahl joined a group of supervillains called Force. While on the team, he brutally beat Martinex, which nearly killed him. Much like the movie version of the character, Brahl eventually betrayed his teammates to get revenge on the Guardians.
Ego’s companion in the film, Mantis, is played by Pom Klementieff. Mantis is a classic Avenger who was on the team’s main roster for three years in the 1970s. She is a German-Vietnamese martial artist who was raised by alien priests to be the Celestial Madonna, the mother of the Celestial Messiah. As the Celestial Madonna, Mantis has empathic powers a number of plant-related abilities at her disposal. She can even communicate with Groot.
Though Mantis does have a history as an Avenger, her appearances in comics are rather limited. She received more attention after co-founding the Guardians of the Galaxy with Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and a few others.
The film introduces Mantis as one of the newest Guardians but makes a few changes to her character. Instead of being a human, Mantis is portrayed as alien. Her empathic powers are similar to the ones employed by her comic book counterpart, but her martial arts skills appear to be absent.
Charlie-27 is a founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Played by Ving Rhames, he appeared at the end of the film to witness Yondu’s funeral. Charlie-27 is a marine from Jupiter with enhanced muscular density. He acts as the team’s pilot, military tactician, and muscle. As a military man, Charlie-27 is proficient with various types of weaponry, but has a special fondness for guns, especially the big ones.
He’s one of the only two Guardians to remain an active member throughout the team’s history. The only other character who can make this claim is Vance Astro. The two of them, along with Martinex and Yondu, founded the team together.
Charlie-27 feels a special kind of communion with his fellow warriors in the Guardians, especially the ones he’s served with the longest. That’s why it was such a special moment when Charlie-27 called Yondu his old friend, which served as a reference to the two characters’ comic book history as fellow Guardians.
During the movie, one character in particular was a constant source of entertainment as every time he spoke his name, other characters responded with laughter. The hardened criminal known as Taserface was just a villain who wanted to be taken seriously, but that just wasn’t possible. At one point, Rocket asked him if he shot tasers out of his face.
Though Taserface explained that the name is metaphorical, in the comic books, shooting energy beams out of his face is his super power. However, the fact that his name actually made sense didn’t stop other characters from making fun of him.
Taserface is a member of a race of savages who found a case of Tony Stark’s armored suits. They used the suits to conquer other worlds. They named themselves the Stark in homage to the person responsible for their new weapons of war.
Taserface was actually a formidable opponent for the Guardians, despite the laughable name. He became even more dangerous when he was transformed into Overkill. Sadly, Taserface was a total failure as Overkill as well. He tried to self-destruct to kill Hollywood (a future version of Wonder Man), but all Hollywood did was absorb the blast, making Taserface’s death utterly meaningless.