When it hit in 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy was a massive expansion for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The franchise had thus far been mostly focused on Earthly-set events (with the only divergences being to the nine realms in Thor), but we'd seen nothing on the galactic scale of James Gunn's unexpected smash hit; a film that also introduced new planets, technologies and species to the MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 promises to be a similar big expansion, especially when it comes to the characters. The core team itself will welcome Pom Klementieff as Mantis (along with Nebula and Yondu from the first film) and the plot will concern Star-Lord meeting his father, who is quite literally a living planet (played by Kurt Russell). With only a short teaser for the sequel to go on so far, there's a lot more alien action still to come.
Gunn, who's returning as writer/director on the sequel, has now posted an image of a new alien from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, named Brahl, on his Facebook to celebrate the birthday of actor Stephen Blackehart. Blackehart is a long-term friend of Gunn's and has appeared in several of the director's films, including Tromeo and Juliet (which Gunn wrote), Super (as a character coincidentally called Quill) and, most interestingly, Guardians of the Galaxy. There he was credited as a Knowhere Dispatcher, a background character in the space prison - but given how his is one of the first non-main characters revealed, he's likely to have a bigger role this time around.
Happy Birthday to my very best pal in all the land and my only friend who knows both the historical ins-and-outs of the Third Punic War and how an air-conditioner works, @blackehart. Here he is as Brahl in #GotGVol2.
We also have additional images of Blackehart as Brahl, which you can check out below:
The name Brahl will no doubt mean something to long-term Guardians fans; appearing in the original comic book series sporadically across the 1970s and '80s, he was a member of the descriptively evil group Minions of Menace, nemeses of the original Guardians team.
The design of comic book Brahl is a bit different to what we see here - there he was a black figure with impressive eyebrows - but the original movie wasn't all that accurate to the team's comic legacy either (taking basic character ideas rather than specifics), so that's hardly surprising. In fact, this Brahl sounds to be filling a completely different role to the comic version; at SDCC 2016 Gunn revealed that he was a member of Yondu's Ravagers - so instead of an energy blasting, spectral villain (his key power is being able to make himself intangible), expect a Brahl who's more of a ruffian.
The Ravagers themselves are set to play a bigger role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel in general. Sean Gunn, who plays Kraglin, has said there's dissent among the ranks in the new film, following Star-Lord getting away with the Infinity Stone. That may culminate with a Ravager rebellion against their leader, Yondu - and it may even account for why Yondu becomes a Guardian in the first place.
Source: James Gunn
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019