Guardians of the Galaxy was among the biggest (surprise) success stories of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far. It was an example of the studio taking obscure, strange characters and giving them the full-blown Hollywood treatment, and audiences responded to the film incredibly favorably. One of the biggest hits of the film was Dave Bautista’s Drax the Destroyer, who took everything literally and wanted revenge against Ronan for the murder of his family.
While it’s true that Drax has been a presence in the comics for over 40 years, many fans may have been first introduced to him in the film, which means that there’s much that’s still unknown about him. We don’t really know where Drax came from, or what he can do, and why he was created. Drax is shrouded in mystery, but that doesn’t mean he has to stay that way. Here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Drax the Destroyer.
15 At His Largest, He Weighed Over 1,000 Pounds
Over the years, the specific statistics around comic book characters can vary wildly. They can change size, color, and weight all depending on who is drawing them and what story is being told. This flexibility is part of what makes comic books so exciting, because they are in many ways subject to the whims of the people who are making them. This means that Drax has been a variety of sizes through his more than 40 years as a comic book character.
At his largest, though, the character was over seven feet tall and weighed 1050 pounds. This version of the character is obviously a terrifying physical presence, and it’s likely that he would have the strength to back it up. Of course, Dave Bautista isn’t quite that massive. Still, he’s probably about as good a representation as there is of what Drax would actually be like if he were a real being, though that’s far from the only reason Bautista was perfect for the role.
14 Drax Is More Grey In The Movies
Green is certainly a dominant color in the Marvel universe. The most notably green presence is the Incredible Hulk, but Gamora is also bright green. In the comics, Drax is bright green as well, but the film decided to give the character a slightly different tinge. While Drax still has something of a greenish hue, it’s definitely more subdued than the bright green of Gamora and the Hulk, and that was intentional.
In fact, Drax’s colors were changed for the film so that it would be easy to distinguish him visually not only from Gamora, who he often shares the screen with, but also from a fairly famous muscular green guy with whom Marvel fans were already familiar. All that green may have gotten confusing for fans, especially when Drax and Hulk eventually share the screen in Infinity War. As a result, Drax gets to be just a little bit grayer, but the look still totally works on him.
13 He Has Extra Powers in the Comics
In Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax is fairly intimidating because of his strength alone. He’s a fearsome physical presence, and his super strength is coupled with truly incredible durability. This alone may seem like enough, but Drax has some additional skills in the comics that his movie counterpart seems to be lacking. For one thing, the Drax of the comics can fly, oh and he’s able to shoot beams out of his hands.
These additional powers definitely make Drax a much more deadly weapon, and ultimately allow him to do much more damage in the comics than his film counterpart is capable of. It’s true that at various points during his history as a character, Drax has lost his ability to fly and use his hand beams, which may explain why the film version of the character is also lacking them. Of course, it could also be the case that these extra abilities would simply make him too powerful, and so they had to be cut from the film.
12 Jason Mamoa Was Originally Cast in the Role
Jason Mamoa, who will soon be seen on screens as Aquaman, was originally set to play Drax, but he ultimately turned down the part. After playing Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, Mamoa was worried that he would be type-cast as the muscular brute for the rest of his career, and so he ultimately decided that Drax wasn’t the right next step.
Mamoa’s choice to play Aquaman may ultimately allow him to play a different kind of role, but it’s not like he isn’t muscular in that film as well. Still, the trailers suggest that Mamoa’s performance as Aquaman may be among the best things about the Justice League film, and will give him the opportunity to combine his signature wit with some fun fight choreography. The jury’s still out on whether Mamoa made the right call, but his career seems to be working out fine anyway.
11 Dave Bautista Cried After Hearing He Got the Part
Before Guardians of the Galaxy, Dave Bautista was known primarily for his time inside the ring. When he was cast as Drax, he was still primarily known for that. In fact, Drax was his very first major onscreen role. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that, as a result, Bautista was fairly emotional about getting the part. In fact, when he found out he’d been offered the role, Bautista broke down in tears and immediately accepted the part.
Bautista’s casting was clearly a smart move. Despite his lack of prior acting experience, Bautista was one of the characters that stood out the most in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and he’s poised to do the same in Volume 2.
Drax is an inherently funny role, and Bautista has the perfect deadpan sensibilities to make it work. His work in the film has been enough to land him roles outside of the Marvel universe as well, but you can tell he’s really at home in Drax’s tattooed skin.
10 Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista Spent Two and a Half Months Working on Their Fight Scene
Fight scenes are a complicated beast. The choreography required to pull them off is often complex, and when actors are really committed to doing them right, they can take weeks or even months to prepare for. That was the case for all of the fight scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy, which Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista spent two and a half months training for.
While it’s true that Bautista has significant experience with combat, the fight scenes in Guardians were rather elaborate, and the more rehearsal time the pair put in, the better the scenes would ultimately be. Of course, all of their hard work paid off rather spectacularly in the film, which features a number of dazzling fight sequences, including every one that tPratt and Bautista are involved in.
Bautista also worked out incredibly hard in preparation for the film, which makes sense. After all, he did have to be shirtless at all times.
9 His Real Name is Arthur Douglas
In the comics, Drax the Destroyer used to be a human, and only inhabited his current alien form after his family was killed by Thanos. While he was a human, his name was Arthur Douglas, and he lived what could be described as a fairly normal life. He was a real estate agent, and it wasn’t until he found himself driving through the desert with his wife and daughter that everything changed - when he saw Thanos's spaceship land on Earth.
While Arthur and his entire family were destroyed by Thanos, his mind was saved and placed in a much more powerful body; one capable of killing Thanos. Since the death of his family, Drax has made killing Thanos his singular goal. This ethos is one that has extended to his movie counterpart, although it’s unclear whether Arthur Douglas exists in the movies. Drax may have always been an alien, but his family was still murdered by Thanos, even if it was indirectly.
8 In the Comics, Drax's Family was Killed by Thanos Instead of Ronan
In Guardians of the Galaxy, we find that Drax has a personal vendetta against Ronan the Accuser, the film’s villain, because Ronan wiped out Drax’s entire family. That’s fair enough, and it gives us a solid explanation for why he might team up with the rest of the Guardians. Still, this is a slight alteration to Drax’s character from the comics. In the comics, it was Thanos himself who murdered Drax’s family, and it was Thanos who Drax wanted to kill.
Of course, the end result is the same in the films - once Drax realizes that Ronan killed Drax’s family on Thanos’s orders. By the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax is seeking vengeance against Thanos for the crime. Still, the move represents a minor edit to Drax’s motivations, and it’s one that’s worth considering because it allowed Guardians to better explain Drax’s own relationship with Ronan. It was a smart move that organically integrated Drax into the Guardians.
7 The Character First Appeared in Iron Man #55
Drax’s history in the comics is fairly long, and he’s gone through numerous incarnations in that time. His first appearance was in a February, 1973 issue of Iron Man, and he didn't join up with the Guardians of the Galaxy for quite some time afterward. Instead, he was actually introduced alongside Thanos and Kronos, two characters whose presence still looms large over both the comics and the films.
In fact, it’s fairly clear that Iron Man #55 was enormously influential, and not just because of Drax. Because Thanos originated alongside Drax, the pair are inextricably linked to one another, and that means that Drax may have a bigger role to play in the Infinity War saga than many might have expected.
Not only is Drax’s stated purpose to destroy Thanos, but their very introductions are linked, suggesting that Drax and Thanos are two sides of the same coin. They complete one another, so to speak.
6 Kronos Resurrected Arthur Douglas as Drax
One of several supremely powerful beings inside of the Marvel universe, Kronos used to be a scientist before his mind merged with the universe itself. Kronos was actually introduced in the same issue as Drax, and that makes sense when you realize that Kronos was responsible for Drax’s creation. Kronos took Arthur Douglas’s human mind, and put it into an alien body.
Kronos is actually Thanos’ grandfather, but that didn’t stop the all-knowing being from creating an adversary for his grandson. Kronos was introduced alongside Drax and Thanos in Iron Man #55, and he’s one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe.
Kronos’s resurrection of Drax may have seemed like mercy, but it was actually quite cruel. As Drax, Arthur Douglas’s focus is completely singular. He’s a former human who has lost everything, and is driven by vengeance alone.
5 His Daughter's Alive in the Comics
Drax’s entire motivation comes from the fact that Thanos murdered his family. That’s fairly apparent, even in the limited time we’ve spent with him on screen. What some movie-goers may not know, though, is that Drax’s daughter is actually very much alive. In fact, she survived the destruction that Thanos brought on her family, unlike her father, and eventually became a powerful telepath known as Moondragon.
She was found by Mentor (Thanos’ father) after Thanos' attack, and gained all of her abilities purely through hard work. This makes Moondragon something of an aberration in the world of comic books, where most characters get their supernatural abilities through some sort of scientific experiment. Moondragon wouldn’t learn of her father’s survival until years later. Interestingly, she would also become an unofficial member of the Guardians of the Galaxy during her time as a comic book character.
4 Drax was a Member of the Infinity Watch
We’ve been slowly learning about the Infinity stones as the Marvel universe unfolds, and we’ve come to understand that the they’ll be incredibly important once Thanos finally gets rolling. Drax actually has a history of protecting the stones. He was one of the characters chosen to be part of the Infinity Watch, and was charged with defending the gems.
Somewhat fittingly, Drax was given the power gem to protect. This was done because Drax was only capable of tapping into the gem’s power unwittingly, and when he did, it only served to increase his already formidable strength. While many members of the Infinity Watch chose to wear their gems on their foreheads, Drax had a more interesting location for storing his.
Mistaking it for a jelly bean, Drax swallowed his stone. Thankfully, because it was essentially indestructible, that was as safe a place as any for it.
3 It Took Five Hours to Put the Makeup On
Full body makeup is always really intense, but that was especially the case for Drax. Bautista had to spend five hours getting makeup applied to his body every day before shooting, which meant that he often had long days on set. Bautista’s horror story is far from the only examples of comic book characters requiring hours of makeup. Mystique famously required an insanely long process, which is understandable when you consider the fact that the makeup needs to be applied to the entire body of the actress playing her. At least Drax is usually wearing pants - even if he rarely has a shirt to go with them.
Still, Bautista’s ripped form certainly presents challenges of its own, as do the elaborate designs that make up Drax’s skin. The time he spent getting the makeup put on clearly paid off; the character looks every bit like an extraterrestrial who takes everything too literally.
2 His Body is Incredibly Difficult to Damage
One of the reasons Drax has a better chance of defeating Thanos than most characters is pretty simple. Drax’s body is nearly impervious to harm, which means that even the power of Thanos would have trouble hurting Drax. In the comics, Drax also has numerous powers which make him a worthy match for Thanos, but his durability is certainly a deeply helpful trait.
It’s unclear whether Drax’s durability is as extreme in the films, although we’ve certainly seen him survive some fairly precarious situations. For a second during his fight with Ronan, it looked as though Drax was about to bite the dust. Fortunately, his body is far more durable than most might have guessed, and he was able to walk away from that encounter largely unscathed.
In fact, while Drax may not be the most powerful thing in the Marvel universe, his durability makes him nearly impossible to stop. Even if he loses, he’ll just keep coming back.
1 Drax Was Created to Kill Thanos
As the MCU keeps reminding us, Thanos is something of a heavyweight. He’s the big bad the movies have been building toward since all the way back in 2012 with The Avengers, and he’s the next villain that team of superheroes will fight in Infinity War. It turns out that Drax may be a secret weapon when the fight gets going, and not just because he has a personal vendetta against Thanos.
When Drax was created, he was designed with the big time-villain in mind. In fact, Kronos created Drax specifically to destroy Thanos, and it didn’t hurt that Drax was already motivated toward that goal. The version of Drax that exists in the comics, complete with extra powers and insane levels of durability, seems like the perfect match for Thanos. It’s unclear whether the film version of the character will be able to take on Thanos alone. Fortunately, it seems like he’ll have plenty of help from both the Avengers and the Guardians.
Do you have any trivia to share about Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy? Share them in the comments!