When the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy movie was announced, there wasn’t a lot of fanfare or expectation -- even from the moderate comic book fans. Despite being revived in 2008, the superteam hadn’t made huge waves in the Marvel Comics universe, even though they’d been around since the 1960s. Several creative teams have tried and failed over the years to capture the magic and potential of this loosely associated, wildly varying group of characters from all around the universe.
There are roster confusions, a lot of timeline mixups, and crossed origin stories, but through all the narrative struggles, the character designs kept improving and becoming more imaginative, modernized, and space-based. As Marvel’s cosmic side grew and shrank, characters like Adam Warlock would lead the Guardians into larger roles in the main story, but beyond aesthetics, the team of misfits didn’t have a lot bringing it together.
Before the whole was greater than the sum of its parts, aliens, space rogues, raccoons, tree spirits, and magicians all made up the Guardians of the Galaxy at one time -- that ragtag collection of characters brought a bevy of different designs. Marvel has done its part to bring some of those characters to the screen, but with over fifty years of source material, the true fans have a lot of great ideas too.
With that in mind, here are 20 Amazing Guardians of the Galaxy Fan Redesigns Better Than What We Got.
20 WARRIOR GAMORA
The Gamora that Zoe Saldana plays on screen in both movies has definitely proven herself to be a formidable fighter, but if she had a costume design like this one, her look would only amplify that impression.
User Pryce14 has put Gamora in full-body light armor and equipped her with long sword and dagger to let her earn the moniker “most dangerous woman in the universe.”
Gamora’s costume design has come a long way since the skin tight, scale armor body suit she sports in the comics, but the adopted daughter of Thanos has remained equally threatening in every outfit. This edition of Gamora’s warrior garb might be a reference to the traditional soldier’s uniform of her species, the Zen-Whoberis.
19 WAR OF HEROES ROCKET
This rendering of Rocket Raccoon was lined by user edwinhuang with colors by Genzo and puts the ornery hero in a boldly designed, primary pallet military commander outfit of some kind. Rocket’s not going to save Flash Gordon from a space monster, instead this update of the character was done for an online card game, War of Heroes.
It does remind fans of the artistic possibilities possible through constructing a raccoon superhero.
The version of Rocket fans got on screen was a literal adaptation of the cybernetic raccoon with a fondness for weapons, but there was a little bit too much photo realism in the small rodent when it was blown up to 15 feet on a movie theater screen. A softer Rocket design, with less edge and grit may be more appealing for the character in the future, especially if he’s ever going to carry a larger role.
18 CAPED STAR LORD
This epic Star-Lord varies greatly from the version that Chris Pratt plays on screen. Director James Gunn has taken the films in a very fun direction, creating a cosmic corner of the MCU with an aesthetic twist that appeals to broader, younger audiences. However, there’s arguably a portion of the fan base out there, including artist Charlie Wen, that would be interested to see a director with a darker take on the Guardians’ space misadventure.
A darker-themed space western would lend itself better to a caped Star-Lord.
If Peter Quill made a cameo in The Gunslinger, basically, this is the uniform design he’d be working with. This redesign also features Quill’s mask, which has oddly gotten explained away as a simple gimmick in the movies. The modern version of Star-Lord seen on screen now is cool, but the more earnest, heroic version looks like this guy.
17 ARMORED GAMORA
Here’s a completely different take on Gamora from artist FrancisLugfran. This version reminds fans of one of the most modern revisions of the Guardians of the Galaxy, written by Brian Michael Bendis and designed by Valerio Schiti. This iteration of the super team leans fully into space-futurism.
This all-purpose, white, armored bodysuit lets Gamora feel perfectly at home strolling through the biospheres of the universe’s most modern cities or simply slogging her way across the dunes of a desert planet.
This style of uniform is also easily replicated by the rest of the team. It would be great for future movies to play with some kind of unified team garb or, at least, place the Guardians in a harsh setting where they all have to suit up.
16 AGILE ROCKET RACCOON
Another take on Rocket, this one from artist DaveBardin, leans into the more comical, animalistic features of the woodland creature turned superhero.
While the movies have done a serviceable job putting an actual raccoon on screen and making it talk and blow things up, this redesign of Rocket accents his tail, his ears, and alert eyes.
There are also some liberties taken here with the exact proportions of the animal itself, but for a shot at his perspective, the humanized legs and arms are a more relatable character approach.
If the beginning of Guardians Vol. 2 had featured that entire battle scene/music video from Rocket’s perspective, audiences wouldn’t find the current design pleasant to look at for that long -- this rendering is far easier on the eyes.
15 TEAM UNIFORMS
This group shot, by user bennyfuentes with help from Scott Kiblish, doubles down on the idea of primary colors and an imperial style uniform for the entire team. They adopt a double-breasted military jacket and all carry blue uniforms with red accents -- two power colors letting your eye know that these guys don't mess around.
Star-Lord is in full helmet, Gamora is in full regalia, and Groot is grown to full size -- fans would be well served by a version of the Guardians that featured the adventures of this team.
Apparently matured beyond their past, this edition of the team might be mercenaries, or settled down to organized combat. What could shake up a team that wears uniforms like these is a secret worth learning.
14 FULL CREST YONDU
This rendering of the classic Guardian from Centauri IV takes the character in a wildly different direction from Michael Rooker’s older, wiser, on screen version. User NunoPlati submitted this younger, more agile Yondu Udonta, apparently getting ready to fire his arrow.
Before joining the original Guardians team, Yondu was a hunter on his home planet previous to his entire race being taken out by the Badoon.
That experience could easily turn someone into a hardened warrior, and it’s great that a lot of that anger comes through in this sleekly animated redesign. Right away, fans of the on screen version will wonder what happened to Yondu’s once grand headpiece -- if they’re ever lucky enough to see a younger Yondu, such as this one, perhaps it could be in a future project featuring the origins of the first Guardians of the Galaxy team.
13 VERY CARTOON
This is a hip take on the modern version of the seven cinematic Guardians, offered by GalooGameLady. A hyper colored cartoon design like this one might feel like a radical departure from the movies audiences have seen, but these would be great versions on the characters for future animated projects.
The Guardians team features an ensemble cast, a cosmic setting, and innumerable narrative twists and turns, making it a perfect property for some kind of ongoing animated series. It’s been done in the past, but once the heroes are a little bit more established in the general consciousness, opportunities could open up for animated features or more series.
Another beautiful part about these caricatures is how well the animated versions were able to capture their real life actors. Somehow, those really do look like Dave Bautista’s eyes.
12 KRUGARR ALL ANGLES
Exhibit A for characters who really need more exploration in an ongoing series is Krugarr, like the version by user jsmarantz. This semi-faceless, super heroic, demon-dragon made a brief cameo at the end of Guardians Vol. 2, but audiences deserve to see far more of this one.
Despite how scary this rendering looks, Krugarr is a good guy - he’s just the kind of good guy that’s supposed to scare the villains.
In a future Guardians of the Galaxy team, Krugarr is Sorcerer Supreme in an alternate timeline. It’s not entirely clear yet how he found his way into the latest Guardians movie, but whichever way they decide to adapt the character, the Guardians franchise always has an opportunity to feature as many different alien races as Marvel can produce.
11 SPLATTERED STAR-LORD
As fun as it’s been to watch Peter Quill roam around the galaxy stumbling in and out of scrapes, there’s also another Star-Lord that would do anything to save the people he serves with, and who’s bravery seriously raises eyebrows. The lighter version is nice, but user austinthefreak submitted this version of the lead Guardian that lets fans take another look at our happy, goofy hero.
This Star-Lord, softly splattered in black with red accents, looks like a character who’s in the middle of fighting a war -- whether in the universe or merely in his own heart. This guy’s seen some stuff, and couldn’t care less if fans root for his heroics or not, because he’s going to keep fighting anyway.
Whenever the MCU lines up that darker take on Peter Quill, this is one of the renderings they should consider for inspiration.
10 RONAN THE ACCUSER
Here’s another take on the Kree villain from the first Guardians movie, again aimed toward an animated redesign. Lee Pace played Ronan in the movie, but user BeeBoyNYC takes the character in a far more linear direction in this simplified, angular version.
Despite stripping down the design to some key elements, the hands and face in particular remain full of life and somehow, filled with more evil.
The driving forces behind the mind of Ronan in the first movie were a little vague, but the performance and character design alone was enough to bring him back to play a role in the forthcoming Captain Marvel movie. He’s sure to stick around in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a long time, and this piece of fan art puts its finger on exactly why.
9 HEROIC ROCKET
Another picture of Rocket Raccoon that comes closer to presenting the character as the starring role. This Rocket in a power pose was created by EspenG, and what’s great about this art is how it blends the traditional raccoon-ish qualities of the character into a pose you'd more likely see Star-Lord take.
For Rocket fans a little bit repulsed by the on screen version they have now, but who don’t want a full Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails version of the super raccoon either, this is a great middle ground.
Those eyes, while beady, contain a lot more than comic relief, if this snapshot is anything to go by. Along with Groot in the background, a Rocket Raccoon driven story is starting to sound more and more plausible based on this design.
8 STAKAR OGORD STARHAWK SKETCH
While fans only got a short tease of Stakar Ogord, played by Sylvester Stallone in Guardians Vol. 2, they nonetheless instantly began hypothesizing about the full Starhawk coming out of some corner of the MCU. While James Gunn hasn’t indicated that a movie about Ogord or the rest of the original Guardians was forthcoming, it hasn’t stopped fans like fedde from putting forth designs of the first galactic super team's leader.
This rendering of Starhawk takes inspiration from the Steve Gerber version.
Stallone’s face took up most of the design of Stakar Ogord in the movie, but for future versions, a comics accurate costume could look like this. His cameo already set him up as the non-traditional hero that’s always made him so volatile. Hopefully Starhawk fans will see this on screens soon.
7 GROOT AND ROCKET
It looks like the MCU and James Gunn know what they have when it comes to Groot’s aesthetic, but this art by user Alexis Kurosawa, shows the fully developed character and the possibilities with Groot feel nearly endless. With a deceptively vague character construction, Groot and his tree-like traits grow and change to adjust to the story requirements.
This rendition of the Ent-like being and his furry companion can surprise with how different these two characters keep looking.
Putting two of the most symbolically earthbound beings onto an outer space team provides comic book story fodder automatically, but when the two characters are really drawn in cosmic perspectives, they become far more imaginative and interesting. The more wild and battle-worn a tree and raccoon can look, the more entertaining they’ll be.
6 CHARLIE-27 SPACE SUIT
When Charlie-27 showed up in that group cameo at the end of Guardians Vol. 2, Ving Rhames played the character with his crossed bandoliers, which immediately indicated his identity to fans. One of the last survivors of Jupiter and canonical member of that original Guardians team, Charlie is a textbook soldier, even if this art by user superleezard tries to soften that image up a little bit.
If Marvel ever decides to start in on that classic Guardians cartoon, maybe for younger audiences, this is a version of Charlie-27 they can use for inspiration.
Until then, this redesign of the Jovian, along with similar styles of all the other character through the artist’s page, can keep audiences excited and astonished by the wealth of the Guardians of the Galaxy property.
5 STAR-LORD AND ROCKET
In this dark action shot of the Guardians by user RichardCox, they’re fighting someone in the middle of space. The team not only features Star-Lord, Rocket, and Groot in the background, but Nova also makes an appearance with a cool uniform that they all share versions of. This is another costume set that adopts tints of an imperial motif, also drawing Star-Lord with his full helmet.
The forearm gloves and knee socks maybe be coming close to over the top, but it’s obvious that these four are engaged in serious battle against some nearly insurmountable galactic threat.
After the Guardians’ origins, once they’ve gotten several more movies and mission under their belts, undergone some roster changes, and gained years of experience, a uniform that looks like this will tell the story of their most professional years.
4 WOLVERINE GROOT
Another argument for this character being deceptively vague and well-suited to fit into any situation, this version of Groot brought to life by user pungang, is ready to watch a battle eagerly from the sidelines in frustration. Thanks to this image, we have a lot of hope that a showdown between Groot and Wolverine is totally in play for the future of the MCU.
It won’t be Hugh Jackman probably, but one could imagine a sequence of events where Groot tries to impersonate several different Marvel heroes that he meets along the way.
This menacing version of Wolverine Groot really captures Logan’s anger as well as his claws.
Audiences may have had enough of Baby Groot after his last appearance, but this redesign reminds fans that this character holds infinite possibilities for future super spoofs and clever looks.
3 HUNGRY EGO
For everyone who thought that the on screen version of Ego the living planet, featured a little bit too much of Kurt Russell’s ego and not enough of a living planet, this piece of art is for you. Movie audiences got to see a bunch of similarly washed out anthropomorphized land masses and a broad shot of the whole planet, but nothing like what user alecyl presents in this piece.
Ego’s sheer enormity should be the featured part of his character, not his 1970s movie star charm. This take on the entire heavenly body shows the potential destructive powers of Ego, not just for Peter Quill and his team, but for anything in space that enters his field of gravity.
2 CLASSIC DRAX
The super tattooed, heavily scarred version of Drax the Destroyer is definitely a savage take on the character supposed to be one of the most dangerous warriors in the universe. Bautista's portrayal of Drax in the movies makes him come off a bit more like comic relief than a dangerous destroyer.
This sketch of Drax by user fedde, comes a lot closer to Jim Starlin's original version, who debuted in the early '70s.
While the first version was somehow even more comical than even Dave Bautista’s portrayal, this update on that classic costume and body type holds every bit of intimidation that earns him his nickname, Destroyer. The eyes carry a Martian Manhunter-like quality that would totally work for a modern redesign in future projects.
1 LINED STAR-LORD AND ROCKET
This art, honoring the two of the most interesting personalities on the Guardians of the Galaxy team by yahuxx28, is one of the few submissions on this list that reach for the vulnerability and friendship of the Guardians. Part of the Marvel magic that’s fueled the success of the latest franchise of movies, is the friendly chemistry that works among the team members.
Rocket and Peter Quill, even though they bicker the most of any two characters, are working toward a deeper bond. This exchange between the two, Rocket inquiring suspiciously, while Star-Lord listens to tunes blissfully, sums up the fun parts of reviving this band of intergalactic outcasts. A Calvin and Hobbes style book of Rocket/Peter misadventures may be a long way off, but there are more aspects to the relationship for these two to explore on screen and this piece proves it.
Which Guardians of the Galaxy redesign do you hope we see in future movies? Let us know in the comments!