The O.G. Guardians of the Galaxy Are Back in the MCU: So Who Exactly Are They?

Leading up to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, James Gunn revealed that the movie would feature the in-universe predecessors to Starlord’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  He gave us some details, but mostly made us wait until last weekend to figure out what exactly was going on with them.  And I gotta say, it was worth the wait.

As it turns out, the new (old?) team’s roster is a bit different from what we were lead to expect.  Sure, there was the roster that Gunn promised us the first time around, but the movie silently threw in a few notable extras in the background (like that red Zerg-looking guy, or the dude made out of crystals).  So who exactly are these proto-Guardians?

Starhawk (Stakar Ogord) — Father figure to Yondu and one of the original Ravagers, Stakar Ogord — played by Sylvester Stallone — is better known to comic fans as Starhawk.  Although he has an extremely convoluted backstory, the film seems to hit the broad strokes and drop anything too profoundly weird.

While the mantle of Starhawk was shared by an amalgamation of Stakar and his adopted sister Aleta in the comics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe portrays them as two separate characters.  He took the Kree slave Yondu in and raised him as a son, bitterly casting him out after discovering that he had been trafficking in children, a violation of their pirate’s code.  Although they never reconciled in life, he and his fellow Ravagers honored him in death, with Stakar calling his original team back together in Yondu’s memory.

Starhawk (Aleta Ogord) — Although we don’t know if she will go by the title of Starhawk or not in the MCU, Aleta Ogord is Stakar’s adopted sister and sometimes love interest.  She is played in the movie by Chinese actress Michelle Yeoh due to Gunn’s overwhelming respect for her work, which is reason enough to assume that her role in the MCU will doubtlessly mirror her wuxia-inspired past.

It seems pretty obvious that Marvel went the path of least resistance and dropped anything and everything to do with them doing a fusion dance to become superheroes.  It’s pretty doubtful that the source of their powers — an Ancient Hawk God — will come up at all, since most of the cosmic characters seem to have their powers due simply to the fact that they aren’t Human.

Charlie 27 — Although obvious differences abound between the two, Charlie 27 is basically just “Space Luke Cage.”  He’s super strong, super durable and, in the movie, is played by Ving Rhames.  He’s just a big guy that punches stuff pretty good, simple as that.

Unlike his terrestrial counterpart, however, Charlie 27 — in the comics referred to as the “Best of All Charlies” — doesn’t have to contend with growing up Black in America: a fact that greatly informed the backstory and choices of the Hero of Harlem.  In fact, he’s a pretty martial guy: bullheadedly flying into danger for the sake of honor.

Mainframe — You know that disembodied Cyberman head  sitting in the middle of the rest of the O.G. Guardians?  That’s Mainframe.  And although she might not look like much, she’s actually kind of a big deal.  Oh, and she’s also voiced by Miley Cyrus of all people.

In the comics, Mainframe was in charge of an entire planet: not the government, the very planet itself.  It regulated everything from the weather to the tectonic activity of the planet Klaatu.  It’s also the far-future version of Vision — the crimson Avenger who has an Infinity Stone notched in his forehead — but you can expect that to be toned down to something a bit less exotic.

Matrinex — Of all the characters they chose to include in Vol. 2, Matrinex is probably my favorite.  He’s the crystalline guy who looks suspiciously like Diamondhead from Ben 10.  Played by Smallville‘s Michael Rosenbaum (aka, Le Luthor), he was lockstep with Stakar the entire movie, apparently acting as his second-in-command.

In the comics, Matrinex’s powers allowed him to control the extremes of temperature.  In other words, he was both a flamethrower and a snow blower.  He was always one of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s most visually arresting members and with one of the coolest conceptually.

Krugarr — Going into the movie, I had no idea who the Hell this guy was.  Apparently one of Starcraft‘s Zergs in redface, he stood silent among Stakar’s other Guardians: fun to look at, but little else.  It wasn’t until I got home from the movie and looked him up that I realized what an absolute hoot the character was.

The original Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics were never in sync with the greater happenings of the Marvel universe.  In fact, they were in a far-flung future: roughly the year 3000.  This is why so many of the Guardians ended up being future versions of different characters: like Mainframe being the future Vision or Major Victory being the future Captain America  Krugarr, as it turns out, is the future Doctor Strange.

That’s right, an alien snake-person jetting around in space is the Sorcerer Supreme of the year 3000.  He even has the cape and everything.  More than any of the other characters introduced in Vol. 2, Krugarr has the potential to do some really fun things with established MCU canon.

While it’s admittedly unlikely that they will fully delve into his role as a wizard, it could go a long way to expand the magical side of the Marvel movies.  We saw in Doctor Strange that the Earth — specifically just the Earth — was protected by a series of sacred sanctums spaced throughout the planet, creating a sorcerous barrier to protect the planet from magical threats.

But what about the rest of the galaxy, though?  What if each planet has their own Sorcerer Supreme to protect it from what lies beyond the veils of time and space?  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of fun to me.

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