An Introduction to the Villains of Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

     February 22, 2014


Well I’m sure we’ve all been singing “Hooked on a Feeling” for the better part of this week after the release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy trailer on Tuesday.  There have been numerous articles, including a few of our own, going into the protagonists of the story itself; who they are, where they came from, and where they may be going.  However, it seemed prudent to change things up a little and delve into those characters looking to cause trouble for the lovable raccoon and tree duo, to say nothing of the other three Guardians (played by Chris PrattZoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista).  Let’s delve into the murky underbelly of Marvel’s next big undertaking by looking at all of the villains that are set to make appearances in director James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy.  Hit the jump for an in-depth look at the baddies of the Marvel comics.



Played by Karen Gillan, of Doctor Who fame, Nebula is a space pirate who will perform nefarious tasks for a buyer that happens to offer her the right price.  She also happens to be the granddaughter of Thanos, the large, purple despot obsessed with death who made an appearance after the credits in the original Avengers movie (which we’ll delve into later in this article).  More often than not, Nebula has been a thorn in the side of the Avengers in the Marvel comic book universe, rather than the Guardians of the Galaxy, sometimes attempting to destroy the universe and other times trying to recruit an Avenger or two onto her not so merry band of space pirates.

Nebula’s standout appearance had to have been in one of the most popular story arcs in Marvel history entitled “The Infinity Gauntlet”.  In the arc, Thanos, seeking to do anything to appease Death outside of starting a black metal cover band, uses the power of the Infinity Gauntlet to snatch Nebula from her ship and turn her into a shambling corpse.  In Thanos’ twisted logic, by doing such a thing to his own granddaughter, surely Death would at least go on a first date with him.  Later in the story, Thanos lets down his guard once achieving godhood, and Nebula seizes the opportunity to steal the gauntlet and return everything back to normal before losing it herself.  While her motives aren’t exactly clear in the movie as of yet, expect her to be hunting the Guardians and starting trouble wherever she goes.



Ok, a bit of backstory for you with my personal reading habits, it pays off trust me.  I am super excited for Guardians of the Galaxy because the original storyline that introduced the characters that make up this version of the team began in Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s Annihilation series.  This storyline saw most of Marvel’s “cosmic” characters unite to fight a common enemy in the form of Annihilus and his Annihilation Wave.  This is my all time favorite super hero comic storyline as it hits all the right moments and has more amazing moments then you can shake a stick at.  With these moments, a good number of them can be attributed to Ronan the Accuser.  Ronan is something of a judge, jury, and executioner for the Marvel race known as the “Kree” and hands down justice in whatever way he sees fit.

Ronan, played by Lee Pace, will act as the movie’s main antagonist, which lines up with how he was originally played up in his early comic appearances.  He, at first, actually bothered the Fantastic Four more often than any other supergroup, but once the Avengers were dragged into the epic “Kree/Skrull War”, he became something of a menace to all the heroes of the Marvel Universe.  Recently however, Ronan has become something of a hero, protecting his people and working with other races to combat evils around the galaxy.  He was even a part of the Marvel team, “The Annihilators”, that consisted of some of Marvel’s heaviest hitters from the stars, pictured below.




Korath is a character that I’m not as familiar with as the rest of the folks on the list, but I’ve read a story or two with him in it.  Much like Ronan, Korath is a member of the Kree and specialized in cybernetic military technology and also stepped on the Avengers’ toes from time to time.  In the film, he’ll be played by Djimon Hounsou, and you can see him prominently at the beginning of the trailer itself and a few quick snippets throughout.  This won’t be Mr. Hounsou’s first foray into portraying a comic book character on the big screen, as he originally appeared as Papa Midnight in the Keanu Reeves flick, Constantine, based on the DC Comics’ character.



For those who saw Thor: The Dark World, you’ve already seen how The Collector will be portrayed in the Marvel movie-verse by Benicio Del Toro, sporting a rather eccentric costume. With his spastic, odd hand movements and aloof demeanor, it will be great to see this new spin on a character whose personality was somewhat emotionless in his comic book appearances. The Collector is one of those characters similar to say Galactus or Eternity, i.e. a cosmic entity who has one purpose and lords above the mere mortal he encounters on a regular basis. Shocker, the Collector’s main purpose is to collect.  He has a vast array of weapons, items, and even species that he keeps on his giant spaceship as he travels the cosmos.  Much like Ronan and Nebula, he hasn’t so much been a roadblock for the Guardians as he originally was for the Avengers, but considering he is primarily a cosmic entity, it’s all fair game I’d say.



Thanos! One of my all time favorite villains, Thanos is one of the biggest, baddest threats you’ll find in the Marvel Universe.  He’s attained godhood more times than I can count whether it be through acquiring the Infinity Gauntlet or the Cosmic Cube, or the Tesseract as folks who watched the movie now know it as.  Thanos has also had a part to play in the lives of every character you’ll find in the upcoming Guardians’ film.  Thanos is the grandfather of Nebula, adopted father of Gamora who taught her to be the assassin she now is, boss of Ronan the Accuser, and pulls so many strings that it’s almost hard to keep track of.  Aside from being one of the most dangerously cunning individuals, he also has more power than most, able to go toe to toe with characters like Thor and Silver Surfer.

While his part in the upcoming film hasn’t exactly been fleshed out yet, we don’t even know if he’s going to make an appearance as of yet, we know that he’ll be mentioned at the very least as director James Gunn, has gone on record saying as much.  An actor hasn’t been cast to play Thanos either, but whoever signs on will most likely be rendered unrecognizable by makeup as we saw in the finale for The Avengers.

While the villains aren’t as eclectic and “out there” as say a talking raccoon, they all have their own strengths and will make for some great foils for our heroes in the summer of this year.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-movie-posterFor more on Guardians of the Galaxy:

  • Click here for teasers featuring Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax the Destroyer
  • Click here for teasers featuring Rocket Raccoon and Groot
  • Click here for James Gunn talking Infinity Gems, Adam Warlock, when we’ll hear Rocket speak, the second trailer, and more
  • Click here for 12 new images from Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Click here to watch the first trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Click here for 20 screencaps from the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer

Here’s the official synopsis for Guardians of the Galaxy:

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team – the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases August 1, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

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