When I first discovered that there would be a Guardians of the Galaxy movie being produced by Marvel, I was beyond excited. Fond teenage memories of reading Guardians of the Galaxy flooded in as I read the details but I was slightly confused. These weren’t the Guardians that I remembered. I discovered quickly that the team I knew was exchanged for a completely new team and there was little connection to the original storyline of the Guardians. The Guardians went from being a band of heroes reclaiming the Earth and the solar system that had been conquered by a race called the “Badoon” to being a band of murderous, thieving, conflicted type heroes with a mission to save all the galaxies from, well…..anything. I know – different time-lines something, something. The movie is going to be absolutely great. There’s no doubt about that but there’s an opportunity that Marvel isn’t willing to take the risk on and playing it safe with the conflicted and less pure super-hero genre type movie that everyone loves. Here’s what we miss out on.
The Guardians of the Galaxy first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 in January of 1969. Later that year in July, the United States would be the first to land on the Moon before the U.S.S.R.(Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for the non-Cold War kids) – one of a few “firsts” that the United States achieved in that race. With the space race engulfing the world, it made logical sense to consider humanity’s future in space. And that’s where the Guardians of the Galaxy come in. The Guardians band together in the 31st century when humanity has colonized planets in the solar system as well as a planet in the Alpha Centauri star system (closest star system to our solar system) and has built their first fleet of starships. In fact, because of the new colonies, Earth then becomes the United Lands of Earth. All of this progress is destroyed by the Badoon, who, do what they do – invade, occupy, kill and enslave the citizens of any star system they encounter. And who are the Guardians who vow to take back their solar system? A band of super-heroes which were created by science. In order to inhabit planets throughout the solar system, humanity creates sub-species with characteristics that allow them to survive. For example, Charlie-27 is from Jupiter where his people lived in floating spheres in the atmosphere and their bodies were created to endure the gravity, so he’s pretty strong. Martinex was born on Pluto (no longer a planet) and is human-ish as he’s a silicon crystalline form that can withstand the extreme temperatures on the surface of the planet. Nikki, who later joins the group is from Mercury, who has flames where her hair should be. Her people were created to endure the most extreme temperatures and massive doses of radiation.
The other two members, Major Vance Astro and Yondu aren’t genetically modified beings but They’re directly related to space exploration. In the comic book, Vance Astro’s blood is replaced by a preservative fluid and he’s placed in a special suit so that he can be sent to Alpha Centauri IV on a thousand year mission – that’s how long it will take to get there, to take a look around. Ironically, when Major Vance arrives, the planet is already colonized by humans who share the planet with Yondu’s native people. Needless to say Major Vance is confined to his suit for the rest of his life, otherwise he’ll die, for no real reason. This is the last mission of the space program which comes to an end in 1988 before the governments of Earth crumble. What was NASA doing in real life in 1988? Rolling out the space shuttle Discovery for new missions and testifying before Congress that man made global warming had begun.
At a time when Marvel is shelling out blockbuster movies one after the other, why not take a risk on a forgotten band of misfit colonists and space adventurers and imagine what humanity will look like in a thousand years? Instead they’ll make a blockbuster movie out of a band of heroes who haven’t always done the right thing, in fact, continue to do all the wrong things, but when needed they’ll save the universe. Without a doubt the new Guardians are sexy and awesome, but can’t Marvel do that with space exploration and the future? Can’t those things be just as sexy as conflicted super heroes? I’d rather see Marvel take a chance on a movie that depicts human beings still existing in a thousand years and that during that time human beings advance science in an effort to continue to explore the solar system and find a way to call another place outside Earth, home.
All that really needs to be said is – in the Ant-man movie, Rick Moranis should have a cameo appearance saying to Hank Pym before he becomes Ant-man “You know, I had a similar device once. I accidentally shrunk my own kids with it.”
Justin Tripp is a professional writer without a body of work who used to live in Cleveland but now lives in Oakland, California. A hermit’s hermit, he often visits the gorillas who live and play in the mist that enshrouds the Oakland Hills. Justin hopes that one day he can join his fellow Harmonians in Harmontown once it is established as a colony on the moon.