This week, Marvel Studios gave me one the best birthday gifts I could hope for, dropping a new trailer for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy and kicking the pre-release hype machine into overdrive so hard the engine is in danger of exploding. And unlike the first trailer, which to be honest was hurt pretty bad by some truly awful exposition, this one’s pretty much an all-out win. But really, it still suffers from the problem that to the layman, most of it is unintelligible noise and sight. And given that it landed me a spot on local radio the last time I attempted to clarify this hole rigmarole for the normies, I figure why not take a good hard look at some of the less than clear elements of the new trailer and take you through what you need to know. Though really, a lot of it will probably just make things more confusing.
So far the main villain of Guardians has been prettymuch absent from all of the advertising, barely scoring a few seconds of screen time in any of the trailers and totally absent from every poster released thus far. Hell, you can only really see what he looks like through freeze-framing and action figures, and at this point you’d have better luck finding info on Bigfoot than poor Ronan.
Ronan is a member of the Kree, an imperialistic alien race mostly known for being colossal dickbags and being at war constantly. Ronan, in the comics anyway, is a member of the Accusers, the highest dickbags in the land, who act as military leaders as well as judges and executioners. Though he spent a long time as a villain, mostly to the Fantastic Four and Avengers, Ronan became something of an anti-hero after the Annihilation storyline revitalized the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe in the mid 2000s.
In the movie, it seems Ronan will mostly be serving as an enforcer for Thanos, this big purple smiling guy at the end of The Avengers, the Darth Vader to Thanos’ Emperor Palpatine, if you will. If Palpatine was bright purple and looked like he could bench-press that bigass new dinosaur they just found.
No, your eyes did not deceive you, that is indeed a big, floating severed head in the trailer.
Knowhere, introduced during Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s revamp of all things space-faring in Marvel, is the severed head of a Celestial, a race of all-powerful space entities that fly around mucking with developing races for kicks and looking like modernist sculptures.
Knowhere serves as the Guardians’ base of operations, as well as that of The Collector, the blonde alien guy from the post-credits scene from Thor 2. More on him later.
Knowhere exists on the very edge of known space and acts as a kind of junction point that can be reached from anywhere in time or space. Because of this, it plays host to scientists and travelers from across the known universe. It’s sort of like the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, but inside a dead space god’s head and overseen by a psychic Russian dog in a space suit. Who will apparently have a cameo in the movie, because James Gunn laughs at the idea that some thing are too “out there”.
Despite looking like a refugee from The Fifth Element, Glenn Close is actually the leader of the Nova Corps, Marvel’s unabashed answer to DC’s Green Lantern Corps. The Novas are your basic space police group, tasked with maintaining galactic order, and apparently the best way to do that is with big bucket helmets and pretzel hair.
In the comics, the Nova Corps all have superpower that allow them to fly and fire energy blasts, but by the looks of things the Corps of the movie will just have plain ole’ guns. A large part of me finds this a tad boring, but I suppose you can’t throw too much else at the audience when your movie is headlined by a talking racoon.
John C. Reilly’s character in the film is also a high ranking Nova Corps member named Rhomann Dey, who dies and gives his powers to an Earthman named Richard Rider, because Marvel felt they hadn’t quite ripped Green Lantern off enough yet.
Taneleer Tivan, better known as the collector, doesn’t get much screen time in the new trailer, but given that him and his weird Oompa-Loompa lady assistant were our first look at the world of Guardians of the Galaxy, he probably needs some explaining for those who still haven’t asked their nerd friends.
In the comics, The Collector is actually one of the oldest beings in the universe, who all decided that the best way to spend eternity is to give themselves exactly one role/name and stick to it. There’s The Collector, The Trader, The Obliterate, there’s even The Gardner. As the Collector’s name indicates, his schtick is collecting things, and he spent a lot of time flying around space collecting life forms, technological and artistic achievements, and whatever else caught his fancy. He’s like the space-faring equivalent of that one crazy uncle we all have whose house is full of old newspapers and bottlecaps.
By appearances, two things have changed for the movie. One, the Collector is less of an ancient cosmic being and more of just a dude who really likes collecting things, objects of great cosmic power in particular. Second, as we all probably figured out less than a minute into the Thor 2 scene, is that he’s campy as a bedazzled Unicorn. I mean damn, with the fur trimmed outfit and all the extravagant hand movements? This could go so Schumacher, it really could.