The first Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 trailer is full of James Gunn’s visionary style, and some even deeper Marvel cuts than we ever expected would be brought to the MCU.
The first trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has arrived, and it’s more of the same. If by “the same” you mean more of James Gunn bringing more psychedelic color and rad tunes than should be allowed by law to the MCU, not to mention VFX that look a bit more weighty than some of the drab affairs some of the recent Marvel movies have been. But there’s also some real “last ride for the Guardians” vibes here, and we’re bracing for some heartbreak when the movie arrives in May.
Oh yeah, and it also introduces at least two major Marvel Comics characters to the MCU, including one who is such a cornerstone of Marvel’s cosmic mythology that we’re still amazed it has taken this long to get him here. If you haven’t watched that trailer yet, you should fix that right now…
What’s up with that cool song in the trailer? Well, it’s the first Guardians song to not be a bit of 1970s AM radio gold, and is instead from ‘90s one-hit wonders Spacehog called “In The Meantime” from their 1995 album Resident Alien (are you seeing a theme here?). The version we hear in the trailer isn’t quite the one from that album, as it’s slowed down and has orchestral bits to it, but it’s a rocker nonetheless.
One thing everyone should know, just in case you didn’t watch The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (and if you didn’t, get going! It’s wonderful!), is that the team’s new ship is named “The Bowie.” As in the legendary David Bowie, whose blazing “Moonage Daydream” appeared on the first Awesome Mix and who James Gunn once hoped would appear in a Guardians flick. Unfortunately, the Starman was called from this plane of existence in 2016, so this cool ship will have to stand as his MCU tribute
Will Poulter is Adam Warlock, a character that most of us expected would have been introduced in order to play a role in Infinity War and Endgame, given how pivotal his role in the comics that inspired those films are.
Warlock was teased in one of the post-credits scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and at one point was set for actual inclusion in that film. Because of how drastic a departure from the comics that film’s Ayesha was (who is also tied to Warlock), and because Adam Warlock’s early comics appearances are absolutely insane, just this side of incomprehensible space Jesus godlike metaphors, it’s a very safe bet that he’ll be reinvented pretty thoroughly for the MCU. Also, in the comics, he had the Soul Gem embedded in his forehead, and we’ve speculated recently that he could be the way for these reality warping stones to make their way back to the screen, and he does seem to be rocking some kind of stone in this trailer on his forehead
GAMORA IS BACK
After the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the original Gamora was killed and eventually her younger self appeared in the MCU. This version of Gamora exists prior to the first Guardians of the Galaxy and she therefore has no interest in Star-Lord and the rest. She has kept her distance in the team’s other MCU appearances, but the trailer shows that she will be rejoining them in some way shape or form.
THE HIGH EVOLUTIONARY
When the team arrives on what appears to be Earth, they’re greeted by a group of…not humans. Cute animals, even. But that’s because this almost certainly isn’t Earth, but rather “Counter-Earth” (so named because it follows Earth’s orbit, only exactly on the opposite side of the sun at all times) home of the High Evolutionary and his New Men, the animal-human hybrids he created.
For the second movie in a row, this franchise is going with a character co-created by Jack Kirby who was first introduced in an issue of The Mighty Thor. It’s fitting since Gunn is one of only a handful of MCU directors who seems to understands Kirby’s sense of scope and scale. Anyway, this is Nathan Wyndham (played by Peacemaker’s Chukwudi Iwuji), a human scientist who was so obsessed with evolving animals into humanoid forms that he eventually took his research into space, and then finally the aforementioned Counter-Earth. He is a lot, yes.
High Evolutionary is basically the Avengers’ answer to Mr. Sinister (an X-Men villain who Wyndham also shares a slight connection with), but instead of Cyclops and Jean Grey, his kink is animal people. Shockingly, he was not responsible for Rocket Raccoon in the comics, but the idea fits like a puzzle piece so much that it’s no surprise that they’re linking the two together in the MCU.
He’s also certainly responsible for…
Back when Rocket Raccoon debuted in 1982’s Incredible Hulk #271, the character had a far different vibe than how we would ultimately know him. Rocket and his stories had more of a comic / cartoon feel to them. Although he was part of the Marvel Universe, he was still a talking raccoon space adventurer who constantly fought and teamed up with other animal characters. In more modern times, when Rocket was integrated more into cosmic Marvel, they threw all of that under the table.
Lylla eventually made her way back into Rocket’s lore. Originally, she was his love interest and head of an intergalactic toy company. There were space clowns. It was weird. When Guardians of the Galaxy became such a hit and Rocket started getting his own solo stories, Lylla was reintroduced as a noirish rival with a soft spot for the space hero.
Lylla had minor roles in the two Guardians of the Galaxy video games, appearing in the Telltale game as “Subject 89P14” and being mentioned in the Square Enix game from 2021. Both versions tied her origins into Rocket’s as being an evolutionary experiment.
THE ORIGINAL SUITS
When visiting the suburban area filled with animal people, the Guardians are shown wearing their original comic outfits. The modern take of the Guardians were introduced as part of the event Annihilation: Conquest, namely in the Star-Lord miniseries that was part of it. After the story ended, the team increased its numbers and got its own ongoing series where they rocked these nice-looking threads.
COSMO IS BACK!
Cosmo has been around since the first Guardians of the Galaxy, but has been given a somewhat bigger role since the Holiday Special. Originally, Cosmo was a prisoner of the Collector and was shown licking his face during the post-credits scene. She popped up again in the Disneyland ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, also taking place in the Collector’s lair.
At some point, the Guardians have bought KNOWHERE from the Collector and now Cosmo is in their ranks. Cosmo appears to speak via some kind of translator with a Russian accent and has a novice control of telekinesis.