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The Guardians of the Galaxy had been around long before Peter Quill asked a space raccoon and giant alien tree to join. His team, however, thanks to the comics and the movie, has been the most popular. While the film showcased a small portion of the members, here are some that didn’t make the cut to the big screen that were a part of Peter’s original Guardians in the comics.
Preamble: Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, forms his Guardians of the Galaxy following the Annihilation Wave and Ultron’s attempted conquering of the universe. After seeing so much death and destruction to so many worlds, the fabric of space-time is weak and needs defending. Peter Quill, now with a new purpose in life, puts together a team of aliens and humans to keep the universe from tearing itself apart.
Phyla has a strange legacy for a Marvel character. Her father was the original Captain Marvel who died in the 80’s. The successor to the Captain Marvel title was her brother, Genis-Vell, who goes mad with power and has to be killed. Having lost two people in her life to that title, Phyla tries to forge her own way in the universe until the Annihilation Wave spread death and chaos across the whole of the Cosmic Marvel Worlds. When Annihilus, the leader of the Annihilation Wave, kills Wendel Vaughn, the wielder of the Quantum Bands, the bands eventually find themselves in the possession of Phyla, making her the new Quasar. In the aftermath of the Wave, Phyla struggles with her new role until Ultron and the Phalanx invade. She finds her way to team up with Adam Warlock, and is chosen by Peter Quill afterward to join his new Guardians of the Galaxy.
Phyla’s lover and Drax the Destroyer’s daughter, Moondragon is an immensely powerful telepath. She is romantically involved with Phyla when the Annihilation Wave hits and stays with her in the aftermath as she trains to become Quasar. In an odd turn, Moondragon discovers the ability to turn into a literal dragon. She is killed by Ultron defending Phyla, only to be resurrected later and sign on to help the Guardians of the Galaxy.
3. Adam Warlock
A short description of Adam Warlock is difficult, but to sum it up, he is the key player in defeating Thanos when he has the Infinity Gauntlet. He reappears in the comics just in time to help defeat Ultron. He is a powerful ally who helps defeat Ultron and urges Peter to form the new Guardians in order to keep the space-time fabric of the universe from coming undone.
When Peter is first assigned by the Kree to fight back against the Phalanx, one of the prisoners is named the Celestial Madonna, aka Mantis. A green-skinned alien woman with antennae, a powerful telepath, and a sense of precognition, Mantis and Peter grow close even as he is weirded out by her. When he puts together the Guardians, Mantis takes a side role due to her injury fighting Ultron. She adds the team from Knowhere and occasionally becomes involved in the field.
Another member of Quill’s original strike team. Bug is an alien fighter and is the cynic of the team. Surviving against impossible odds, this martial arts expert joins Peter’s Guardians after they defeat the Phalanx.
6. Jack Flag
Jack is a human superhero from Earth who was paralyzed by Bullseye after Civil War, when Norman Osborne and his Thunderbolts were detaining illegal superheroes. He was in Iron Man’s alternate dimension prison that eventually fell to an alien tyrant named Blastaar. When Peter escapes the prison, he takes Jack Flag with him and uses the resources of Knowhere to give him back his ability to walk, which makes Jack return the favor by becoming a Guardian.
7. Vance Astro (aka Major Victory)
Vance is a founding member of the Guardians of the Galaxy and is from the distant future. An astronaut from earth, he also has Captain America’s shield in the future. He is found frozen in ice, still wielding Cap’s shield during one of the Guardians’ missions. Not knowing how he got there, he still fights for Peter’s team after they rescue him.