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With the third installment in the movie series on indefinite hold, Marvel Entertainment’s publishing arm is moving forward with its relaunch of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book property, revealing the pool of characters who will make up the new incarnation of the team in 2019. There are some notable absences.
According to promotional art released by the publisher, the new Guardians will be a six-person team drawn from the following roster: the Silver Surfer, Adam Warlock, Cosmic Ghost Rider, Nova, Thor supporting character Beta Ray Bill, former Captain Marvel Phyla-Vell, Moondragon, Darkhawk, X-Men supporting character Gladiator, Star-Lord and Groot.
The final lineup will remain a mystery until the new Guardians of the Galaxy series launches in 2019, but some options seem like shoo-ins: Moondragon and Phyla-Vell, for example, are a couple of characters — literally a couple, two of Marvel’s relatively rare LGBTQ characters — who have been entirely absent from comics for close to a decade; their revival would make little sense if they weren’t going to be included on the team. Cosmic Ghost Rider is a character co-created by the incoming Guardians team of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw, which would suggest he’ll be part of the group, as well. As to the others … well, surely one of the previous Guardians will make it on to the team, at least?
The absence of three members of the cinematic lineup of the team is worth commenting on. Rocket Raccoon has already been revealed to be joining the Avengers for the upcoming weekly series Avengers: No Way Home, meaning he’ll be otherwise engaged. Gamora has currently gone evil and turned against the group as part of the ongoing Infinity Wars comic book storyline, and as for Drax: It’s possible that Marvel has just accidentally revealed which character will be making the ultimate sacrifice in the December release Infinity Wars: Fallen Guardian.
(If Drax does die, that would make Moondragon’s membership even more logical; in comic book continuity, she is Drax’s daughter, and the idea of a child trying to live up to a dead parent’s legacy is a very familiar superhero comic book trope.)
Guardians of the Galaxy No. 1 will be released January 2019.
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