The Guardians of the Galaxy have been seen in various forms over the years. While their portrayal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be the most famous version of the team, the original Guardians are worth taking a look at.
The Guardians debuted in 1969's Marvel Super-Heroes #18. The team of four, each of whom is believed to be the last of their kind, unite to fight the Badoon, a reptilian race who seeks to conquer Earth's solar system. During their mission, the team adds three more members. Here is a look at the original seven members of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
MAJOR VANCE ASTRO
The original leader of the Guardians, Vance Astro is a mutant with psychokinesis. Before learning of his powers, Vance was an astronaut selected for Project: Starjump, the first American manned interstellar mission. He was placed in a suspended state for the thousand-year journey, during which time his powers manifested. By the time Vance arrived at Centauri IV, humans had already colonized the planet.
Shortly after Vance's awakening, Centauri IV is attacked by the Badoon, killing most of its inhabitants. Vance tries to escape with a native, Yondu, but the two are captured and sent to the Badoon conquered Earth. Here, Vance forms the Guardians of the Galaxy alongside Yondu and two other survivors, Charlie-27 and Martinex. The newly formed team liberates Earth and sets out to fight the Badoon and fight for freedom wherever they go.
Yondu Udonta is a member of the Zatoan tribe, a race native to Centauri-IV. Originally a game hunter, Yondu can control his Yaka arrows by whistling and has a strong connection with nature. Like others of his tribe, Yondu is a mystic whose sixth-sense gives him limited empathic powers. Yondu eventually leaves the Guardians upon learning that some of his people survived the Badoon attack.
MCU fans will recognize Yondu from the Guardian films where he is played by Michael Rooker. A Ravager originally hired to kidnap a young Peter Quill, this Yondu decides to keep Quill to protect him from Ego. Though his greed got him banished from the Ravagers, Yondu is eventually redeemed when he sacrificed his life to save Quill.
The original muscle of the Guardians, Charlie-27 is a Jovian, a superhuman genetically engineered to withstand the gravity of Jupiter. While he was on a mission, the Badoon invaded his planet and killed everyone there. Upon learning he is the only survivor, Charlie-27 escapes to Pluto, where he meets Martinex. The two travel to Earth together and join forces with Vance Astro and Yondu.
Charlie-27 made his MCU debut in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 where he is played by Ving Rhames. He, along with some of the other original Guardians, is a Ravager who once worked with Yondu and is seen paying tribute to his fallen former comrade.
Martinex is a Pluto-born scientist who was working on Charon when the Badoon killed the rest of his people. Like other Pluvians, Martinex is covered in silicon crystal, which help him survive the extreme temperatures of his home planet. He can produce beams from heat or cold from his hands. Martinex's body is sturdy, though it takes a long time for him to heal from injuries. Martinex temporarily left to form his own team, the Galactic Guardians.
Martinex is played by Michael Rosenbaum in Guardians 2 where he is seen alongside the other Ravagers.
The combination of Stakar Ogord and his wife Aleta, Starhawk was merged together by the Hawk God. Starhawk has superhuman powers including strength, flight, and light manipulation. While bound, only one could take control at any given time. The two eventually were separated.
Stakar Ogord has had his adult mind sent back to possess his infant body many times, causing him to repeatedly live his life while retaining his memories. This gives him some foresight, though it is limited and not always reliable. Starhawk is revealed to have manipulated events so that the original Guardians would meet.
Stakar is played by Sylvester Stallone in the MCU. He is a Ravager captain who once rescued Yondu. At the end of the movie, Stakar reunites his old team, which includes Aleta, Charlie-27, and Martinex.
Aleta is an Arcturan from Arcturus IV. After separating from her husband, Aleta retains the powers she had while the two were merged. Starhawk's light manipulation abilities came from Aleta, and it is unknown if he can still use them without her.
Aleta is played by Michelle Yeoh in the MCU. She is seen mourning Yondu and reuniting with Stakar and his Ravager clan.
Like other early Guardians, Nikki Gold also had her planet invaded by the Badoon. Born on Mercury, a young Nikki saw her parents killed in front of her. After years of running, she joins the Guardians.
As a Mercurian, Nikki can see in intense light and is resistant to heat and most radiation. Nikki taught herself how to fight using blasters and hand to hand combat. She is also a gymnast. Due to her experience with the Badoon, she is prejudiced against other reptilian life forms.
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