Marvel fans are in for a fresh take on the Guardians of the Galaxy, as a new squad appears to be taking the helm in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The galaxy-saving team that fans have come to know and love has gone through numerous changes, with different characters taking the spotlight over the years. As the MCU continues to evolve and explore the Multiverse, a new Guardians of the Galaxy team is set to make their mark.
The Guardians of the Galaxy first made their live-action debut in the MCU’s Phase Two with the 2014 film aptly titled Guardians of the Galaxy. Director James Gunn masterminded this quirky group of anti-heroes, known for their witty humor and epic space adventures. The team, which consists of Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and Kraglin Obfonteri (Sean Gunn), quickly captured the hearts of audiences.
James Gunn’s return for two more installments, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in 2017 and the recent Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2023, solidified the team’s place in the MCU. Gunn’s journey with the Guardians of the Galaxy was not without its challenges; he was briefly let go by The Walt Disney Company and Marvel’s Kevin Feige due to controversial social media posts but was later reinstated to complete his work on the third installment.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the team embarked on a mission to save Rocket Raccoon’s life, a quest that led them to discover more about themselves and ultimately led to their disbandment. The mid-credits scene hinted at a new Guardians of the Galaxy team led by Rocket and featuring characters like Groot, Kraglin, Phylla-Vell, Cosmo the Spacedog, and Adam Warlock.
A New Team
Now, in an unexpected twist, it appears that a different team of Guardians of the Galaxy will be taking center stage. One character returning to the franchise is Karen Gillan’s Nebula, who has evolved from an antagonist following the path set by her father Thanos (Josh Brolin) into one of the franchise’s most compelling and beloved figures. Nebula’s journey includes appearances in both of the Russo Brothers’ Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, and even the Marvel Special Presentation, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
Nebula is set to return in the second season of What If…? — the MCU’s inaugural animated series. What If…? was created by A.C. Bradley and directed by Bryan Andrews and delves into alternate realities by reimagining iconic events in the MCU.
Although Chris Pratt did not appear in What If…? season 1, Peter Quill was portrayed by Brian T. Delaney. The absence of Chris Pratt in the second season could signify a notable shift, highlighting how Marvel is exploring different actors and situations to bring these beloved characters to life. However, it’s worth noting that Star-Lord is confirmed to return to the live-action MCU in the post-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Chris Pratt’s role in the MCU has come under scrutiny, with some calling for his recasting due to perceived affiliations with certain religious organizations. Pratt has repeatedly denied these allegations, with James Gunn defending the actor against such calls for recasting.
The evolution of the Guardians of the Galaxy continues as the MCU introduces a new team led by Nebula in What If…? season 2. With a fresh group of heroes and unexpected character dynamics, this upcoming season promises to be a captivating and unique addition to the MCU’s ever-expanding narrative. The shifting landscape of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise exemplifies Marvel’s ongoing commitment to exploring new storytelling possibilities and expanding the Multiverse.