Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 has released to universal praise (check out our review here!). In this article I’m going to be talking about some of the things, five things to be exact, that I noticed and wanted to talk about further.
You can also listen to us talk about some of these things and the film in general on our latest podcast which you can find at these places:
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Let’s get into it.
Also, full spoilers follow for GotG2 and potentially other Marvel films.
1. Adam who?
ADAM WARLOCK. That’s who.
If you stayed for the duration of the credits (who doesn’t?) then you’ll know of what I’m talking about. In the scene in question Ayesha announces that she has created the perfect being and calls him Adam. In my screening I heard a few murmurs of “Adam who?” or “Why would she call him Adam?” or “That’s a stupid name” so forgive me for going back to basics here.
Adam Warlock was created, in the comics, by a group of scientists called the Enclave with the goal of creating the perfect human being, so not too dissimilar to his origin in the MCU. In the comics, Ayesha is actually Adam’s genetic twin.
Now, why has Adam popped up here?
Firstly, he’s a character that has a big link to Thanos, the big bad of the next Avengers film, Infinity War. Thanos, as you’ll probably remember, also popped up in the first Guardians film and at the end of the first Avengers. Adam has actually been an ally of Thanos in his early days before playing a big role in defeating him alongside the Avengers and some of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comic book storyline Infinity Gauntlet, of which at least some of Infinity War will be based on.
He’s also a character that has actually worn the infinity gauntlet in the past and he also has a big connection to the soul gem which incidentally is the only infinity stone we’ve yet to come across in the MCU.
So it seems like Adam will have a pretty sizeable role either by helping defeating Thanos or maybe as the character who introduces us to the soul stone. Maybe both. Perhaps Ayesha makes Adam using the stone itself and he wields it like Vision wields the mind stone.
2. Original Guardians
A nice little easter egg or something more?
Sylvester Stallone’s character is one that even the most avid of Marvel comics fans might not be familiar with. His character is called Stakar Ogord aka Starhawk and he, rather interestingly, is one of the members of the original Guardians of the Galaxy team. This team originated in the comics in 1969 whereas the team made up of Peter, Rocket, Gamora, Drax and Groot didn’t debut until 2008. Incidentally Yondu, leader of one fraction of the Ravagers in the MCU, was also a member of this original team. He even hinted to this in the scene in which he is imprisoned with Rocket when he says that he used to be part of team similar to the Guardians.
In addition to this we got a glimpse of this original team in one of the many mid-credit stings where we see Starhawk re-assembling this old team obviously without Yondu. It’s a nice easter egg for people who recognise who these characters are but is there more to it than that? Are we going to see Stallone and co back in Guardians 3 or in Infinity War?
I for one certainly hope so!
3. The Watchers
In typical fashion, Stan Lee pops up for his obligatory cameo but with a slight twist this time. He can be seen sat on the moon talking to some rather large, odd looking gentlemen. These beings are called the Watchers in the comic universe and their job is to essentially just watch things. As a consequence, they’re largely insignificant but one Watcher in particular, Uatu is an ally of many of our Marvel heroes, most significantly the Fantastic Four.
Which begs the question; do the Watchers have a role in the future of the MCU? Will these greater beings have a role in taking down Thanos? I’m not so sure but it certainly more than hints towards a more cosmic MCU – something that Kevin Feige confirmed recently when talking about phase 4 of the MCU. Here’s what he had to say.
“I think it’s a little early to know what it’s going to look like, I think things are going to look very different at that point, but I think the early discussions we’ve had with James Gunn about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and beyond with what we’ll call the ‘Cosmic Universe’ and the Guardian characters is very exciting. Which is why he signed up and we announced that even before Guardians Vol. 2 came out. As you know from the comics, there are so many places to go and so many more characters, and there are a few characters hinted at in the tag scenes of Vol. 2. All of which could be potential to see and explore more in the new age following our big Avengers films.”
What was also interesting was Stan Lee’s comments in the film about being a Fed Ex delivery guy indicating that in each of his cameos he is, in fact, playing the same character. Confirmation then that Stan Lee is a Watcher?
4. Infinity War
One big expectation I had of Guardians 2 was that it would be the film most likely to set up Avengers: Infinity War with the original Guardians film being the one which properly introduced us to Thanos and the Infinity Stones and the only one set in space. However, Guardians Vol.2 was pretty stand-alone if you exclude the few easter eggs such as Adam Warlock. No Thanos, except by mention from Gamora and Nebula; no infinity stones; no cameos from other MCU characters; Guardians 2 does little to set up Infinity War.
The next likely place we’re going to get any sort of set-up for Infinity War is Thor: Rangarok; Spider-Man and Blank Panther being the only other MCU films to be released before Avengers 3. I spoke about a possible link between Hela and Thanos here. Basically I speculated that Hela would be taking the role of Death in the Infinity Gauntlet comic story line. Now, does this mean we might get Thanos in Thor: Ragnarok? I wouldn’t be surprised to see a cameo, if I’m honest. Also, we might expect to see the Tesseract (the space stone) to show up during the destruction of Asgard. Does Hela get hold of it and offer it to Thanos? That’s my bet.
5. Marvel’s villain problem
Now while the MCU is widely beloved, even it’s strongest supporters have to admit to the growing issue that there aren’t a great number of memorable villains in the MCU. Most of them have generic evil plans which are just about grand enough to allow for a huge CGI set piece at the end of the film for reasons unbeknownst to me. Guardians didn’t quite manage to break the mould even though when two thirds of the way through the film we thought it might have done.
This was my only gripe with GotG2 and it can’t happen with Infinity War. Thanos needs to have a purpose. He can’t just want to rule the universe because the script says he does. He needs a deeper meaning to be a memorable villain. It needs to be more than a CGI threat destroying things for the fun of it. Look at Loki, we understand where he is coming from. Of course, we don’t agree with his actions but we at least can empathise with him. Zemo in Civil War is the same. Villains work when they’re given character development and time just like any other characters in the film.
Infinity War is the culmination of ten years of great films with few exceptions so it would be a real shame for Thanos to go out with a whimper.
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