Guardians of The Galaxy Becomes Space Avengers:
Marvel Comics earlier officially announced that Doctor Doom will now be a part of Al Ewing and Juan Frigeri’s Guardians of the Galaxy. This was indeed a surprise addition to the roster of the mentioned team. “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. What’s Doctor Doom doing here… and why? There’s only one way to find out,” Ewing teased in a statement. Another hero joining Doctor Doom on Marvel’s revived Guardians of the Galaxy lineup is Wendell Vaughn, the original Quasar. His replacement, Avril Kincaid, is also on the team. Marvel has slowly rolled out the announcements, with teasers for Rocket Raccoon, Marvel Boy, and Drax, among others. Marvel announced the debut of Guardians of the Galaxy’s all-new cosmic roster at the end of January.
The next phase of Guardians of the Galaxy comics will see the cosmic team become the “Space Avengers,” according to writer Al Ewing. In an interview with CBR, Ewing spoke about his and Juan Frigeri’s “New Age of Space” and the growing — and surprising — roster of the Guardians which will begin with Guardians of the Galaxy #13. Part of the new direction will see the Guardians move from more spy-based stories to full-blown superheroics. “Partly, it’s a way to change things up a little, to raise the stakes and the tension, and partly it’s a way to play off S.W.O.R.D. — the Space Avengers to counter the Space X-Men. But mostly, it was where the story wanted to go,” Ewing revealed.
CBR: It’s fitting that as we near the end of one chapter of your Guardians run and the beginning of the next that Peter Quill returns to the team. It felt like the story of his exile and return in Issue #9 was one part the myth of Prometheus and one part trippy ’60s sci-fi tale. Was that your intention? And what are your plans for Peter moving forward?
Al Ewing: That’s very close to it, yes. My intention with that story was to bring Peter back a little to his ’70s roots and try and introduce a little of that DNA back into his make-up; he’s a character who’s had multiple origins, but that very first one is full of little touches of magic, even more so because it’s no longer something that “happened.” (And people who know my Mighty Avengers run will remember that what “happened” and “didn’t happen” in decade-spanning fictional universes is always a fascinating question for me.) So the idea was to give Peter a push to a new phase of his life by sending him on an astrological quest, similar to the one Steve Englehart apparently had planned for him early on, but to do it all in one issue – 12 astrological houses in 12 pages – and Juann Cabal, being the master artist that he is, absolutely nailed it.
The more positive take on the Guardians and their shift towards becoming an analog to the Avengers will see the team grow considerably. But at the core of the team will be Peter Quill, Nova, and Gamora.
“They have been through a lot, certainly,” Ewing said. “I think there’s an understanding with all three of them that this is what’s next — not retirement or solo adventuring. And while they’re all willing to try the superhero game, it’s definitely Rich who takes to it the easiest. It’s where he’s from — in some ways, becoming an Avengers-style superhero team is like coming home for him. And Peter’s on board with it too, in his own way. The wild card is probably Gamora; she’s still the deadliest woman in the galaxy, and she’s dealing with these new super-sized problems the same way she always has.”
Joining them, among others, will be Hulkling and Wiccan, fresh from their adventures in the Empyre crossover. And as Ewing puts it, “being Emperor and Court Wizard for a whole interstellar Alliance makes it a little difficult to take orders as team members.”
The complete lineup of Ewing and Frigeri’s Guardians of the Galaxy includes Star-Lord, Nova, Gamora, Groot, Hulkling, Wiccan, Rocket Raccoon, Moondragon, Doctor Doom, Quasar (Avril Kincaid), Super-Skrull, Phyla-Vell, Drax, Mantis, Marvel Boy, Hercules, and the original Quasar Wendell Vaughn. Guardians of the Galaxy #13 goes on sale on April 4 from Marvel Comics. #14 will go on sale on May 12 and #15 will go on sale on June 23. Guardians of the Galaxy #13-15 will be written by Al Ewing with artwork created by Juan Frigeri.