An Introduction to the Villains of Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

     February 22, 2014


Well I’m sure we’ve all been singing “Hooked on a Feeling” for the better part of this week after the release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy trailer on Tuesday.  There have been numerous articles, including a few of our own, going into the protagonists of the story itself; who they are, where they came from, and where they may be going.  However, it seemed prudent to change things up a little and delve into those characters looking to cause trouble for the lovable raccoon and tree duo, to say nothing of the other three Guardians (played by Chris PrattZoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista).  Let’s delve into the murky underbelly of Marvel’s next big undertaking by looking at all of the villains that are set to make appearances in director James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy.  Hit the jump for an in-depth look at the baddies of the Marvel comics.



Played by Karen Gillan, of Doctor Who fame, Nebula is a space pirate who will perform nefarious tasks for a buyer that happens to offer her the right price.  She also happens to be the granddaughter of Thanos, the large, purple despot obsessed with death who made an appearance after the credits in the original Avengers movie (which we’ll delve into later in this article).  More often than not, Nebula has been a thorn in the side of the Avengers in the Marvel comic book universe, rather than the Guardians of the Galaxy, sometimes attempting to destroy the universe and other times trying to recruit an Avenger or two onto her not so merry band of space pirates.

Nebula’s standout appearance had to have been in one of the most popular story arcs in Marvel history entitled “The Infinity Gauntlet”.  In the arc, Thanos, seeking to do anything to appease Death outside of starting a black metal cover band, uses the power of the Infinity Gauntlet to snatch Nebula from her ship and turn her into a shambling corpse.  In Thanos’ twisted logic, by doing such a thing to his own granddaughter, surely Death would at least go on a first date with him.  Later in the story, Thanos lets down his guard once achieving godhood, and Nebula seizes the opportunity to steal the gauntlet and return everything back to normal before losing it herself.  While her motives aren’t exactly clear in the movie as of yet, expect her to be hunting the Guardians and starting trouble wherever she goes.



Ok, a bit of backstory for you with my personal reading habits, it pays off trust me.  I am super excited for Guardians of the Galaxy because the original storyline that introduced the characters that make up this version of the team began in Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s Annihilation series.  This storyline saw most of Marvel’s “cosmic” characters unite to fight a common enemy in the form of Annihilus and his Annihilation Wave.  This is my all time favorite super hero comic storyline as it hits all the right moments and has more amazing moments then you can shake a stick at.  With these moments, a good number of them can be attributed to Ronan the Accuser.  Ronan is something of a judge, jury, and executioner for the Marvel race known as the “Kree” and hands down justice in whatever way he sees fit.

Ronan, played by Lee Pace, will act as the movie’s main antagonist, which lines up with how he was originally played up in his early comic appearances.  He, at first, actually bothered the Fantastic Four more often than any other supergroup, but once the Avengers were dragged into the epic “Kree/Skrull War”, he became something of a menace to all the heroes of the Marvel Universe.  Recently however, Ronan has become something of a hero, protecting his people and working with other races to combat evils around the galaxy.  He was even a part of the Marvel team, “The Annihilators”, that consisted of some of Marvel’s heaviest hitters from the stars, pictured below.




Korath is a character that I’m not as familiar with as the rest of the folks on the list, but I’ve read a story or two with him in it.  Much like Ronan, Korath is a member of the Kree and specialized in cybernetic military technology and also stepped on the Avengers’ toes from time to time.  In the film, he’ll be played by Djimon Hounsou, and you can see him prominently at the beginning of the trailer itself and a few quick snippets throughout.  This won’t be Mr. Hounsou’s first foray into portraying a comic book character on the big screen, as he originally appeared as Papa Midnight in the Keanu Reeves flick, Constantine, based on the DC Comics’ character.



For those who saw Thor: The Dark World, you’ve already seen how The Collector will be portrayed in the Marvel movie-verse by Benicio Del Toro, sporting a rather eccentric costume. With his spastic, odd hand movements and aloof demeanor, it will be great to see this new spin on a character whose personality was somewhat emotionless in his comic book appearances. The Collector is one of those characters similar to say Galactus or Eternity, i.e. a cosmic entity who has one purpose and lords above the mere mortal he encounters on a regular basis. Shocker, the Collector’s main purpose is to collect.  He has a vast array of weapons, items, and even species that he keeps on his giant spaceship as he travels the cosmos.  Much like Ronan and Nebula, he hasn’t so much been a roadblock for the Guardians as he originally was for the Avengers, but considering he is primarily a cosmic entity, it’s all fair game I’d say.



Thanos! One of my all time favorite villains, Thanos is one of the biggest, baddest threats you’ll find in the Marvel Universe.  He’s attained godhood more times than I can count whether it be through acquiring the Infinity Gauntlet or the Cosmic Cube, or the Tesseract as folks who watched the movie now know it as.  Thanos has also had a part to play in the lives of every character you’ll find in the upcoming Guardians’ film.  Thanos is the grandfather of Nebula, adopted father of Gamora who taught her to be the assassin she now is, boss of Ronan the Accuser, and pulls so many strings that it’s almost hard to keep track of.  Aside from being one of the most dangerously cunning individuals, he also has more power than most, able to go toe to toe with characters like Thor and Silver Surfer.

While his part in the upcoming film hasn’t exactly been fleshed out yet, we don’t even know if he’s going to make an appearance as of yet, we know that he’ll be mentioned at the very least as director James Gunn, has gone on record saying as much.  An actor hasn’t been cast to play Thanos either, but whoever signs on will most likely be rendered unrecognizable by makeup as we saw in the finale for The Avengers.

While the villains aren’t as eclectic and “out there” as say a talking raccoon, they all have their own strengths and will make for some great foils for our heroes in the summer of this year.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-movie-posterFor more on Guardians of the Galaxy:

  • Click here for teasers featuring Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax the Destroyer
  • Click here for teasers featuring Rocket Raccoon and Groot
  • Click here for James Gunn talking Infinity Gems, Adam Warlock, when we’ll hear Rocket speak, the second trailer, and more
  • Click here for 12 new images from Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Click here to watch the first trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Click here for 20 screencaps from the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer

Here’s the official synopsis for Guardians of the Galaxy:

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team – the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases August 1, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

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  • João Paulo

    Great article. I think Thanos will be just darkness force behind everything in Guardians of the Galaxy, like the emperor in Star Wars. The emperor manipulate all the galaxy from the beginnig to the end in the clone wars, I think Thanos will do something close to that. James Gunn say in a interview last year that Thanos will be a character in this movie, so I think this is not just easter egg scene, but a first oportunity to see his real power.

    • Lovecraftlives

      It will be nice to see him, however, briefly it might be, instead of being in at the post credits scene of the film.

    • kps

      I think Feige confirmed that at Comic Con as well. But surely we would have heard some casting news by now? It’s too iconic a character to have a no name actor playing it, even if he would be covered in makeup.

      • fluxCAPS

        It will be Vin.
        Who honestly believes he signed on just to shout GROOT! for 90min.

      • Grayden

        Considering Vin admitted as much during the Riddick panel. A week later he said that his initial meeting with Marvel wasn’t even for the Groot role but he told Feige that the fans were going to want something immediate. Now, that could have been misdirection. Who knows. But I do think he’s got another role in the Marvel universe.

      • Pits_Of_Utumno

        But what if there’s a Groot vs Thanos scene? How would they film that?

      • João Paulo

        Maybe they save the announcement to the Comic-Con, because this year will be all about Guardians and phase 3.

    • Liderc

      I don’t think he’ll be a major part of this movie either, he’ll be the evil force behind everything like you said. I do think they’re stretching his cameos a little far apart though. I mean when will we actually see him throwing some spells around or destroying things? Avengers 2 or 3? Long time from now.

      • João Paulo

        I agree cameo is good, but It fast and we don’t see a really development of the character, and also agree until the Avengers 2 and Avengers 3 is a long journey, they need show more of him now. I think we will get a big and crucial scene (just one) between Ronan and him, or Nebula and him, or maybe Gamora and him I don’t know. I remember a part of the Guardians comics of 2013 when Peter have some nightmares and go to Thanos to figure out what’s happening with him, would be a cool idea if one scene like that happens in the movie.

  • Truth Hurts

    This movie sounds fruitier and fruitier with every new detail. Maybe, finally, I’m too old for this shit?

    • Liderc

      If you’re over 30 then probably.

      • Das Geek

        You don’t stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing…

      • Jesus of Collider

        When I was a comicbook nerd, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up comicbookish things and learned the pleasures of sexual intercourse.

      • Dad

        And the pleasures of venereal diseases.

      • NYCS

        Don’t be a twa*. Not interested, don’t read the article, let alone bother to post twaddle.

    • Dan

      Suck it troll.

      • Truth Hurts

        Maybe it’s childish shit like this that is turning me off comic nerdery. What a dickhead.

      • The Dude Abides

        There’s childish shit everywhere you look, if you don’t like comic nerdery then why the fuck are you here posting about it? Sounds like someone’s lonely

      • Truth Hurts
      • The Dude Abides

        The butthurt is strong with this one…

      • LOL

        That was original, bro. “The butthurt is strong with this one”. So, fucking fresh bro, How did you do it? HOW! Legit genius.

      • Reality Check

        Life doesn’t work like that, bro. In real life people have differing opinions and have the right to express them. You don’t like to hear them? Curl up in a ball and fucking die, crybaby. It’s like not being able to downvote comments now. You should be able to voice your dissent. FUCK THE FASCISM. We should be able to downvote all we won’t. Fuck this pat on the back, everyone’s a winner bullshit!

  • Woody89

    Does any one think that Thanos actually won’t show up until Avengers 4? Think about it, Feige himself that they’ve mapped out the Marvel universe until around 2021. There’s so much set up that has to go into the Infinity Stones that haven’t been revealed yet, and to inject them all in the Phase 3 films would seem a bit much (the only ones that seem most-likely to deal with them would be Thor 3 and Dr. Strange, but it would be better to make Thor 3 go a different direction that just another version of Thor 2). I feel that Marvel might hold out until the end of their current plans since Thanos is such a huge threat, and maybe have another villain in Avengers 3 (maybe the Skrulls). This would allow Marvel to introduce more new characters for Phase 4. The only thing that makes me think otherwise is that the main actors (Downey, Evans, Hemworth, etc) are done with their contract after Avengers 3 and to resign them by then would take a lot of money. Thoughts?

  • Grayden

    So is Thor like our ace in the hole? Is he really just holding back the immensity of his real power for our sake? If Thor can go toe-to-toe with a cosmic being like Thanos, I’d like to think we’re going to see some major throwdowns in Avengers 3.


    this movie has more potential for easter eggs than any mcu film so far. i would love them to tease beta ray bill, adam warlock and richard rider

    • Drax The Nerd Destroyer

      Was that even English?

      • Jehosophat

        I understood that reference! =)

  • Lord Lykos

    Actually, Nebula wasn’t Thanos’ granddaughter. After his death, Nebula claimed that she was his granddaughter and even went as far as using her possession of his ship Sanctuary II – which she had hijacked – as proof of her alleged birth right. When Thanos was resurrected and discovered her claims of being related to him, he brutally beat and disfigured her as an example to all other impostors and left her as little more than a mindless zombie. It was actually this encounter that left Nebula looking the way she will in the movie. Whether that will factor into the movie itself or not, remains to be seen.

    • I can’t fight this feeling.

      Actually derp. Derp derp derp DERP DERP.

  • orianalianna

    Ronan isn’t really a villain though, he’s more of an antihero than anything else – a sheeple at worst. I think my POV of him somewhat got diluted after he brought flowers to Crystal on their wedding day – I found that so wrong. Liek Darth Vader turning into a cry baby wrong. I haven’t picked up an inhuman comic since then.

  • orianalianna

    Ronan isn’t really a villain though, he’s more of an antihero than anything else – a sheeple at worst. I think my POV of him somewhat got diluted after he brought flowers to Crystal on their wedding day – I found that so wrong. Liek Darth Vader turning into a cry baby wrong. I haven’t picked up an inhuman comic since then.

  • Dmula

    All these movies are tie-ins to the Infinity Gauntlet,I think the collector is getting gems for either himself or Thanos,maybe Thanos even takes them from him.Either way all of these films are leading to him getting the Gauntlet and going off on everybody in A3.

    • Django9000

      Benicio Del Toro appearing in Avengers 2 or 3 is just the greatest thing I’ve heard of since sliced bread.

  • Ben Kenobi

    It will be one of the best movies of this year! Marvel Rocks!!