This month saw the eagerly anticipated Guardians 3000 hit the stands – a narrative set in the year 3014 and focusing on the members of the original Guardians of the Galaxy team. Any fans of the current Guardians run (written by Brian M. Bendis and starring Starlord, Gamora et. al) were treated with a sneak peek of the new 3000 series in the special, double sized anniversary issue #14 (along with a rather sweet Groot origin story entitled Groot’s Tale, written by Andy Lanning).
Amidst the dystopian setting of a Badoon Brotherhood occupation on Earth, Guardians 3000 begins in the squalor and fear of a human slave camp. The narrative opens from the perspective of a young girl, Geena Drake. Geena is rescued when the slave camp is destroyed by the mystic group known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. The survivors are told of a human resistance movement beyond the controlled territories of the Badoon; Geena however is singled out as a figure of great importance. The initial preview story ends with Geena being invited to join the Guardians in the struggle for Earth’s future, though her role and significance is completely uncertain.
In lieu of any shambolic attempt at an actual objective review and critique, it seems fitting instead to give a brief overview of each of the original Guardians crew, summarising their origins and abilities. Most of these characters are fairly unknown, but there’s one or two little surprises that every Marvel fan will appreciate. Starting from the top, let’s have a look at the Guardians of the Galaxy 1000 years in the future…
MAJOR VANCE ASTRO – There’s a hell of a lot to talk about with this guy so I’ll try to be brief(ish)! Born Vance Atsrovik in New York, Astro would grow to become a US Air Force pilot and the youngest ever individual to be accepted into the astronaut training program. Astro volunteered for Project: Starjump the first manned interstellar mission, destined for the planet Alpha Centauri IV. The mission, unaided by faster than light speed, would take close to a millennia to complete. Astro was coated in a fine alloy preservative (originally copper based, but later upgraded to Adamantium) and his blood chemically altered to halt the aging process.
Astro’s mission was eventually a success, but some interesting events occurred along the way. Due to the extreme timescale of his mission, Astro spent long periods in a stasis like dream state. During this time, he developed psychokinetic abilities, allowing him to emit large psionic blasts that disrupt matter (he can also communicate with others telepathically). Astro eventually arrived at Alpha Centauri IV (beaten by Earth after the development of faster than light speed craft in the interim millennia of his voyage) where he met the Centaurian warrior Yondu Udonta.
Astro would go on to form and lead the Guardians through numerous missions, including a return to the 20th century in search of the lost Vibranium shield of Captain America. In the latest 3000 series, Astro begins with Captain America’s shield (along with a blue and white preservative skin and a ship called ‘The Captain America’).
There is seriously a lot more to talk about with this character – even more time hopping, multi-verse incarnations and alter egos!! I implore any Marvel fan to read more about him… with current rumours that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 may follow the War of Kings plotline, Astro may just appear on the silver screen someday soon.
Devoid of any super powers, Yondu is a natural warrior, so depicted by his first encounter with Vance Astro. During his tribes ‘Trials of Manhood’ Yondu encounters Astro and attacks him, an action considered illegal by his tribe. Astro ultimately defeats Yondu and vows to keep secret the nature of his crime. When the Centaurians are believed to have been slaughtered by the Badoon sometime later, Yondu agrees to join Vance as a member of the Guardians. Fans of the movie will have seen Yondu (Michael Rooker) as leader of the pirate group The Ravagers. The character was somewhat altered from the comic however (being in the 21st century for one thing… and not having a bow?!).
Charlie doesn’t have any special powers, but unlike other big, muscular Marvel characters (not mentioning the giant green guy in purple shorts) Charlie doesn’t have any real anger management issues either.
STARHAWK – Half Human, half artificially created being, Starhawk was stolen from the planet Vesper as a child (in the early 21st century) and left on Acturus IV. Discovered by a mutant couple on the planet (giving the young child the name Stakar) Stakar grew to believe these individuals were his parents. A group tasked with the elimination of mutants on Acturus IV (known as the Reavers) murdered Stakar’s foster parents, but spared his life believing him not to be a mutant.
Starhawk is gifted with the power of precognition (resulting in the mysterious first encounter with Geena Drake in the current series). He can manipulate and control light to fire concussive blast of photonic energy and has superhuman strength, agility and eye sight.
So that’s the line up… there may not be a talking tree or a racoon with a weapons fetish, but it’s quite an awesome cast of characters. If I haven’t already said it, go buy Guardians 3000 and check out the team for yourself; this is definitely a run Marvel fans will not want to miss.