By Jim Beard
“No one touches Earth.”
A powerful statement, but one the Guardians of the Galaxy intend to uphold at all costs. Why? Because our planet’s become the focus for a conglomerate of alien races—and not all of them friendly.
|Guardians of the Galaxy #1|
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 begins to bring those races into the spotlight as challenges for our beleaguered team of unlikely heroes. Writer Brain Michael Bendis promises all the “big ones” will be “part of the trouble that is coming” for the Guardians.
“What happens is that a galactic council is put together by Star-Lord’s father,” Bendis explains. “It’s done in secret in the Negative Zone. The Kree, the Spartax, the Badoon, Shi’ar, all get together to debate what to do about Earth. Earth is looking scarier and scarier [to them]. Earth is this cauldron of mutants, Infinity Gems [and] Asgardians, and looks like they’re about one generation away from joining the galactic civilization. If things go the way they’re going, they’re going to come out swinging. They go ‘Look at this. Galactus went to Earth. Doesn’t eat it. The Phoenix Force destroys everything in its path; goes to Earth and disappears. This is scary stuff. What’s going on over there?’
“To them, we look like orangutans with machine guns. Barbarians with magic powers. It’s scary as hell. They’re deciding what to do with it. Peter Quill’s father gets them to agree to not touch Earth. The new law is to leave it alone. Everyone leave it alone. If you touch it, you’re breaking the law. When Peter gets wind of this, he realizes they put a giant target on Earth. Peter’s father just told everyone Earth is for the taking.”
Indeed, the Badoon immediately head for Earth and the Guardians put themselves in their path to stop them.
“The Badoon have a great history,” he says. “There are two tribes: the Brotherhood of the Badoon and the Sisterhood of the Badoon and they’re in a warring state. Whichever one of them gets the upper hand is the one that’s going to dominate the other side. The Earth is the perfect thing to tip the balance of the warring tribes of the Badoon. That’s what that’s about. There’s a history here. There’s a lot going on. We’re going to introduce some new Badoon characters. We’re going to also see them as part of this secret galactic council that Star-Lord’s father has put together. They’re coming for us.”
|Gamora vs. the Badoon|
Introduced in 1968’s SILVER SURFER #2, the Badoon and their march of conquest swiftly earned them the status of one of the galaxy’s most-feared warrior races. As a young Marvel reader, Bendis first encountered the lizard-like species in the classic X-MEN ANNUAL #5 in 1981, which planted the seeds of the new GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY series’ inaugural adventure.
“They’re not religious or pious like the Skrulls but in some ways they’re a little scarier,” he notes of the Badoon. “They’re so warrior-like and so involved in war all the time, it’s almost like a barbaric situation. It’s crazy.”
Citing the alien shape-shifting Skrulls as a prior example, the writer claims that a religious aspect will become an angle for exploration in the book.
“We’re going give a lot of thought as to what the society of these races really are,” Bendis says. “What it is they really want and what kind of person can run those things. The Guardians of the Galaxy are not the only ones who think that they’re guarding the galaxy. There’s going to be other races and other people out there doing what they think is best.”
One might wonder if hubris comes into the picture as a potential stumbling block for Earth’s self-appointed protectors. Bendis cautions against such thoughts, noting a bigger picture will appear to readers as the series progresses.
“It’s not hubris as there’s no one else doing it,” he insists. “[The Guardians] have to. No one else knows what they know or is in the position to do what they do. You can argue that anybody that does anything, if they stand up and want to be heard, that hubris is part of it. I think you need hubris to get in the position to do the right thing.”
Another existing Marvel Universe race will also take center stage in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, as well as new, heretofore unseen alien species.
“Asgardians,” says Bendis. “They’re a big part of it. They’re connected to Earth. It’s part of the Nine Realms. If someone is gunning for Earth, they’re gunning for the Asgardians.
“[New races are] still forming so I’m going to hold off for a while on talking about them. These are not the only people that will be on the team of the Guardians. There’s a couple more Guardians to come. New characters and old characters.”
Pre-order GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1, on sale Wednesday, March 27, now!