Spoiler alert for “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as well as bad news for fans of bearded humanoid aliens — director James Gunn has revealed that the expertly groomed Spartax ruler J’son will not make it into the film’s sequel, due out in 2017. Gunn stated in an interview with Empire that he has something else in mind when the time comes to reveal the identity of Peter Quill’s papa.
“There have been a lot of documents passed around about who Peter Quill’s father is between a select two or three of us,” said Gunn. “That’s been part of the plan since the beginning, that’s something I had to work out before we shot the screenplay. We wanted to make sure Yondu’s place in everything made sense and it does, so it’s all very specific stuff. It’s definitely not the character who it is in the comics, I’ll say that much.”
There are a few things we do know about Daddy Quill based on information in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Quill’s mother called him an “angel,” he hired the Ravagers to abduct Peter back in 1988, his genetic code is something the Nova Corps has never encountered before, and he’s a bit of an a-hole. With those clues in mind, let’s get into the Maury Povich mindset and conduct some paternity tests.
The sequel could use this opportunity to introduce another character from the original Guardians lineup, and Major Victory’s easily the highest profile member of that team. Originally born Vance Astrovik, this young man from the 20th Century found himself flung far into the future where he encountered the ragtag team that would go on to form the first Guardians team. Vance eventually found his way back to the modern day Marvel U and joined up with Quill’s newly formed team. Honestly, most of his comic book backstory doesn’t easily map onto what we know of Daddy Quill, but that doesn’t mean he should be ruled out. The MCU has been known to play fast and loose with select characters — just look at Michael Rooker’s Yondu. By making Quill’s father a time-traveling Major Victory, they could also explain how Yondu — a character originally from the 31st Century — exists in the modern day MCU. Perhaps all of the Ravagers are from the far future and traveled back in time to abduct Peter, and then got stuck.
Another member of the original Guardians team, we really see how Starhawk could get mistaken by Peter’s mother for an angel. The guy’s a winged alien creature of light, and he’s also been a bit of a jerk at times. Starhawk also possesses the powers of a mysterious hawk god, and the upper limits of his light manipulation abilities have yet to be seen. Because he’s an all-powerful Hawk God-empowered light being from the far future, one could see how the Nova Corps would have absolutely no record of his existence or the existence of anything like him. Could Peter Quill actually be part hawk?
As some of Marvel’s sub-franchises die down, they could start looking for other ways to continue them. They also might want to tie the pretty disparate “Guardians” franchise into the main Thor/Cap/Iron Man franchise triumvirate. Making Quill the forgotten son of Odin would both allow for the Norse adventures to continue in another franchise well after the “Thor” series ends and it would give the Guardians a reason to interact with some previously established Avenger-type characters. Odin’s both pretty old and not a human; it’s not unreasonable to assume that tales from Asgard have not reached Xandar and the Corps. Plus, we could see how any being arriving on Earth via the Bifrost could be perceived as an angel. That mode of transportation is downright majestic.
If Quill’s dad is older than anything on record, then what if he’s actually older than anything ever? Eternity actually is all of reality given sentience. It has no form or body, and can make pretty much anything it wants to happen happen. If that seems like too heady of a concept to introduce into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, remember that this character first appeared in the pages of Doctor Strange’s ongoing adventures. If the films are headed into Stephen Strange territory, Eternity and the wilder elements of Marvel’s cosmic comics might not be far behind. Making a cocky criminal with a heart of gold the son of the living embodiment of all that exists sounds like the exact type of comedic juxtaposition James Gunn might want to include in the sequel.
Listen, it’s obviously Adam Warlock. Of all the characters on this list, Warlock’s the only one that simultaneously exists in two eras that the MCU seems to love — the 1970s output of creator Jim Starlin, and the 2008 “Guardians” comic series. Starlin created Drax, Thanos and Gamora, three characters that have become essential to the movies. Jim Starlin might not have created Warlock, but the writer/artist was responsible for reimagining the character and breathing an entire cosmos worth of life into him. Through his work on “Strange Tales,” “Warlock” and “Infinity Gauntlet,” Starlin pushed the artificially created cosmic messiah to the forefront and made him an essential part of nearly every Marvel story that took place off of Earth. It’s shocking that he hasn’t appeared in a movie yet — except he has. Gunn confirmed that Warlock’s cocoon appeared in the Collector’s collection in the post-credits scene of “Thor: The Dark World.” It’s also telling that Gunn says the identity of Quill’s father has been part of the plan since the beginning; odds are they wouldn’t put that much forethought into his parentage — and go to the trouble of deviating from the source material — for an unimportant character. Warlock’s a major player — much more so than Starhawk, Eternity, or Major Victory — and he’s not as big of a leap as Odin. Adam Warlock — you are the father! Probably.