Writer and artist Jim Starlin is the mind behind some of Marvel Comics' most popular cosmic characters, including Thanos and Guardians of the Galaxy members Gamora and Drax the Destroyer, who were so prominent in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War and now appear in its sequel, Avengers: Endgame.
During an interview with CBR, Starlin opened up about his intentions while creating Drax, and Gamora's role in the Guardians of the Galaxy as the one truly mature member of the team.
Perhaps no other Guardian of the Galaxy has been reinvented as often as Drax. Even before his radical transformations over the past 15 years, Starlin himself tweaked the character.
"In the beginning, Drax was versatile, because I didn't know what the hell to do with him," Starlin confessed. "He was an element; he was supposed to be Thanos' Kryptonite. I sort of drifted away from that idea, and when I came back to using him, I made a big change in him. I brain-damaged him and made him into the Hulk, because Marvel didn't have a dumb green thing at the time, and I thought they should. And so I sort of made him like that. Later on they wanted to change his visuals, which I had no problem with because I was never crazy about that costume. It didn't make a lot of sense. I wasn't invested enough in the character to go back and do anything more with it."
Starlin is a fan of how Drax was brought to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as portrayed by Dave Bautista in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.
"What they did with him in the movie I think is brilliant," he said. "They have his more modern-day visual look to him, but they sort of adapted the brain-damaged Drax from Infinity Watch. I think Bautista and [James] Gunn have done a terrific job creating something new and unique for the movies that the comics didn't have. Gamora I find [to be] very close to what I did in the books; Thanos very close. Drax is off in his own corner being himself. Bautista has great comedic timing, he steals any scene he's in."
The Adult In The Room
Although Drax has transformed a number of times over the years, Gamora has always remained more consistent.
"She's always been the adult in the room," Starlin explained. "She's the straight man for the Pips and the Draxes and the what have you, which doesn't make her the most interesting character, but makes her essential to get the rest of the story moving. So I always treated her as such. I had one story in particular, one Infinity Watch story, where she tries to show everyone how much of an adult she is by dealing with these U.N. soldiers who eventually piss her off, and she wrecks everything, disproving her point entirely. But most of the time she's the solid one, the one that brings everyone back to the reality they should be at."
"I've always used her as a supporting character," Starlin continued. "She was created as a supporting character. I have a limit on how much work I can do, so I never shot off on thinking about solo adventures with her. Even when she wasn't in a group, she was always a supporting character for Adam Warlock. I'm sure I could find those hooks that would make a solo story, I've just never done it. She probably works either way, but I've only ever used her one way."
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos.