For the blockbuster May release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Star-Lord, Rocket, and the rest of the Guardians are expanding the crew with both new and familiar faces. Let’s take a closer look at what defines these newest additions to Team Guardians.
Moviegoers met Yondu in the first film as the blue-skinned leader of the Ravagers, who could take out an entire legion of soldiers with a Yaka Arrow he can command just by whistling. Yondu is a scoundrel and a thief, but he does follow his own moral code. Like when he was hired to kidnap a young Peter Quill on Earth and deliver him to his father, Ego the Living Planet — played by a suspiciously non-planet-sized Kurt Russell in Vol. 2 — but instead took Peter under his wing and trained him in the ways of the Ravagers. Of course, he also constantly reminds Peter that he’s saving him from being eaten by the other members of the Ravagers, so don’t start thinking Yondu is an altruistic softie.
How Yondu ends up an official member of the Guardians is still a mystery — and a bit surprising, considering that the last time he and Peter were together, Peter used some Ravager slight-of-hand to dupe him out of the Infinity Stone he had promised Yondu for helping in the film’s final battle. Then again, Yondu didn’t seem too upset by the swindle, so maybe he’s a bit of a softie after all.
Nebula was also a major player in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, as one of the primary antagonists for Peter Quill and Gamora. Like Gamora, Nebula is an adopted daughter of uber-villain Thanos. Also like Gamora, Nebula betrayed Thanos — but to ally with Ronan the Accuser instead of the plucky Guardians.
That’s not surprising, since Thanos raised her from a child to be a galaxy-class killer, often pitting her against Gamora and her other adopted siblings. Nebula’s multiple cybernetic enhancements are the result of these trials, which for even the most devoted daughter would cause just a bit of family tension.
On the plus side, those cybernetic implants help her quickly heal from near-fatal injuries, something that’s helped her more than once in confrontations with the Guardians and should prove useful to the Guardians once she becomes one of the “good guys” in Vol. 2.
Information about Mantis and her role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is slim, but she has a rich and varied history in the comics. There, she’s a Vietnamese human who was trained in martial arts by the Kree, a recurring species in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Case in point: Ronan the Accuser, primary villain in the first Guardians movie, was a Kree.
In addition to her superior martial arts skills, the Mantis of the comics possesses extreme empathetic abilities, physically sensing the emotions of others. So when she says “I feel your pain,” she really means it.
For Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, what we do know is that this version of Mantis was raised by Ego the Living Planet and that she’s never really experienced social interaction. Her contact with the Guardians is her first real contact with other people…which means she’s going to have a pretty messed-up view of galactic etiquette. You can also bet that her extreme empathy will lead to a bunch of highly awkward — and very funny — revelations between the other Guardians.
Catch Mantis, Nebula, Yondu, and all of the other Guardians in action when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 comes out on May 5.