Moondragon, aka Heather Douglas, was created by Bill Everett, Mike Friedrich, and George Tuska. She made her first appearance in Iron Man #54. While driving through the desert with her mother and father (who later became Drax the Destroyer), they came across Thanos, who blew up the car, killing both parents, but miraculously, Heather survived. She was discovered by Thanos’ father, Mentor, who cared for her on his home world, Titan.
While on Titan, she was trained by monks to be proficient in several martial arts. She was also able to tap into her psionic abilities. Through rigorous training, she was able to surpass the monks who trained her. She then accidentally made contact with a being known as the Dragon of the Moon with her new mentat abilities. The Dragon attempted to corrupt her, however she was able to defeat it and took the name Moondragon. Unbeknownst to her, the Dragon still maintained a subconscious influence on her.
Over the years, she has reluctantly found herself a member of the Infinity Watch, the Defenders, and the Avengers before becoming a Guardian of the Galaxy. Moondragon is openly bisexual and has found herself attracted to Daredevil, Quasar, Phyla-vell, but most popularly, Thor, who she mentally enslaved to be her lover.
Along with her extreme proficiency in hand-to-hand combat, Moondragon’s powers include telepathy and minor telekinesis.
Jack Flag, created by Mark Gruenwald and Dave Hoover, first appeared in Captain America #434 in 1994.
Originally known as Jack Harrison, Jack Flag was a member of Captain America’s computer hotline network along with his brother Drake. In a fight with Mr. Hyde, Flag was doused in Hyde’s chemicals and developed superhuman abilities as a result.
During the Marvel Civil War, Flag was targeted by the Thunderbolts for violating the Superhuman Registration Act. During an entanglement with Bullseye, his spinal cord was punctured, effectively paralyzing him from the waist down. Flag was imprisoned at 42, until his appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy.
His superpowers include superhuman strength, speed and stamina.
Major Victory (aka Vance Astro), created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan, first appeared as a founding member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 in 1969. Major Victory, with the rest of the Guardians, appeared here and there in issues of Marvel Two-In-One, Giant Size Defenders, Marvel Presents, and The Avengers before getting their own series in 1990, which ran for 62 issues.
At the age of 18, Vance Astrovik was accepted into the US Airforce astronaut training program. By the time he was 21, he had changed his name to Vance Astro and volunteered for the first manned interstellar mission called Project: Starjump. He would travel to Centauri IV, the closest planet to Earth, a trip that would take 10 centuries. Prior to launch, he was equipped with a skin-preserving body suit and his blood was transfused with a preservative fluid. During much of his time in stasis, he developed psionic abilities, and by the time he reached Centauri IV, he was in full control of them.
When he eventually reached Centauri IV, he was met by other people from Earth, who had beaten him there due to advances in Earth technology and an inability to intercept Astro’s ship. While there, he and the other colonists were attacked by Badoon. Most of them were massacred by the Badoon, but the few who survived went on to form the original Guardians of the Galaxy.
Toward the end of the original run of Guardians comics, during a time traveling adventure, Astro discovered the lost shield of Captain America. After a change in costume and the adoption of Cap’s shield, he took the name Major Victory.
Major Victory’s only real super power is his psychokinesis which manifests itself in the form of energy blasts. These can be controlled to slow the descent of falling people or cranked up to cause massive destruction. He is otherwise a normal human being with excellent hand-to-hand combat skills.
Bug, created by Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden, first appeared in Micronauts #1 in 1979, a comic series based on a line of action figures put out by Takara Co, Ltd. He was originally known as Galactic Warrior, but Marvel changed his name in the fourth issue due to the fact that his likeness in the comic was nothing at all like the action figure he was based on.
Though there were plans for Bug to have his own solo title, they fell through and further attempts to reintroduce him with the rest of the Micronauts proved unsuccessful as well, though they did make a handful of appearances in Cable #39 in 1997 and issues of Captain Marvel in 2000-2001.
Like the rest of the Guardians, he made appearances in Annihilation: Conquest – Star-Lord and Annihilation: Conquest before being featured in the subsequent Guardians of the Galaxy series.
Bug has the ability to cling to walls and is highly agile. He has exceptional sight as well as extremely heightened perception, similar to Spider-man’s “Spider Sense.” He is also able to communicate with other beings with antennae, due to his own antennae.
Groot, created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers, first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 in 1960.
Groot was originally written as an extra-terrestrial, tree-like being who came to Earth intending to capture human beings for experimentation. He appeared later in The Incredible Hulk Annual #5 in 1976 where he fought and lost to the Hulk.
In 2006, he was rewritten as a hero and was included in Annihilation: Conquest and Annihilation: Conquest – Star-Lord where he sacrificed himself multiple times for the good of the team. Ultimately, Rocket Raccoon was able to salvage a cutting of Groot and regrow him.
Groot’s powers include the ability to rebuild himself, even from small fragments, he can manipulate trees, and he appears to be resistant to fire. Though his speech is limited (“I AM GROOT”), Groot is highly intelligent and it is believed that even though he can only speak a few words in English, he is actually communicating much more than that.
Groot is Rocket Raccoon’s best friend.
Mantis, created by Steve Englehart, first appeared in Avengers #112 in 1973. Over the years, she has also appeared in DC comics as Willow, and Eclipse/Image comics as Lorelei.
She is the half-Vietnamese/half-German daughter of Gustav Brandt (Libra), who abandoned her at the Temple of the Priests of Pama. The alien Kree believed her to be the Celestial Madonna and a possible mother for the Celestial Messiah. As an ally of the Avengers, she battled many enemies, including Zodiac, Thanos and Ultron, among others. When she eventually joined the Avengers, it was revealed that she was, in fact, the Celestial Madonna. She then left the Avengers, married a Cotati (another alien race) and left Earth to mate.
After her DC/Eclipse/Image hiatus, Mantis made appearances in Avengers Forever and Avengers: Celestial Quest where she aided in a battle against Thanos as a West Coast Avenger before the short miniseries Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord.
Though she was born a powerless human, over the course of her life she developed a telepathic ability, as well as the ability to communicate with plant life. She is also precognizant and has superhuman strength. In addition to her superpowers, she is also proficient in the martial arts and meditation.
Fun Fact: Mantis was ranked #99 in Comic Buyer’s Guide’s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics.”
Phyla-Vell, created by Peter David and Paul Azaceta, is the least established member of the Guardians of the Galaxy having first appeared in Captain Marvel #16 in 2003. She is the artificially created offspring of Captain Mar-Vell, appearing after Genis-Vell (then, Captain Marvel) destroyed and recreated the universe. Both Genis-Vell and Phyla-Vell were created by their mother, Elysius.
She was primarily featured in the battles against Annihilus and the Phalanx in Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest, respectively, though she did get her own mini-series, Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar, which focused on her struggle to follow in the footsteps of the former Quasar, as well as the rest of the Mar-Vell family.
Her superpowers include superhuman strength and flight. With the use of her Quantum Bands, she can fire and absorb energy blasts, as well as turn energy into solid energy forcefields and such, which allow her to travel through space.