Blast From the Past!: Strange Tales #180

Strange Tales #180

June, 1975, saw the release of Strange Tales #180, a pretty Warlock-centric book that also happened to feature the first appearance of the most dangerous woman in the universe: Gamora. Here’s the synopsis:

“While battling a couple of the Black Knights the Soul Gem almost takes control again and Warlock decides, that he must destroy it, however as he takes it off Warlock collapses and realizes, that he can no longer exist without the Gem as it has been sucking out Warlock’s Soul in the last three Years thus becoming his life force. The Matriarch wants to make a Slave out of Warlock now instead of killing him. After trying to remove the Gem Warlock is invited by the Matriarch to the Sacred Palace, an obvious trap, but since she claims, that she knew that the gem would become a danger even to Warlock himself, Warlock decides to accept the invitation and ditches Pip. The Matriarch reveals to Warlock, that the Magus is his future self and not a conjuring of the Soul Gem as he believes, at first he refuses to believe. Warlock falls through a trap door and lands in front of Kray-Tor for trial. Kray-Tor’s statement makes it quite obvious that Warlock’s trial is a sham, Warlock argues that he cannot be tried by this Court because it has its power from the Magus – thus from a part of Warlock himself gone mad, so he insists, that he be tried by the Magus himself – the motion is denied. The Prosecutor calls for a witness – a rebel and infidel, to Warlock’s satisfaction the witness Yon-Lok doesn’t blame him to be guilty of High Church Crimes but Kray-Tor and his Court, for this he gets killed and the Jury is ordered to ignore that statement, all other witnesses point to Warlock as the perpetrator of a dozen false crimes. As Warlock strongly objects he gets gagged and is sentenced to a Church-House of Correction, Warlock however resists and Kray-Tor reverses his ruling and sentences Warlock to death. Gamora finds Pip and tells him, that she wants to find out if Warlock can indeed defeat the Magus, if so she joins him and if not she will kill him. Warlock uses the Soul Gem to kill Kray-Tor saying, that he now knows, that the gem was sent to him by some higher power beyond his comprehension to destroy evil such as Kray-Tor, afterward Warlock knows Kray-Tor’s thoughts and realizes, that he truly believed in what he was doing, truly believed that Warlock was threatening his beliefs and realizes, that by stealing Kray-Tor’s Soul he truly became the villain. “

Looks like this book helped set up what would later turn into Marvel’s massive Infinity Gauntlet event. I can’t help but laugh at the monster on the cover, though. It just looks really stupid. I’m definitely going to see if I can get my hands on this book somehow. Looks like a blast.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Round-Up

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New Concept Art and Kevin Fiege Confirms Zoe Saldana as Gamora!

This week, Entertainment Weekly published an interview with Kevin Fiege, where he pretty much confirmed Zoe Saldana’s casting in the role of Gamora:

“It’s a huge story on a massive canvas,” Feige says. “We can take it to all those crazy places as long as all the characters respond in an emotionally truthful way. That’s why I believe people are going to respond to Chris Pratt and to an alien Zoë Saldana—because they did respond to that one time before [with Avatar]. And to a tree and a raccoon who, it is certainly our intention, will steal the whole movie.”

The article also featured a new piece of concept art, which appears to be a scene from Peter Quill’s past:

GOTG-concept-1

The entire article can be found here.

Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #4 Available Today!

GuardiansOfTheGalaxy_InfiniteComic_Groot_Cover

Today, Marvel released the 4th installment of their Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite series, written by Brian Michael Bendis. This issue focuses on Groot, while the previous issues have focused on Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Gamora. The best part about these issues is that they’re totally free!

You can read all 4 issues at the following links:

Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #4 (Groot) 

Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #3 (Gamora)

Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #2 (Rocket Raccoon)

Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #1 (Drax)

The Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Round-Up

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Okay, so there’s a lot of speculation about the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but here’s what we know for sure:

James Gunn is Directing and Writing the Screenplay

James GunnJames Gunn, who started out making Troma films (Tromeo & Juliette and The Tromaville Cafe TV Series), is better known for his work as the writer for Scooby Doo (2002), Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) and Dawn of the Dead (2004). He then went on to write and direct the cult hits Slither (2006) and Super (2010). In between, he worked on a web series called PG Porn.

Personally, I think the guy has proven that he really has a knack for both violent, action films as well as the more family-friendly fare. Plus, he’s used to working on a budget. The guy doesn’t need tons of money to make a really fun, smart, action flick. And just based on Super, you can tell the guy loves comic books. If there’s anyone who can make a Guardians of the Galaxy movie appealing to both kids and adults, I think it’s James Gunn.

Chris Pratt Will Play Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord

Chris PrattFor months after the announcement that Marvel would be doing a Guardians of the Galaxy movie as part of their Marvel Cinematic Universe – Phase Two, there were rumors out the wahzoo as to who would be cast as Peter Quill. In February, it was announced that the roll would be played by Chris Pratt, primarily known for his work on Parks and Recreation.

Perhaps it’s an odd choice, but over the course of his career, he’s worked on both television and movies, ranging from a brief stint on The O.C. to a small role in the Academy Award-winning Zero Dark Thirty, proving his versatility as an actor. Despite the fact that his roles have largely been on the comedic side, and Peter Quill isn’t the most light-hearted, I’m curious to see how Pratt will approach the role. He’s the right age and size to play Quill, and he’s played a Navy SEAL, so I’m confident he’ll be able to find a happy medium.

WWE Star Dave Bautista Will Play Drax the Destroyer

Dave BautistaOriginally, the rumor floating around was that Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) was offered the role. Not long after that, it was announced that Dave Bautista was cast as Drax the Destroyer.

So far, Bautista is the dark horse in the cast. While he’s had a handful of acting roles here and there (Smallville, Chuck, The Man with the Iron Fists), he is most well known for his work as a professional wrestler for the WWE.

I’ll be honest. I have no idea what to make of this casting. As a fan of Game of Thrones, I was really looking forward to seeing Khal Drogo kick some alien ass. As far as I can tell Bautista has virtually no acting experience, so it’s hard to gauge how well he’ll play Drax. He’s certainly got the build for it, but that’s about all I know for sure. I guess we’ll have to wait until the first set photos/trailers start coming out to get a better idea.

Zoe Saldana Will Play Gamora (Probably)

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana is currently in negotiations to play Gamora. While that’s not the most official announcement, it’s pretty much a sure thing at this point.

So far, she’s got a lot going for her. She’s built up a lot of nerd credibility over the past few years, having delivered strong performances in both Avatar and Star Trek. Personally, I’m over the moon with this news. The cynic in me expected the role to go to some hot woman who couldn’t act her way out of a wet paper bag, but Saldana’s definitely got the chops to bring some real depth to this character.

The Rest of the Cast is Still Up in the Air

Rumors have been circulating since January that Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey have been in talks to do voice work for the movie, probably for Rocket Raccon and Groot (though, I’m not sure who would voice who because I don’t really like the idea of either of them being involved in this movie), though Michael Rooker, a frequent collaborator with James Gunn, remains a fan favorite. Personally, I would love that.

No one has officially stated that Damion Poitier will be reprising his role as Thanos, but Thanos is widely believed to be the main villain in Guardians of the Galaxy, so he probably will.

We do know, however, that among the films villains, Basil Sandhurst (aka The Controller) will appear. Though he’s primarily appeared in comics as a foe for Iron Man, it’s believed he will be playing Thanos’s henchman in the Guardians movie. No casting has been done for this role yet, as far as we know.

Guardians of the Galaxy Could Look a Lot Like Star Wars

This week, a few pieces of concept art were released, giving us an idea of what the movie could look like:

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Concept-1 Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Concept-2 Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Concept-3Concept 4 Concept 5

While the first two images definitely show that this movie is going to be HUGE in scale, I absolutely love the third, showing Rocket, Drax, Groot, and Star-Lord hanging out in a Mos Eisley Cantina-esque space bar.

And I love that Rocket’s going to look more like a real raccoon than some goofy cartoony character.

For anyone purchasing the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled Blu-ray collector’s set, look for this concept art, as well as some art for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well!

Well, that’s about all we know right now, but I’ll be sure to update as soon as more information is released (or leaked!).

Who’s Who: Gamora

gamoraGamora, created by Jim Starlin, first appeared in Strange Tales #180 in 1975. She is the adopted daughter of the Titan, Thanos. Most of her appearances through the years were in series stemming from The Infinity Gauntlet (Warlock and the Infinity Watch, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, and Infinity Abyss) until Guardians of the Galaxy in 2008.

The last of her species (the Zen Whoberi), Thanos adopted Gamora and trained her to become “the deadliest woman in the whole galaxy” for the sole purpose of assassinating the Magus, an evil version of Adam Warlock. As an adult, she teamed up with the real Adam Warlock to exact revenge on the Black Knights of the Universal Church of Truth for the genocide of her people. When Thanos revealed himself to be a greater threat than the Magus, Gamora joined forces with Captain Mar-vell, Drax the Destroyer, and the Avengers to defeat Thanos. Over the years, she has been romantically involved with both Adam Warlock and Nova.

Her abilities include superhuman strength, speed, and agility, as a rapid healing ability. She is also an expert in various martial arts, incredibly proficient in hand-to-hand combat, and is skilled with a wide variety of weapons. Like Drax, she prefers knives and swords.