The Guardians of the Galaxy game includes a host of great Marvel character cameos.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy follows our ragtag team across the cosmos as they try to save the galaxy against the evil temptations of the Universal Church of Truth. Led by Grand Unifier Raker, the Church plans to convert every being in the galaxy and use their faith energy to essentially wield ultimate control.
Along their journey, our unlikely heroes visit many different planets and encounter a slew of Marvel characters that will have any fan grinning from ear to ear. And the beauty behind so many of these inclusions is that each character adds a layer to the overall narrative, not one character is viewed as being simply fan fare. So, without further ado, these are all the Marvel characters that appear in Guardians of the Galaxy.
The following list contains entries that have major spoilers regarding the game's story. Only continue reading this post if you've finished Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
While searching the frozen world of Kakaranthara for the fearsome dragon Fin Fang Foom, the Guardians of the Galaxy stumble upon another ancient beast: the Wendigo. It’s said that if a person eats the flesh of another person, they will be cursed and transformed into a huge beast with fangs and claws. This legend originated in Canada in the Marvel universe, but clearly, the Wendigo has migrated off-planet.
Although the Wendigo isn’t a notable character in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, it does fit the bill as a suitable appetizer for the team before taking on Fin Fang Foom. While it’s rare to see multiple Wendigos together as a pack, there seems to be a good number of them residing on Kakaranthara. Maybe survivors of Fin Fang Foom’s wrath were forced to do the unthinkable?
In a desperate attempt to win back the favor of Lady Hellbender, the Guardians of the Galaxy travel to the world of Kakaranthara to battle the legendary dragon Fin Fang Foom. This majestic beast first debuted in issue 89 of Strange Tales back in 1961. Fin Fang Foom possesses shape-shifting abilities where he can appear as a human being but is mostly depicted as a towering Chinese dragon.
Fin Fang Foom is regarded as being one of the premier monsters in Marvel history, so it’s only natural that the queen of monsters would be interested in having the dragon by her side. Luckily, the guardians were able to subdue the great beast, and Fin Fang Foom and Lady Hellbender assisted the heroes in defeating the Church of Truth.
The Chitauri are an alien race mostly hellbent on conquering other worlds. They were introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Loki’s army when the God of Mischief tried taking over the Earth in Avengers. The Chitauri featured in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t physically resemble their counterparts in the MCU, as these aliens look more bulky and muscular.
In Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the Chitauri attacked Peter Quill’s home on Earth on his thirteenth birthday. Peter’s father was revealed to be the king of the planet Spartax, and like Peter’s mother told him, his father had enemies. Well, it seems like the Chitauri were near the top of that list, as they killed his mother in cold blood and abducted the young teen.
It wouldn’t be a true Guardians of the Galaxy adventure if the team didn’t make a pitstop at Knowhere. One of the few places outlaws and criminals can feel somewhat at home, Knowhere has fallen under new leadership since the end of the war with Cosmo keeping order. But the crown jewel on Knowhere is The Collector’s Emporium, a massive collection of the galaxy’s rarest objects and, in some horrifying cases, people.
Taneleer Tivan, otherwise known as The Collector, is also referred to as an Elder of the Universe. His first appearance was in Avengers issue 28 in 1966. Tivan’s collection includes Richard Rider’s helmet, the Cosmic Cube, even Throg, and his hammer Frogjolnir is on display. You can obtain a free pass to visit his collection by correctly answering questions from Lipless in a local bar.
Having any sort of Marvel story without including the Mad Titan would, quite frankly, be blasphemy. Not to mention his connection with Gamora and Drax, it was only a matter of time before Thanos showed up in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Although Thanos only appeared as a figment of Drax’s infected psyche from the Church of Truth, the Mad Titan was still as menacing as ever. It’s said that Drax murdered Thanos and that led to the Resistance winning the war, but the Destroyer is a firm believer that the Mad Titan is still alive somewhere in the galaxy.
Making his debut in Iron Man issue 55 in 1972, Thanos has reigned as Marvel’s biggest baddie ever since. His motives in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy are more aligned with the comics, as he wishes to kill people only to please Lady Death. In the MCU, Thanos explained that his conquest for the Infinity Stones was to restore balance in the universe.
The Worldmind is a massive supercomputer that contains the entire history of Xandar and the Nova Corps. Its main initiative is preserving itself and the data of Xandar, which led to the creation of the Nova Corps and policing the galaxy. But when it becomes clear that the Church of Truth was nearing ultimate victory, the Worldmind looked to run away before the guardians convinced it to help save the galaxy.
Only one Xandarian has been able to essentially distance himself from the influence of the Worldmind and that was none other than Richard Rider. According to the lore of the game, Rider designed an advanced helmet that could block the Worldmind from his own if needed, but the current whereabouts of Rider is unknown following the war. Worldmind made its debut in 1977 in the eighth issue of Nova.
After the guardians get assessed a hefty fine for trespassing in the Quarantine Zone (and having some sketchy tech), the team scrambles to find some units before the Milano becomes an inoperable wreck. Among the crazy suggestions, the one that seems the most feasible is trying to sell either Rocket or Groot to Lady Hellbender, queen of the monsters.
Calling Seknarf Nine her home, Lady Hellbender was first introduced in the first issue of Totally Awesome Hulk in 2015. Because of a traumatic childhood upbring where she witnessed her father submit her pet monster to a battle to the death (which it ultimately lost), Lady Hellbender strove to take control of Seknarf Nine and create a sanctuary for all monsters in the galaxy.
The goodest of boys, Cosmo is the chief of security on Knowhere and takes care of the daily operations of the space station. Looking for allies to help in the fight against the Church of Truth, the Guardians of the Galaxy head to Knowhere to inform Cosmo of what happened with Ko-Rel and Hala’s Hope. If you successfully help Cosmo break out of his conversion with the Church, it’ll pay huge dividends during the final battle.
The space dog made his first appearance in 2008 in the eighth issue of Nova. Cosmo was originally part of the Soviet Space Program and was launched into orbit during the 1960s, but unexpectedly drifted out further into deep space. His shuttle was hit by cosmic rays that gave him psionic powers, so once he landed on Knowhere he assumed command of its security.
Otherwise known as the Celestial Madonna, Mantis appears to be one of the most powerful characters in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. After briefly meeting her on Knowhere, the guardians are pleasantly surprised to find her once again on Lamentis. Mantis can see multiple futures (think Doctor Strange in Infinity War) and she’s a key asset in helping the guardians defeat the Church of Truth.
You might assume Mantis is an alien with her antennas and various powers, but she was actually born in Vietnam and received her abilities through a Kree experiment. Making her debut in issue 112 of Avengers in 1973, Mantis typically calls Knowhere her base of operations.
The main antagonist of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Grand Unifier Raker is hellbent on spreading the gospel of the Church of Truth and making the Promise come to fruition. The guardians first encounter Raker when they’re apprehended by Ko-Rel and Nova Corps outside the Quarantine Zone, but it isn’t until a bit later in the game where Raker’s true intentions are revealed.
Raker didn’t have a long life in the comics, making his debut in the Guardians of the Galaxy run in 2008 but dying in issue 22 of the same run in 2010. In the game, Raker harnesses the power of Faith to give him superhuman abilities such as flight, strength, and pure energy. Although Raker’s plan would mean certain doom for the galaxy, his reason behind wanting to fulfill the Promise was to bring his son back from the dead.
One of the heroes of the galactic war, Ko-Rel is a top officer in Nova Corps. She was instrumental in the final battle and helped secure the victory for the Resistance. When she picks up the guardians outside the Quarantine Zone, it’s revealed that she and Peter Quill have quite a history, including romantic relations.
Unfortunately, Ko-Rel’s time in Marvel comics didn’t last very long. She was introduced in the fourth issue of Nova in 2007 and perished only two issues later. And similar to her fast death in the comics, the Kree captain also met a tragic end in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Otherwise known as Nikki, Nicholette Gold is first introduced as the daughter of Ko-Rel. After Peter Quill does some quick mental math, he begins to realize that there’s a good possibility that Nikki might be his daughter after being romantically involved with Ko-Rel during the war on Mercury. Nikki’s true parentage is one of the many mysteries throughout the game. Grand Unifier Raker converts Nikki and convinces her to be the conduit for the Church of Truth in fulfilling the Promise.
Nikki first appeared in the fourth issue of Marvel Presents in 1976. At the beginning of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Nikki is portrayed as a standard Kree girl with dark hair and blue skin, but after consuming some of the Faith energy near the end of the game, she appeared more like her comic self with orange hair and a green suit. After the guardians stop Raker and the Church of Truth, Peter lets Nikki join the guardians as they fly off into space.
When Mantis meets up with the guardians on Lamentis, she guides them through a Cotati cave that’s said to hold the key to saving Drax from the Church of Truth, and possibly the rest of the galaxy. The team stumbles on none other than Adam Warlock, who was the previous golden god that the church worshipped before his reported death. It’s later revealed that Warlock’s inner evil manifestation, Magus, was the power source for the Church of Truth. Magus was originally trapped inside the Soul Stone until Peter Quill and Rocket set him loose at the beginning of the game.
Adam Warlock first graced the pages of Marvel comics in 1967 in issue 66 of Fantastic Four, but he was only referred to as “Him.” In 1972, he was properly introduced as Adam Warlock in the first issue of Marvel Premiere. Warlock was first created by a group of researchers in an attempt to make the perfect human being. He was later redesigned by the High Evolutionary and given possession of the Soul Stone. Warlock typically pops up during most major galactic disturbances, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that he appeared in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
NEXT: Characters Who Could Replace Star-Lord In Guardians Of The Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy is a little bit Mass Effect, a little bit Saints Row, and a little bit Duran Duran
Avery Feyrer earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He experienced working as a Web Content Editor at the local sports radio station in Arizona, before realizing his true passions were in games. Avery began writing game reviews for his website (coffeescorner.com) before becoming a regular contributor to MP1st, and now, a Staff Writer for TheGamer. You can find Avery on Twitter @CoffeeBlack_910.
The Guardians of the Galaxy game includes a host of great Marvel character cameos.