Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

The first official Guardians of the Galaxy trailer is out. Want to know about all of the geeky comic book references they snuck in? Well too bad, here they are anyway.

The trailer opens with Jason Quill (Chris Pratt) sneaking into somewhere before he's caught by Korath the Pursuer (above, Djimon Hounsou). Korath is a member of the Kree, a usually (though not always) blue-skinned race. They are science based, not so much believing in an afterlife as creating one of their own. As Korath's name implies, he will pursue his prey no matter what.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly) says the team was arrested on Xandar. In the comics, Dey is a native of Xandar and one of the greatest members of the Nova Corps, a peacekeeping Xandarian-based organization not unlike the Green Lantern Corps from Marvel's Distinguished Competition. In fact, with that analogy in mind, Dey is basically Marvel's Abin Sur - his job is to die so a human can be chosen as the next great Nova leader.

Dey gives us a rundown of the Guardian roster.

Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista)

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

The Nova computer says his species is "unknown" and Dey mentions that his wife and family were killed. Drax's backstory will almost certainly never fully be fleshed out, or at the very least, will be dramatically different from the rather convoluted origin he has in the comics. He was originally Arthur Douglas of Earth who was killed, alongside his family by Thanos (the bad guy in the mid-credits scene of Avengers), not out of malice, but out of disinterest. They happened to be within his sight as he was passing over Earth. Thanos' father Mentor (yes, that's what he's called) found Arthur's daughter Heather and raised her as the telepathic hero (and sometime villain) Moondragon. Mentor then resurrected Arthur's mind and put it into an artificial body programmed with an overwhelming desire to kill Thanos. Over the years Drax went from generic space hero to stupider version of the Hulk to all-of-Schwarzenegger's-1980s-roles-merged-into-a-single-being. The latter version is the one currently appearing in comics and in the film.

Gamora the Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe (Zoe Saldaña)

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

The screen lists her as the "last survivor of the Zehoberi people" who is 24 years old (by her people's calculation) with cybernetic enhancements. This is all comics-accurate, of course the story gets more complicated from there. In the comics there was an artificial man named Adam Warlock who is considered by most to be Thanos' greatest enemy, and sometimes his only friend. At some point in an alternate future, Adam goes nuts and becomes Magus, killing (among others) the Zehoberi (called Zen-Whoberi, in the comics). Looking for a way to take out Adam, Thanos goes into the future, takes Gamora as a little girl before the planet is destroyed, goes back in time to before he met Warlock, then raises the girl to adulthood. At some point in her teen years she is brutalized by thugs when she went out without Thanos around to protect her, so he rebuilt her with new bones and other parts, making her stronger and more durable than she would otherwise have been. After realizing Thanos wasn't the helpful father-figure she thought he was, and after falling for her target Adam, Gamora goes good and is now the most dangerous heroine in the universe.

Rocket Raccoon (voice Bradley Cooper)

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

Rocket is an interesting case, because as confusing as Drax and Gamora seem, Rocket's origins are even more nonsensical - and yet, the text in the Nova computers seems to confirm most of his origin as existing (in one form or another) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rocket is described as a "cybernetic/genetic experiment" from "Halfworld, Keystone Quadrent" and (aside from Groot) is associated with someone named "Lylla." Okay, deep breath. The most commonly used version of Rocket's origin holds that mentally unstable humans (or humanoids) were moved to the Keystone Quadrant for medical and mental aid, and to help in their recovery, numerous cute animals were uplifted to human-level intelligence and culture to care for the patients (affectionately called "Loonies"). Rocket was a security chief,and Lylla, an otter, was his girlfriend (her uncle was a walrus, so don't judge). Helping keep the peace in Halfworld were numerous Keystone Kops, who looked like, well, like Keystone Cops, and clown robots made out of wood. Uh, it gets stranger from there, but let's just say that Rocket doesn't go back home anymore, even though part of him wants to.

Groot the Monarch from Planet X (voice Vin Diesel)

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

Said to be "Flora Colossus" "inhabitant of Taluhnia" from "X," it's important to note that Groot actually predates the Fantastic Four. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (see, Stan Lee could cameo in this film if he wanted) as a monster invading from "Planet X" (one of several from that planet, apparently). When Groot came to earth, speaking quite eloquently I might add, he used his powers to control native trees and attempt take over, until he was thwarted by human ingenuity. Much later he was captured and drafted into SHIELD (yes, he was an Agent of SHIELD) and later still joined Star-Lord's rag-tag band. Over the years he began saying less and less until finally "I am Groot" seemed to be all he could say. The explanation here is that his species eventually grows so stiff that their vocal chords (for lack of a better term) are unable to form more than a few specific sounds. Despite his seemingly limited vocabulary, some (like Rocket) are able to translate "I am Groot" into any other phrase, depending on how Groot says it. Oh, and at some point he gave up conquering the universe in favor of saving it.

Peter Jason Quill the Star-Lord

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

Described as a "Terran," Quill is actually prince of the Spartax (or Spartoi, it depends on which comic you read), although he is half-human. His mother was killed by aliens seeking his father's bloodline, and Quill became a space hero with his unique Element Gun that can do exactly what it sounds like: shoot (classical) elements like earth, water and so on. According to his Nova rap sheet, he is an associate of "Yondu Udonta," who in the comics is a peaceful member of the Guardians of the Galaxy from the 31st century, but in the movie will be played by Michael Rooker. Quill is also apparently guilty of at least one sex crime: "illegal manipulation of Gramosian Duchess" (no idea what that's about; probably best that way). The creepy guy crouching in the mask with red eyes later in the trailer is also Star-Lord.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

The team is taken to the Kyln, a prison system on the edge of the universe (yes, the entire universe). Considering the fighting with Rocket and Groot, I'm going to assume something bad happens there. In the comics, Star-Lord and Thanos were both prisoners there and helped each other stop a greater catastrophe from occurring.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

The ship seen here is apparently called Milano in the movie. In the comics, it is usually just called Ship, although sometimes it looks like a pretty lady named Aurora. Maybe Star-Lord wished really hard.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

In the flashes we see glimpses of Amy Pond (er, Karen Gillan) as Nebula, the self-proclaimed granddaughter of Thanos (a claim he vehemently denies). She's a space pirate, but not one of the good ones. She actually wasn't bald for many of her most prominent storylines, so it's odd they chose to shave her here, but c'est la vie.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

There's an even briefer glimpse of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), the heaviest of heavy hitters for the Kree. He regularly goes hammer-to-hammer against (and sometimes alongside) Thor in the comics. (EDIT: Thanks to Xeos for catching this omission!)

Guardians of the Galaxy - Who? An Explainer for Marvel Weirdness

We also catch a snippet of the Collector (Benicio del Toro), who previously appeared during the credits of Thor: Dark World. Collector, or Taneleer Tivan as he is almost never called, is one of an unrevealed number of immortal beings who, like Gamora, are the last survivors of their respective races. Apparently they made some kind of deal with Death. Immortality sucks if you don't find a way to keep yourself busy, some might do this by becoming annoying and insulting people, but Tivan does it by collecting things - all things.

Anything you guys noticed?