Diehard Marvel fans everywhere were blown away by the debut of the obscure Guardians 3000 members in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We were introduced to Starhawk, Martinex, Charlie-27, Aleta, Krugarr, and Mainframe, but the group’s original leader was noticeably absent: Vance Astro aka Major Victory. Astro holds a variety of identities across multiple timelines, but primarily as Major Victory in the Guardians 3000 and Justice in the New Warriors and Avengers. Some aspects of his history make it difficult to fit correctly into the MCU timeline, but I think Avengers 4 may solve some of those problems while allowing us to see both versions of the character in entirely different art forms.
In the Guardians 3000 comic storyline, the team is formed 1,000 years into the future. In this timeline, Earth’s resources are dwindling in the 1980’s, so Astro volunteers to be cryogenically frozen and sent to a planet called Centauri-IV in an effort to colonize it in the event of the human race’s extinction. He is not awoken for 1,000 years and finds that, while he was frozen, Earth had already colonized numerous other planets and moons due to rapid technological advances since his departure. Imagine the end of Captain America: The First Avengers but in space and set a millennium away from now.
Long story short, Astro’s latent mutant ability of psychokinesis develops as he takes up the moniker of Major Victory and teams up with the original Guardians of the Galaxy, who go on a number of adventures linked to the ancestors of the primary 616 universe, the most significant of which occurs when the team travels into the past to meet up with the Avengers in The Korvac Saga. Major Victory also picks up a version of Cap’s shield along the way. During this crossover, Astro visits his younger teenage self, imploring him not to become an astronaut. The young Astro takes this advice, but his mutant abilities still manifest to the disgust of his father, and he becomes one of the founding members of the New Warriors under the moniker of Marvel Boy, and, later, Justice.
Now, back to the MCU, is it possible that Astro wasn’t in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 because they had future plans for him? With the MCU leaning more and more into the concept of a multiverse, Major Victory could come into play as the post-snap version of the character, who travels inter-dimensionally to warn his younger self, but subsequently gets trapped in the primary universe. As the Avengers and characters like Captain Marvel and Nova inevitably branch out cosmically, there could be plenty of opportunities for Major Victory to meet and team up with Sylvester Stallone’s Ravagers crew. While I doubt these characters will ever get their own spin-off, it would be great to see them as recurring characters in cosmic movies potentially led by the likes of the Guardians, Nova, Silver Surfer, and Adam Warlock.
That being said, Astro’s other primary identity of Justice presents an entirely different opportunity for the MCU. In the comics, after being visited by Major Victory, the young Vance Astro becomes a superhero in his own time as one of the founding members of the New Warriors (though he was noticeably absent from the live-action New Warriors casting). This character presents a tremendous opportunity for the MCU to produce a relatable and darker take on anti-mutant bias that we haven’t seen much of in the FOX universe. His comic history deals primarily with father’s abuse of Astro and his mother because of his anti-mutant bias, fueled in part because of the cycle of abuse that his own father dealt unto him for coming out as a homosexual decades ago, which actually results in Vance murdering his father in an outburst of rage.
While Justice is a tremendous candidate for a Young Avengers initiative on the film side, this type of story could also be told as a subplot on the small screen in a street-level coming-of-age type drama on Freeform or Hulu similar to Cloak and Dagger that would require a very small budget given his power set, but be an extremely topical and relevant storyline for a younger generation of viewers to relate to. Since the New Warriors is seemingly being developed for the Disney streaming service, they could instead include Justice in a Champions show, which could include characters like Sam Alexander, Patriot, Amadeus Cho, and Ms. Marvel (though she may be destined for the film universe).
The MCU multiverse opens us up to a tremendous amount of possibilities that seemed like a pipe dream not long ago, and both Major Victory and Justice are two of those possibilities. As the MCU continues to produce sometimes you have to diverse properties beyond Avengers 4, fans can expect to see more and more of these pipe dreams come to fruition.