In a recent Facebook chat about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, James Gunn was very forthcoming about a great many topics. As expected, fans had questions about Vol. 3, and Gunn, while not giving much away, was very accommodating. When asked by one fan if he would now consider using other human characters in Vol. 3 (Gunn had previously wanted to keep Quill as the only human in the films), Gunn gave an answer that will probably make a lot of fans very happy:

While some might wonder why you’d want to add another human to a Cosmic film when you have so many other species in the galaxy, fans of the comics know the answer is because we are missing some of Marvel’s bravest heroes. With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at a handful of humies who might appear when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 heads to theaters, presumably in May 1, 2020.

Richard Rider

Nova is probably most fans’ first choice. While Gunn has, in the past, ruled Nova out of contention for his films, he’s certainly come around towards the character’s potential inclusion in the MCU. After originally saying he didn’t care much about Nova (because of the crazy helmet), Gunn changed his mind last summer, saying in a Facebook chat: “I think there is always a chance of a Nova movie. I don’t think it’s something I would do. But it’s possible.” Gunn then followed up with further clarification that the character could have a future:

While having a powered-up Nova in the MCU would require some modification of the existing Nova Corps, the potential is certainly in place. While the comic book Nova Corps are powered by the gravity-based cosmic force called the Nova Force, which is distributed to each member by the collective intelligence known as the Worldmind, the MCU version are basically just beat cops. When we last saw them, they were in possession of the Power Stone, which they had locked away on Xandar. While we have no insight into the script for Avengers: Infinity War, we can imagine that Thanos will be headed to Xandar for the Stone at some point. If the Nova Corps could find a way to tap into the Power Stone, they could potentially become much closer to their comic book counterparts. That probably won’t be enough to stop Thanos, however, but it’s a start. Thanos acquiring the stone is an inevitability and that probably leads to the destruction of Xandar.

The destruction of Xandar is where the story of Richard Rider begins. In the comics, the destruction of Xandar (this particular one, at least) came at the hands of the space pirate, Zorr. In the wake of its destruction, Nova Centurion Rhomann Dey escaped and headed to Zorr’s next target: Earth. Here Dey, dying of his battle wounds, met Richard Rider and gave him his helmet, kicking off the super hero career of the Human Rocket. Just a teenager at the time, Rider began his work picking off street-level criminals before joining the remaining Nova Corps in a war against the Skrulls. Despite some uncertainties and time away, Rider slowly works his way through the ranks of the Corps. Rider became one of Marvel’s most important Cosmic heroes, ultimately sacrificing himself to keep Thanos in the parallel universe known as the Cancerverse.

While the beginnings of Richard Rider sound a little too Green Lantern-y for a lot of people, his adventures both with and apart from the Nova Corps, make him one of the greatest heroes yet to move to the MCU. Rider could easily be introduced in Avengers: Infinity War ahead of an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and, hopefully, his own solo film. Fans of the recent Nova, Sam Alexander, might hope that we skip Rider entirely and move straight to Sam, but with Kevin Feige in charge, it seems Marvel places a great priority on the legacy of the character. Alexander may appear some day, but not until the story of Rider and the Nova Corps has been told.

 

 

Wendell Vaughn

An agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who was determined to be too soft to be in the field, Wendell Vaughn was assigned to the security detail of a Stark International research facility. At the facility, Vaughn’s father, Dr. Gilbert Vaughn, was examining the properties of the anomalous, alien artifacts known as the Quantum Bands. The bands, created by the Cosmic being Eon, are a powerful tool given by Eon to one he designates as the “Protector of the Universe” to aid them in keeping the conditions in the universe favorable to life. When the facility comes under attack, Wendell Vaughn places the Quantum Bands on his wrists and intuitively understanding how to use their great power. Vaughn meets Eon, is named as his new Protector of the Universe and begins a career as the Cosmic hero, Quasar.

Vaughn took part in numerous incredible Cosmic adventures including the Infinity War, Annihilation and Realm of Kings stories. As Quasar, he uses the Quantum Bands much in the same way the Green Lantern Corps uses their rings: to covert energy into physical constructs. The Quantum Bands also give Quasar powers of flight and Cosmic awareness and basically make him one of the great bad asses in the Cosmos. The job as Eon’s champion isn’t forever and Vaughn’s time as Quasar ended during the Annihilation wave. He was followed by Kree heroine (and the “daughter” of Mar-Vell) Phyla-Vell, who is also very cool, but not a human.

If we have seen Ego the Living Planet, there’s no reason to believe we can’t see Eon, who was born about the same time as Ego, and hear his story about his quest to preserve life (kind of different than Ego’s, I guess). While including a powered-up character like Quasar, or Nova, in Vol. 3 might detract from the Guardians saving the day, maybe Gunn will have a threat so big that they’ll need to expand their team and include a Quasar.

 

Vance Astro

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introduced us to Stakar, Martinex and Charlie-27. Those guys, along with Yondu, were a part of Marvel Comics original Guardians of the Galaxy, who first appeared in 1969. The original leader of that team has yet to make his way to the screen and though it might take some clever manipulating by Gunn to get him there, Vance Astro could make an appearance in Vol. 3.

In the comics, Vance Astro (nee Vance Astrovik) was an Air Force pilot who volunteered for and was chosen for Project: Starjump, man’s first attempt at interstellar travel, in 1988. To survive the 1000 year journey, Astro had his blood replaced with anti-freeze, was put in a copper suit and placed in suspended animation. During the jouney, Astro would come out of suspended animation for periods of time and during these times of intense stress, his mutant powers were awakened. When he finally arrived at his destination of Centauri IV, the home planet of Yondu, he found that his entire mission had been a waste as humans discovered superlumial travel in the meantime and beaten him to the destination by hundreds of years. While he was there, the planet was attacked by the Badoon, forcing him to team up with Yondu and, eventually, Martinex and Charlie-27.

While it would seem well out of place to have this type of introduction in the MCU, it doesn’t mean there is no hope for Vance Astro, aka Major Victory. In the 2008 run on Guardians of the Galaxy, the team finds a temporally displaced Astro encased in ice (much like Captain America as a “man out of time”) roughly around the same time they come across Adam Warlock. With all the reality manipulation likely to happen during Avengers: Infinity War, perhaps the Guardians could come across a future Vance Astro, stranded in their time, maybe they could even adapt the Quest for the Shield story in some way…one can dream!

Darkhawk

The history of Darkhawk is one of Marvel’s more convoluted, but here are the important parts: A young teenager named Chris Powell finds an amulet that allows him to access another dimension known as the Null Space. While in the Null Space, Powell’s mind connects to an android suit of armor known as Darkhawk and as Darkhawk, Powell can kick ass.

Darkhawk fought on Earth alongside Nova and the New Warriors, but eventually found himself entangled in Cosmic adventures such as War of Kings and Realm of Kings. Whjle his introduction seems like a long shot, many of us here are big fans of the character and absolutely love the armor. With the MCU already exploring the concept of other dimensions, perhaps we might see the Null Space and Darkhawk.

While I’d be happy to see just one of them appear in Vol. 3, or even earlier (Avengers: Infinity War), I’m hopeful that Gunn starts to really build up the stable of Cosmic heroes so that one day we can see the Cosmic equivalent of Captain America: Civil War. Something epic and intense that includes all the major Cosmic players. Certainly Marvel Studios doesn’t currently hold the rights to all the pieces necessary to adapt War of Kings or Annihilation, but they could make some adjustments and make a great story with what they have.

There’s one hero who we know we will see before we Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters and while she’s going to have her own film series, fans would certainly love to see her join the cast of Vol. 3 for a Cosmic adventure:

Carol Danvers

While she’s been an Avenger and a part of almost every major crossover event Marvel has pushed out in the past 20 years, she’s also a Cosmic hero and, recently, joined up with the Guardians of the Galaxy for a short run. Brie Larson is a rising star and Marvel Studios would be wise to get her in as many films as possible, as they did with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark; to that end, having her make an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an option we have to keep open. To be honest, while Captain Marvel can have some fun on Earth, we’d rather see her spend most of her adventures in space and if that brings her into contact with the Guardians, it just gets that much better!

Which of these Cosmic heroes (if any) do you want to see in the MCU in 2020 and beyond? We love to hear your thoughts to let us know!

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