‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ might just prove that Marvel Studios can do no wrong. While many had to Google the team when the movie was first announced, the film will surely have kids screaming “I AM GROOT” the rest of the summer.
It hasn’t been since 2011’s Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger that Marvel has introduced a franchise to their cinematic universe. When Guardians of the Galaxy was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012 (its sequel was likewise announced at this year’s show), casual comics fans across the country – including myself – scratched their heads and collectively said, “Who?” Two years later, the titular a-holes might just carry Marvel to their most successful franchise launch since Iron Man.
Each of the Marvel franchises have lived in their own genres: Thor is a space opera, Cap has been both a classic World War II film and a brilliant modern take on the 70’s spy thriller. Guardians is something different altogether: an action-comedy (or comedy-action?) flick that is as much a distant cousin to something like Spaceballs than something that feels like it fits in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On first glance, it barely does fit … we only see perhaps three characters already established in the films, and those only in passing. Guardians’ – and it’s sequel’s – relevance will probably grow post-Avengers 2, but no one outside of Marvel knows for sure.