Comic book movies are generally geared towards audiences with a broad knowledge of the source material, but in the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn was bringing out characters that the majority of the world wasn’t familiar with at all. And because Marvel Comics characters aren’t solely tethered to Marvel Studios, there were a few characters Gunn wanted to use that had to be left behind, and it should surprise absolutely no one that these characters are even more obscure. Their names? Bug and Rom: SpaceKnight, both of which were on the tip of your tongue, I’m sure.
Howard the Duck got a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy, so it only seems fair to return the favor, right? At least in comic book form. He’s taking time out of his busy schedule to pose for a selfie with the mismatched crew of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot, though he doesn’t seem too pleased to be sharing the spotlight in his very own title.
Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso tweeted out this art created by Joe Quinones, which is apparently the cover for the second issue of the soon-to-launch Howard the Duck comic. And it’s kind of perfect, as they’re all trying to make duck faces, some better than other. Drax is certainly having some issues wrapping his literal-leaning brain around the idea, but that’s part of why we love him.
Ticket sales at the box office may have been at a 20-year low in 2014, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything worth seeing. I’m a firm believer that, no matter the state of the industry, there will always be people making exciting, interesting films, you just might have to look for them. Regardless of what this means for studios and their bottom lines, sci-fi fans had a lot to dig into over the past year. There were huge, spectacle style blockbusters right along side quiet, introspective independent features more concerned with ideas than eye candy, as well as everything in between. There are a few gaps in my genre viewing for the year—I still have yet to watch titles like Young Ones, The Zero Theorem, and Under the Skin for some reason—but in this spirit, here are my top sci-fi movies of 2014.
We never get tired of Cinema Sins’ recurring “Everything Wrong With Such-and-Such” video series, which aims to pick every last nit in films ranging from the Transformers movies to The Fault in Our Stars. But it’s easy to mock objectively terrible moves. It’s a lot more daunting to roast the sacred cows, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more beloved 2014 movie than Guardians of the Galaxy. I mean, it’s one of the biggest hits of the year and is currently rocking a 90% Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, but it’s not like it’s perfect. So let’s see how harsh the Cinema Sins folks are to Star-Lord and company, shall we?
This is the best thing I’ve seen all day, and I mean that in a very literal, non-hyperbolic sense. Watching Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s hard not to notice the influence of the swashbuckling action of Star Wars. And after an already big 2014, star Chris Pratt is poised for an even bigger 2015, thanks, in large part, to taking the lead in Jurassic World. And Terminator is awesome. I’m not sure how that last one really fits in, but I don’t care because this poster manages to cram together Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Terminator into this single illustration, and the result is as amazing as you would hope.
I’m just going to throw this out there, if anyone wants to get me a late Christmas present, they can figure out how to get me a copy of this. I have a surprising lack of any kind of movie swag, but this poster, from artist Tim Doyle, I would hang proudly on wall.
Guardians of the Galaxy proved all the naysayers wrong and became one of the highest grossing films of the year, currently sitting at $772 million worldwide. It also helped make big-screen space operas cool again, with that momentum set to continue with the upcoming Star Wars films (and, hopefully, the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending won’t suck). In a lot of ways, Guardians was a better Star Wars movie than any of the prequels, but what would Star-Lord and company look like if slathered with some more direct Star Wars trappings? Check out YouTuber Bobby Burns’ mashup of Guardians and Star Wars to see for yourself.