There’s a lot to love about Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, from the cast to the script to James Gunn’s direction. But one of my favorite elements is how all those things came together with the design work to create a rich and detailed universe I hope we’ll be seeing new adventures in for years to come. The concept art for Guardians is the subject of a new book entitled Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Art of the Movie, which hits shelves today. It gives readers a look at concepts for the film’s alien worlds, spacecraft, and characters…including a design for the superhero Nova, which you can see up top.
The Guardians movie already introduced us to the Nova Corps, essentially space cops who also serve as the military for the planet Xandar. We got to meet their leader Nova Prime (Glenn Close) and interplanetary beat cop Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly), but in spite of rumors leading up to the film’s release — including ones that suggested Nathan Fillion would be playing the role — we didn’t get introduced to the heroic character who takes the Corps’ name as his own. In the comics, Earther Richard Rider is given the mantle of Nova by a dying Dey, gaining superpowers and then using them to battle evil and to help win a war between the Xandarians and the Skrulls. It seems very likely that Nova will be introduced in Guardians 2, but I’m hoping they’ll tweak his origin a bit — I’d like to keep Reilly around as the wry Corpsman Dey.
The book also includes weaponry designed by artist Goran Bukvic (via ComicBookMovie) for the alien race known as the Badoon. They would have served as Ronan the Accuser’s foot soldiers, but unfortunately the screen rights to the Badoon are held by 20th Century Fox and their X-Men/Fantastic Four franchises, so the Badoon got the boot and Ronan’s soldiers became Sakaarans instead (best known from the Planet Hulk comics storyline. That’s a shame, since it robbed the movie of the chance to have somebody yell,
“Look out, a Badoon bazooka!”
And then there’s this alien cityscape by Stephan Martiniere, which depicts the planet Spartoi. Fans of the comics will recognize Spartoi as the homeworld of Peter “Star-Lord” Quill’s father. The true nature of Peter’s mysterious father is only hinted at in the final film, but according to /Film, early drafts of the Guardians script by writer Nicole Perlman featured quite a bit of Spartoi, with much of the action taking place there. That suggests the Guardians movie might have originally planned to stick with the source material when it came to Quill’s dad. In the comics, his father was Prince Jason of Spartoi, who sired Peter after his ship crashed on Earth and he fell in love with Peter’s mother. Things obviously changed quite a bit on the way to theaters, and the hints we got suggest Peter’s dad will be something very different in the movie continuity.
You can check out more concept art from Guardians of the Galaxy below.