Gunn’s “Guardians” reunited in the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and the others with solo films that foreshadowed and then merged with 2012’s “The Avengers.”
With ‘Guardians’ immediately preceded by ‘Iron Man 3’, ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, screenwriters Nicole Perlman and James Gunn were allowed to play with just about every available piece. The cosmic comics team’s history dates back to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s first “Fantastic Four” series, which shaped the universe, but expanded dramatically over the ensuing decades. a fallow period in the late 90s/early 2000s, they were rejuvenated once again with 2006’s “Annihilation” limited series, which is said to be itself slated to become a major storyline. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Gunn and Perlman went in a variety of different directions with some of the characters. Groot, Rocket, and Gamora are pretty close to the comics, Drax’s story was greatly simplified, and Quill was made to be a more mischievous character. As the story progresses, however, you can see and hear all kinds of love for the sequential ancestors. Alien races like the Badoon are mentioned, but Rocket can also be heard using Marvel space swear words like “d’ast”. The best part is, even after all these years, new references seem to pop up with every rewatch.