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These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Broken Base: A rift seems to have developed between fans of the most recent team led by Star-Lord and fans of the original team. Especially when the 2014 film was merely being talked about, and was set to include Star-Lord's team; which eventually turned out to be the case.
Complete Monster: Adam Magus is a sick and twisted maniac, who runs a full-blown Religion of Evil, which routinely wipes out whole planets and civilisations (like Gamora's), kills his own worshippers if he feels like it, commits psychological and physical torture on the Guardians he captures, and his ultimate endgame? Summoning a universe filled with Eldritch Abominations for the heck of it. It says something when Thanos is more pleasant than he.
Dork Age: Many fans of the Abnett and Lanning's run sees the Bendis run as this due to frequent out of character moments and ignoring the events from previous stories, the introduction of earth based heroes like Iron Man and Captain Marvel and the fact Volume 3 was started in order to promote the movie doesn't help.
Fanon Discontinuity: The Cancerverse arc is considered to be the ultimate low point of Bendis's run, with many fans wanting to forget it.
Hilarious in Hindsight: In one issue of vol 2., the Guardians fight an alien invasion in New York. Sound familiar? Even better, they're fighting in the exact place the Avengers gathered. History never repeats, but sometimes it rhymes, indeed.
In the Rocket and Groot back-up story from Annihilators: Earthfall, Mojo sends "action figure variants" of Rocket into combat, identified with toy ads boasting a "Build-A-Groot" collectible figure. Sure enough, the Marvel Legends series for Guardians of the Galaxy has such a figure included in pieces with each toy.
Les Yay: The 2013 series has quite a few of these moments between Angela & Gamora.
Intercom: Will you marry me? Angela: You're too short, Rocket. Intercom: This is Gamora. Angela: I'll consider it.
Moondragon being pregnant with a monster from the Cancerverse. And how it got into her, forcing its way in through her mouth and nose. It's also this In-universe, because they have to hear the noises it makes.
Volume 2 not featuring the same team who were in the original series.
Before volume 3 had been released, some fans were not 'pleased' with Star-Lord's retro inspired redesign nor Gamora's costume changes, and let's not even start about the inclusion of Iron Man to the cast.
In volume 3, he's not as well liked as he was in volume 2, mainly because of how he gleefully shouts about murdering enemies, and because he now seems to have a disdain for Earth, both traits that had not been there before. On top of that, his origins being changed from a mutated raccoon to a member of a race of aliens that look like raccoons.
As of issues 7 and 8, both complaints about Rocket Raccoon seem to have been addressed, as Rocket referenced his original origin and other characters have discouraged Rocket from using his new catchphrase as they find it "annoying and disturbing."
Rocket's origin and species seems to constantly flip-flop from issue to issue.
Bring back DnA (Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) has pretty much become the fandom's catchphrase. Sadly Abnett and Lanning no longer work together, but did do two final Guardian's comics before their split.
April 2014 solicitations revealing that Star-Lord will be undergoing another makeover, this time to his costume from the film set to be released later in the summer. Though many fans seemed to prefer this change to his last 2 costume changes.
Drax suddenly talking like his Space Hulk persona from the 90's despite his character development given by Keith Giffen, Abnett and Lanning.
The Planet of the Symbiotes storyline mainly for how Bendis, based on interviews, seems to be ignoring the pre-existing stories explaining Venom and Carnage's homeworld and culture so that he can take the credit for himself with his own story.
Did Yondu know he'd been given a fake orb? There's certainly an argument to be made that it was in his best interest. He couldn't admit to not wanting it, but he likewise knew that selling it to anyone he'd be likely to do business with could only bring disaster, and it would be much safer with the Nova Corps. Likewise, did he not deliver Peter to his father because he really was "a jackass" as claimed, or because Yondu would much rather steal the kid for his own purposes?
At the end when Rocket attacks Ronan, is it because he blames the Kree for Groot's death and wants to punish him for it? Or is it because he knows the Dark Aster crashed because he flew his own ship into it in a failed attempt to kill Ronan, and, knowing he can't possibly win, no longer cares what happens to him because he blames himself for Groot's death?
Was Quill trying to talk Ronan out of destroying Xandar? Trying to reason with him near the end? Quill was pretty good at mediating between the other Guardians, so maybe his challenge to a dance-off, as disarming as it was, was also an attempt to get Ronan to stand down without killing him, since shooting him with the Hadron Enforcer and crashing his ship didn't work...
Despite having only a brief appearance Thanos has generated two opposing first impressions. Is he an all-powerful master schemer that the loss of the stones and the betrayals and failures of his underlings is beneath his attention or an overconfident, out of touch fool who cannot keep his underlings from betraying him?
Ronan. Is he really a renegade of the Kree... or is he their agent, but acting as if he went rogue? The Kree Ambassador clearly didn't give a rat's ass about what Ronan is doing, and there are riots going on in the Kree Empire over the treaty. It WOULD be in the Kree Empire's best interest that Xandar be destroyed, and there's a distinct lack of Kree acting against Ronan or helping Xandar.
Angst Aversion: The Downer Beginning, what with the mother dying and young Quill's unnerving screaming, not to mention him being too scared to hold her hand before her dying. You'd be forgiven if you want to leave the room when this happens.
Anti-Climax Boss: Subverted twice with Nebula and Ronan. The former starts ranting in what sounds like the opening taunts of a climactic duel, only to be hilariously swiftly shot with a rocket by Drax. To have it both ways, though, the film lets her survive and put herself back together in time for the real duel. The latter too is shot by a rocket, but anyone who's seen the "Ex-Wife" scene of Iron Man 2 knows it has no chance of working.
Bizarro Episode: Until a greater focus on the cosmic aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are explored, along with the inevitable Avengers-VS-Thanos storyline, this movie will seem to be an out-there installment due to having minimal ties to the previous movies. However, it's been argued that this ultimately helps the film.
There was also the involvement of James Gunn at all, after some internet bloggers uncovered his year old "50 Superheroes people want to sleep with" list, which was filled with controversial comments. Gunn has since apologized for the comments, stating that he no longer thinks such things are funny, but people are genuinely split on it either making him a horrible person who shouldn't be directing, or thinking it's just some jokes that got taken out of proportion.
Even ignoring that, however, the fact that his past credits include writing for Troma and the loathed Scooby-Doo movies, as well as the mixed reception to Super (and the horrendous reception to Movie 43), led some people to question his worthiness to be directing for Marvel. Conversely, there are plenty of people who loved Super as well as his earlier film Slither who are looking forward to the film primarily because of his involvement.
There are those who love the sense of humor showcased in the trailer, whereas others are less enthusiastic.
Peter's "dance off" distraction to keep Ronan confused for a brief moment during the film's climax is either very funny or awkward and displaced.
Colbert Bump: Nearly every song on "Awesome Mix, Vol. 1" received a massive uptick in sales after the film. Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling" got enormous overnight based solely on the teaser trailer. To date, Awesome Mix, Vol. 1 is the first album made entirely of previously released songs to hit Number 1 on Billboard.
Complete Monster: Ronan the Accuser is a genocidal Kree terrorist and renegade wholly devoted to the destruction of the planet of Xandar. Disgusted by his people signing a peace treaty, Ronan is introduced to the audience by confronting a captive member of Xandar's Nova Corps, crushing the helpless man's skull with his Universal Weapon, and bathing in his blood. Beginning the film as a henchman of the Mad TitanThanos, Ronan seeks to gather an item for Thanos so that he will destroy Xandar for him. Under Thanos, Ronan has committed multiple murders, including the deaths of Drax the Destroyer's wife and daughter. He later pursues the film's motley band of heroes to the space prison The Kyln, and orders a full massacre of every prisoner to leave no witnesses. When he realizes the power of the Infinity Stone he has been sent to retrieve, Ronan double crosses Thanos and vows to kill him after he's finished with Xandar. Assaulting the planet, he even orders his own men to become suicide bombers by flying their ships into Xandar, injuring and killing numerous civilians. After mocking Drax about finally remembering murdering his family, he declares Xandar "guilty" by his psychotic philosophy and attempts to purge it of all life. Brutal, violent, relentless and unforgiving, Ronan stands as an example of rage, fanaticism, unchecked hatred and utter cruelty, and really stands out in such a relatively light-hearted movie.
Yondu is gaining some popularity due to his badassery and fun lines.
Korath is quite well-liked, despite his lack of screentime compared to Ronan or Nebula.
Howard the Duck due to his hilarious cameo at the end. Marvel predicted this would happen and took full advantage of by digitally rereleasing his original comic series the same week as the movie's launch. He's also getting a new series in 2015 which likely wouldn't have happened without the film.
Fan Favorite: Rocket was obviously tailored to be this (and he is one), but the fandom gladly embraced Groot as well. Being the epitome of the Gentle Giant trope will earn you fans, it seems.
Most Star Wars fans praise the film as well, comparing it favorably to the original trilogy, given that the film is one long Affectionate Parody of Space Opera in general and that franchise in particular.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: All the hilarious moments involving the prisoners and guards on the Kyln become somewhat grimmer on subsequent viewings, since we know that Ronan is going to have all of them killed once he gets to the station.
He Really Can Act: The majority of the critical consensus complimented Dave Bautista, a guy so inexperienced at non-wrestling acting that he' had requested meetings with a drama coach on-set, for holding his own amongst the ensemble cast and being able to convincingly deliver Drax's more somber moments.
You know who else was from a DC comics property? Dave Batista (Drax) in Smallville! Specifically, he played the spine-tearing, bone-munching Monster of the Week Aldar. The part where Drax asks Rhomann if removing someone's spine is illegal sounds even more ironic now.
As noted below, Brett White was quick to make a post about the audacity of this film and its characters, whilst Wonder Woman's movie debut had been continuously postponed. Not long after, Wonder Woman was announced to be making an appearance in the sequel to Man of Steel.
The comic book version of Drax has been revisioned a few times with the most recent version (a slimmer but strong body, a dark mood, and duel daggers) leading many fans to compare him to Riddick. This movie uses this version of Drax while also starring Vin Diesel as a separate character. Made even funnier when you take into account that Dave Batista starred alongside Diesel in the above mentioned film.
For fans of Professional Wrestling, Drax's failure to understand the throat slash gesture. Drax's actor, of course, is Batista of WWE fame. Batista at one point had a longstanding feud with The Undertaker, who uses a throat slash as a signature taunt.
When Peter is ambushed by Korath and his thugs on Morag, he snaps at one of them, "Ninja Turtle, you better stop poking me!" Guess which new film knocked Guardians of the Galaxy off of No. 1 at the box office? It becomes even more hilarious a few weeks later when Guardians actually retakes the No. 1 spot at the box office from TMNT.
The Memetic Mutation of Korath's reaction to hearing Quill call himself "Star-Lord". Guess who's the first character in the film to use Quill's "outlaw name" seriously.
The casting of Chris Pratt in the MCU as Star-Lord is hilarious to some Everwood fans as on that show, he was Emily VanCamp's brother. In other words, Star-Lord and Sharon Carter were siblings.
In the comics, Bug often complains about not being in the team's first line-up. He was originally included in the film line-up, before being dropped from the script.
In an amusing coicidence, When the film was released, it opened opposite to Get On Up starring Chadwick Boseman. Just a handful of months later, he was announced as being chosen to play the Black Panther in future Marvel films.
Nebula. Like Gamora, she's another one of Thanos's experiments, except she has far more cybernetic implants and is The Unfavorite. The only reason she followed Ronan was in the hopes that he could kill Thanos.
Rocket as well. His gruff, don't-take-crap-from-anyone personality makes him a fairly abrasive and somewhat misanthropic character early on, but it hides a lot of resentment and pain over his origins. His breakdown post-alcohol shows the audience where he's coming from.
"Who?" Explanation Korath's reaction to Peter announcing his pseudonym.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know how this machine worked."Explanation From the scene where Peter mimics a wind-up machine with his hand, using it to flip off the Nova Corpsmen.
"Oh... yeah."Explanation Rocket's enthusiastic response to Drax tossing him a gun during the escape from the Kyln.
To a lesser extent: "YOU STAND ACCUSED!"Explanation Ronan's form of accusation against the Xandarians.
Pelvic sorcery.Explanation Gamora's description of Star-Lord's attempt to seduce her with music and dancing.
"Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it." note Drax, being Literal-Minded, says this in response to Rocket's remark that metaphor are gonna go over his (Drax's) head.
"What are you doing? ....What are you doing?" note Ronan's stunned reaction when Quill challenges him to a dance-off.
"We're just like Kevin Bacon!" Explanation Said by Gamora in the final act, in reference to Quill telling her about the legend of Footloose starring the hero Kevin Bacon.
"They got my dick message!"
Moral Event Horizon: Ronan's first scene becomes this after Fridge Horror kicks in. Initially, he's introduced as coming out of a very large liquid chamber that the audience is led to believe is some sort of water. However, when he murders his Xandarian captive, the blood from his corpse is used to fill a slight amount of the liquid chamber. To put it bluntly, he murdered dozens of innocent Xandarians to bathe in their blood, and it's implied he does this regularly.
"Your politics bore me", a line coming from Thanos, comes across as unintentionally hammy and almost straight out of something you would hear in a Golden Age comic book.
Ronan sarcastically giving the group their name in the form of a Title Drop ("Citizens of Xandar, behold your guardians of the galaxy!") was meant to come across as his way of mocking how they are beneath him, but it instead comes across as a cheesy last-minute script edit. Especially considering that the only "guarding" that they were doing was essentially bound to Xandar itself, and not necessarily the galaxy.
Narm Charm: Drax's dialogue at points can reach Narmic levels, but during the team's Darkest Hour you can really feel his pain.
Newer Than They Think: Between the pulp-sounding name (including Rocket Raccoon), '70s soundtrack, and Raygun Gothic elements, most people are surprised that the movie is based on an incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy from a 2008 series.
Thanos has only two brief appearances, but he makes a hell of a first impression.
Howard the Duck totally steals the show in The Stinger.
Despite press releases making a bigger deal out of Benicio Del Toro's involvement than Glenn Close's, The Collector is only present in one scene for an Info Dump and in the stinger. But hell if he didn't milk his scenes for all they were worth!
Cosmo the Space-Dog, in the Collector's archive.
Rewatch Bonus: There are certain things you can pick up on upon your third or fourth viewing. Highlights include:
Yondu's chest glows red when he activates his arrow.
In the movie, the prisoner line-up says "Space-Lord" instead of "Star-Lord", keeping in line with the idea that nobody knows who he is.
Rocket's voice cracks as he pretends he needs a prisoner's artificial leg.
You can actually see Howard the Duck for a brief moment in the Collector exposition scene.
A huge cocoon which was also in Thor: The Dark World can be seen open in the after-credits scene. According to James Gunn, this is Adam Warlock's cocoon as per the comics, meaning that the After-Credits scene isn't just a gag for Howard.
The twig that Rocket holds in the climax glows purple. It's a hint that Groot is still alive.
To people not as well-versed in comic books, the film is drawing a lot of comparisons to Farscape, due to its lineup including a gentle plant-person character who's not to be messed with (Zhaan/Groot), a snarky white leader guy who is an Earth-human Trapped in Another World (Star-Lord/John Crichton), a small, sociopathic, anthropomorphic talking thing (Rocket Raccoon/Rygel), a big, intimidating guy with a dead wife and an oddly innocent hidden side (Drax/D'Argo), and a repressed, deadly, formerly-evil woman who acts as "the sensible one" (Gamora/Aeryn) who do battle with an evil alien warlord (Ronan/Scorpius). A notable number of the changes to the characters from the comic took them in the direction of being closer to the Farscape ones. Ironically, an actual Farscape movie was announced shortly after the original teaser trailer was released.
It's also getting a lot of comparisons to Firefly in terms of tone, character archetypes, and visual style. The fact that the creator of Firefly, Joss Whedon, is the director of both of the Avengers movies (and a large creative force in the MCU) definitely helps.
It has been compared to Schlock Mercenary, another comedic space opera about a group of heroic ruffians from diverse, morally ambiguous backgrounds. Howard Tayler has himself noted the similarities.
Some also consider it to be a great Star Wars movie, up there with the original trilogy.
Spoiled by the Format: Averted with The Stinger. The creators of the character that appears in the stinger (Howard the Duck) aren't credited until after the stinger itself is shown, as opposed to in the main credits themselves.
Complaints were leveled at Gamora for several changes that were done to her character, such as making her more empathetic, compared to a fairly amoral Deadpan Snarker she was in the comics, as well as the reduction in her power level (which numerous other characters also experienced).
Korath being black instead of blue like in the comics.
The fact that all members of the Nova Corps are humans or Human Aliens.
The design of the Nova Corps suits are considered bland and generic by some, whilst others are displeased about the members of the Nova Corps not having the Nova Force which gives them superpowers. James Gunn is on record that there was stuff cut from the film because the end of the film was already Nova Corps heavy, and there's some stuff in the MCU lore that make them more like the Nova Corps of the comics, such as the Nova Force.
Trailer Joke Decay: "What a bunch of A-Holes," was in nearly every single promotional thing about the movie. Some who liked the joke didn't like it by the time the film came out. Quill's "mechanical middle finger" is also uncensored in the film, which ends up looking pretty awkward, especially since the trailer's "Obscene Gesture Imminent" bit was a pretty good joke on its own.
What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Gamora. Detractors dislike the fact that she's not a god-level murder machine that kills everyone and everything the group comes across in two seconds flat (which she isn't in the comics they champion as an example of her badassery either), and exaggerate her into being "borderline incompetent and constantly needing to be rescued" despite her being anything but.
Win the Crowd: The first trailer seemed to many like a standard space swashbuckler; but when the guard plays Star Lord's walkman and you hear "Hooked On a Feeling"'s "Ooga chaka!" chant coming through followed by the full chorus of that 1970s pop ballad roaring out, people learned this film has a wacky flavor all its own.
The Woobie: The entire main cast, but especially Rocket. He's the only one of his kind that he knows of and he constantly has feelings of loneliness and inferiority because of his species, not to mention the pain he probably went through during his creation.
Carina, who was abused and threatened by the Collector. No wonder she wanted the Infinity Stone the second she understood what it was. Even worse if you know that, in the comics, she's his daughter.