Get to know Mantis and Star-Lord’s baby daddy “Ego: The Living Planet” before watching Guardians Vol. 2

After watching Guardians of The Galaxy the day it hit cinemas in July of 2014 (yes, I feel older and did you know Justin Bieber is 23 now?), I said to myself “I want more, this is going to be pretty massive, I reckon that Groot Tree might be a hit as well”. My mate looked at me and said “I don’t see a tree that only says three words being a big hit? But I can see the shirt merchandise happening”. We were both wrong and right, the film was a critical and commercial success, and sold plenty of merch to boot. It seemed that this little-known sleeper cell of super heroes that had been in comics for so many years gained global recognition overnight.

Jump ahead to March 2017 and Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is set to hit theaters in just a few weeks time. Today I am here to help you all have a pleasant journey. If you want to know more about Star-Lords supposed father and the new Guardian Mantis, stick with me – I promise I’ll make you cooler.

We all remember Quill’s mum Meredith telling him You’re so like your daddy, you even look like him. and he was an angel, composed of pure light”? Well, we now know after a few trailers that Kurt Russell will be playing Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord’s father. Star Lord, or Peter, for those playing at home, is the film’s lead, played expertly by Chris Pratt.

Keep in mind that Marvel have been known to throw a few swift curve balls with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and this could all turn out to be a major bluff. But, what we do know is Russell’s character will be named Ego, who clearly states to be Quill’s father. Let’s have a quick look at the history of Ego or as the Marvel Universe knows him, ‘Ego: The Living Planet’. Weird, right? Read on!

Ego The Living Planet

Ego: The Living Planet first appeared all the way back in September of 1966, in a little-known comic called Thor (issue 132 to be exact). He was created by Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. At the time, Kirby was having daydreams about the universe and I quote Kirby here:

“I began to experiment and that’s how Ego came about. A planet that was alive; a planet that was intelligent. So, I felt somewhere out in the universe, the universe becomes denser and turns liquid and that, in this liquid, there was a giant multiple virus, and if it remained isolated for millions and millions of years, it would begin to evolve by itself and it would begin to think. By the time we reached it, it might be quite superior to us — and that was Ego”.

From here until present day, Ego has been in and out of the Marvel comics, starting out as an antagonist for Thor to defeat (due to Ego wanting to swallow entire worlds to stay alive), followed by showing up in Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, The X-Men and The Avengers (so don’t expect this to be the only time we see Russell grace the screen as Ego – and here’s hoping the Infinity Wars films are better than Age of Ultron!).

Kurt Russell will play Ego

Eventually, Ego seems to turn a new leaf and helps to constantly rid the universe of Galactus (another major villain role that I’m sure will cause a stir in the MCU soon enough – I believe he will show up to be the big baddie of phase 4), and taking on Thanos. However, Ego’s reasoning for helping is probably more beneficial to himself than trying to help anyone in particular.

Pretty much all depictions of Ego have been in gigantic planet form, forming a face on its surface when the need arises, and most depictions of him have been less than pretty ones. Ego is not a nice entity for the most part and in Yondu’s words from the original Guardians film, made him look like a “Complete Jackass”!

More interesting in the later comics, Ego learns he was one of two sentient bodies created by a character named ‘The Stranger’ for a science experiment and that his brother ‘Alter-Ego’ has been held in captivity by ‘The Collector’ since birth. We all know The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), so will this take some precedence in Guardians Vol. 2? Is this the reason we get to meet Ego? To possibly ask his son for help in finding his brother? Given the fact that Ego is a living planet, things may get a little lonely occasionally. This will probably play a huge plot thread in Guardians… what better to bring them together than wanting some company – or are we already seeing a push to the big bad threat Galactus?

What we do know is Ego will be in human form for what I think is the first time (I could be wrong) and Ego also brings along another character named ‘The Mantis’ (played by Pom Klementieff) to stir the pot or help fill it.

Mantis & Star-Lord

Mantis has a little bit more of a convoluted comic history than Ego has, so I won’t get too deep into the details. But here’s what you need to know. Mantis first appeared in The Avengers Comics Issue #112 (June 1973). Mantis was created by Don Heck and Steve Englehart and was a rarity of sorts for the fact that the character was published in a few different forms, moving from Marvel to DC, Eclipse, Image and finally back to Marvel again. Mantis is also a Grand-Mistress at Martial Arts so that could come in handy alongside the returning gang.

Pom Klementieff will play Mantis

Along her many travels through the years of comics she has come up against Ultron and even fallen for The Vision. I am sure, of course, that none of this may even get a wink or a nod in the films but if it does, it’s good to know a few bits of trivia, first, right?

I hope you learned as much as I did, I know it really adds to the enjoyment of a film or a book when you know a little about its characters before diving in. I will end here by saying, no matter what happens in Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2, whether it’s going to be ‘Good? Bad? Bit of both?’ with Kurt Russel and Pom Klementieff joining the already impressive cast and along with the news that Sylvester Stallone is playing a small but major role, add to that a new soundtrack and I’m ‘Hooked on A Feeling’ that this film, and the rest of Phase 3, is going to kick some serious ass!

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 hits Australian cinemas on 25th April 2017.