Some big, cosmic-sized changes are coming for the Guardians of the Galaxy. The team of rough-around-the-edges intergalactic heroes is shaking up its roster in a big way.
Lately, the team has been adhering (somewhat) to the MCU-friendly roster that includes Star-Lord, Gamora, and Groot. Now it's taking things in a whole new direction for the upcoming Guardians series, helmed by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw, the creative team behind the epic "Thanos Wins." One notable change will be a larger, more diverse cast of characters for their new lineup.
While the roster change was first brought up in September, Marvel has teased four of the new members in a new image from artist David Marquez that obscured much of the new lineup. However, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Cosmic Ghost Rider, and one-time Guardians alum Moondragon are all clearly visible, which will have to tide us over until the book launches in January.
While neither ever served with the Guardians, both Beta Ray Bill and Gladiator were both members of the other cosmic superteam, The Annihilators. Cosmic Ghost Rider, however, is a somewhat recent addition to the Marvel Universe. His origin is a bit convoluted (even by comic book standards), but basically he's a version of Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, who's from the future and also has Ghost Rider's abilities.
By no coincidence, Cosmic Ghost Rider was created by Cates and Shaw during the "Thanos Wins" story arc, so they're clearly making good use of the new character by expanding his role beyond his five-issue miniseries over the summer.
Worth noting, too, is the tagline: "Who will stand when the last Guardian falls?" Which certainly implies this shakeup will be the result of some major character deaths. However, based solely on the silhouettes, it appears that at least Groot is safe. For now, anyway.
The new Guardians of the Galaxy series will hit stores in January of 2019. Any cosmic heroes you want to see join the lineup? Let us know in the comments.