By now, most people have heard that Marvel Studios riskiest bet yet, Guardians of the Galaxy, has paid off in spades, critically and financially. However, James Gunn’s space epic does much more than just introduce the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the cosmos, it also introduces the mainstream movie going audience to the craziness of Marvel’s space based adventures— and of Gunn’s mind.
Since there are so many easter eggs that could be discussed with Guardians of the Galaxy, I’m going to only review the one major hub of the film’s Easter eggs: The Collector’s Museum in Knowhere.
1. Cosmo the dog: Yes, the dog seen in a space helmet and soviet space gear is exactly that; a dog that was sent into space and eventually gets mixed up with the Guardians, even teaming up with Rocket here or there. Whether the MCU version of cosmo shall return or have his patent psychic abilities remains to be seen.
2. A Dark Elf: A rather simple appearance, one of the containers being cleaned by the Collector’s daughter/slave is one of the Dark Elves featured in Thor: The Dark World aka Thor and the movie that will be remembered only for setting up an infinity gem.
3. A Chitauri Soldier: Another simple cameo, a suited Chitauri alien is also seen in a similar manner to the Dark Elf.
4. An Alien Slug: A more involved reference, a slug like alien from one of Gunn’s older films, Slither, can be seen. In Slither, these monsters are quite the nuisance to a small town that happens to be inhabited by Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks.
5. A Celestial: In the tv like ovals the Collector uses to explain the infinity gems, a Celestial is shown using the gem featured in Guardians of the Galaxy in order to show the gem’s power. The Celestials, in the shortest form possible, are like ancient space-gods, one of which has had his severed head converted into the place known as Knowhere.
6. The Aether and the Tesseract: You’ll have to pardon my habit, I still call it the cosmic cube, but, in the aforementioned ovals you can also see the cube (from Captain America: The First Avenger and the Avengers) and the red Aether (from Thor: The Dark World), both of which double as infinity gems in the MCU, thus leaving half of the gems revealed.
7. The Giant Cocoon: Featured in the credit sting of Thor: The Dark World and again in Guardians of the Galaxy, and likely going to appear again before the Infinity Gauntlet, is the giant cocoon. Ok, so why is this cocoon matter? Is a Godzilla MUTO going to come from it? No! Adam Warlock, the prime hero against Thanos, happens to be in there, and if that explosion did nothing at all, Adam Warlock will still need to be seen leaving that cocoon sometime in the hopefully not incredibly distant future.
8. Howard… the Duck: Yes, Howard the Duck makes an appearance in the film, very quickly in the scene during the second act and then voiced by Seth Green during the post credits stinger. Not only does Guardians of the Galaxy officially establish that Marvel Studios is going to be able to do what they want for awhile, it also establishes that the credits no longer guarantee a development in the major story arcs. If the death of the post credit sequence’s big effect is truly going to make way for a characters like Howard the Duck and Cosmo to have stories floating around in the backgrounds of the MCU, I think I can make that trade.
Even if we still have to pretend that a certain 80′s film never happened.