'Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2' Won't Feature Thanos, So Who's The New Bad Guy?

Rejoice Guardians of the Galaxy fans, Thanos won't be in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. In an interview with Empire, Marvel Cinematic Universe's guiding hand Kevin Feige revealed the big purple guy and his space throne will not be menacing the Guardians this time around. His exact words: "I wouldn't look too hard in this movie for Thanos." This is amazing news, guys, because, despite being constantly told how powerful Thanos is, the guy has been the most boring Marvel villain of them all, and yes, I'm including bird enthusiast Ivan Vanko in my calculations. While Thanos will definitely show up again, since he does wield the Infinity Gauntlet giving him infinite power, the Marvel team can hopefully use Thanos' hiatus to finally craft him into the formidable adversary for the Avengers and friends that he is meant to be.

In the meantime, the Guardians can focus on a new threat — one Marvel hasn't revealed yet. With both Thanos and Ronan ruled out, there is room for a new villain to take on the task of annoying the Guardians. Interestingly, everything that has been revealed about the movie so far points less to a singular big bad and more toward the Guardians dealing with familial strife. With Nebula poised to return, Gamora is in for some sister drama, and all signs point to Peter meeting his father.

If director James Gunn's goal is to create a more personal superhero movie then I am all for it. Feige further teased Vol. 2 will be focusing on adding new members to the team, which is the perfect recipe to create internal strife within the group. Rocket Raccoon, Drax, and Gamora just don't seem to be the welcoming types. It was hard enough getting the group of bounty hunters, assassins, and thieves to join forces in the first film, so adding more new people to their ragtag group is bound to create internal tensions.

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While I would be satisfied with a superhero movie without a unifying villain, that is typically not how these stories go. The first Guardians was content in throwing out the superhero rule book to some degree, but to eschew the formula completely is another thing entirely. There has to be a bad guy, and, rather than pull some space baddie from the expansive Marvel universe, I would much rather Gunn go straight for the emotional gut punch of making Star Lord's father a truly bad guy.

Comic book fans are likely screaming that Star Lord's dad is that nice Prince dude, but Gunn has already confirmed that he is going in a different direction. What the movie has revealed about Star Lord's father in the MCU canon is that he is such a "jackass" that even Yandu didn't want to hand a young Peter over to the guy. Star Lord's father may not be Thanos levels of evil, he may not be evil at all, but having him be the man Star Lord and his pals have to go up against in Vol. 2 would add weight to the story.

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With Nebula, The Collector, and Star Lord's father all lined up for the sequel Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 doesn't need Thanos and his shiny gauntlet to make it interesting. It has strong character arcs in place that could pit family and team members against one another — and another killer soundtrack. What else could fans ask for? I can answer that one for you: nothing. Well... maybe more baby Groot.

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Images: Marvel Entertainment; Giphy (3)