In a new interview with USA Today, writer Brian Michael Bendis continues to show his excitement for his latest Marvel NOW! relaunch: Guardians of the Galaxy. He's brining Steve McNiven's art along for the ride, as well as a new Earth-based member of the team, Marvel's newest massive star, Iron Man. "I had this idea of one of the Guardians being an Earth member," Bendis told USA Today. "It seemed like that would be a cool thing to do and would say a lot more what the book is." The interview focused on brief looks at each individual character. [Read our Who's Who in the Guardians of the Galaxy Here] The ragtag crew of a Raccoon, a sentient tree, a resurrected genetically engineered warrior, the adopted daughter of a Universal-level threat, a half-human heir to a warrior race's throne, and the billionaire playboy philanthropist we all know and love has one major thing in common, says Bendis, "they're being selfless." Despite their difficult origins and pasts, they all have a "heroic trek," and specifically by their own choice. Star-Lord, the leader of the team since its reformation in 2008, will be front-and-center for the first storyline. "He's our Luke Skywalker. That's our Peter Parker right there," said Bendis of the leader. His origin, with a human mother and a father who's the king of the alien Spartax race, pulls him out of his element and into an interstellar life. The previously announced Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite comics, a digital-only initiative that uses the format in unique ways, will be used to let new readers know why they should care about these other, admittedly strange, characters. Released every other week for free on comiXology, the comics each focus on one character, with the Drax chapter available now. "In the fight he's amazing, but in between those fights not only does he not know what to do with himself but there are constantly people challenging him or trying to make their name on him," Bendis says of Drax, explaining his role in this digital one-shot. Gamora's hatred of her adoptive father Thanos is something she's trying to get away from, but always follows her around. Rocket Raccoon and Groot, the writer says, will be surprisingly easy to connect with. "It's hilarious how much you end up caring about [Rocket], and how much he cares about Groot makes you care about him. You start with the gag, then all of a sudden they're the heart and soul of the piece." McNiven, likewise, loves Rocket Raccoon, caying he's a "combination of a cute fuzzy creature with the surly attitude of Wolverine," ans ays Groot's look is fun because of his "great surface textures." "Both Rocket and Groot are interesting challenges for me as they move into cartooning," McNiven explains, "which is an area that I don't venture into much, keeping things relatively realistic in my work." Comics aren't the only place the Guardians of the Galaxy are getting a push, of course, as they soar towards an August 1, 2014 film debut under director James Gunn. Bendis has worked with Marvel Studios on that and other films, as well, and says despite them not yet being a household name, people should remember that neither was Iron Man just a few short years ago. "It's almost the exact same conversation we're having about Guardians. The potential is definitely there." Guardians of the Galaxy .1 is out now. Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is due on shelves March 27, 2013.
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