This past Sunday, during some American football game called the ‘Superb Owl,’ the latest trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 was unleashed upon the world. At the very beginning, a fancy gold woman, portrayed by Man from UNCLE femme fatal Elizabeth Debicki, appeared on the screen in a seat that James Gunn clearly stole from the set of Xanadu, threatening (?) the valiant Guardians on a big, golden chair. After viewing this once, I decided that I had to address my thoughts on this character and break down the source material from which she evolved.
Then, the third time through it, I noticed that Rocket Raccoon (my second-favorite comic book character, according to that old article, I wrote) was wearing a… jet pack.
I’m fucking with you. It was definitely a rocket.
ROCKET RACCOON WAS WEARING A ROCKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Enough of that, let’s talk about the villain. There’s a lot to unpack, so I’ll start with Him.
Before being a popular Buick crossover, the Enclave was a group of four jerk face scientists who antagonized the Fantastic Four. In fact, they were kind of like the FF is they were all gross old dudes with as much chance of creating the future as they had of getting laid. Building a super-awesome base called the Beehive (which was not super-awesome), they created the perfect man and, being nerds, came up with the cool name of ‘Him’ for this ‘perfect man.’
The specific issue doesn’t go into a great deal of detail as to how Him is an excellent cook, loves to dance, and always takes care of his partner’s needs before he takes care of his own, but they do talk a lot about how this guy is super-perfect. He definitely has orange skin, so let’s just avoid the whole racial thing (although, you know, blonde hair).
Anyways, Him decides the Enclave are jerk faces (accurate) and leaves the planet to find his destiny. Eventually, he runs into the High Evolutionary who, living up to the first part of his name, decides to name Him ‘Adam Warlock,’ give him the Soul Gem, and have him bring peace to Counter-Earth because drugs, probably.
Meanwhile, the Enclave gets back at it, creating another perfect being, calling this one ‘Paragon’ (better). Deciding not to kill Doctor Strange and Hulk, Paragon also informs the Enclave that they are jerk faces, and enters into a cocoon, probably to turn into something else. This something else was an orange woman called ‘Her.’ Why the creation of the Enclave had taste as poor as her creators is never revealed. She decides to go mate with Adam Warlock which he is Just. Not. Having. Mostly because he was dead. She then sets off to find a mate and ends up using a bunch of other identities, the most common of which is Kismet, the coolest of which is J’Ridia Starduster, and the weirdest of which is… Ayesha.
The whole time, she was following some kind of cosmic imperative to mate and create the perfect being until she showed up as Ayesha when she finally decided to start killing people for no reason.
Really, there are a lot of issues with the FF story in which Kismet turns back on all the character advancement that has gone on and decides to use Ayesha as a name. Sure, she gets to be bad ass and kick the crap out of a bunch of heroes, but this is a character that had developed from a cloying, needy female trope to an independent female hero capable of holding her own alongside the cosmic powerhouses of the Marvel Universe. After this FF story, she all but disappears from the Marvel Universe. I, and a number of fans, would love to see the character return as a hero, but breath holding probably won’t occur.
So, does this mean that the latest entry of the widely popular GotG film franchise is hanging its hat upon a character who only had a few dozen appearances over the course of 4 decades and only a few issues under the identity that they are using?
No. I definitely don’t think this is the case.
Back in the X-Treme 1990s, Thanos (the purple-headed Big Bad from the first GotG) managed to get his hands (er, hand) on the Infinity Gauntlet, which was made up of six Infinity Gems (kind of like Infinity Stones, but shinier), including the Soul Gem. As one might imagine, this royally ticked off Adam Warlock. In fact, he was so ticked off, that he stopped being dead and got a couple of friends to stop being dead with him (Pip the Troll and Gamora). I mean, I’ve been super-pissed, before, but that’s pretty intense. Also, they took the bodies of three crooks who had crashed and died while escaping the scene of a crime (true story).
Spoiler alert, Adam and friends (which includes All the Superheroes) manage to stop Thanos and Adam gets his hands (hand) on the Gauntlet. He then promises to be nice. This story is called ‘The Infinity Gauntlet.’
And this is where we come back to this Ayesha character. See, when Adam Warlock promises to be nice, he separates those components of himself that might cause him to be not nice. To this end, he forces out his evil side and, just to be fair, his good side.
The evil side becomes Magus and filled with badness and gets the Infinity Gems and does bad stuff, who cares. This is called ‘The Infinity War.’
Meanwhile, the good side becomes a being called ‘The Goddess’ who is determined to kill the universe with kindness. She gathers all the heroes who have faith in something and tries to turn the universe SUPER-GOOD by MURDERING ALL OF IT. In fact, it seems like she does, as the last page of one issue burst into flames, seemingly engulfing the reader!
It’s okay, though, I’m not dead. Instead, it was a trick and she was stopped by Warlock who then would absorb her and Magus back into himself. This is called ‘The Infinity Crusade.’
And that character, the Goddess, sounds way more like what I would expect from the Ayesha in the ad. I think, frankly, that’s what we’re looking at.
Ego, the Living Planet, Ayesha, and Peter Quill’s dad are all going to be connected in some way and that way is going to blow everyone’s minds!
Or it’s the film version of Starhawk and Aleta or something.
Am I wrong? Am I insane? Let me know your brain-thoughts!
But, I mean, come on guys – ROCKET IN A ROCKET!!!!!!
Unofficial Appendix Entry (The best write-up I could find.)
First Appearance of Paragon – Incredible Hulk Annual #6
Paragon returns as Her – Marvel Two-in-One #61-63*
Her chooses a mate – Quasar #27-29
Her starts calling herself Kismet – Quasar #41*
Ayesha shows up, confusing everyone – Fantastic Four (V. 3) #11-12*
Goddess is all shiny – Infinity Crusade #6*
*Entries marked with an asterisk are available on Marvel Unlimited.