For me it was always a struggle to buy into the Superman universe because the comics had to come up with such elaborate ways to even make it seem like he was in danger. Thor is...well he is a Norse god and in the earlier comics more than a little egotistical.
Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those comics I had never really heard of until the multitude of geek sites I follow started to buzz about the movie a couple of years ago. So you know up front, I have no history with this series. I have no idea how the movie relates to the comic book storyline. I do know that Guardians is not one of Marvel's more mainstream lines and that the movie has been called the black sheep of the Marvel franchises. Its placement in tail end of the summer movie season should give us an idea that hopes were not as high for this franchise as it was for Winter Soldier or X-Men Days of Future Past. With it actually having the third largest opening this summer, it is a definite hit and the sequel has already been confirmed.
The characters of the movie are not only broken, but also, unlike the Marvel mainstream movies, Guardians has more of a kindred spirit with, as one friend put it, the original Star Wars. While I don't think it has the same impact the first Star Wars had, its has that same feel. The characters are living in a world that they don't want to be in, but they don't fit into the world they would like to live in. They are sly and witty and fun. While the characters are two dimensional at most, they are classic forms of science fiction heroes. For Marvel Studios, Guardians is really their first venture into a true scifi space movie.
There are more Guardians to be perhaps added in the future, but the central five of this movie are Star-Lord or Peter Quill played by Chris Pratt, Gamora played by Zoe Saldana, Drax the Destroyer played by Dave Batista, Rocket who is a genetically engineered racoon voiced by Bradly Cooper, and Groot who is a tree being voiced by Vin Diesel. Each is broken in his own way. Peter Quill hides behind wit and a Walkman while Gamora was tortured by the future villain of the Avenger series, Thanos, into becoming a living weapon. Rocket knows deep down that he is not what he is supposed to be, and Drax is driven by vengeance and honor while missing the more subtle nature of life. Last is the simple and loyal Groot. He has, with only one notable change, the ability to only say, "I am Groot," which often communicates more emotion than other parts of the movie.
The movie works. It is fun, and I cared about the characters and understood why they are who they are. As the black sheep of the more mainstream family of Marvel Studios, the humor that only makes occasional appearance in the other movies is on full display in Guardians. Just as I became involved in the adventure of the story, I laughed out loud as well. It is a clever and entertaining with plenty of Easter eggs for comic book fans. As I loved the darker side of Winter Soldier, I love the feel and look of this movie. It is worth the watch and so is the cost to see it in 3D. I will buy the Blu-ray.