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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3's Cosmo Could Bring One Of Marvel's Coolest Teams To The MCU

If one were to turn the clock back two or three decades and tell somebody that one of the most popular franchises in the future will consist of a talking raccoon and tree flying through space and getting into adventures, they would probably look at you funny. However, those in the past probably would have never assumed that Marvel would become the absolute titan of pop culture that it is today. Sure, comic book movies and television shows have always been on the periphery, like Michael Keaton's "Batman," Christopher Reeves' "Superman," and, of course, Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno's "The Incredible Hul." Still, none could have ever anticipated "Guardians of the Galaxy" to be lifted to such heights.

Even in the comic realm, the team known as the Guardians of the Galaxy aren't exactly the biggest names in town, though that did little to slow the ascent of the 2014 film "Guardians of the Galaxy" and its subsequent sequel. Besides the two official "Guardians" movies and the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," the plucky group of misfits originally consisting of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Drax (Dave Bautista), and Groot (Vin Diesel) have popped up in "Avengers: Infinity War," "Avengers: Endgame," and "Thor: Love and Thunder." Throughout their adventures, the Guardians pick up the slightly murderous Nebula (Karen Gillan), the empath Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and the Ravager Kraglin (Sean Gunn). However, it looks like the Guardians aren't done with new members and will soon add a talking dog to their roster.

The inclusion of Cosmo opens up potential future stories

Between the "Avengers" movies and the end of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," Star-Lord and his friends have suffered the grievous loss of Gamora, though a different version is brought into the main Marvel universe through an unintended consequence of the time heist in "Avengers: Endgame." This new version of Gamora never experienced any of the events that drew the original Gamora to become part of the ersatz Guardians family, which further breaks the heart of Star-Lord. This development may not last long, and the trailer for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" promises a new foe in the form of the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) and some potential conflict with Adam Warlock (Will Poulter).

One new member of the Guardians of the Galaxy is strangely absent from the trailer, though it has been confirmed by Discussing Film that "Borat" star Maria Bakalova will be playing the role of Cosmo, a psionic dog from Earth that gains their powers due to being a part of the Soviet's early space program and exposure to cosmic radiation. Bakalova told the publication, "So having the chance to join the family of Marvel and especially the 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' which was my first love in the MCU, was a dream come true. I love seeing all the people excited for 'Vol. 3,' the fans have been so welcoming and warm. It's truly precious and reminds you why you're actually doing this kind of work, to make people feel something. I think that's the biggest gift."

Cosmo first appeared in the original Guardians of the Galaxy

Cosmo has long been teased by the "Guardians of the Galaxy" and first pops up in a post-credit scene in the original movie and most recently in the "Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special." This shows that James Gunn, the director and writer of the "Guardians" franchise, has been building toward Cosmo's inclusion, and that makes sense for those with a deep knowledge of Marvel comic book history. It is important to know that there have been different iterations of the Guardians of the Galaxy, with the very first being in 1969. As noted by Writeups, this team consists of the light-manipulating Aleta, the psychokinetic Vance Astro, the Jupiter-based Charlie-27, the crystallized Martinex, the flame-headed Nikki, and the only recognizable name of Yondu. In other words, a bunch of characters most people have never heard of.

The comic book versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy have been around for several decades; there is a good amount of history and team shakeups throughout, though the most consistent part is that the focus is always on space and science fiction. Since Cosmo is joining the Guardians in "Vol 3," this actually presents an avenue for another lesser-known team of superheroes. According to Marvel, a group known as the Annihilators are formed after the dissolution of the Nova Corps and Guardians of the Galaxy. What leads to both of these organizations calling it quits is a conflict that takes part in another universe where life is allowed to grow unchecked, and death has no meaning. In the absence of both of the aforementioned groups, Cosmo is given a task by Star-Lord to create a new team capable of dealing with intergalactic threats.

After the Guardians of the Galaxy are no more, Cosmo starts a new group

The Annihilators are just as random as the modern-day Guardians of the Galaxy, and the group's members are the cosmically powered Quasar, the Thor-emulating Beta Ray Bill, the infamous Silver Surfer, the Kree Accuser Ronan, the Shi'aran Gladiator, the Spaceknight Ikon, and, of course, Cosmo. Although viewers of the first "Guardians of the Galaxy" have already seen Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) destroyed by the Power Stone after a fierce dance-off, Marvel could simply tap another lesser-known character to fill in the role. A future where the Annihilators get their own movie or show isn't that too far of a stretch since James Gunn has already said that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" will be the last stand-alone film featuring the current lineup.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Gunn said, "It's the end of the story for this group of Guardians, so there was a lot of emotion around it. It was very serious a lot of the time. The actors were all pushing themselves a lot, especially Chris Pratt. It was heavy." This means that after "Vol. 3," there will be a gap in Marvel's retinue of superheroes, at least when it comes to a group of space misfits. Still, what would a superhero group look like that is being led by a psychic Soviet dog? Perhaps Marvel might just make this new group the next Guardians, but the only person who might know is Marvel ringmaster Kevin Feige. Either way, there is a comic precedent that after Star-Lord's iteration of the Guardians are no more, Cosmo picks up the protection of the galaxy with a new group of heroes.