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The Untold Truth Of Lady Lylla From Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

One of the most highly anticipated upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe films will launch in 2023 and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" looks set to be something of a tearjerker. Director James Gunn has spoken several times about his desire to wrap up the stories of many of the characters he has helped bring to life on the big screen, meaning that certain characters might well be in the firing line.

As you'd expect, the sequel will see the return of many figures that fans are already familiar with, including the likes of Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, and Drax. But there will also be some new faces introduced in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." These include Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter, and Chukwudi Iwuji's portrayal of the High Evolutionary. Cosmo the Dog will also be given a more expanded role.

Anyone who has also watched the latest trailer for the film may have also noticed a cute sentient otter. Known as Lady Lylla, she has long been associated with Rocket in the comics and this will mark her debut in the MCU. Here's everything you need to know about the new character ahead of the movie's release.

Lady Lylla is a sentient otter and is very similar to Rocket Raccoon

In many ways, Lady Lylla is a character that is very similar to Rocket Raccoon. After all, she is a sentient animal-like creature that can walk around and talk like humans or other intelligent species. She is just one of many anthropomorphic animals from the world of Marvel Comics, including the likes of Howard the Duck, Spider-Ham, and Cosmo. Like most of those individuals, Lylla is pretty much able to do everything that a person can do on top of a few extra powers that can make her a formidable opponent.

According to her official biography at Marvel.com, Lylla is an expert swimmer, likely due to her heritage as an otter as these animals spend a great deal of time in the water and have powerful webbed feet to allow them to swim quickly (via National Geographic). Like Rocket, she is capable of using a wide array of equipment and weapons but is probably more intelligent and intuitive than her counterpart, as she is able to sniff out danger with little warning by noticing tiny changes around her. A capable fighter, Lylla is also a skilled hand-to-hand adversary for anyone who gets too close.

She made her first appearance in Incredible Hulk #271 alongside Rocket

Although Rocket is far better known by most fans and a more famous figure in the world of Marvel, Lylla was actually introduced at the same time as him. The pair made their debut in the 1982 comic "The Incredible Hulk #271" in what was a 20th anniversary special for the Green Goliath. An apparent reference to the song "Rocky Raccoon" by The Beatles, as referenced in "King in Black: Symbiote Spider-Man #3" in 2020, this story features many elements included in the "White Album" track (via ScreenRant).

In the story, Hulk is transported to a faraway alien world and soon joins up with Rocket and his associate Wal Rus in their mission to save the planet and rescue Lylla. Following the conclusion of the story, Hulk departs and leaves behind his new furry companions. The characters were then largely forgotten about until 1985 when all three once again appeared in a limited series named after Rocket himself. This later comic gave more information about the characters and provided extra backstory about their origins and relationships.

They all come from a planet known as Halfworld

Lylla, Rocket, and Wal Rus all hail from a planet known only as Halfworld. This is a place that is inhabited by three distinct groups. The first is the sentient animals themselves, which includes the three heroes from above, along with a collection of robots who live on the other side of the planet and a group of mentally unwell humans. The history of Halfworld, though, is even stranger than those that live there.

When Halfworld was first colonized it was used as a kind of giant hospital for those suffering from various mental health issues. After this project was abandoned, the doctors isolated the planet and provided robotic servants to look after the patients who were now trapped in this world. A nearby supernova star altered the robots with radiation to such an extent that they developed sentience of their own and genetically modified the companion animals that had also been left behind to look after the "Loonies, who are in fact human but hopelessly insane" (via Marvel.com). This is where the likes of Lylla and Rocket come from, essentially acting as guardians and carers for the humans while the robots relocated to the other half of the planet and stripped it of all natural resources.

Hulk helps them fight against an evil mole known as Judson Jakes

When Hulk first arrives on Halfworld he encounters both Rocket and Wal Rus. The pair convince the hero to help them in their fight against Judson Jake — an evil mole who is seeking out the Gideon's Bible. Jake hopes to use the legendary item not only to take over Halfworld but to also reach out and conquer other planets. While the three travel on Rocket's ship to Jake's headquarters at the Spacewheel, they discover that he has also kidnapped Lylla, prompting Rocket to embark on a rescue mission.

Rocket is eventually successful in not only finding Lylla but freeing her and also manages to stop Jake by taking back the Gideon's Bible before the villain can get his hands on it and use its full powers. Unfortunately, the Hulk misses out on much of the action near the conclusion of the story as he is persuaded to travel back to Earth by one of Jake's associates, the scientist known as Uncle Pyko. Realizing just how strong an ally he could be to Rocket, Wal Rus, and Lylla, Uncle Pyko gives him a teleportation device that allows Hulk to go back home to Earth, leaving the fate of his former allies unknown.

She has been described as the soulmate of Rocket and his primary love interest

Anyone who has seen any of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" films or any other entries in the MCU that feature Rocket will no doubt be aware that the character doesn't seem to have any romantic relationships. In fact, when viewers first get their chance to see him, Rocket only appears to have strong feelings for his close friend Groot. Eventually, he does develop stronger relationships with the other Guardians and grows to consider them to be his family. Yet, no romantic interests are ever shown or even hinted at.

This is something that is fairly true in the comics as well, with Rocket rarely ever shown to have any lovers or girlfriends. The one exception to this is Lylla, who was said to be a love interest of Rocket from both of their first appearances in "The Incredible Hulk #271." By the time of the limited series "Rocket Raccoon Vol 1 4," in a story called "THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT," the pair decide to move away from Halfworld and adventure together. They then leave on a ship created by the robots who also inhabit the planet but by the time readers get to see Rocket again, Lylla is no longer with him.

Yet, in a more recent comic she was married to a completely different character

Despite the fact that the two clearly had a loving relationship and seemed destined to be together, this romance was not one that would last. Lylla largely went forgotten as Rocket continued in his adventures around the galaxy and didn't play a role in Marvel Comics for many years as she returned to Halfworld once again.

That all changed in 2010 in "Annihilators #4." In this story, Rocket once again encounters Lylla, who is now married to the talking rabbit known as Blackjack O'Hare. A former enemy and occasional ally of Rocket, O'Hare appears to be in a happy relationship with Lylla and Rocket seems genuinely happy for the pair of them before he sets off with Groot, seemingly content with his life and the choices he has made up until that point. However, it is never explicitly stated what happened between Rocket and Lylla and why they are no longer together, leaving the issue open to interpretation from readers.

Lylla is not exactly a well-known character from the world of Marvel

If you are wondering why you have never heard of Lylla then you are not alone. The character is one that has lain dormant in the Marvel universe for decades. But that fits in with the entire "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise. The superhero team that fans know and love today is a relatively recent addition to Marvel Comics. 

While the team has been around for almost 50 years, the version featuring Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Groot, Mantis, and Rocket was only introduced in 2008, with the group going through several reinventions throughout the years (via NME). In fact, the current roster was picked precisely because they were largely forgotten characters that weren't exactly well known even with dedicated Marvel fans. In that respect, it makes sense that many people don't know who Lylla is as even Rocket was an obscure figure until the last decade or so. Of course, the fact that she has only appeared in a handful of comics doesn't help either (via Fandom).

Wal Rus is actually her uncle

As you might have guessed from his name, Wal Rus was a sentient animal being that has a striking resemblance to a walrus. He is introduced along with Lylla and Rocket in "The Incredible Hulk #271." A close friend of the talking raccoon, he is an engineer who can use his metal tusks as weapons and tools. Comic Vine notes that these tusks help him carry out actions that would otherwise be impossible as he doesn't have hands, also being capable of firing energy beams.

Through his dozen or so appearances in the comics, Wal Rus is a steadfast ally who accompanied Rocket on a variety of adventures. According to Marvel.com, Wal Rus is not just an associate of Lylla and Rocket but somebody who is actually related to the otter. Wal Rus is really Lylla's uncle, giving a new dimension to their relationship, especially when you consider the fact that he was the one responsible for Rocket and Lylla meeting and getting together in the first place.

The heir to Mayhem Mekaniks toy business, she was a wealthy otter

According to Games Radar, Lylla is not just any person on Halfworld. She is actually a rather important figure who is the heir to the intergalactic toy company known as Mayhem Mekaniks, although Marvel.com suggests it is sometimes called Inter-Stel Mechanics as well. When her parents were unexpectedly killed, possibly murdered by Judson Jakes, the villainous mole was put in charge of the company and acted as her guardian with the hopes of marrying her to finally consolidate his power. This explains why he kidnapped her during the events of "The Incredible Hulk #271" and tried to keep her away from Rocket.

That Lylla is technically the boss of a huge toy company is significant as toys play a particularly important role in Halfworld. The toys were initially created to help entertain and provide comfort to the Loonies, the humanoids left in the care of the sentient animals on the planet. When the robots left the animals in charge they took their mission incredibly seriously and did everything they could to make life as comfortable as possible for their patients, although their skill at making toys ultimately led to them being manufactured in such great numbers they were exported off the planet.

Lady Gaga has been rumored to play the character

While the cast for almost all of the characters in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" has been revealed, Lylla is one of the few exceptions. For example, fans know that Will Poulter will be playing Adam Warlock and that Chukwudi Iwuji will portray the High Evolutionary, with the likes of Daniela Melchior and Nico Santos also having roles. However, exactly who will be providing the voice for Lylla has not been revealed and the trailer for the movie didn't shed any light either as the character didn't speak any lines during the footage shown and instead just hugged Rocket.

The fact that she is featured in the trailer at all indicates that Lylla will likely play some sort of significant role in the story. If that is the case, she will almost certainly have a speaking part and therefore will require an actor to portray her. One rumor that has been circulating since 2019 is that singer and actor Lady Gaga will play Lylla in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" (via We Got This Covered). Hollywood Life made a similar report in the same year, although didn't mention that Lady Gaga would explicitly be playing Lylla but rather a love interest for Rocket. If the rumor is true, it would mark a reunion between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper following their team-up in "A Star is Born."

Lylla has already been briefly mentioned in the MCU

Marvel Studios is no stranger to including hints and references to future characters in films. A good example of this is Namor from "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," who is first introduced as an antagonist. However, his existence in the world of the MCU has been hinted at previously on at least two occasions. In "Iron Man 2" a S.H.I.E.L.D. display screen indicates a location of interest that is likely the hidden city of Atlantis (via ScreenRant), while Inverse reports that "Avengers: Endgame" included an Easter egg about earthquakes off the coast of Africa that is an obvious hint to Namor and his people.

In the same way, the various "Guardians of the Galaxy" projects have also included plenty of hidden references. One of these came all the way back in 2014 during the scene when the gang is imprisoned (via Reddit). At that point, a display highlights the name Lylla and Groot as associates of Rocket. This means that she has previously been mentioned in the MCU and is a known figure to at least some people.

It's unclear whether she will be shown in flashbacks or be part of the present story

Exactly what role Lylla will play in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" is unclear. Fans still don't know whether the character will appear in flashbacks, showing how she and Rocket first met, or in the present with the two having an emotional reunion. Both options are a possibility as director James Gunn has previously spoken about how he wants to bring a close to Rocket's story in this third film and give the character a proper send-off (via Deadline). That could mean introducing a love interest that he can settle down with.

Yet, Gunn has also suggested that the upcoming movie will delve into the backstory of the Trash Panda and he told Entertainment Weekly that his past is the saddest and most tragic of all of the Guardians. So it is entirely possible that Lylla could well appear as someone who played a vital role in Rocket's early life but was ripped away from him. In either case, seeing her interactions with Rocket is sure to be interesting.