Guardians Of The Galaxy's Groot Is Turning Into A Villain

The Guardians of the Galaxy's newest series has just dropped a major bombshell when it comes to who the apparent villain of the upcoming comic is. 

In a new preview for Guardians of the Galaxy #1's Grootfall arc, an animated trailer hints that after the team is fractured, they will be forced to band together again to take on a familiar friend that now their enemy — Groot. Clearly, it's not the lovable, cute Groot (or the MCU's Baby Groot) that fans are used to: he's taken on a monstrous new form that sets up an exciting conflict with the Guardians as they try to find their footing again in a changed universe.

Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing ("Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty") are working alongside Kev Walker for the next iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, as the cosmic super-team finds themselves in trouble following their most recently concluded series. The Guardians, which include a stripped-down team of Star-Lord, Nebula, Drax the Destroyer, and Mantis, will go to the Manifold Territories, as they are pushed to an all-time low in morale. Rocket Raccoon and Groot are absent from the team — with the events that caused the group to break apart seemingly playing a huge role in their disappearance, and leading to Groot's horrifying change.

Groot Is undergoing a major comic transformation

While everyone's favorite talking tree might seem like an odd choice to become a bad guy, Groot's original backstory had him debut as a villain in "Tales of Astonish #13" . In that comic, the giant-sized plant creature tries to steal a piece of Earth to study the planet. So now, as the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy #1" hits stores, Groot's surprising new role echoes back to his very first appearance for Marvel Comics. While the main cast of Guardians tries to find a new normal in the lawless, uncharted area of Manifold Territories, Groot will become a significant cosmic threat.

The trailer from Marvel shows us the current state of the Guardians of the Galaxy, who have become heroes for the voiceless in their dark, sandy new surroundings, but it also shows Groot's whereabouts. The video teases something is wrong with Groot, as a planet-sized version of the usual hero can be seen wrapping his branches around an entire planet or sun. Additionally, the Grootfall trailer teases "no planet is safe," and implies that the usually friendly figure will instead be taking on a role much like Galactus. What has transformed Groot into a monster in the new series remains to be seen, but the results are absolutely terrifying.

After Al Ewing and Jaunn Cabal's critically acclaimed, expansive run on the super-team, which saw the inclusion of several new faces — such as Marvel Boy, Hercules, and Phyla-Vell — join the Guardians of the Galaxy, the new arc seems to be aligning the comic book version of the heroes more closely with the movies, while offering an exciting new storyline that will defy reader expectations.

Grootfall is The Guardians of the Galaxy as you've never seen them before

Jackson Lanzing told Comic Book Resources that this new run on "Guardians of the Galaxy" will take the heroes into a fresh new direction and not hold back on challenging the status quo for the super-team. "These characters have been psychedelic super heroes, lovable smugglers, and cosmic war fighters who are living under constant chaos. This was a chance to take them somewhere completely different," Lanzing said, pointing out how the tone and style of this comic will resemble a Western more than the space opera-type narrative that fans may expect from previous stories. 

Collin Kelly, meanwhile, said the new series would explore the different sides of the Guardians, particularly with individual issues that dive deep. "This is the story of every week coming to a new town and discovering the trauma, drama, and pain, then engaging with that and not necessarily resolving it in the best of ways, but stepping into it in their own way and then coming out the other side."

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Kev Walker, and Matt Hollingsworth will feature several covers released on the debut issue. Artist Marco Checchetto will draw the main cover, with Derrick Chew, Skottie Young, Kev Walker, and Kael Ngu among the talented creators who will provide variants for the new series. The first issue will arrive in comic book stores on April 12, 2023.