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Who Are The New Guardians Of The Galaxy After Vol 3?

Contains spoilers for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3"

Good news, everyone. All our fears of a Guardian kicking the ethereal bucket were for naught. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" ended with all our heroes heading off into their own personal sunset — but still making us sob regardless. Peter finally went home to see his grandpa, while Drax and Nebula (Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan) turned Knowhere into a home for lost children. Mantis (Pom Klementieff) decided to hoof it with a trio of Abilisks. 

Thankfully, that hasn't left the galaxy in the lurch, though, as a brand new group of Guardians has been assembled, headed up by the newly appointed leader of the pack, Rocket (Bradley Cooper).

After wiping his slate clean and accepting the flaws and fire points that define his character, Rocket has enlisted a brand new band of do-gooders. Last seen heading off into battle in the mid-credits scene, there's undoubtedly an exciting cocktail of characters that are able to hold their own against any future threats that might be on the horizon. But who makes up the Guardians 2.0, and could they be a prominent force in the years of the MCU to come?

Rocket and Groot keep the Guardian gang going after Vol.3

After getting approval from Quill and his long-time friends, Rocket has accepted taking the job of leader of an all-new group of Guardians with his trusty tree mate by his side. It's a great ending to Rocket's story, finally moving on from what came before and starting a clean slate as a hero who knows who he is. He isn't just the brains anymore: He's the brave frontman of a team that looks happy to take orders from him. More importantly, after the massive rescue mission from High Evolutionary's ship, we're given the impression that Rocket isn't doing it for the price tag anymore but is instead just happy to do the right thing.

As mentioned, you couldn't have Rocket go anywhere without his bark-infused backup, and as revealed at the end of "Vol. 3," Groot (Vin Diesel) has become one major oak. Towering in height over even the original Groot from the first "Guardians" movie, the team's mono-syllabic muscle is Ent-like in appearance — if an Ent had hit the gym very hard. It begs the question of whether Rocket will need to clip him a little in the future to avoid getting bigger.

Kraglin and Cosmo are one man and his good dog

Rocket wasn't the only one that finally stepped up to the task during the High Evolutionary's last-ditch effort. After hybrid beasties invaded Knowhere, Kraglin (Sean Gunn) finally caught the right tune in the air and sent Yondu's arrow flying through this new type of monstrous enemy. Doing so certified that he'd made it as Guardian material. 

It's a great little journey from a character who, from the beginning, would've been the last one on the list of people you'd turn to to save the day. Now he's moved up the list after he wielded the fin with finesse (thanks to a beautiful nod from Yondu), making him more than worthy of joining the Guardians' ranks.

Yondu's former second-in-command wasn't the only one joining Rocket's gang either, with Russian canine Cosmo (Maria Bakalova) lending a paw or two to the future of this team of day-savers. After proving that she could take down threats, the fearless Cosmo's willingness to bound into danger makes her a force to be reckoned with should we ever see these new Guardians back in action.

Adam Warlock and all Phylla, no killer

The last Guardians on the list are brand-new signings to the squad from space, and are once again just as strong, if not stronger, than their predecessors. Meeting the almost unofficial requirements to become a Guardian, Rocket's newest members are orphans whose parents were killed by monsters with maniacal plans. 

Firstly there's Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), who is now fighting alongside the Guardians instead of against them. Known in the comics as one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe (and who actually joined their ranks in the comics), having Adam fight alongside Rocket makes his new team reach a whole new level of legendary. He also brings a similar level of dumb as Drax did, so at least Rocket can manage him when the interplanetary space s**t hits the fan.

Rounding off this new group, finally, is another former captive of High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) that might well be inspired by a former Guardian from the comics, as well. Listed as Phyla (Kai Zen) in the credits, the white-haired youngster feels like a version of Phyla-Vell, the daughter of Mar-Vell who tentatively earned the title of Captain Marvel for a time. It's interesting to think that, factoring in this connection from the comics, Phyla could possibly even turn up somewhere in "The Marvels" along with the rest of her new fighting family. And, well, just because Star-Lord is promised to return doesn't mean the Guardians can't also return, right?