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Guardians Of The Galaxy 4: Every Character That Needs To Show Up In The Potential Film

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

The original Guardians of the Galaxy team found themselves split apart following the conclusion of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," as the Marvel Cinematic Universe charts a new course for the popular heroes. The Legendary Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) returned to Earth with his grandfather, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) rejoined the Ravagers, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) left to find her own independence, and Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Drax (Dave Bautista) stayed on Knowhere with its new inhabitants. At the same time, Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) formed a new version of the team featuring Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), Cosmo (Maria Bakalova), Kraglin (Sean Gunn), and Phyla-Vell (Kai Zen).

While director James Gunn's last Marvel project was a definitive closing point for one Guardians team, he shared that he doesn't think there will ever be a "Guardians 4." But, he also admitted he wouldn't be opposed to seeing a new Guardians team star in a future installment – as long as it didn't try to copy the style of his films. 

But, which heroes who haven't been introduced in the MCU would make great additions to the "Guardians of the Galaxy" universe? There are actually several potential recruits with connections to the live-action Guardians who could inject new life and excitement into the next era of the franchise.

Vance Astro ties to the classic version of the team

Vance Astro has ties back to the very first Guardians of the Galaxy team, but unlike Yondu (Michael Rooker), Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone), and Martinex T'Naga (Michael Rosenbaum), the hero never appeared in live-action alongside the Ravagers version of the team in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" and volume three. From a different reality than the Guardians of Earth-616, Vance was an astronaut from the 20th Century who went through a 1000-year journey in space. However, after being awoken from stasis in his containment suit, he was left alone drifting in space, gaining mutant psionic powers. He would meet Yondu in the 31st Century and become a leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Vance Astro notably found and wielded Captain America's shield after returning to the 20th Century, taking on the moniker of Major Victory in the present timeline. Additionally, the hero was revealed to have an Earth-616 counterpart, Marvel Boy, who Astro actually played a role in helping gain his powers and send him on a different path as his future, alternate self. Vance Astrovik would join the New Warriors while later being a reserve member of the Avengers. The first Astro would be a member of the 2009 version of the team that inspired the MCU's "Guardians of the Galaxy" team.

Nova has been a longtime ally to the Guardians

Of all the characters who haven't appeared in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both Novas not being adapted in live-action remains the most surprising exclusion.

Richard Rider is part of the storied cosmic military and police force, the Nova Corps, and has often been associated with the Guardians of the Galaxy as his adventures in space have intersected with the cosmic team. Most famously, Rider fought alongside the heroes to stop Thanos during the "Thanos Imperative" storyline. Nova sacrificed himself to the Cancerverse to stop the Mad Titan while helping free Star-Lord from the death-filled and decrepit reality. Sam Alexander, Rider's successor, has also worked with the team during the "Black Vortex" saga.

The Nova Corps appeared in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1" while Thanos seemingly destroyed the organization in "Avengers: Infinity War." But, even with its potential destruction, plenty of Nova stories are left to be told in live-action, as Rider's (or Alexander's) stories could focus on him trying to rebuild the corps after Thanos annihilated them in his quest for the Power Stone.

Fans of the hero are likely to see a version of the character appear in live-action at some point, as the MCU is developing a project starring Nova — although few details have been revealed about it. "Moon Knight" writer Sabir Pirzada was reportedly hired to lead the adaptation.

Quasar is one of Marvel's most notable cosmic heroes

While there have been several characters who have used the Quasar mantle, including Phyla-Vell, who made her live-action debut in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," Wendell Vaughn remains the most significant to Marvel's cosmic universe.

Armed with the Quantum Bands, Quasar originally donned the moniker of Marvel Boy, using his incredible powers derived from the ancient cosmic artifacts to work alongside S.H.I.E.L.D. However, he would find a more significant cosmic purpose as Quasar, as he agreed to protect the universe while joining the Avengers, using his vast cosmic powers to make his world safer. Quasar has battled many similar cosmic villains as the Guardians of the Galaxy — such as Ego the Living Planet and Thanos — and while he's never been a full-time member of the team, his powers and role in the universe make him a great fit alongside the superteam.

Considering how deeply Marvel has explored its cosmic universe, the fact Quasar hasn't shown up yet feels odd. Making him an ally of the new Guardians team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be a lot of fun – and give Adam Warlock a run for his money for the most powerful character on the team.

Hulking and Wiccan are cosmic royalty

Hulkling has one of the most unique roles in Marvel's cosmic universe, as his Kree-Skrull physiology has not just given him incredible shapeshifting, strength, and healing factor but made him an important royal figure. As Dorrek VIII and the leader of the Kree and Skrulls, Teddy Altman is the King of Space. Hulkling's former Young Avengers teammate Wiccan became his partner and husband. Billy Kaplan, a powerful magic user and the son of Scarlet Witch, would join him as he leads an empire in space, as the pair have become one of the most important couples in the pages of Marvel Comics.

Hulking and Wiccan were members of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the expanded team from Al Ewing and Juann Cabal during the 2021 Marvel Comics run on the team. In live-action, they could bridge several characters together. With Billy already appearing as a youngster in "WandaVision" and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," he could connect the Guardians with the events unfolding on Earth. Meanwhile, Hulking's Kree and Skrull biology could tie directly into both the upcoming "Secret Invasion" miniseries and the events of "The Marvels." Both heroes could also serve as the starting point for the official introduction of the Young Avengers. Hulking and Wiccan's adaptation to the MCU seems inevitable — and for a good reason. They are significant cosmic characters.

Moondragon has multiple MCU connections

Moondragon is a power telepath whose comic book origin could help continue the legacy of Drax while introducing another important hero and romance from the comics.

In the comics, Heather Douglas watched as her father, Arthur, and her mother were killed by Thanos on Earth. While Arthur's soul would be saved as he was transformed into Drax the Destroyer to be used against Thanos by his father Mentor, Moondragon grew up without her parents. Instead, she would be raised on Titan, where she would master her psychic abilities and make it her mission to kill Thanos. Moondragon joined the Guardians of the Galaxy on multiple occasions, where she would develop a romance with Phyla-Vell, with the couple would eventually marrying. 

With her connection to Drax the Destroyer and her romance with the recently introduced Phyla-Vell, while also having her own history with the Guardians of the Galaxy, it's no surprise why some Marvel Comics fans expected the hero to show up in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." If a new Guardians team and/or a fourth volume is ever made, Moondragon seems like a no-brainer to be part of the team. She's a powerful, interesting cosmic character with plenty of depth and many links to Guardians members.