For most fans, the Guardians of the Galaxy consist of five to eight members. There’s the main team of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot, and sometimes Yondu, Nebula, and Mantis. But comic fans have been waiting for another player to be added to the team, one who has been teased in both of the Guardians movies. Cosmo the Spacedog was seen briefly in the Collector’s cell in the first movie before joining Howard the Duck for the post-credit sequence. He was initially intended to be in Avengers: Infinity War but was cut for time, leaving a brief shot in the Guardians Vol. 2 credits as his last appearance.
But a recent Twitter post by director James Gunn gives fans hope for something more. Earlier today, Gunn posted photos of a wrap gift he received from members of the crew. The photo shows eight holiday ornaments, each displaying a Guardian. The familiar faces are there, as well as a festive-looking Kraglin. But the most surprising addition is Cosmo the Spacedog decked out like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
As you might guess, the gift signals the end of filming for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which will release this December. At the moment, we have little information about the special, other than the fact that it serves as a comedic bridge between the team’s appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which releases in May 2023.
As a lower-stakes story, the Holiday Special would be a perfect time to give Cosmo a larger role. The character has been a fan favorite since his first appearance in 2008’s Nova #4, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with pencils by Wellington Alves and inks by Scott Hanna. That story finds Nova visiting Knowhere, a city and science station inside the severed head of a Celestial. Sent into space as part of the Soviet Union’s Cosmonaut program, Cosmo developed telepathy and later became the security chief on Knowhere, eventually joining the Guardians of the Galaxy.
In the comics, Cosmo is a key part of the Guardians stories that inspired the movie, a wonderfully goofy character who shows the sillier side of Marvel’s cosmic stories. But he’s hardly the only weird character on the team. First introduced in 1969’s Marvel Super-Heroes #18, written by Arnold Drake, penciled by Gene Colan, and inked by Mike Esposito, the Guardians were originally a team of freedom-fighting aliens in the 31st century.
While the first line-up consisted of Yondu, along with Vance Astro, Martinex, and Charlie-27, over the years the team has included surprising members including Hercules, Venom, the Fantastic Four’s Thing, and even Iron Man. If Cosmo does finally get called up to the big leagues, he’ll make a lot of fans happy, especially since Guardians Vol. 3 promises the introduction of one of the Guardians’ most important members: Adam Warlock. Hopefully, Cosmo will get a chance to win the hearts of MCU fans before Warlock and his crazed double take the stage.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will release to Disney+ in December 2022.