Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Just Set Up the Arrival of a Classic Marvel Character
Who is the little girl in Guardians of the Galaxy 3? Marvel finally introduces a character that fans have longed to see.
This Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 article contains spoilers.
Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy? If you’re an MCU fan, the answer is simple: Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Drax. And along the way, they picked up Nebula, Yondu, Kraglin, and Cosmo.
But for comic book readers, the answer is a LOT more complex. Even if you disregard the original Guardians of the Galaxy, 30th-century freedom fighters whose line-up included Yondu and Starhawk, the modern line-up has had a lot of turnover. But there’s one member who has been there from the beginning, and who only just now made it onto the MCU team in a post-credit scene.
Midway through the closing credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, we meet a new Guardians team. Star-Lord has gone back to Earth, Gamora has rejoined the Ravagers, Mantis goes on a journey of enlightenment, and Nebula and Drax stay on Knowhere to set up a new society. That leaves Rocket as the new team leader, alongside Kraglin, Cosmo, and Groot as the mainstays of a team that includes Adam Warlock, his fuzzy sidekick Blurp, and a young girl rescued from the High Evolutionary‘s keep.
The dialogue only refers to her as Phyla, and we only see her power up for a moment, her arms glowing with cosmic power. But that’s enough for fans to recognize her as Phyla-Vell, a longtime member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Who Is Phyla-Vell?
Phyla-Vell made her first appearance during the excellent 2000s Captain Marvel run by Peter David, which stared Genis-Vell as Captain Marvel. The son of the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell, Genis had nearly omnipotent powers and cosmic awareness, which led him to make some rash decisions. One of those decisions involved inadvertently creating Phyla-Vell, a better version of himself. And that’s the simple version — the Captain Marvel moniker has a very convoluted backstory, and that’s even before we bring in Carol Danvers, who has her own wonky history.
For MCU fans, the more important point is that Phyla-Vell is one of the key characters in defining the team as a group of rag-tag misfits determined to save the universe against impossible odds. Early on in her career, Phyla dedicated herself to patrolling the galaxy and righting wrongs, with the help of her partner Moondragon (daughter of Drax the Destroyer, who also has a very different and very weird comic book origin). In all of her appearances, Phyla is a deeply soulful person who struggles to maintain hope in her difficult life, but still finds the strength to help others.
Like the other members of her family, Phyla often possesses cosmic awareness, which makes her functionally omnipotent and boosts her already vast strength and speed. Even without this buff, she has control of devastating energy beams and sometimes wields the deadly Quantum Sword.
Of course, we haven’t seen any of those qualities yet in the brief post-credit scene. But if the MCU even draws a little from Phyla’s comic book origins, then we’re in for many more satisfying cosmic adventures, even after the departure of James Gunn.