The second character from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2…is actually the same character. Well, sort of. Among the many roles we see Nathan Fillion‘s Simon Williams portray, there’s Arkon, the barbarian protagonist of the movie of the same name. Well, Arkon is a Marvel comics’ character as well, an alien barbarian who indeed, after appearing on Earth several times, inspired a series of movies Simon Williams played a part in. If it wasn’t for Fillion, who shared a picture of a deleted scene from the movie (it can be an actual scene from the fictional Arkon movie or simply the actor joking on the set), we’d see nothing more of the barbarian king but a small picture on a poster: this way, instead, we can take a look at Arkon in all his magnificent glory. Well, in the comics he looks slightly better. Let’s see together.
Arkon was born from a noble family on distant planet Polemachus, a warmongering world that valued strength and battle prowess over everything else, and in which the strong ones ruled over the others. Bent over perfecting himself in the art of war, Arkon became one of the greatest warriors of his planet, until nobody could match his strength nor his skills: recognising his valor, his people appointed him Imperion of the country, and from his position of ruler Arkon started a series of campaigns against the other states following the ambition to conquer the entire Polemachus. In the middle of his dreams of glory, however, Arkon was brought back to reality when the entire world suffered an impossible chrisis: the planet’s rings, that provided Polemachus with light and heat, were rapidly fading, and if they were to disappear, the entire planet would have died soon after. Arkon entrusted Grand Vizier Greybeard and the other scientists to find a solution, and they found out that the atomic energy dispersed by the expolosions occuring on a distant planet, Earth, had found a way to influence Polemachus’ rings extradimensionally, rekindling them for a year: they announced that, if Earth was atomically annihilated, the rings would have been restored for good. Polemachus, however, didn’t know atomic weaponry, so Arkon needed to find a way to reach the distant planet: using an ancient Polemachian spell, he manipulated an alien sorceress, Scarlet Witch, to summon him on Earth and, once the portal was open, he crossed it with his army. As a first thing, Arkon kidnapped a number of nuclear scientists, forcing them to build an atomic device he would have used to blow the planet up; then, he also kidnapped the Scarlet Witch, wanting such a powerful woman to become his bride…thus attracting the attention of her teammates, the Avengers. The Avengers and the Polemachians fought hard in New York City, and Arkon single-handedly managed to fight to a stand most of the heroes at the Empire State Building, but he was soon reached by a message from Greybeard: two Avengers, Iron Man and Thor, had crossed the portal to Polemachus and had restored the rings, so destroying Earth wasn’t required anymore. Grateful, Arkon abandoned Earth and his chosen bride, and came back to his world.
The warlord, now known as Arkon the Magnificent, continued his conquest until he actually managed to bend the entire Polemachus under his dominion, but despite this he found himself battling the Avengers again, as he recognised in Black Knight, who was looking for the Well at the Centre of Time, a dangerous enemy to be imprisoned and executed; of course, Earth’s heroes came to the rescue, but Arkon realised he had been manipulated by a powerful sorceress, Amora the Enchantress, who wanted to use him against her enemies. As soon as he realised this, he ceased hostilities. His repeated contacts with Earth had given Greybeard and the other scientists enough knowledge to obtain and use atomic bombs on Polemachus as well, and Arkon was eager to play with his new toys…but he found it extremely boring to wait such a long time to build a nuclear arsenal, so he tried to start an interplanetary war to absorb the resulting energy and speeding up the process; this plan however failed, as the Fantastic Four intervened to stop him (Earth was among the planets involved). As soon as his relationship with Earth heroes was about to become a bad one again, however, Arkon made quite a mess with Iron Man’s machine that preserved Polemachus’ rings; again, the warlord travelled to Earth, trying to make Thor come back with him and recharge the machine once again, but he couldn’t find him. He, however, found a good replacement in another hero who could manipulate lightnings, Storm, and she agreed to help him along with the other X-Men. Once the work was done, Arkon granted them safe passage back to Earth. He even made up with the Fantastic Four when they helped Polemachus repel the invasion of the Badoon, an ancient race of malicious aliens. Now, Arkon considered Earth’s heroes as allies…until Amora, who wanted to manipulate the warlord into killing Doctor Strange and Clea in her place, informed him that on Earth movies had been made about him, movies that portrayed him under quite a bad light. The barbarian king rushed on Earth, ready to challenge the movie’s actor, the hero Wonder Man, and to punish him for denigrating his image: apparently, being allies wasn’t a stable condition for a man devoted to war.
Arkon the Magnificent is a proud and strong-willed monarch, a man who’s been forged by countless battles and who values honor and valor over everything else. As the most powerful Polemachian in life, he’s superhumanly strong, fast, durable, agile and resistant, and he heals much faster than a human; he’s a brilliant tactician and a superb fighter in both armed and unarmed combat; he excells in swordmanship and in the use of spears and daggers, and he’s an expert rider of Polemachian reptilian steeds; his trademark Bolts have different functions depending on their color: the golden ones open portals to other worlds, the red ones are effective throwing weapons which turns to pure energy once they hit their target, and the black ones are explosives powerful enough to level a mountain. An invincible warrior and a respected Imperion, Arkon embodies the power of Polemachus, a planet thriving in war and conflicts, recognizing only the honor of weapons.