Groot

GrootAnd here we are, the last of the Guardians of the Galaxy from the movie of the same name: Groot, who will be voiced by none other than Vin Diesel. This is the first live action appearance of Groot, and little is known of his movie background. Surely, he’ll be based more on the latest appearances of the character in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, rather than his first ones in the Age of Monsters, a talking tree who can only repeat the sentence “I am Groot!” (even if, despite sounding always the same, the phrase hides an incredible variety of meanings). Apart from this, he appears to be much shorter than in the comicbooks (even if his stature can vary in the comics), but his overall appearance looks more or less the same. Let’s see together who the last member of the Guardians is in the comics.

Little is known about Groot: he was born on Planet X, a member of a race believed to be mythological, discovered by Kree scientists and known as Flora Colossus. Despite calling himself Divine Majesty King Groot the 23rd, Monarch of Planet X, Custodian of the Branch Worlds, Ruler of All the Shades, it means nothing, since on Planet X every Colossus is appointed with royal titles. He first came to Earth in 1960, when he tried to take some aliens (actually Terrestrials…) to his homeplanet for its scientists to study; he grew larger in size absorbing wooden objects into his body, and became an unstoppable giant immune to any weapon known on Earth. Groot was defeated by a single scientist, Leslie Evans, who created genetically enhanced termites that ate all his hide. In shock and almost dead, Groot was saved by the Collector, who brought him into a subterranean zoo; years later, the Mole Man accidentally broke the zoo’s walls, and the creatures inside it were released on Earth. Only an alliance between Hulk, The ThingBeast and Giant-Man managed to stop the monsters, and to lock them into grootcomics1the Negative Zone. Somehow, Groot escaped, and came back to Earth, hiding in the forests and concealing himself as a tree. He was found years later by Sasquatch and the Abominable Snowman, who used their sense of smell to identify him among the trees. Groot was imprisoned by S.H.I.E.L.D., and offered the opportunity of joining the two monsters who had found him, as well as Gorilla Man and Warwolf, in the new Howling Commandos, a squad of monsters used to fight supernatural threats. During a fight with Merlin, Groot took a resolve for himself to join the Commandos, and took new residence in the secret Area 13.

After accomplishing some missions for S.H.I.E.L.D., Groot was finally rewarded with freedom, and was allowed to leave Earth, something the monarch was now longing for. Unfortunately, the moment Groot entered Kree space, he was recognized as a threat for peace and captured once again. In prison, he met another outcast and loner, the genetically altered Rocket Raccoon. The two became friends, even if Groot, whose vocal cords were now hardened since he had reached adulthood, could only pronounce “I am Groot!” (actually, Rocket’s ears, more subtle than humans’ ones, could understand more than other people, even if not everything his friend said). When grootcomics2Rocket was freed by Star-Lord, a space adventurer who was gathering a special team to take down the Phalanx (a mechanical alien race who was conquering the known space), he insisted to bring Groot with him, and the Monarch of Planet X became a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. While serving under the Guardians, Groot proved to be an incredible force for good, using his impenetrable hide and superhuman strength to crash the Phalanx and protect his allies. During the final battle on Hala, the capital world of the Kree Empire (now centre of the Phalanx Covenant), Groot apparently sacrificed himself, destroying the enemies in a suicide mission blowing up with his ship. Actually, Groot survived through a sprout, small enough to stand on Rocket Raccoon’s hand: now in his friend’s care, Groot started to grow back to his regular size, always a resource for the Guardians.

Groot the 23rd is an extremely intelligent being, whose genius rivals the one of recognized masterminds like Maximus of the Inhuman royal family. Because of his unique Floran phisiology, however, he only seems capable of three words, and his sentences are understandable only by somebody with a peek intellect or sharp senses. He possesses an immense strength and durability, and is able to survive in almost any environment; he can increase his body mass by absorbing wood, and can reduce to the dimension of a sprout, starting his growth process from the beginning. He is also able to control plants and trees, which he can manipulate as he wishes. Strong, intelligent and brave, Groot is a powerful ally and a loyal friend, and, for his enemies, a remarkable force to deal with.

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