Den Of Geek is reporting that Benicio del Toro, Lee Pace and Karen Gillan’s characters in James Gunn’s cosmic caper Guardians Of The Galaxy have finally been confirmed… and the rumour-mill was bob on in all cases.
Del Toro is playing the Collector, Pace is Ronan The Accusor, and Gillan is Nebula. But who the Ditko are they, and what does their casting auger for Marvel’s most outlandish Phase 2 film so far?
A classic Sixties sci-fi god-like entity, the Collector is less a malicious ner-do-well and more a man on a mission – a mission to scoop up all the treasures of the cosmos and safeguard them from the coming of some vast threat to all life – a threat that would turn out to be Thanos.
Created by Marvel figurehead Stan Lee and Iron Man inventor Don Heck in the pages of Avengers #28 (May 1966) when he sought to add Wasp and the rest of the team to his collection – inevitably failing, he tried again and again and again over the next decade with the same result.
After Captain Marvel, Adam Warlock and the Avengers finally defeated Thanos in April 1977’s Avengers Annual #7, the Collector started gearing up for the next great catacylsm which kicked off in the pages of Avengers #167 (January 1978). So incensed was he by the insane and insanely powerful Michael Korvac, he even sent his own daughter to distract the lilac-coloured mentalist – proving that while he may be a kleptomaniacal irritant, he has it in him to be the solution and not the secondary problem.
At least until the Infinity Gauntlet arc. On his travels Collector had come into possession of one of the reality warping Infinity Gems. Believing it utterly powerless, he traded it with Thanos in exchange for a space baby (it’s complicated), and the Marvel universe’s ultimate big bad added it to his omnipotent Infinity Gauntlet (see July 1990’s The Thanos Quest #1 by cosmic powerhouse Jim Starlin).
For all his talk of oncoming catastrophe, it’s a shame he didn’t foresee the role he’d play in bringing it about…