Guardians of the Galaxy S01 E03: One in a Million You

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Continuing to re-nail themes touched upon or done first in the theatrical film of the same name, “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” animated series run afoul of the Collector in this episode. And this version of the character appears to have walked right out of the film into the cartoon seeking out the one in a million Rocket Raccoon, check out my thoughts on “One in a Million You” after the hyperspace jump.

Fin Fang Foom

Fun was a word used so often with critics when describing the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and it’s a style and personality that has been brought successfully to its animated pseudo-sequel. I mean, come on, is there any other word that can accurately describe the idea of Fin Fang Foom vs. the Guardians of the Galaxy? Yeah, fun is probably the only word for that, and that is where we open this episode.

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For the uninitiated, Fin Fang Foom is an intelligent giant space dragon who usually wears pants, from the Atlas Comics days of Marvel monsters. The creature eventually became a fixture of the present day Marvel Universe. Of course this might just be some other Makluan dragon, but it’s more fun to think it’s Fin Fang Foom. One thing is for sure, he’s not going to happy with Rocket or the Guardians in any case.

Unwanted Rodent

The Guardians are still in possession of the CryptoCube and following the map within it that will apparently lead them to the Cosmic Seed. And despite Rocket saving the crew from the space dragon, they’re all getting a bit annoyed at each other being cooped up in that ship so long, and taking it out on the rascally Raccoon. When an opportunity to ‘work’ for the Collector pops up, Rocket justifiably takes it.

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I had previously expressed dislike of Will Friedle’s voice work as Star-Lord, but it’s in this episode, because he has such a big part, that veteran voice actor, Canadian Trevor Devall gets to be a bit much. I think he’s fantastic in small doses, but in the long run, his Rocket seems a little whiny. That’s not saying that Rocket himself isn’t a little whiny in these cases, perhaps I just need a little more time. Friedle sadly still doesn’t have Star-Lord down for me yet.

Recurring Themes

In just three episodes of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” we have seen many recurring themes. And it’s not just a matter of recurring themes, it seems like we are seeing repeats of scenes from the movie reenacted in animation. There could be some logic to this as the movie was rated PG-13 and had some mature stuff that might not have been good for the typical age of the animated audience – perhaps it’s thought they haven’t seen the movie. Whatever the reason, even these new episodes have a bit of a rerun vibe for this reason.

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The end of the last episode, with all the Guardians uniting to control a mysterious deus ex machina force to save the day, echoed the end of the movie, as did this episode’s space walk without life support. There was also the Collector’s interest in Rocket, as well as the character’s look. And let’s not even talk about the living asteroid gimmick from The Empire Strikes Back, which while fun, was embarrassing in its unsubtle theft/homage.

The Collector

The Collector is one of those old school Avengers villains I would have loved to have seen in the “Avengers Assemble” series. Since his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with these characters in the movie that shares their name, the Collector seems to have been catalogued as a Guardians of the Galaxy villain. He even has, as noted above, a look that says Benicio Del Toro much more than his comic book counterpart.

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In the comics, the Collector is a creature named Taneleer Tivan, one of the Elders of the Universe, beings as old as the universe, and Galactus, if not older. Each one of these Elders has some bizarre all-encompassing obsession. The Collector’s particular vice is… you guessed it… collecting. Many times he has sought to add the Avengers and Earth’s other heroes to his collection. In the movie, most notably, he was shown to have ‘collected’ Howard the Duck.

Crashing the Collection

When the Collector exchanges a repair drone and the location of some crystals needed to power the CryptoCube’s map for Rocket’s services, the deal is easily struck. It’s not until some misadventures on both ends that it’s realized a mistake has been made. The Collector is not just after the CryptoCube, but he’s also added Rocket to his collection. As seen in this week’s Biff Bam Pop! preview to the tune of Joe Walsh and the James Gang’s “Walk Away,” the Guardians of course go back for Rocket.

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Hilarity ensues, as well it should. In freeing Rocket, our heroes also free every other living thing as well, including the Makluan space dragon that is in fact Fin Fang Foom. I just wish he’d talked and had pants. And one more thing, I wish he and Groot would have had more of a chance to tussle. They are of course both relics of the Atlas era, it would have only been fair to watch these two atomic age monsters tussle for a bit.

The heroes win, go on the take all the former items of collection home, and continue their quest for the Cosmic Seed, leaving an angered Collector plotting revenge. I’m still digging this show. I’m just wondering where they’ll go next – more movie rehash, or new and original directions like Fin Fang Foom. I hope the latter.

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