Enter: Guardians of the Galaxy

Phase 2 of Marvel’s “Avengers Initiative” is well underway. Iron Man and Thor have had their installments to the franchise and the First Avenger is about to strike theaters in May in “Captain America: the Winter Soldier.” After Cap’s second solo outing, the saga will shift away from Earth’s mightiest heroes and venture into the cosmos where a motley crew of interstellar mercenaries will cause a whole heap of trouble that will somehow tie into the grand adventure of “The Avengers” down the road.

A smart-mouthed American pilot, a talking tree, a female, green-skinned weapons specialist, an android with a temper tantrum and a trigger-happy raccoon are the final installment of Marvel’s grand superhero undertaking. The trailer for “Guardians of the Galaxy” has finally arrived, and speaking as a fan of superhero mythology who was initially skeptical about news of the project centering around an obscure group of comic heroes, this looks cool.

For those not in the know, the Guardians of the Galaxy are a band of interstellar heroes led by an human pilot named Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt. Pratt accidentally ends up light-years away from home and finds himself in the middle of a man-hunt after stealing from an cosmic psychopath named Ronan the Accuser, played by Lee Pace. Along the way, Quill allies himself with a small cohort of ruffians including Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, Drax the Destroyer, played by Dave Bautista, Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel and Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper. If anyone is asking how this ties into the Avengers cinematic saga, just look at the second-to-last scene of “Marvel’s :The Avengers” for there is a powerful foe the Avengers will face down the road. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is written and directed by James Gunn, with the assistance of Nicole Perlman on the screenplay, and will arrive in theaters on August 1, 2014.

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