The Guardians of the Galaxy are the space opera version of the Avengers, but more importantly lets talk about why you should care. This rag tag group of intergalactic heroes might just be the next big thing coming from Marvel Studios. Its already been established that Marvel wants to move towards the cosmic side of there of properties and really expand the cinematic universe at the same time. This is what Green Lantern was suppose to do for WB/DC movie properties, however that was less than successful. With the massive success of Thor, Marvel seems to believe that fans are ready for something even more out of this world. So GotG are basically broken into two major groups. The former being a time traveling group from the 31st century, and the latter being an assembled team that was created just after the events of Annihilation: Conquest. We will be concentrating of the latter team, as they were created in 2008, and are the likely team chosen for a live action movie.
The Guardians of the Galaxy were created as a special proactive force to combat any major intergalactic threat that might pop up. The team has been battling and interacting with the mad titan Thanos quite a bit in the last few years so expect some crossover there if Marvel wishes to bring Thanos in as more than just a cameo. As it was mentioned earlier, the team was created after the events of Annihilation: Conquest by Star-Lord. An anointed intergalactic policeman, Star-Lord, who was born during a time when all the planets were aligned is a master strategist and fearless to boot. With his Star-Lord armor he has super strength and the ability of flight.
Joining Star-Lord on this team is an odd character named Drax the Destroyer, he is the embodied spirit of a dead man who's sole purpose is to hunt down and kill Thanos. He has increased strength, resilience, and a keen ability to sense where Thanos is across vast stretches of space. He even can tell when someone has been in contact with Thanos or may be in the near future. With all the Thanos talk it makes more and more sense that GotG will feature the mad titan in one form or another.
Drax the Destroyer
Raised as an orphaned child by the mad titan, Thanos, Gamora has earned the nickname The most dangerous woman in the universe. She is a highly skilled former assassin who was suppose to initially kill The Magus, a evil future version of Adam Warlock. During Annihilation: Conquest, Gamora is captured by the Phalanx, a cybernetic race, as they try and destroy the Kree home world. She is rescued by Star-Lord who asks her to join his new team.
The right hand man to Star-Lord and all around anthropomorphized bad ass. Rocket Raccoon is the comic relief of the group. Always sharing some quips and using his gigantic weapons to even the score. This character has the most mass market appeal of the group and would surely be a crowd favorite on the big screen. He is a master tactician and strategist. He joins GotG after he is urged by his close friend Star-Lord and he has taken over several times when Star-Lord is off handling something else.
Last but certainly not least is Adam Warlock. When you think of the cosmic side of the Marvel universe Adam Warlock is a key player. He is easily one of the most powerful beings in the universe(s). He possesses one of the Infinity gems, Soul, and can take the souls of pretty much whomever he wants. He has taken on Thanos, most famously during the Infinity Gauntlet saga. Warlock is an artificial human created by a group of scientists known as the Enclave. He can fly, move faster than the speed of light, possesses super strength, agility, etc. He is by far the most complex of all the characters. He is pretty much omnipotent. While currently dead in the comics don't look for him to stay that way for too long. He is an integral part of the Infinity Gauntlet story and Marvel will most likely resurrect him in the comics to match the cinematic connected universe.
So there you have it, The Guardians of the Galaxy. Now there are many other characters who are on the team such as Bug, Groot, Moondragon, and Major Victory. I just thought I would talk about the major players and in my opinion the most likely people to be in the movie line up. The idea of having this part of the Marvel universe expanded will be a hell of a task for them. The amount of complications that can happen when you are talking multiple universes, time travel, Soul gems, and spirit transfers seems insurmountable. However, seeing what Marvel was able to pull off in The Avengers, anything is possible. If this movie does what its suppose to do we will most likely see folks like Beta Ray Bill and Nova on screen soon enough!