I've been doing the Know Your Guardians for a little while now and as I go along I find myself getting more and more excited about the movie. I've been a fan of the Guardians long before Peter Quill was ever involved with the group. I remember them from their early Avenger appearances. I remember reading about them in the Marvel Universe Handbook and I remember the series done by Jim Valentino. The first time I picked up one of the new Guardian books my first thoughts were: "Where are Charlie 27, Martinex, Vance Astro and Yondu?"
So after reading some of the new Guardians adventures, I had gotten accustomed to the new team and lack of the originals. Which left me a little puzzled when I saw Yondu among the cast for the new movie. Now, I realize my next statement will open me up for ridicule on the message boards… but I have not come across in the books nor could I find anywhere on the web that talks about Yondu being associated with the new team at all. (I'm sure if I missed it the BC board members will be happy to correct me.)
Well, the purpose of these columns is to introduce the characters to those who haven't read the books, so without any further ado… Yondu is the guy with the bow and the big red fin/Mohawk…. Thank you, good night.
Okay… Yondu Udonta is from Centauri IV, the first planet humans colonized out past our solar system. But Centauri IV was populated; the inhabitants were referred to as 'primitive beings' by the colonizers. This all seemed to be an analogy for settlers coming to the new land and forcing out the Native Americans. Yondu's people were hunter/gatherers and lived in a tribal based community that ended up being overwhelmed by the Earthling's colonies.
We first meet Yondu as he is out on a rite of passage and comes across Vance Astro. The two end up working together when the Badoon invade the planet not long after. All of the Centaurians are killed except Yondu who attempted to escape with Vance to find help only to be captured and taken to Earth… a planet the Badoon had already taken over. On Earth they meet up with and join to other captives, Charlie-27 from Jupiter and Martinex from Pluto. The quartet escapes through a telepod (with the help of the mysterious Starhawk though they had no idea at the time) and the four of them join together to fight the Badoon as the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The newly formed Guardians attacked Badoon outposts throughout the solar system and spent an awful lot of time either time-travelling or dealing with folks from the past who just happened to time-travel. Thing, Captain America, Thor and even the Defenders popped up on one occasion or another. Yondu lost his right hand in a battle with Interface… which is tough for an archer… but got it replaced by a bionic one for a while and then eventually used some advanced medical technology to have an organic one re-grown.
Yondu time with the Guardians ended when a small group of his people were discovered alive. Referred to as the Kikaahe or 'cave dwellers', they had escaped the Badoon because the cave the dwelled in was lined with trillite that blocked radio waves. I'm assuming they don't get good cell reception there either.
Yondu was a skilled archer and hunter. Like most of his people he had a sixth-sense that allowed him an empathic connection to nature and some life forms. The more advance the life form, the weaker the connection. Coming from another planet with a different gravitational pull and just different genetics has made Yondu a bit stronger, faster, etc… than the average human.
So why is Yondu in the new movie? What is his connection to the new team? Is he a tip-of-the-hat to the original group or does he have a major role to play? They cast Michael Rooker to play him, so I doubt he's just a throw-away character. Yondu was always an interesting character and I look forward to seeing how he's going to be used on the big screen… I just hope they get his Mohawk right.