9 Things Only Marvel Comics Fans Know About Groot – Screen Rant

Marvel Comics fans know Groot actually predates the Marvel Universe and made few appearances until joining the Guardians of the Galaxy.
I Am Groot provides the first real showcase for the beloved character in the form of a series of animated shorts. Groot's star role in such a series seems as unlikely as his place at the heart of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the MCU. Marvel Comics fans know Groot's journey to this point took a long and unusual route.
Groot predates the Marvel Universe proper, counting among the few such characters to do so. He also spent most of Marvel Comics history on the sidelines, making his importance in both the books and other media all the more astonishing. Though it took many years for creators to unlock his full potential, Groot now plays a key role in Marvel Comics lore.
Groot debuted before the Marvel Universe even existed. He first appeared in Tales To Astonish #13 in 1960 a full year before the Fantastic Four set off the Marvel revolution. He appeared in a typical science-fiction story for the time where he menaced stock characters as an alien monster from outer space.
Several things distinguished Groot from other sci-fi monsters at the time, including the fact that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby co-created him. Groot counts among a small handful of characters including Captain America, Human Torch, and Namor the Sub-Mariner who predate the Marvel Universe.
Groot hails from Planet X, a Flora colossus tree being. His people's unique physiology renders their internal organs, in particular their larynx, rigid. This means Groot and his people struggle to communicate in human fashion and explains why "I am Groot" is really the only thing he can say with any ease.
Groot's limited vocabulary may make him seem simple to some, but Groot possesses highly advanced intelligence, and combined with his natural powers, makes him among the most powerful Guardians of the Galaxy members.
Groot's basic origin remained solid through his long Marvel Comics history, but some key details differ in various accounts. Guardians of the Galaxy #14 established that Groot ran afoul of his people thanks to his interest in Maintenance Mammals, otherwise known as humanoids. This led to him eventually being exiled for defending the Maintenance Mammals against his people.
An entirely different origin appears in Groot #6 a few years later. In this version, Groot discovers his people abducted a human girl named Hannah. He takes pity on her and sends her home, but the other Flora colossi exile him. This version also explains that original Groot from 1960 was actually a completely different being than the modern Groot.
After Tales To Astonish, Groot went over fifteen years without making another appearance in the comics, a pattern that became recurring for most of his Marvel history. His second appearance came in The Incredible Hulk Annual #2 in 1976, when he fought the Hulk alongside several other Silver Age comic book monsters in an epic battle.
This Groot echoed the original closely, being a menacing and gargantuan figure equal in size and stature to the Hulk. Though he wasn't equal in strength, he gave the Hulk a major battle and proved equal in many respects to the Hulk's most powerful villains from the comics.
Groot went absent from Marvel Comics for another extended period, this time twenty years, until he next appeared in The Sensational Spider-Man #-1 in 1997. This unusual issue brought Groot back, once again alongside other notable Silver Age monsters like Gigantus, in a childhood nightmare Peter Parker has.
Groot remains close to his original appearance in this comic, more a cameo thanks to his relatively quick exit thanks to Vandoom, a giant creature who destroys Groot with a savage blow.
Groot avoids another decade-long absence, barely, when he re-emerges in Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #2 in 2006. He joins an unusual squad comprised mostly of monsters including Gorilla-Man, The Living Mummy, and Vampire By Night. This Groot begins to change in appearance and character, setting the stage for a major evolution.
This brief series occurs when a powerful sorcerer transforms all of Britain into a fantasy realm, requiring Fury to bring together a frightening but fun team of elite commandos to handle it.
Groot leaps from obscure Silver Age monster to major player when he joins the Guardians of the Galaxy in 2007. His involvement in the modern incarnation of the classic team results from the epic events in Annihilation, a major cosmic war in which Annihilus invades the entire universe from the Negative Zone.
Groot connects with Rocket in a Kree prison prior to their joining the team, a story point the MCU picked up on. Groot's connection with Rocket completely changes the direction for both characters. Marvel Comics fans know Rocket Raccoon was similarly obscure before joining the team.
Groot briefly returns to his original Silver Age appearance when he accesses the Black Vortex, a powerful cosmic weapon. He gains near-omnipotent powers from contacting the weapon, as does one of the most powerful Kitty Pryde variants. Groot gained cosmic awareness and perception, but he ultimately rejected the added power. The experience still left him transformed.
When the battle for the device ends, Groot remains fundamentally altered. Though he resembles his original appearance somewhat, his body now embodies mostly vine instead of root. With a slightly more armored appearance, Groot resembles what would become his eventually MCU appearance more than the original.
Groot likely plays a key role in Avengers: Secret Wars as he did in the 2015 crossover event. Groot initially dies at the event's outset, killed by The Children of Tomorrow as the multiverse collapses around him. But Star-Lord kept a tiny twig with him as he traveled to Battleworld and he unleashed it within God Emperor Doom's castle keep.
Groot instantly grows to a mountainous size, destroying the castle and demolishing Doom's defense during the climactic battle. Depending on how live-action interprets the story, this moment could appear in the movie.
DARBY HARN is the author of the sci-fi superhero novels Ever The Hero, The Judgment Of Valene, and Nothing Ever Ends. He talks all things pop culture on The Shelf Warmers podcast.


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