A lot of hub bub is being made over the upcoming 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie, and the trailers are very Star Lord & Rocket Raccoon heavy. While the two green members of the team (Gamorra & Drax) are both brooding and about action, the final character that rounds out the 5 may be the most mysterious. Groot is a giant walking tree, and he talks... well, he says "I AM GROOT" over and over. Kind of like Hodor from 'Game of Thrones', just with more foliage....but just who is this Groot and where did get his start? Take a look after the jump for a little background info on the Terrific Tree known as Groot.
What most people don't know about Rocket's best buddy is that originally he was a bad guy, alien invader, created by 'The King of Comics' himself Jack Kirby!!! And he also spoke a whole bunch, in typical "I'm an alien hell bent on taking over the Earth" style that was always present in Kirby's giant monster/alien stories. He was actually quite articulate. He appeared in a handful of stories (all done by Kirby), than kind of faded away...
... until making an appearance in 'The Incredible Hulk' annual #5 (1976) alongside five other Kirby-era monsters (Goom... fuck yea!) taking on the Hulk. The story was drawn by Sal Buscema & written by Chris Claremont, two guys who adore Jack Kirby and were happy to give the King and his monsters a highlight.
The plan failed (there is no way 6 monsters can put together a cohesive battle plan... just my opinion!) and he would pretty much disappear from the pages of Marvel Comics until 21 YEARS later when he appeared alongside other Kirby-era monsters in The Sensational Spider-Man #1 in 1997. Groot along with the other monsters come alive in a young Peter Parker's nightmares to terrorize him, and Peter defeats them.
In the year of 2006 it seems Joe Quesada and the other higher-ups at Marvel had bigger cosmic plans that included Groot .....but, this time as one of the good guys! After appearing in Nick Fury's Howling Commandos miniseries and 'Annihilation: Conquest' with a newer look but, able to speak and be extremely articulate. The character was extremely popular, and we would begin seeing more of him in things like the Star Lord mini series, his team up 'Annihilators' series with Rocket, and eventually 'Guardians of the Galaxy' in the relaunch.
So that's how he ends up in this interesting movie. It has been a long road for a humble King Kirby monster character, and now he is finally getting his due. Groot is also in a new team book with Rocket, so keep an eye out for that. Looking forward to seeing a golden character such as Groot get the total mainstream love he deserves. 'Guardians of the Galaxy' hits theaters on August 1st.