2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy famously managed to turn a group of the oddest, most obscure Marvel characters into one of the MCU’s most successful sub-franchises. Mostly how it did that was by its pitch-perfect renderings of the titular cosmic heroes. Two of them, for example, are instantly familiar to any moviegoer nowadays – Star-Lord, with his leather jacket and helmet and Rocket, who’s basically just a raccoon on his hind legs.
The piece of concept art below, however, which unveils an unused design for these two characters, teases just how different Peter Quill and his trash panda pal could have looked in James Gunn’s space-age action-comedy. As created by Marvel Studios’ chief concept artist Ryan Meinerding, the design features a much more gritty-looking take on the duo, against a backdrop of some battle-torn war zone.
Check it out below:
What’s perhaps most interesting here is that Star-Lord’s casual fashion sense that so befits Chris Pratt’s portrayal of the legendary outlaw is replaced by a very militarized suit of armor. The helmet also covers his entire head and doesn’t show off his luscious locks. It’s a radically different take on the character compared to what we’re familiar with, but this design does resemble Peter’s traditional depiction in the comics.
As for Rocket, Meinerding seems to have decided to make him much more alien here, rather than the eventual decision to design the character as an Earth-based raccoon given increased intelligence due to being experimented on. Again, this does pay homage to the Guardians of the Galaxy comics in which Rocket hails from an alien world, but having said that, we’re glad they didn’t go with this take, as he definitely would have been harder to love.