Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Honestly, I sort of thought Xandar was an unexpected choice to feature in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I’ve never been a huge Nova fan, although I noticed that over the last couple of years this character has been getting pushed a bit more than usual. And truth be told, I’ve read some of the most recent run of the comic and it was quite good (everything Nova related in Annihilation: Conquest was pretty compelling). Still, I sort of assumed that the featured Galactic peacekeepers in any Marvel cosmic film would be the Shi’ar. I mean, yes, it does occur to me that Xandar is sort of the Marvel equivalent of Green Lanterns’ Oa. It’s a planet with a huge, intergalactic police force drawn from members of many different races.

But my sense was always that the Shi’ar were sort of the closest thing in the Marvel universe to the United Federation of Planets in Star Trek or some such. It’s a huge, galaxy spanning empire that incorporates hundreds of races. Granted, it would be an overstatement to characterize the Shi’ar as strictly "good." It’s a nation like any other: it does a lot of good but it also does some bad to maintain the status quo. It’s seen its share of wars, right and wrong.

Xandar always seemed like a smaller blip on the map to me.

The biggest problem might be a licensing issue. The Shi’ar do seem closely tied to the X-Men mythology; not exclusively but it always seemed like the X-Men had a strangely close relationship with the Shi’ar. This set up some interesting and weird juxtapositions. Not to say that the X-Men and the Shi’ar haven’t come to blows at times but overall, the X-Men are considered as something of heroes to the Shi’ar government.

The Fantastic Four on the other hand, while in much better standing with the American government than the X-Men, are not particularly welcome by the Shi’ar. Some of Reed’s choices regarding cosmic matters (i.e. failing to destroy Galactus when he had the chance) did not sit well with the empire.

I guess what I’m really getting at here is concerns about licensing. I mean, I am in no way criticizing Marvel for setting the wheels in motion to generate a Nova movie or to introduce him in a future Guardians film, if that is their intention. And I don’t dislike the Spider-man or X-Men movies. But I feel like time and time again it’s clear to me that the people who do the Marvel universe best is Marvel themselves. Wouldn’t it be nice to have it all in one spot, the way it’s supposed to be?