I have wanted to do a column about Gamora – the adopted daughter of Thanos of Titan and the reputed “Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe” – for sometime, especially since she is, as far as we know, the single female member of the rag-tag heroes who will be swashbuckling their way to the big screen in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st.
It’s just that her history weaves its way through time, several realities and the recent past. But I figure if I can do Brew’s Crew columns on Immortus and Kang for
To begin with, Gamora is one of my favorite Starlin characters, the one (besides Pip the Troll) that is most remembered from Jim’s Warlock days. While she has no great cosmic powers, Gamora did receive treatments from Thanos that enhanced her speed, strength, etc. to rival those of Adam Warlock. (We later learn in Infinity Watch that Gamora has been cybernetically enhanced to have superhuman strength, speed and a rapid healing ability.)
The mad Titan also helped her become a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, trained in the martial arts techniques from various planets, in the uses of known weaponry of the Milky Way Galaxy, and stealth techniques. She is also a highly-skilled gymnast and assassin, preferring knives and swords as her weapons of choice.
And even though she once possessed the great Time Gem (as in Infinity Gems), which gave her control over time, she seldom if ever used that power.
The universe’s most dangerous female is the last of her species, the Zen Whoberi, who were exterminated by the Badoon. (In her original timeline, her species was exterminated by the Universal Church of Truth.) Thanos found the child and decided to use her as a weapon. Gamora was raised and trained by Thanos to assassinate the Magus, an evil alter ego of Warlock. Gamora was very loyal to the purple giant who promised her the opportunity to avenge the death of her family and world.
As an adult, Gamora was sent as an assassin against the Universal Church of Truth, quickly becoming feared by its agents, the Black Knights. Gamora met and teamed up with Adam Warlock, who also wanted to stop the Magus. She even managed to get close to the Magus but failed in her assassination attempt at the last second.
Together with Warlock, Pip (yep, the troll of current X-Factor fame) and Thanos, Gamora fought to escape the Black Knights and the Magus’ Death Squad. She was then assigned by Thanos to protect Adam Warlock but she became suspicious of Thanos’ plans and was attacked by Drax the Destroyer (who would become her teammate in the Guardians).
Eventually the Magus was defeated but Thanos revealed himself as an even greater threat. Gamora aided Captain Marvel, Drax and the Avengers against the mad Titan, Gamora attempting to slay Thanos but instead he mortally wounded her and destroyed Pip’s mind.
Warlock found them, and Gamora warned Adam of Thanos’ plans. Warlock absorbed their souls into his Soul Gem and when he died as well, his spirit reunited with theirs in Soulworld, a pocket realm of the Gem.
Thanos later manages to obtain all the Infinity Gems, forming the Infinity Gauntlet. Warlock decided that he must be stopped and so led Gamora and Pip out of Soulworld into the real world. Their souls took over the bodies of three humans who had recently died in a car crash. Gamora thus returned to the corporeal world by taking possession of the body of Bambi Long; however, she was soon erased from existence by Thanos when he erased half the population in the universe.
When Nebula claimed the Gauntlet from Thanos, Gamora returned to the MarvelU.She eventually grew weary of the Infinity Watch, and left the group and the Time Gem behind to continue her life as a mercenary.
In more recent days, Gamora appeared in the mini Ronan. She was settled on the world Godthab Omega and was leader of a group of female warriors called the Graces. Everyone on the planet has had their minds altered by Glorian. Gamora is intent on re-establishing her reputation and now wields a powerful blade known as — Godslayer!
At one point, she is seen reclining on a “throne” made of corpses. She joins the United Front of Nova during Annihilation, using her skills to launch quick counterattacks against the Annihilation Wave. She also has romantic eyes for Richard Rider (“Richard-human”).
Following the Phalanx’s invasion of the Kree homeworld, Gamora joins Peter Quill’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and works to proactively protect the universe from a base on Knowhere. (Warlock is also a member of the team.)
Months later, Gamora is seemingly killed by a resurrected Magus, but it was an illusion of the wizard. Gamora, Major Victory, Cosmo and Mantis were later rescued by Phyla-Vell, using her new powers as the Avatar of Death. It is shortly after this that Thanos is brought back to life again, and Gamora allies herself with her hated step-father as they combat a threat from beyond the Fault, a rip in space and time.
We all know where that took her, and them …
As our Nova, Richard Rider, and Star-Lord literally step forward to keep Thanos in the Cancerverse – it didn’t work, as readers of Avengers Assemble later found out – the character of Gamora fell into a reader’s limbo until Brian Michael Bendis brought her back for an appearance in his movie-centric Avengers book – just as Cosmic Book News had predicted.
Since that time, Bendis and Guardians of the Galaxy have taken their place in the Marvel firmament. So much so that the House of Ideas is actually bringing DnA back for a special event upcoming, just as the film releases its monster PR campaign.
Roll the credits!
The film “Guardians of the Galaxy” opens in theatres August 1st!