Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: What Is the Worldmind?

Sony’s PlayStation Showcase 2021 on September 9 was full of fun trailers and game reveals, but likely had its biggest impact on fans of the expansive Marvel Comics universe. Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 and its follow-up Miles Morales already helped Sony stand out among a sea of Marvel video games including Crystal Dynamics’ Marvel’s Avengers and Kabam’s Realm of Champions, but the showcase revealed fans can anticipate both Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine in the near future. Beyond those reveals, Sony also debuted a new trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the next Square Enix-published Marvel game after Avengers.

Guardians of the Galaxy is being created by Deus Ex and Tomb Raider developer Eidos Montreal, and has appeared in a few different events since its announcement at E3 2021. Unlike its Crystal Dynamics-developed predecessor, Guardians is a single-player adventure with Peter “Star-Lord” Quill as its lead character, and thus focuses more on telling a strong narrative. The PlayStation Showcase 2021 trailer dove deeper into the overarching plot of the game, piecing together how some comic book characters fit in while introducing others like the Worldmind.

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Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy – What is its Plot?

One of the strengths of Guardians of the Galaxy has been its willingness to highlight obscure characters. Whereas Marvel’s Avengers focused largely on its circle of playable superheroes that many recognize from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the MCU characters in Guardians of the Galaxy seem to stop at its titular group. Rather than rehashing film antagonists such as Ronan the Accuser or Ego, the video game’s trailers have focused on characters such as Lady Hellbender and Grand Unifier Raker.

Raker is a member of the Universal Church of Truth (UTC), a Guardians of the Galaxy antagonist straight from the comics with the aim of unifying everything and everyone under its righteous and “peaceful” rule. However, this often entails assimilating entire cultures by force, with the church willing to purify any blasphemous peoples utilizing technology powered by its followers’ faith.

According to the description of Guardians of the Galaxy‘s PlayStation Showcase trailer, this version of Marvel canon sees the UTC aiming to reunite the galaxy under one rule after a Galactic War twelve years prior left everything in turmoil. This turmoil offered Star-Lord the opportunity to create his Guardians of the Galaxy, as he saw “opportunity for adventure and profit” by becoming heroes-for-hire. The team is sent by Cosmo the Space Dog to investigate Raker and the UTC so they can prevent the conquest of Knowhere. One of their stops is to see the Nova Corps and their leader, the Xandarian Worldmind.

The Xandarian Worldmind in Marvel Comics

Xandar is the home planet of the Nova Corps, which MCU fans should recognize as the planet where the Guardians of the Galaxy first meet and later fight Ronan in James Gunn’s 2014 film. The Nova Corps are a militant, intergalactic police force, and are entrusted with housing the Orb that contains the Power Stone in the MCU – leading to Xandar’s destruction at the hands of Thanos prior to the events of Infinity War.

Xandar in Marvel Comics canon is similarly destroyed in Avengers #260, leading to the deactivation of Worldmind. The Worldmind is a supercomputer that helps lead the Nova Corps and is made continually smarter using the stored brains of deceased Xandarians. After the Nova Corps are reestablished by Richard Rider, the superhero “Nova” who inherited the powers and rank of Nova Prime whom led the Nova Corps prior, Worldmind came back to life and helped rebuild both Xandar and its population using clones of its peoples’ stored memories.

Rider was also influential in helping Star-Lord build his version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Both Drax and Gamora have worked together with Rider to protect Worldmind from threats such as the Kree Empire. However, it does not appear that the Guardians have had much interaction with Worldmind in the comics.

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How Worldmind Plays Into Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s unclear how much screentime the Worldmind will receive in Eidos Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy based on what was shown in the PlayStation Showcase 2021 trailer. Mid-way through the trailer, after Cosmo sends the Guardians on their way, it cuts to Worldmind floating in space surrounded by starships. Star-Lord says “long time no see,” suggesting there may be history between the Guardians and Worldmind to explore. However, dialogue beyond that amounts to Worldmind offering its probable statistics that the Guardians have a 0.3 percent chance of defeating the UTC.

It’s likely Worldmind has more to do than just hammer in the idea of the Guardians being perpetual underdogs in their spacefaring travels, as the structure behind its massive, digitized face appears to warp away later in the trailer – destination unknown. An official newsletter on Square Enix’s website for Guardians of the Galaxy stipulates that the Guardians went to Worldmind seeking help from the Nova Corps, but that “getting their help won’t be easy.”

If Guardians of the Galaxy follows any prototypical storytelling tropes, it’s likely the Worldmind will dismiss the team’s interests early on, but then send its peacekeepers to help fight the UTC when things are at their most dire and the Guardians are the galaxy’s last hope. Fans of the comics and MCU alike will just have to wait and see, though there isn’t much more time to wait considering the game releases next month. Hopefully Square Enix and Eidos Montreal keep story reveals light from here on out, that way players can get some nice surprises from familiar or obscure Marvel characters.

Guardians of the Galaxy releases October 26, 2021 for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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