Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has finally concluded as a trilogy, delivering its signature mix of casual humor, heart, and heroics. But amid the epic showdowns and witty banter, the film also introduced a new character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) – Phyla. So who’s Phyla from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?
We’ll also do you one better: why is Phyla?
In all seriousness, the first question is a more valid query than ever due to the exceedingly high number of comic book characters the MCU keeps bringing with each new installment. So we’re here to find out about Phyla, her comic book origins, her role in the movie, and her potential (or perhaps nonexistent) future within the MCU.
Phyla-Vell from the comic books
Like most characters in the ever-changing MCU, Phyla has comic book roots.
In the Marvel comic books, Phyla-Vell made her first appearance in 2004’s Captain Marvel #16, created by writer Peter David and artist Paul Azaceta.
Unlike many heroes, Phyla’s origin story isn’t one of natural birth but rather one of genetic engineering. She is the genetically engineered daughter of Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel of Marvel Comics, and his beloved partner, Elysius.
Phyla-Vell, like her brother Genis-Vell, possesses superhuman abilities such as:
- Super strength
- Energy manipulation
Genis-Vell, her older brother, initially takes up the mantle of Captain Marvel, much like their father. However, Genis’ power of ‘Cosmic Awareness’ began to drive him mad, leading Phyla-Vell to assume his role as the new Captain Marvel.
Phyla later adopted the name Quasar and took up the cosmic Quantum Bands artifact after the death of the original Quasar and Quantum Bands owner, Wendell Vaughan, during the 2006 crossover event called Annihilation. She would eventually join the Guardians of the Galaxy in their 2008 incarnation.
Lastly, Phyla-Vell’s character development is intricately woven with her romantic involvement with fellow hero Moondragon. Her selfless act to save Moondragon’s life leads her to take on the codename Martyr, one of her assumed names.
Phyla from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Phyla’s introduction (as an Easter Egg) is a significant departure from her comic book origins. Rather than being the daughter of Mar-Vell and Elysius, she’s a creation of the High Evolutionary, a powerful geneticist who became a despot. The High Evolutionary engineered Phyla and her entire race in pursuit of the perfect lifeform for his planetary projects.
This cinematic adaptation raises intriguing questions about the High Evolutionary’s methods and Phyla’s origins. This opens up another question about Phyla’s lineage; perhaps high Evolutionary could have used Kree DNA, connecting Phyla to Mar-Vell’s legacy and, indirectly, to Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel’s MCU mentor.
That remains speculation until the MCU decides to bring Phyla again as a recurring character in the future, given how the trilogy is over. Speaking of which…
Phyla’s MCU Future and Speculation
Phyla-Vell’s introduction to the MCU couldn’t be timelier.
It aligns with the release of The Marvels, a film that delves into the legacy of Captain Marvel, potentially linking Phyla to the Quantum Bands, a significant element from her comic book history. It’s worth noting that The Marvels might have already laid out the integration of the Quantum Bands into the MCU as one of Ms. Marvel’s mysterious bangles.
The big question looming over Phyla’s MCU future is whether she will factor into The Marvels later on or the broader Kree mythology of the MCU. Only time will reveal the extent of her role in the unfolding MCU.
Phyla’s powers and abilities in the MCU
While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 provides a glimpse of Phyla’s potential, her full range of powers and abilities remains a mystery. In the film’s post-credits scene, we see her eyes and hands emitting a glowing energy, suggesting that she possesses cosmic powers. But that’s about it.
In the comics, Phyla-Vell’s powers varied depending on her alias. As Captain Marvel, she exhibited enhanced strength, stamina, flight, and cosmic awareness, which heightened her combat skills and inductive reasoning.
As Quasar, she wielded the Quantum Bands, granting her the ability to manipulate various forms of energy.
It’s unclear if the MCU’s Phyla will follow a similar path and become a cinematic version of Quasar, seeing as the Quasar Bands might have been introduced already.
Where is Phyla?
Phyla’s debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 positions her as a key member of the new Guardians of the Galaxy team (or what was left of it) led by Rocket Raccoon.
While most of the original Guardians went their separate ways at the film’s conclusion, the galaxy still needs its protectors.
Phyla’s glowing eyes and hands in the post-credits scene hint at her untapped potential, likely ensuring her place in future MCU adventures if we’re being optimistic.
Though James Gunn, the director of the Guardians trilogy, has stepped away from the series, it’s possible that Phyla and the new team might return to the screen, perhaps as a mini-series. The MCU’s continued success and the appeal of a younger and fresher squad of cosmic heroes make their return more plausible, even if it’s in a smaller capacity for now.
Still, we also need to mention that the MCU has a knack for reinventing characters. Phyla’s journey is supposedly one of evolution and exploration, mirroring her comic book counterpart’s ever-evolving identity.
Phyla from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 heralds a potentially exciting new chapter in the MCU. Her journey from genetic experiment to cosmic hero is just about to begin, assuming the MCU plans to move forward with her in mind.