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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy character designs include Rocket 'customizing' Groot

A new Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy video goes on a deep dive into the fresh yet familiar look for each member of the found space family.

The video joins Eidos-Montreal art director Bruno Gauthier-Leblanc as he addresses the visual design process for each Guardian in turn, starting with Star-Lord - who in this particular Marvel universe straight-up named himself after his favorite '80s metal band, and adorns his jacket and the rest of his outfit with tributes to his time on Earth.

Drax the Destroyer's new circular tattoos represent both his many victorious battles and a link to the architecture of his home on Katath. Gamora stays deadly 24/7 with knuckle dusters embedded in both her gauntlets and boots (Gauthier-Leblanc refers to them as "American knuckles," and today I learned the French call brass knuckles "poing américain" which I'm not quite sure how to feel about). Finally, the bond of unlikely friendship between Rocket and Groot helped shape both the characters.

Gauthier-Leblanc notes that Rocket's design "was the easiest one to nail" since he has very well-defined interests: building things and blowing other things up. This manifests in his transforming backpack gun and high-tech goggles (which have a gameplay purpose, Gauthier-Leblanc teases), and he shows his fond feelings for Groot with some cute beads in his goatee that look like the giant tree person.

"Groot was, weirdly, the hardest to nail," Gauthier-Leblanc adds. "We wanted him to have more armor plating and almost feel like he was a big mech. What we came up with is, since he and Rocket are best friends, we thought that Rocket should always be customizing Groot. In the sense that it's his mech, therefore he added a harness to him, so that he could grab on to him, stay on him, use him as a turret. And all this is related to gameplay as well, it's not just story. So, Groot and Rocket are intertwined as designs."

The developers behind Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy felt encouraged to go for deeper cut comic characters when they saw Kamala Khan's prominent spot in Marvel's Avengers.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.