Cover art for Nova (vol 2) #6.
Art by Adi Granov.
|First appearance||Strange Tales #180 (June 1975)|
|Created by||Jim Starlin|
|Team affiliations||Guardians of the Galaxy
|Notable aliases||The Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe, Bambi Long|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength, speed, agility, and durability
Highly skilled gymnast and assassin
Accelerated healing factor
Skilled martial artist
Gamora is a fictional character, a superheroine that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Jim Starlin, the character first appeared in Strange Tales #180 (June 1975). Gamora is the adopted daughter of the supervillain Thanos, and the last of her species. Her powers include superhuman strength and agility and an accelerated healing factor. She has appeared as the occasional love interest of the superheroes Adam Warlock and Nova, and a member of the group known as the Infinity Watch.
The character played a role in the 2007 crossover comic book event Annihilation: Conquest, and became a member of the titular team in its spin-off comic, Guardians of the Galaxy. She has been featured in a variety of associated Marvel merchandise. Zoe Saldana plays the character in the 2014 live-action film Guardians of the Galaxy.
The character debuted in Strange Tales #180 (1975), and was created by Jim Starlin. She returned in issue #181, Warlock vol. 1 #9-15 (1975-1976), and in the 1977 annuals for Avengers and Marvel Two-in-One. In 1990, she returned in Silver Surfer vol. 3 #46-47. She had a minor role in Infinity Gauntlet #1-6 (1991) and co-starred in Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1-42 (1992-1995). She was also featured in the Infinity War (1992) and Infinity Crusade (1993) crossovers. After appearing in Infinity Abyss #1-6 (2002), Annihilation: Ronan #1-4 (2006), Annihilation #1-6 (2006) and Nova vol. 4 #4-12 (2007-2008), Gamora costarred in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #1-25 (2008-2010). She played a minor role in The Thanos Imperative #1-6 (2010).
Fictional character biography
Gamora 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 alternate version of Adam Warlock. Thanos showed her little kindness during her childhood, but Gamora was very loyal to the man who promised her the opportunity to avenge the death of her family. Gamora became very proficient in the martial arts, earning the nickname "The deadliest woman in the whole galaxy". When she was a teenager, Thanos took her on a trip to Tartoonla # 7. Gamora disobeyed Thanos's orders, and due to this came into conflict with a group of thugs. She was greatly outnumbered, and despite her skills she was defeated and then raped by the assailants. Thanos found her half dead, and in turn murdered all of her assailants and restored her to health, cybernetically enhancing her to superhuman levels.
As an adult, Gamora was sent as an assassin against the Universal Church of the Truth, quickly becoming feared by its agents, the Black Knights. She exacted revenge for the genocide of her race by killing every member of the church involved before the event actually occurred. Gamora met and teamed up with Adam Warlock, who wanted to stop his older version. She even managed to get close to the Magus but failed her assassination in the last second. Together with Warlock, Pip the Troll and Thanos, Gamora fought to escape the Black Knights of the Universal Church of Truth and Magus's Death Squad. She was then assigned by Thanos to protect Adam Warlock, but she became suspicious of Thanos's plans, and was then attacked by Drax the Destroyer.
Eventually the Magus was defeated, but Thanos revealed himself as an even greater threat. Gamora aided Captain Mar-Vell, Drax, and the Avengers against Thanos. Gamora and Pip tried to prevent Thanos from destroying all life in the universe. Gamora attempted to slay Thanos, but he mortally wounded her, and destroyed Pip's mind. Adam Warlock found them, and Gamora warned Adam of Thanos's plans, and Adam absorbed their souls into his Soul Gem. When Adam Warlock died as well, his spirit was reunited with that of his friends in "Soulworld" within the Soul Gem.
Inside the Soul Gem was Soulworld, a place where Gamora, Pip and eventually Adam Warlock himself lived at peace. Other beings who had been absorbed by the Soul Gem, such as Kray-Tor and Autolycus, also lived in peace with former enemies.
When Thanos managed to obtain all the Infinity Gems, forming the Infinity Gauntlet, Adam Warlock decided that he must be stopped. Warlock led Gamora and Pip the Troll 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, whose body then began transforming into a duplicate of Gamora's original body. However, Gamora 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 existence.
Warlock now had the Infinity Gauntlet, giving him near omnipotence. Gamora and Pip persuaded Doctor Strange to help them find and stop Warlock, who was going mad with power. The Living Tribunal intervened and Warlock divided the Infinity Gems among several guardians, known as the Infinity Watch. Gamora received the Time Gem, but was incapable of consciously using it, though it did give her sporadic precognitive dreams and visions. Gamora had become romantically interested in Adam, but Adam did not respond to her. In an argument over the Infinity Watch member Maxam, Gamora left the Infinity Watch and the Time Gem behind. She returned to work as a mercenary until Adam Warlock approached her again. They continued to travel together and eventually Adam reciprocated her love. Adam and Gamora remained in a pocket dimension to raise the cosmic being known as Atleza.
Gamora later reappears in the pages of Ronan, having left the company of Adam Warlock and settled on the world Godthab Omega as leader of a group of female warriors called The Graces, where her mind has been altered by Glorian. She is intent on re-establishing her reputation as the deadliest woman in the universe 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, using her skills to launch quick counterattacks against the Annihilation Wave. She engages in a sexual relationship with the United Front's leader, Nova.
During the Phalanx's invasion of the Kree home-world following the Annihilation War, Gamora is assimilated as a "select" of the hive mind. They dispatch her to apprehend Nova after he flees the planet. She's later freed by Nova and the Technarch Tyro, but left in severe distress, longing again for the sense of companionship brought by the Phalanx, and continuing to adopt her Phalanx mannerisms.
Gamora was taken prisoner by Magus when he faked the death of himself and several other Guardians. She was rescued by Star-Lord and played a minor role in the war with the "Cancerverse."
She later appears on Earth to aid the Avengers against Thanos.
Powers and abilities
Gamora received treatments from Thanos that enhanced her speed, strength, agility, and durability to rival Adam Warlock's (to better slay the Magus, his evil future self). Thanos also helped her become a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, trained in the martial arts techniques from various planets, in the uses of the known weaponry of the Milky Way Galaxy, and stealth techniques. She is also a highly skilled gymnast and assassin, and formerly possessed a telepathic link to Thanos. She uses a wide variety of weaponry, most notably a dagger whose unknown properties made it capable of slaying even beings of such immense power as Thanos and the Magus.
In the pages of Infinity Watch, it is revealed that Gamora had been cybernetically enhanced to have superhuman strength, speed, and a rapid healing ability. Gamora's strength and speed were further enhanced by Adam Warlock when they returned from Soulworld.
Gamora is one of the most skilled martial artists in the Marvel Universe. She is capable of defeating opponents who possess superhuman strength and durability that far surpass her own, and she has defeated a military platoon containing dozens of combat-trained men in only a few minutes. She has learned to paralyze or kill opponents using vital point strikes directed at certain nerve clusters. Although skilled in the use of most conventional weapons, she prefers to use knives and swords.
While Gamora was with the Infinity Watch, she possessed the Infinity Gem called the "Time Gem". The gem was mentally linked to her, giving her the potential power to control time. She said that she did not know how to employ its powers and preferred not to use it. While she possessed the Time Gem, Gamora was prone to precognitive dreams and visions, though she had no conscious control over them.
In other media
- Gamora is featured in the Silver Surfer episodes "Learning Curve: Part Two", "Antibody", and "Radical Justice". She was initially voiced by Mary Long, and later by Alison Sealy-Smith.
- Gamora appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Guardians of the Galaxy", voiced by Nika Futterman. She is seen as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In the episode "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy," Gamora was seen recuperating on the Guardians of the Galaxy's spaceship when they land on Earth at the time when Titus leads the Chitauri into targeting Nova's helmet. When she recovers in time to help fight Titus' forces, she voiced her disdain that they had to land on Earth. After Titus was defeated and the remaining Chitauri escape, Nick Fury was displeased that Gamora showed up on Earth again when she said that she wouldn't return. Gamora stated "I lied" and then left with the Guardians of the Galaxy with Titus in their custody.
- Gamora appears in the Avengers Assemble episode "Guardians and Spaceknights", voiced again by Nika Futterman.
- Gamora appears in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "It's a Wonderful Smash", voiced again by Nika Futterman.
- Gamora makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the animated direct-to-video film Planet Hulk. She was seen as an audience member in the Sakaar arena.
- Zoe Saldana plays Gamora in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, which was released on August 1, 2014. After her family was killed by Thanos when she was a child, she was tortured and raised as an assassin, only to rebel against him when she learned of his plans to destroy an entire planet. Attempting to claim an orb sought by Thanos and Ronan the Accuser to sell it to the Collector, she allies with the other Guardians to escape prison, but after Ronan claims the orb, revealed to contain an Infinity Stone, she decides to fight alongside the Guardians to reclaim it and stop Ronan despite the odds against them, stating that, after living among enemies for years, she would be glad to die beside friends.
- Gamora is a playable character in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Gamora will be playable in the upcoming video game Disney Infinity 2.0.
- Gamora was featured in the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection in 2012. Her number in the series is 189.
- A Gamora figure is part of the Marvel Legends line based on the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
- Richards, Dave (14 October 2012). "NYCC: Bendis, McNiven & Wacker Relaunch the "Guardians of the Galaxy"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
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