|First appearance||Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Team affiliations||Guardians of the Galaxy
S.H.I.E.L.D. Paranormal Containment Unit
|Notable aliases||Monarch of Planet X|
|Abilities||Ability to absorb wood to feed, rebuild self, and enhance strength and control trees
Resistance to fire
Groot (also known as the Monarch of Planet X) is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers, the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960). An extraterrestrial, sentient tree-like creature, Groot originally appeared as an invader that intended to capture humans for experimentation.
The character was reintroduced as a heroic, noble being in 2006, and appeared in the crossover comic book storyline "Annihilation: Conquest". Groot went on to star in its spin-off series, Guardians of the Galaxy, joining the team of the same name. Groot has been featured in a variety of associated Marvel merchandise, including animated television series, toys, and trading cards. Vin Diesel voices Groot in the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy, and Krystian Godlewski plays the character via performance capture. Groot means "big" in Dutch and Afrikaans.
Groot first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 (Nov. 1960), and was created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers. Groot appeared again in The Incredible Hulk Annual #5 (Oct. 1976), alongside five other monsters from Marvel's anthology horror comics of the late 1950s and early 1960s. In The Sensational Spider-Man #-1 (July 1997), Groot was featured in a nightmare of the young Peter Parker.
Groot reappeared in 2006 in the six issue limited series Nick Fury's Howling Commandos, and appeared in the Annihilation: Conquest and Annihilation: Conquest – Star-Lord limited series. Groot went on to join the Guardians of the Galaxy in the series of the same name, and remained a fixture of the title until its cancellation with issue #25 in 2010. Groot appeared in its follow-up, the limited series The Thanos Imperative, and, alongside fellow Guardian Rocket Raccoon, Groot starred in backup features in Annihilators #1-4 (March–June 2011) and Annihilators: Earthfall #1-4 (Sept.-Dec. 2011).
Fictional character biography
Groot is an extraterrestrial plant monster who initially came to Earth seeking humans to capture and study. Groot was seemingly destroyed by termites used by Leslie Evans. Xemnu made a duplicate of Groot that was used to fight the Hulk but it was destroyed in the battle. Groot was later revealed to have survived, but was a captive of the Collector and held in his zoo in Canada until Groot and the other captive creatures were freed by the Mole Man. Groot and the other creatures rampage in New York City until they are stopped by a band of superheroes, and are dumped through a portal to the Negative Zone. Groot was later tracked down and captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Paranormal Containment Unit, nicknamed the Howling Commandos. While Groot was being held captive, Gorilla-Man talked to Groot about joining the Howling Commandos. When Merlin and his forces attacked the base, the Howling Commandos let Groot and their other captives free and they stampeded Merlin's army; Groot was the only one to turn back and offered to join the Howling Commandos. Groot aided the Howling Commandos as they assaulted Merlin's forces.
Groot is a Flora colossus from Planet X, the capital of the branch worlds. The Flora colossi are tree-like beings whose language is almost impossible to understand due to the stiffness of their larynxes, causing their speech to sound like they are repeating the phrase "I am Groot". Other beings try to be friendly but become angry with the Flora colossi for not being able to speak. Groot was shown to be capable of speaking not just understandably but eloquently throughout Annihilation: Conquest. The Flora colossi are ruled over by the "Arbor Masters" and teach the children of the species with "Photonic Knowledge", which is the collected knowledge of the Arbor Masters of the generations and is absorbed through photosynthesis; this is a highly advanced education method, making the Flora colossi geniuses. Planet X's biome is managed by "Maintenance Mammals" which are small squirrel-like beings.[volume & issue needed]
The Flora colossus sapling that would come to be known as "Groot" came from an "Enobled Sap-line" and gifted with a tremendous grasp of quasi-dimensional super-positional engineering. Groot did not get along with fellow saplings but instead preferred the company of the "Maintenance Mammals", which the other saplings treated with prejudice. Groot was exiled by the "Arbor Masters".[volume & issue needed] after killing another sapling to defend a maintenance mammal it was brutalizing.
Annihilation and Guardians of the Galaxy
Groot played a part in Annihilation: Conquest, at which time it was shown Groot may be the last remaining member of the Flora Colossi, and was under arrest by the Kree for an unknown reason. Groot earned freedom by joining Star-Lord's strike force where Groot and Rocket Raccoon formed a bond, Rocket being one of the few beings with the ability to understand Groot's language. Starlord's team fought their way through the Phalanx, but after the death of Deathcry the team decided to escape through a drainage pipe that Groot could not fit into.
Groot seemingly died, buying the team some time to escape the battle. Groot survived as a sprig offshoot and went on to accompany the team on their continued mission against the Phalanx, but was one of the team members captured by the Phalanx. Groot and the others were freed by Mantis, and escaped back to the lines of the Kree resistance. In time, Groot's body regenerated from the twig, growing back to full size. Groot and the others intended to carry on as part of Starlord's team.
Groot and the team returned to Hala to prepare another assault against the Phalanx, but their agent Blastaar was captured by the Phalanx and taken to their Babel Spire as he tried to carry Groot's pollen spores. Groot and Rocket Racoon continued their mission by sneaking into the sub-basement of the Babel Spire. When Starlord was captured by Ultron, the original plan of laying explosives in the Spire failed, so Rocket Raccoon and Groot needed to come up with a new plan. Groot decided to sprout inside the Spire, growing to colossal size and filling a large portion of the building.
Mantis was able to remix Groot's sap in a way as to make it extremely flammable, and again Groot died for the team, this time by purposefully igniting so the resulting fire would destroy the Babel Spire. A cutting of Groot was kept by Rocket Raccoon, though, and Groot was again able to regrow. Groot then joined the new Guardians of the Galaxy (or as Groot would have it "Groot and Branches"), and began regrowing under the care of Mantis.
Powers and abilities
Groot can absorb wood as food, and has the ability to regenerate. Groot can control trees, he can form plants, using them to attack others, and appears to be resistant to fire. Groot is able to sprout, dramatically increasing mass but also severely inhibiting movement.[volume & issue needed]
Groot has been seemingly killed on multiple occasions, each time regrowing from a sprig.[volume & issue needed]
Maximus the Mad, Black Bolt's brother, asserted that whenever Groot is saying the trademark "I am Groot!" he has actually been saying any number of things, and his varying inflections of the sentence are the equivalent of words and sentences. People who have interacted with Groot are gradually able to decipher the meaning of the inflections and can carry on full conversations with Groot as time goes on. The mature form of Groot's species is robust and heavyweight, which causes the organs of acoustic generation to become stiff and inflexible. It is this hardened nature of Groot's larynx that causes people, who are oblivious to the subtle nuances of Flora Colossi speech, to misinterpret Groot as merely repeating his name. It could not be determined whether Maximus' claim was true or merely another manifestation of his madness, though Groot did genuinely seem to be assisting Maximus with highly advanced engineering. Later, in All New X-Men #23, Jean Grey telepathically links with Groot, showing that Groot's thought processes are indeed complex, and the declaration of "I am Groot!" usually represents attempts at highly intelligent communication.
In other media
- Groot (along with the other Guardians of the Galaxy) appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Michael Korvac", voiced by Troy Baker.
- In the Marvel animated continuity, Groot first appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Guardians of the Galaxy". In the episode, Groot is voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan whom the episode is dedicated to after the actor's death in 2012. Groot first appears in his stick form before later growing to his full size to defeats Korvac and some of the Chitauri soldiers. Voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, Groot returns in "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy" alongside the other Guardians to repair their spaceship at the same time when Titus was leading the Chitauri army into targeting Nova's helmet. While on Earth, Groot blended in by posing as a tree in front of Aunt May's house.
- Groot appears in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers episode "Guardians of the Galaxy".
- Groot appears in the 2014 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Guardians of the Galaxy, voiced by Vin Diesel (who performed the voice work for a number of languages the movie was released in and also provided some motion capture elements for the character). Although initially simply described as Rocket's hired muscle, he shows a softer side throughout the film, growing a flower to give to a little girl and saving Drax the Destroyer's life even after Drax's actions brought Ronan the Accuser's forces to them. He agrees with Peter Quill's plan to stand up to Ronan, and later seemingly sacrifices himself to save the rest of the team by enveloping them in a wooden ball grown from himself as Ronan's ship crashes. At the film's conclusion, Rocket has recovered a twig from Groot, which is shown to be re-growing into a miniature Groot. When sacrificing himself, he actually speaks another phrase, "We are Groot", which implies a bond formed between the heroes. Early in the film, Rocket explains that Groot hasn't really grasped speech, and his vocabulary only includes the phrase "I am Groot", thus changing the reason for the repeated line. The film also shows, however, that Groot is articulating complex thoughts, it is simply that every phrase in his native language is composed of the phrase "I am Groot" - with the meaning apparently changing depending on the inflections he uses. Rocket himself can actually understand what Groot is saying: for example, when Quill says he has only "12%" of a plan, Groot remarks, "I am Groot", to which Rocket responds "So what 'it's better than 11%', what the hell does that have to do with anything?"
- Groot appears as a summon skill for Rocket Raccoon called "My Friend Groot", in Marvel Heroes. He also appears in the game as a team-up hero.
- Groot is a playable character in the Marvel: Avengers Alliance game on Facebook.
- Groot is a playable character in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- A Groot action figure was included with the Guardians of the Galaxy pack in 2011 part of the Marvel Universe toyline.
- A Rocket Raccoon and Groot figure set with a "Dancing Baby Groot" will be released by Hot Toys.
- Funko announced the "Dancing Groot Funko POP" vinyl figure on August 26, 2014 and released it shortly after Christmas 2014.
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot: The Complete Collection collects the Groot story from Tales to Astonish #13, the Rocket Raccoon story from Marvel Preview #7, The Incredible Hulk #271, Rocket Raccoon #1–4, Annihilators #1–4, and Annihilators: Earthfall #1–4, 264 pages, April 2013, ISBN 978-0785167136
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The potted Groot is a bonus accessory available exclusively to people who order the Hot Toys Rocket Raccoon and Groot figure set from Sideshow Collectibles.
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The Funko Dancing Baby Groot Funko POP Vinyl Figure
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