|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||Can absorb wood to feed, rebuild himself, and to enhance his strength
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 Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Dick Ayers, the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960). Groot is the Dutch word for large. An extraterrestrial, sentient tree-like creature, Groot originally appeared as an invader that intended to capture humans for experimentation.
The character was reconfigured into a heroic, noble being in 2006, and appeared in the crossover comic book storyline "Annihilation: Conquest". He 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 a feature in the Ultimate Spider-Man series and also played a very brief role in the Uncanny X-Men series, animated television series, toys, and trading cards. Vin Diesel portrays Groot in the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy via voice acting and performance capture.
Groot first appeared in Tales to Astonish vol. 1 #13 (November 1960), and was created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers. He appeared next in "(Where Monsters Dwell #6)" in 1970, which reprinted his original appearance from Tales to Astonish. He appeared again 16 years later, in The Incredible Hulk Annual #5 (November 1976), alongside five other monsters from Marvel's anthology horror comics of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Twenty-one years later, in Sensational Spider-Man #-1 (July 1997), Groot was featured in a nightmare that the young Peter Parker had.
Groot reappeared in 2006 in the 6 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. He 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 (Mar-Jun 2011) and Annihilators: Earthfall #1-4 (Sept-Dec 2011).
Fictional character biography
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" they try to be friendly by asking for help but end up getting angry with them for not being able to speak (Despite the fact 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.
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 his fellow saplings but instead preferred the company of the "Maintenance Mammals", which the other saplings treated with prejudice. After Groot killed another sapling to defend a maintenance mammal it was brutalising, he was exiled by the "Arbor Masters".
Groot played a part in Annihilation Conquest, at which time he may be the last remaining member of his race and was under arrest by the Kree for an unknown reason. He earned his freedom by joining Star-Lord's strike force where he formed a bond with Rocket Raccoon, who has the ability to understand Groot's language. Groot seemingly died buying his team some time to escape the battle. However, he survived as a sprig offshoot. In time, he regenerated his body from the twig, growing back to full size, and participated in an assault on the Babel Spire. When the original plan of laying explosives in the Spire failed, Groot was forced to sprout inside the Spire, growing to colossal size and filling a large portion of the building. Mantis was able to remix his sap in a way as to make it extremely flammable, and again Groot sacrificed his life for his friends, igniting himself, the resulting fire destroying the Babel Spire. A cutting of Groot was kept by Rocket Raccoon, though, and he was able to regrow. He 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.
During his time with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot took part in all of the team's missions acting as its "muscle", taking on threats like the Badoon, Blastaar, the Negative Zone forces, The Shi'Ar, The Magus and The Cancerverse. During the battle with the Badoon, a rising threat in the galaxy, Groot aided the team by destroying a first generation Badoon "Monster", a giant mechanoid made from the corpses of the Badoon's fallen enemies. Next, Groot played a pivotal part in the War of Kings, a war between The Shi'Ar and The Inhuman/Kree where at the end of the war the Inhuman King of the Kree, Black Bolt, detonated his ultimate weapon — The Terrigen-Bomb. The resulting explosion punched a hole in space/time known as The Fault: a doorway to a universe analogous to our own where there is no death — The Cancerverse. The first creature to come through was a giant squid that instinctively attacked the Inhuman city of Attilan. Groot came up with the idea for a weapon to use on the creature and with the help of the Inhuman prince, Maximus; using highly advanced quantum science, Groot and Maximus developed a Feedback Loop, which uncreates the creature's reality and reimposes our own, unmaking the creature.[volume & issue needed]
Following this attack, Groot fought the Magus, the Avatar of Life and an agent of the Many-Angled Ones, rulers of the Cancerverse, where he lost his arm in battle. However, Groot was able to grow that back very quickly. He then accompanied the Guardians to the capital planet of the Universal Church of Truth (U.C.T.) where he helped protect Moondragon from attacking U.C.T. followers. He then battled Thanos alongside the Guardians after Thanos woke from death. Groot then helped the Guardians infiltrate the Cancerverse, taking on the Defenders of the Realm, the Cancerverse version of the Avengers. Groot was present during the final battle between Lord Mar-Vell and Thanos.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
Groot can absorb wood as food, with the ability to rebuild himself and enhance his strength. He can control trees, using them to attack others, and also appears to be resistant to fire. He is able to sprout, dramatically increasing his mass but also severely inhibiting his movement.
Groot has been seemingly killed on three occasions, each time regrowing from a sprig.
Due to Groot's lineage, coming from an ancient and ennobled sap-line and being the scion of an elite royal house, Groot has received the finest education from the most gifted of tutors. He is highly intelligent and has a tremendous grasp of quasi-dimensional super-positional engineering.
Maximus the Mad, Black Bolt's brother, asserted that whenever Groot is saying his trademark "I am Groot!" he has actually been saying any number of things, and his varying inflections of the sentence are his 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 him 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 his speech, to misinterpret him 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 his thought processes are indeed complex, and his declaration of "I am Groot!" usually represents attempts at highly intelligent communication.
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot (2013) collects: the story from Marvel Preview #7, Incredible Hulk #271, Rocket Raccoon #1–4, Annihilators #1–4, and Annihilators: Earthfall #1–4.
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.
- Groot appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Guardians of the Galaxy", voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan. Duncan's work in this episode was completed shortly before his untimely death in 2012 from a heart attack and the episode was dedicated in his memory. Groot is first seen in stick form as he kept saying "I am Groot." When Spider-Man throws Groot, he grows to full size and defeats Korvac and some of the Chitauri soldiers. In the final parts of the episode, two irises open up as Groot quotes "I am Groot" and Spider-Man quotes "He is Groot." In "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy," Groot (now voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) is with the Guardians of the Galaxy when they land on Earth 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 the Avengers Assemble episode "Guardians and Spaceknights" voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- Groot will appear in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., with Kevin Michael Richardson reprising the role.
- Groot appears in the 2014 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Guardians of the Galaxy, voiced by Vin Diesel (who 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 the adult Groot. When sacrificing himself, he actually speaks another phrase, "We are Groot", which implies a bond formed between the heroes, but contradicts the notion of his speech only sounding like "I am Groot" due to his inflexible larynx. However, 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.
- Groot is a playable character in Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition
- Groot is a playable character in the Marvel: Avengers Alliance game on Facebook.
- A Groot action figure was included with the Guardians of the Galaxy pack in 2011 part of the Marvel Universe toyline.
Due to the popularity of the movie Guardians Of The Galaxy, Groot has been popularized as an internet meme and is commonly portrayed in internet artwork as well as phrases that spread such as "I am groot." or "We are groot.", the two sentences stated throughout the movie. Since the movie released, the phrase and artwork has spread through Reddit, Imgur, DeviantArt, and several other sites.
- Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #17
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