|First appearance||Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (January 1969)|
|Alter ego||Yondu Udonta|
|Team affiliations||Guardians of the Galaxy|
Empathic relationship with all life forms
Yondu Udonta, or simply Yondu (//), is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The original version of the character is depicted as the last survivor of his species in the 31st century, and is a founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy team from the Marvel Multiverse alternate reality known as Earth-691.
Yondu in Earth-691 is depicted as a blue-skinned male with a large red fin protruding from the back of his head and his back; he is a spiritual warrior who can control his killing arrows via sound waves, most commonly by whistling. Yondu joined Vance Astro and other survivors of the Badoon attack on Earth's solar system in the 31st Century, who became known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. As part of the Guardians, Yondu traveled to present-day Earth and became an honorary member of the Avengers. The original Yondu never starred as a solo character in any Marvel Comic books, but was a core member of the team in the Guardians of the Galaxy comic that ran from 1990 to 1995.
A second version of Yondu appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), where he is a space pirate leading one of the factions of "The Ravagers", portrayed by Michael Rooker. After the release of the first film, Marvel Comics introduced a comic book version of the character to the Earth-616 comic book continuity.
The present day Yondu character has appeared in the Guardians of the Galaxy animated TV series and as a playable character in video games.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2015)
The Earth-691 version of Yondu first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (January 1969). According to Roy Thomas, all of the original Guardians of the Galaxy were created in a conference between Arnold Drake and Stan Lee, but it remains uncertain whether each individual character was created by Drake, Lee, or both.
Fictional character biography
Yondu Udonta is a member of the Zatoan tribe, primitive beings native to Centauri IV. He functions as a hunter. His homeworld was the first planet to be colonized by humans that was outside Earth's solar system. Yondu is born in the late 30th century. Yondu's people had fled from contact with overwhelming Earth colonizers who had begun arriving in 2940 A.D.
In 3006 A.D., Vance Astro, an astronaut from Earth, lands on Yondu's planet with an antiquated propulsion ship. Vance encounters Yondu during the latter's trial of manhood. Yondu attacks him, but is repelled by Vance's powers. Vance keeps this secret as Yondu's action was illegal. Yondu works with Vance when the Badoon, an alien race, overtakes the planet later that year. All the other Centaurians are believed to have been slaughtered. Vance and Yondu escape in his ship to fetch help but the Badoon capture them easily. The duo are taken to Earth which, by 3007 A.D., has also been conquered. When questioned, Vance pretends to be unfriendly with Yondu. They later escape and team up with Charlie-27 of the Jupiter colony and Martinex of the Pluto colony, forming the Guardians of the Galaxy to fight the Badoon.
For the next seven years, the four survivors attack the Badoon's outposts in the solar system. In 3014 A.D., the Guardians team with the time-traveling Thing, Captain America, and Sharon Carter to retake New York City from the Badoon forces. In 3015 A.D., the Guardians time-travel to the 20th Century and return to 3015 A.D. with the Defenders and later meet Starhawk. After humanity defeats the Brotherhood of Badoon occupiers, the Sisterhood of Badoon arrive and remove the males from Earth.
Yondu and the Guardians team with the time-traveling Thor, and battle Korvac and his Minions of Menace. Yondu travels to the present alongside his fellow Guardians, and assists the Avengers against Korvac. In 3017 A.D., Yondu and the Guardians go on a quest to find the lost shield of Captain America. They battle Taserface and the Stark, and defeat the Stark. Yondu's right hand is later destroyed by Interface, and replaced by Martinex with a bionic appendage. Yondu later leaves the team when it is revealed that a small enclave of his people have survived on Centauri IV. These Kikaahe ("cave dwellers") escaped death at the hands of the Badoon because the walls of the cavern where they lived contained the mineral trillite ("yaka") which blocks radio waves, thereby shielding them from sensors. Since his newfound people will not accept his bionic weapon-hand, Yondu allows the Guardians to use their advanced medical technology to restore his flesh-and-blood hand. During their farewells, Vance apologizes for what he had thought was unacceptable treatment of Yondu during their earlier adventurers.
The Earth-616 version of Yondu has been identified by writer Sam Humphries as "the great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather of the Yondu in the original Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians 3000." On this Earth, Yondu is the leader of The Ravagers, a group of Space Pirates. Yondu finds Peter Quill when his ship malfunctions and strands him on Earth. The Ravagers rescue him as Peter tries to steal his ship, managing to outsmart every member of the crew and capturing Yondu. After Yondu frees himself from his restraints and attacks Peter, he gives him a choice between letting himself be released into space without more trouble or execution. Peter instead asks to join his crew. Yondu is initially skeptical of this idea, but after he learns Peter, like him, is a homeless orphan, Yondu allows him to stay on the ship with the Ravagers as their cleaning boy. Peter uses the opportunity to learn everything he can from space. Later, Yondu makes him an official Ravager.
Powers and abilities
As a member of the marsupial alien race of the planet Centauri IV, Yondu possesses an intuitive mystical "sixth sense" perception that permits him limited empathic relationships with other lifeforms. The higher the lifeform, the more limited is his empathic potential. Additionally, Yondu possesses an intuitive rapport with nature, particularly with his own world, but also with any world that still possesses natural wildlife. With this rapport, he can sense incongruous elements (foreign bodies or substances) or focus on specific elements within the whole (such as the location of a given plant). He is also sensitive to mystical beings and forces and is able to detect their presence and activities without effort. By going into a trance, Yondu is able to replenish his own inner strength by communing with natural forces.
Yondu is an above average physical specimen of his race. He has slightly more strength and endurance than the average human male. As a hunter, Yondu is an expert in the use of bow and arrow. His ability to whistle with a range of four octaves aids his archery (see Weapons, below). The native Centaurian language is a system of grunts, clicks, and whistles, but Yondu has managed to master the English language, although it is painful for him to speak for too long without resting his throat. He is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, and a highly skilled hunter and tracker. He has extensive knowledge of the social and religious customs of the natives of Centauri IV.
Yondu uses a 5-foot (1.5 m) single curve bow and a quiver of arrows composed of yaka, a special sound-sensitive metal found only on Centauri IV. A yaka arrow can actually change its trajectory in response to certain high-octave whistle-sounds some Centaurians can produce. Yondu is so skillful at controlling his arrows, he can cause an arrow to return to his hand or weave its way through a crowd of people without touching them. Yondu's arrows are 15 inches (38 cm) in length and are very flexible. He carries about 20 of them at one time. In Secret Wars, Yondu utilizes his expertise in archery by shooting "drone-arrows" to give the Guardians an eye in the sky.[volume & issue needed]
Yondu's right hand is replaced for a time by a bionic device called a weapons concealment appendage, a metal cup replacing his right hand. Thus, he could no longer practice archery nor perform functions requiring him to grasp with his right hand. The device can release from within itself a number of weapons, including a mace, a hatchet, a scythe, a barbed spear, and others; when not in use the weapons are concealed within the appendage at a reduced size, until enlarged by Pym particles. Yondu's bionic weapon-hand is later replaced with a duplicate of his original hand.
In other media
- Yondu appears in the Guardians of the Galaxy TV series, voiced by James Arnold Taylor.
- Yondu appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat, voiced again by James Arnold Taylor.
- Michael Rooker is set to reprise his role as Yondu in the Disney+ animated series, What If...?
- Michael Rooker plays Yondu Udonta in the 2014 Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy. In this continuity, armed with a self-propelled arrow that he can control through whistling, Yondu is the leader of a clan of Ravagers, and kidnapped Peter Quill, raising him to be a Ravager. Yondu initially chases after Quill after he takes an orb artifact for himself instead of turning it over to the Ravagers. After it is revealed that the orb holds the Power Stone, and Quill and Gamora are captured by Yondu, Yondu is persuaded to aid the Guardians in stopping Ronan from using the orb to destroy Xandar with the promise of claiming the orb for himself. However, after Yondu claims the orb from Quill and departs, he learns that Quill gave him a fake that holds a Troll doll to add to his collection of small figurines, much to his amusement. Yondu and his lieutenant, Kraglin, reveal in dialogue that it was Quill's father who hired Yondu to kidnap and deliver the young Peter Quill to him, but that they decided not to deliver the boy to him because Quill's father, according to Yondu, was a "jackass".
- Rooker reprised the role in the 2017 film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It is revealed that Yondu and his Ravager clan were exiled from the greater Ravager community after kidnapping Peter and Ego's other children, which broke the Ravager Code. Yondu and his crew are tasked on Contraxia by Ayesha's representatives to track down and capture the Guardians. However, Yondu decides not to capture Quill and the others and instead wants the batteries that Rocket stole from the Sovereign, which infuriates most of the other Ravagers including Taserface who initiates a mutiny, and Yondu is incarcerated with Rocket Raccoon and Groot. He has his fin destroyed in the process by Nebula, which is revealed as the technology enabling him to control his arrow. Yondu subsequently uses a larger fin that more closely resembles his appearance from the comics—identified as the prototype for the fin he wore in the first film- which is retrieved by Groot. With help from this last loyalist Kraglin, Yondu, Rocket, and Groot escape and destroy his ship, killing all the mutineers. Yondu then helps the Guardians defeat Ego, with Rocket and Groot proclaiming him to be part of the team thanks to his actions, and sacrifices his life to save Peter's when they exit the planet's atmosphere, Yondu using the last jetpack but giving Peter the last spacesuit. It is revealed the reason he kept Quill was because he realized Ego had slain all the other children he had sired and summoned back to him and Yondu wanted to protect Peter from that end, thinking of Peter as his son. During Yondu's funeral, Peter declares Yondu his true father. Informed about Yondu's last deeds by Rocket Raccoon, Stakar and the other Ravagers salute Yondu as a hero for his self-sacrifice.
- Yondu appears in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Chris Edgerly. He appears as both a mission giver and playable character. He also appears in Disney Infinity 3.0.
- Yondu is a playable character in Marvel: Future Fight.
- Yondu appears in Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2.
- Yondu appears in Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, voiced by Mark Barbolak. In episode 1, he is seen in a flashback induced by Star-Lord being badly wounded by Hala the Accuser. Yondu tells Peter that Meredith asked him to watch over Peter after her death. If Peter Quill trusts Yondu, he agrees to go along with Yondu who starts to show him his new home. If Peter Quill doesn't trust Yondu, this will cause Yondu to forcefully drag him to his new home. In episode 2, the Guardians of the Galaxy visit Yondu at the Neon District on the planet Rajek where Star-Lord enlists him to help repair the Milano. There is some history between Yondu and Rocket Raccoon where Yondu bought some weapons that Rocket Raccoon sold him. While he helps fix the ship, he does accompany the Guardians of the Galaxy in the event that the player chooses not to accompany Rocket Raccoon to Halfworld resulting in Rocket Raccoon borrowing Yondu's ship.
- Yondu is also a playable character in Marvel Contest of Champions.
- Yondu is a playable character in the match-three mobile and PC game Marvel Puzzle Quest. Yondu was added to the game in August 2017.
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- Marvel Super-Heroes #18
- Marvel Two-in-One #5
- Giant-Size Defenders #5
- Defenders #26-29
- Marvel Presents #3
- Thor Annual #6
- Avengers #167-168, 170, 173, 175-177
- Guardians of the Galaxy #1-4
- Guardians of the Galaxy #16
- Guardians of the Galaxy #25
- Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #2
- Richards, Dave (October 22, 2015). "Humphries & Garron Chronicle the Legendary Rise of 'Star-Lord'". CBR.com
- Humphries, Sam (w), Garron, Javier (a). Star-Lord #1. Marvel Comics.
- Humphries, Sam (w), Garron, Javier (a). Star-Lord #2. Marvel Comics.
- Star-Lord #3. Marvel Comics.
- "Marvel Entertainment on Twitter: "The voice of #Yondu & #Cosmo has voiced The Leader, Spider-Man and Silver Surfer in series & games #GuardiansVoiceCast #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy"". Twitter. 2015-02-19. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- "Marvel Entertainment on Twitter: "James Arnold Taylor (@JATactor) will voice Yondu & Cosmo in #DisneyXD's #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy! #GuardiansVoiceCast "". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- End credits for Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat
- Hughes, William. "Marvel just released an extremely intriguing cast list for Disney+'s animated What If…?". A.V. Club. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
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- Ching, Albert (July 23, 2016). "SDCC: Marvel Studios Reveals Latest Phase 3 Secrets". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 25, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
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- "Netmarble Unveils Guardians of the Galaxy Update for 'Marvel Future Fight'". Marvel Entertainment. June 11, 2015. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- "Yondu | Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2". Marvelavengersalliance2.com. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- "Voice Of Yondu - Guardians of the Galaxy | Behind The Voice Actors". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved December 12, 2017. Check mark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources
- "CHAMPION SPOTLIGHT - YONDU". MARVEL CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS.
- "Piecing Together Marvel Puzzle Quest: Yondu". News - Marvel.com.