Yondu on the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy #44 (January 1994). Art by Steve Montano and Kevin West.
|First appearance||Marvel Super-Heroes (vol. 1) #18 (January 1969)|
|Created by||Arnold Drake (writer)
Gene Colan (artist)
|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 a founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy team from the Marvel Multiverse alternate reality known as Earth-691. A second Yondu was introduced later on on present day Earth-616, the main Marvel reality where he is the leader of a group of space pirates known as the Ravagers.
The Earth-691 Yondu is depicted as a blue skinned male with a large red fin protruding from the back of his head and back, a spiritual warrior who can control his arrows via sound waves, most commonly by whistling. Yondu joined Vance Astro and a number of survivors of the Badoon attack on earth's solar system in the 31st Century to become 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 book that ran from 1990 to 1995.
A second version of Yondu was first introduced in the 2014 Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, played by Michael Rooker the character was now a space pirate in present times instead. Subsequently Marvel Comics has introduced a comic book version of that character to the Earth-616 comic book series, where he is a Space Pirate leading a group of pirates known as "The Ravagers". The present day Yondu character has appeared both in the Guardians of the Galaxy animated show as well as being a playable character in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.
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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 thirtieth 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. Despite realizing his mission was pointless, he performs the recon anyway. 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, calling him a stupid creature. They later escape the attentions of Drang, the leader of the local Badoon forces, when Yondu changes the course of his arrow as Vance fires at him as part of an escape plan, pretending he wants to execute Yondu with his arrows, but Yondu gives a call that changes the course and distracts the Badoon. They team up with Charlie-27 of the Jupiter colony and Martinex of the Pluto colony when they come out of a telepod (whose appearance was caused by Starhawk) and form the Guardians of the Galaxy to fight the Badoon.
For the next seven years, the four survivors attacked the Badoon's outposts in the solar system. In 3014 A.D., the Guardians teamed 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-traveled to the 20th Century and met the Defenders. They returned to 3015 A.D. with the Defenders and later met Starhawk. After humanity defeated the Brotherhood of Badoon occupiers, the Sisterhood of Badoon arrived and removed the males from Earth.
Yondu and the Guardians later teamed with the time-traveling Thor, and battled Korvac and his Minions of Menace. Yondu traveled to the present alongside his fellow Guardians, and assisted the Avengers against Korvac. Some time later, in 3017 A.D., Yondu and the Guardians went on a quest to find the lost shield of Captain America. They battled Taserface and the Stark, and defeated the Stark. Yondu's right hand was later destroyed by Interface, and replaced by Martinex with a bionic appendage. Martinex had offered to use their transmutative technology to make him a new hand from his own DNA but Yondu had refused, believing that he should accept the bionic hand as penance for his recent faithlessness and that Anthos was telling him to accept a new philosophy. Yondu would later leave the team when it is revealed that a small enclave of his people have survived on Centauri IV. These Kikaahe (“cave dwellers”) had 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 would not accept his bionic weapon-hand, Yondu allowed the Guardians to use their advanced medical technology to restore his flesh-and-blood hand, making his body whole once more. During their farewells, Vance apologizes for what he had thought was unacceptable treatment of Yondu during their earlier adventurers.
On this Earth, Yondu is the leader of the Ravagers, a group of Space Pirates. Yondu found Peter Quill when the ship he piloted malfunctioned and left him stranded. The Ravagers rescued him as Peter tried to steal his ship. Peter managed to outsmart every member of the crew and even knocked out Yondu before capturing him. After he woke up, Yondu managed to set himself free from his restrains and attacked Peter and gave him a choice between letting himself be released to space without more trouble or get killed right there. Peter instead asked him if he could join his crew. Yondu wasn't sold on the idea. After he found out Peter was like him as both of them are "kids without homes," Yondu changed his mind and let him stay in the ship with the Ravagers as their cleaning boy. Peter decided to stay and try to learn everything he could from space while he was part of the Ravagers.
Powers and abilities
Yondu possesses no superhuman physical powers, but is a natural mystic, like his entire tribe. 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 and rather mystical 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. An apprentice 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 Centuarian 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 direction (but not speed) in response to certain high-octave whistle-sounds some Centaurians can produce. It is not yet known precisely what pitch causes a yaka arrow to move in what way. 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 (2015), 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 was 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 sized, until enlarged by Pym particles. Later, after discovering that some of his people had survived on Centauri IV and realizing that they would not accept his bionic weapon-hand, Yondu asked the Guardians to use their advanced technology to transform it into a duplicate of his original hand, and they did so.
In other media
Yondu appears in the Guardians of the Galaxy TV series, voiced by James Arnold Taylor. Yondu is the one behind Peter Quill's alien abduction and raised him as part of the Ravagers. In the episode "Road to Knowhere", Yondu attempted to sell Korath the Pursuer the Cosmic Seed which was contained in a box. However he was caught and imprisoned during the deal. Star Lord later frees him and The Guardians of the Galaxy accompany him in their escape from the prison. While Starlord attempts to steal the Cosmic seed with Yondu lowering him from a rope when Yondu drops him and escapes, Starlord being the key. In the episode "Hitchin ' a Ride" Yondu attempts to steal the map from Starlord on a planet when he and the Ravagers were attacked by Symbiotes, which broke Yondu's ship. Yondu later captured the Milano to force Starlord to give him the map when he opens Rocket's universal vial, letting out Rocket, Groot's arm, and several symbiotes. Yondu and the remaining Ravagers escape while Rocket blows up their ship with a bomb. In the episode "Space Cowboys" Yondu is hired by the Grandmaster to redirect explosive Moombas to Knowhere. Yondu and the Ravagers battle the Guardians of the Galaxy over the Moombas only for the Nova Corps to arrive. The Nova officers engage Yondu and the Ravagers in a high-speed chase. In the episode "Come and Gut Your Love" it is revealed that Emperor J'Son had Yondu train Starlord to be a skilled criminal and a Ravager.
- Michael Rooker plays Yondu Udonta in the 2014 Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy. In this continuity, armed with an arrow-shaped projectile that he can control through whistling, Yondu is the leader of outlaw mercenaries called the Ravagers. Responsible for Peter Quill's kidnapping, a job contracted by Quill's father, Yondu decides to keep the boy and raise him. Yondu initially chases after Quill after he took an orb-like artifact for himself instead of turning it over to the Ravagers, placing a bounty on Quill's head. After eventually capturing Quill and Gamora, Yondu is persuaded to aid the Guardians in stopping Ronan from destroying Xandar with the promise of claiming the Infinity Stone that was hidden inside the orb. But after Yondu claims the orb from Quill and departs, he later learns that Quill gave him a fake that holds a Troll doll to add to his collection of small figurines, much to his amusement.
- Rooker will reprise the role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, set for release in May 2017. The character will sport a much larger fin in the film, to more closely resemble the look from the original comics.
- 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.
- "Marvel's Old Guardians Up To New Tricks in GUARDIANS 3000". Newsarama.com. 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- Marvel Super-Heroes Vol. 1 #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
- Star-Lord #1
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- "Marvel Entertainment on Twitter: "James Arnold Taylor (@JATactor) will voice Yondu & Cosmo in #DisneyXD's #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy! #GuardiansVoiceCast "". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
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- "Yondu | Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2". Marvelavengersalliance2.com. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- Yondu at the Marvel Universe wiki
- Yondu on Marvel Database, a Marvel Comics wiki
- Yondu at the Comic Book DB