Gamora, also known as "The Deadliest Woman In The Universe," was trained as a lethal assassin and master of countless forms of martial arts from across the universe. But there's much more to this deadly damsel than just her fighting skills, as you'll soon discover.
Gamora made her debut in 1975’s Strange Tales #180, as part of writer/artist Jim Starlin’s revamp of the cosmic wanderer known as Warlock. As revealed in Warlock #10, she is the lone survivor of an alien species known as the Zen Whoberis, who in a possible future were slaughtered by the forces of Warlock’s evil self, the Magus. The villain Thanos rescued her for his own purposes, raised her to be the ultimate assassin, and brought her back to our time in hopes of killing the Magus and averting the future where he reigned supreme, which would pose a threat to Thanos’ own plans.
Those plans, as Gamora soon discovered, involved extinguishing every star in the universe in order to appease his mistress Death. Gamora sought to stop him, but Thanos had no compunctions about killing the woman he had raised from childhood, as told in the pages of 1977’s Avengers Annual #7. Warlock found her as she lay dying, and took her soul into his Soul Gem, where she enjoyed a paradisical existence in the reality inside the gem known as Soul World, alongside Warlock and their friend Pip the Troll, who were also subsequently murdered by Thanos.
When Starlin returned to Marvel's cosmic universe in the run-up to 1991’s Infinity Gauntlet event, he brought along with him the cast of characters from his previous epic. In Silver Surfer #46, by Starlin and artist Ron Lim, the Surfer and Drax The Destroyer are absorbed into the Soul Gem, now in the possession of Thanos, and find themselves within Soul World, where they encounter Gamora, Pip, and ultimately Adam Warlock. The trio are alerted by the Surfer to the new threat Thanos poses with all six of the Infinity Gems at his disposal, and they make the decision to return to the harsh reality of the mortal world in order to confront Thanos.
As told in Infinity Gauntlet #1, Gamora and her friends take the bodies of three humans recently deceased in a car crash as new homes for their souls, and they go on to play a key role in defeating Thanos’ schemes and stripping him of the Infinity Gems. Warlock eventually decides that the best way to safeguard the gems is to assign each of them to a chosen protector, a group that would come to be known as the Infinity Watch, with Gamora chosen as the bearer of the Time Gem, an object which gives its owner mastery over all of time. However, Gamora rarely used the gem’s full powers for fear of causing irreparable damage to the timestream, preferring to rely on her own natural fighting skills whenever threats arose. She did, however, occasionally receive visions of the future from the gem, which generally provided her with more anxiety than any real insight into avoiding impending threats.
In time, the gems were lost, although Gamora stayed with Adam Warlock, with whom she had developed a close, sometimes romantic, relationship. In 2002’s Infinity Abyss miniseries, alongside Warlock, she agreed to become the caretaker of a child named Atleza, who was destined to become the very foundation of our reality. But as shown during 2006’s Annihilation event, Gamora left Warlock under as-yet unrevealed circumstances, and returned to her deadly roots having joined a group of deadly female warriors known as the Graces. She is eventually recruited to assist in the war against the forces of the evil Annihilus, forming a romantic relationship with the hero Nova along the way.
After a second cosmic war, this time against the techno-organic marauders known as the Phalanx, Gamora joins the newly-formed Guardians of the Galaxy, and becomes one of the team’s most effective fighters against a wide array of cosmic threats. But when faced with the dual threat of Thanos and the corrupt reality known as the Cancerverse, as shown in 2010’s Thanos Imperative miniseries, her teammates Star-Lord and Nova choose to sacrifice themselves to protect their team and the universe, sending Gamora and the rest of the team out of harm’s way, while they seemingly perish in the ensuing conflagration. Seemingly is the operative word however, as Gamora has been reunited with the comrades she once thought fallen in the pages of Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley’s new Avengers Assemble series, where they once again face the threat of Thanos.
Gamora fits into the proposed concept for the "Guardians" movie of a team of alien convicts, given her background as a trained assassin, which could certainly qualify her for the death sentence on more than a few planets. Not much else has yet been revealed about how she will be portrayed in the film, but if the comics are anything to go by, the denizens of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including one Mad Titan, would be wise to watch their backs.
Previous Galaxy Guides:
» Who is Drax the Destroyer?
» Who is Star-Lord?
» Plotting a Course for "Guardians"
» Gunning for the "Guardians"
» Surfing Across Universes
» Who Should Direct The "Guardians" Movie?
» Who Are The Guardians Of The Galaxy?