The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special adds a new, adorable member to the team: Cosmo the Spacedog – but who is she, and will she play a major role in the MCU?
Once upon a time, the Guardians of the Galaxy were considered niche Marvel characters – with good reason. Even Kevin Feige described them as “obscure.” Be honest, with the exception of comic readers, had you ever heard of them?
Well, 2014 changed that, not only defying expectations critically and financially, but making them a household name and among the MCU’s most popular heroes.
As we head towards Vol. 3, the third (and possibly final) chapter of the space saga, Christmas has come early with the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which features a new member – so, who is Cosmo the Spacedog?
Cosmo the Spacedog is voiced by Maria Bakalova, best known for starring alongside Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
Gunn flipped Cosmo from a male dog to female in the special and Vol. 3 out of respect for the real-life dog behind the character. “Cosmo is based on Laika, a female Soviet space dog who died in orbit in 1957 – I’m just going back to the original source material,” he tweeted.
In the Holiday Special, Cosmo is still getting to grips with her powers, with Rocket trying to help her hone her telekinetic abilities. She will return in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
While this is the first time we’ve really interacted with her in the MCU, she’s appeared before: she growls at Rocket in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, licks the Collector’s face, and briefly appears in Vol. 2 and What If.
In the comics, Cosmo originated on Earth as a Soviet space dog during the Space Race. The pooch was created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and debuted in Nova Vol. 4 #8 in 2008.
He was launched into orbit but was lost in space, somehow eventually drifting to Nowhere, where he became the station’s security chief.
Somewhere along his journey, it’s believed he was mutated by cosmic rays, giving him incredible powers. As per Marvel, Cosmo has “psionic abilities, including both telepathy and telekinetic powers. While the upper limits of these abilities are unrevealed, he uses his telepathy to read minds, even eavesdropping on conversations between Richard Rider, AKA Nova, and the Worldmind when it was housed in Nova’s head.
“Cosmo can telekinetically throw several people across a room at once, even stunning them when needed. He can create psychic shields wide enough to block a corridor and strong enough to deflect energy blasts.”
Cosmo meets the Guardians of the Galaxy after Knowhere is recommended to them as a base, and he went on to assist them in their missions. He also convinced the Silver Surfer to protect the universe from Thanos, so he’s pretty powerful.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is available to stream now. You can sign up for Disney+ here.