Ego, The Living Planet
Played by: Kurt Russell
First Appearance: Thor #132 (1966)
Good or Bad?: Bad
In the comics: Physically, the character couldn’t be more accurately described than by his moniker: He’s a giant, sentient planet with major egomania. Birthed from the Black Nebula, Ego looks like if Tim Curry’s face were the size of Mars. One of the Elders of the Universe, the Stranger, gave the creature life to do battle with the world of another Elder, the Collector (Benecio del Toro in Guardians of the Galaxy). (Jeff Goldblum’s character in Thor: Ragnarok, the Grandmaster, is also an Elder). As his super-intelligence grew, however, so did his desire for power and conquest. With the ability to control every aspect of his form — a “bioverse” in which his central consciousness commands the weather, the landscape, his own density — and vast psionic powers, Ego is one of the most unstoppable beings in all the Marvel cosmos, even becoming an Elder himself. Feeding off the energy of anything he consumes, he’s destroyed entire systems, fleets of starships, and even once took over the Nova Corps. What it comes down to is he’s a flarking planet; how do you fight that?!
In the movie: From what we’ve seen so far, Ego will take on a Kurt Russell-like visage for much of Vol. 2. Still, the character in the comics has been known to create humanoid forms out of his mass as “antibodies” to battle intruders on his surface or emissaries to interact with lesser beings. It’s possible this is what Russell really is, but his appearance isn’t even the biggest deviation from the comics. In the MCU, Ego is actually Peter Quill’s dad. That honor goes to J’son of Spartax, Emperor of the Spartoi Empire and all-around jackass, in the source material. Though trailers have held back on exactly what role Ego plays in the plot outside of his parental status, it’s a good bet he’ll be up to some no-good deed that turns Star-Lord against him, much as J’son has done numerous times in the books. (Fun fact: The film rights to Ego actually belonged to Fox as part of their Fantastic Four deal, but Marvel regained control of the Living Planet by allowing Fox to change Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s powers in Deadpool.)