In the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Drax and Mantis seemingly confirm that a race of Transformers-like robot vehicles exists in the MCU.
In The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday SpecialDrax seemingly confirms that Transformers live somewhere in the MCU. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special not only unites Peter Quill with his idol Kevin Bacon, but also reveals a handful of important details about the MCU. For instance, it reveals that Mantis is Star-Lord’s sister, that many real-life actors live in the same universe as the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers, and that other non-Marvel pop culture franchises are widely known within the MCU.
When Drax The Destroyer and Mantis visit Hollywood, they meet cosplayers who wear costumes from Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, and the Avengers themselves. But just like Mantis mistakes a Captain America cosplayer for the real Steve Rogers, Drax thinks a Transformers cosplayer is the GoBot robot that killed his cousin. What makes this reveal even more surprising is that Mantis explicitly refers to GoBots, a more obscure brand of robots than Transformerswhich apparently exists somewhere out there in the MCU.
Why GOTG Proves The MCU & Transformers Is A Shared Universe
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is a very meta chapter of the MCU with the appearance of Kevin Bacon, cosplayers, and the mention of DC’s Batman. With Kevin Bacon’s recollection of Footless spirit Friday the 13th, it also reminds audiences of Star-Lord’s Earthly origin and his limited knowledge of Earth pop culture beyond the late 1980s. The fact that Mantis already knew such a tragic piece of Drax’s backstory suggests that, in fact, a Transformer-like robot did in fact murder Drax’s cousin, but it may also suggest that Drax started calling them “GoBots“ because Peter Quill associated them with Transformers‘ competing line of robot toys from the ’80s.
Still, that means that living robots that can transform into vehicles probably exist in the MCU. This may not be shocking after the introduction of MCU vampires, werewolves, demons, gods, and wizards, but it can bring major implications. An entire race of Transformers-style robots may be living out their own adventures like the characters from the actual Transformers franchise, possibly with their own extensive lore that may or may not resemble the eternal war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Since the MCU has already explored all kinds of world mythology, horror legends akin to Universal’s monsters, and even the real-life Marvel Studios themselves, incorporating Marvel’s version of GoBots or Transformers into the MCU wouldn’t be out of left field.
Could The MCU & Transformers Actually Cross-Over?
Curiously, the Transformers franchise is closer to Marvel’s MCU and non-MCU characters than expected. While the Transformers are originally a Hasbro property, they began starring in their own Marvel Comics storylines in 1984. Some legal issues have prevented certain characters from being considered canon by Hasbro, but the robots were a success at Marvel for several years. However, Paramount holds the rights to the live action Transformers franchise, which it co-produces and distributes with Dreamworks. Given that even working together on a solo movie for Hulk or Namor is unlikely for Disney and Universal, it’s safe to say that co-producing an MCU-Transformers crossover with Paramount is off the table for Marvel Studios.
Still, some form of highly intelligent robot vehicles could exist in the MCU, albeit not called “Transformers” or “GoBots.” As the music-fuelled Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special demonstrates, namedropping an extraneous character like Batman for the sake of a joke doesn’t really break any copyright rules. However, if the MCU were to introduce an eccentric billionaire vigilante dressed in black, many changes would need to be made, starting with the name.
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