|First appearance||Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960)|
|Created by||Stan Lee|
|Team affiliations||Guardians of the Galaxy|
S.H.I.E.L.D. Paranormal Containment Unit
|Notable aliases||Monarch of Planet X |
Groot (//) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960). An extraterrestrial, sentient tree-like creature, the original Groot first appeared as an invader that intended to capture humans for experimentation.
The character was reintroduced as a heroic, noble being in 2006, and appeared in the crossover comic book storyline "Annihilation: Conquest". Groot went on to star in its spin-off series, Guardians of the Galaxy, joining the team of the same name. Groot has been featured in a variety of associated Marvel merchandise, including animated television series, toys and trading cards. Vin Diesel voices Groot and his son (also named Groot) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), while Krystian Godlewski played the character via performance capture in the first film. Diesel will return to voice the character in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022). Baby Groot will return for the upcoming Disney+ short form show I Am Groot. Fred Tatasciore voices Groot on the Disney California Adventure ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. Diesel will return to voice the character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Diesel also voiced Groot as a cameo in the 2018 Disney animated film Ralph Breaks the Internet. Since his film premiere and animated series debut, Groot has become a pop culture icon, with his repeated line "I am Groot" becoming an Internet meme.
Groot first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960), and was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby. "Groot" is the Dutch word for "large", possibly referring to his stature and ability to grow in size. He appeared again in The Incredible Hulk Annual #5 (Oct. 1976), alongside five other monsters from Marvel's anthology horror comics of the late 1950s and early 1960s. In The Sensational Spider-Man #−1 (July 1997), Groot was featured in a nightmare of the young Peter Parker.
Groot reappeared in 2006 in the six-issue limited series Nick Fury's Howling Commandos, and appeared in the Annihilation: Conquest and Annihilation: Conquest – Star-Lord limited series. Groot went on to join the Guardians of the Galaxy in the series of the same name, and remained a fixture of the title until its cancellation with issue #25 in 2010. Groot appeared in its follow-up, the limited series The Thanos Imperative, and, alongside fellow Guardian Rocket Raccoon, Groot starred in backup features in Annihilators #1–4 (March–June 2011) and Annihilators: Earthfall #1–4 (September–December 2011).
The Groot that debuted in Tales to Astonish and the one that was introduced in Annihilation: Conquest were retroactively established as being separate members of the same species in the sixth and final issue of the Groot ongoing series that launched in June 2015. With Infinity Wars in August 2018, however, Groot specifically references the fact that during his first visit to the planet Earth, he had promised to "march across the surface of the planet and doom all who dared to oppose Groot." This seemingly reverted the character's origins to having both eras of Groot referencing the same persona, therefore invalidating the retroactive change from issue six of the Groot series.
Groot is a Flora colossus from Planet X, the capital of the branch worlds. The Flora colossi are tree-like beings whose language is almost impossible to understand due to the stiffness of their larynxes, causing their speech to sound like they are repeating the phrase "I am Groot". Other beings try to be friendly but become angry with the Flora colossi for not being able to speak. (Groot was shown to be capable of speaking not just understandably but eloquently throughout Annihilation: Conquest.) The Flora colossi are ruled over by the "Arbor Masters" and teach the children of the species with "Photonic Knowledge", which is the collected knowledge of the Arbor Masters of the generations and is absorbed through photosynthesis; this is a highly advanced education method, making the Flora colossi geniuses. Planet X's biome is managed by "Maintenance Mammals" which are small raccoon-like beings.[volume & issue needed]
The Flora colossus sapling that would come to be known as "Groot" came from an "Ennobled Sap-line" and was gifted with a tremendous grasp of quasi-dimensional super-positional engineering. Groot did not get along with fellow saplings but instead preferred the company of the "Maintenance Mammals", which the other saplings treated with prejudice. Groot was exiled by the "Arbor Masters" in Guardians of the Galaxy #14 after killing another sapling to defend a maintenance mammal it was brutalizing.
An alternate origin was presented in the Groot ongoing series. In the story, it is revealed that the other Flora colossi had been abducting organisms from other planets, including a young human girl named Hannah. After seeing Hannah, Groot realized that what his people were doing was wrong, and managed to save the child and send her back to Earth. However, for his disobedience, Groot was exiled from Planet X and forced to wander the universe until he met Rocket Raccoon many decades later, where this version of Groot later became a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Yet another alternate origin was presented in "Guardians of Infinity", written by Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez, wherein a woman makes the claim that Groot is a ceiba tree from Ponce, Puerto Rico. According to Puerto Rican folklore, a ceiba tree is believed to possess the spirits of the indigenous Taino population that formerly thrived on the Caribbean island. By her logic, the woman considers Groot to be Puerto Rican.
Fictional character biography
Groot was later revealed to have survived, but was a captive of the Collector and held in his zoo in Canada until Groot and the other captive creatures were freed by the Mole Man. Groot and the other creatures rampaged in New York City until they were stopped by a band of superheroes, and were then dumped through a portal to the Negative Zone.
Groot was later tracked down and captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Paranormal Containment Unit, nicknamed the Howling Commandos, when his tree scent was detected by Sasquatch and Abominable Snowman. While Groot was being held captive, Gorilla-Man talked to Groot about joining the Howling Commandos. When Merlin and his forces attacked the base, the Howling Commandos let Groot and their other captives free, who proceeded to stampede on Merlin's army; Groot was the only one to turn back, offering to join the Howling Commandos. Groot aided the Howling Commandos as they assaulted Merlin's forces.
Guardians of the Galaxy's Groot
A different Groot played a part in Annihilation: Conquest, at which time it was shown Groot may be the last remaining member of the Flora colossi, and was under arrest by the Kree for an unknown reason. Groot earned freedom by joining Star-Lord's strike force, where Groot and Rocket Raccoon formed a bond, Rocket being one of the few beings with the ability to understand Groot's language. Star-Lord's team fought their way through the Phalanx, but after the death of Deathcry the team decided to escape through a drainage pipe that Groot could not fit into.
As a consequence of the battle, Groot dies, buying the team some time to escape. A new Groot was created as a sprig offshoot and went on to accompany the team on their continued mission against the Phalanx, but was one of the team members captured by the Phalanx. Groot and the others were freed by Mantis, and escaped back to the lines of the Kree's resistance. In time, Groot's body regenerated from the twig, growing back to full size. Groot and the others intended to carry on as part of Star-Lord's team.
Groot and the team returned to Hala to prepare another assault against the Phalanx, but their agent Blastaar was captured by the Phalanx and taken to their Babel Spire as he tried to carry Groot's pollen spores. Groot and Rocket Raccoon continued their mission by sneaking into the sub-basement of the Babel Spire. When Star-Lord was captured by Ultron, the original plan of laying explosives in the Spire failed, so Rocket Raccoon and Groot needed to come up with a new plan. Groot decided to sprout inside the Spire, growing to colossal size and filling a large portion of the building.
Mantis was able to remix Groot's sap in a way as to make it extremely flammable, and again Groot died for the team, this time by purposefully igniting so the resulting fire would destroy the Babel Spire. A cutting of Groot was kept by Rocket Raccoon, though, and Groot was again able to regrow. Groot then joined the new Guardians of the Galaxy (or, as Groot would have it, "Groot and Branches"), and began regrowing under the care of Mantis.
During the 2015 Secret Wars storyline, Groot is with the Guardians of the Galaxy when they take part in the incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610. Groot and Rocket Raccoon are killed by the Children of Tomorrow. However, when Peter Quill — one of the few survivors of the incursions from Earth-616 — finds himself confronted by Black Swan in the castle of Emperor Doom, he reveals that he has been carrying a small twig of Groot in his pocket ever since the incursion, slamming it into the roots of the World Tree and causing Groot to transform the giant tree into his body, decimating Doom's castle as the surviving heroes mount their final assault.
During the "Civil War II" storyline, Groot and the Guardians of the Galaxy are summoned by Captain Marvel to help her in her fight against Iron Man's side when it came to the fate of the Inhuman Ulysses Cain. The resulting battle damaged the Guardians of the Galaxy's ship stranding them on Earth.
During the "Secret Empire" storyline, Groot and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy assist Captain Marvel, the Alpha Flight Space Program, members of the Ultimates, Hyperion, and Quasar in intercepting a fleet of Chitauri that are approaching Earth until a Hydra-aligned Steve Rogers activated the Planetary Defense Shield trapping those fighting the Chitauri outside of Earth's atmosphere. Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot try to enlist representatives of the Skrulls, Kree, Brood, Shi'ar and Spartax empires that are on the Galactic Council in helping against the Chitauri hordes and to break down the Planetary Defense Shield and get rid of Hydra. Realizing they are now facing a galaxy without human interference, the Galactic Council refuses aid and attempt to kill the three Guardians as they flee. After the Planetary Defense Shield is shut down, Groot and the Guardians of the Galaxy join the final battle against Hydra.
Rocket Raccoon and Groot are on their way to the Stohlad Ring when they are ambushed by Gardener where he shattered Groot because the Guardians of the Galaxy "corrupted" him and diverted him from his true purpose. Rocket Raccoon escaped with a splinter where Groot grew a new body from it.
During the "Infinity Countdown" storyline, Groot was with the Guardians of the Galaxy when they notice that the planet Telferina is under attack by the Flora Colossi that Gardener grew from Groot's splinters. Groot got close to Gardener and used his healing powers to purge the poison that Loki put in him from his body. Gardener repaid Groot by using his abilities to restore Groot back to his previous size. In addition, Groot can now speak in full sentences and refers to himself in the third person.
Powers and abilities
Groot can absorb wood as food, and has the ability to regenerate. Groot can control trees and plants, using them to attack others, and appears to be resistant to fire. Groot is able to sprout dramatically increasing mass which then severely inhibits movement.[volume & issue needed]
Groot has been seemingly killed on multiple occasions, each time regrowing from a sprig.[volume & issue needed]
"I am Groot"
Black Bolt's brother Maximus the Mad asserted that whenever Groot is saying the trademark "I am Groot!" he has actually been saying a number of things, and his varying inflections of the sentence are the equivalent of words and sentences. People who have interacted with Groot are gradually able to decipher the meaning of the inflections and can carry on full conversations with Groot as time goes on. The mature form of Groot's species is robust and heavyweight, which causes the organs of acoustic generation to become stiff and inflexible. It is this nature of Groot's larynx that causes people, who are oblivious to the subtle nuances of Flora Colossi speech, to misinterpret Groot as merely repeating his name. It could not be determined whether Maximus's claim was true or merely another manifestation of his madness, though Groot did genuinely seem to be assisting Maximus with highly advanced engineering. Later, in All New X-Men #23, Jean Grey telepathically links with Groot, showing that Groot's thought processes are indeed complex, and the declaration of "I am Groot!" usually represents attempts at highly intelligent communication.
In Avengers: Infinity War, which takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor states that Flora colossi is offered as an elective in Asgardian schools and is his explanation for his ability to understand Groot.
Director James Gunn was later cited, during an interview, claiming Thor had meant that as a joke; Groot's language is actually NOT taught as an elective on Asgard. This claim as well as the other evidence and claims regarding Groot's speech had led to create what is regarded as a bit of a "plot-hole".
Director James Gunn also claimed during a different interview that Groot is indeed speaking a language and conveying meaning and though that is more complicated than the simple phrase he is known to utter perpetually, however the ability to understand the meaning behind Groot's vocalizations is only established after time had been spent creating a bond between Groot and the party trying to understand him. An example of that explanation can be seen in the form of Rocket Raccoon's understanding of Groot, as a result of their extremely close bond.
Ultimately, regardless of the fact that there have been multiple "attempts", if you will, at explaining the meaning behind Groot's catch-phrase/entire-personal-thesaurus, those explanations hold little-to-no weight in actually putting our curious minds to rest. There have been multiple in-story comments regarding it, as well as multiple explanations offered by the creators of different media involving Groot, given to us in the real world, yet every bit of information seems to contradict the rest. Needless to say, there's not too many other simple, 3-word phrases that SO MANY people have seem to have put SO MUCH thought into.
In other media
- Groot appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, voiced by Troy Baker. He (along with the other Guardians of the Galaxy) appear in the episode "Michael Korvac".
- Groot appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, initially voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan (in "Guardians of the Galaxy"), and later by Kevin Michael Richardson (for subsequent episodes). He first appears in the episode "Guardians of the Galaxy" in his stick form before later growing to his full size to defeat Korvac and some of the Chitauri soldiers. At the end of the episode, two irises briefly open up as Groot says 'I am Groot' and Spider-Man says 'He is Groot', a dedication due to Duncan's passing in 2012 where the episode was dedicated in memory of him. Groot returns in "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy" alongside the other Guardians to repair their spaceship at the same time when Titus was leading the Chitauri army into targeting Nova's helmet. While on Earth, Groot blended in by posing as a tree in front of Aunt May's house. The episode "Return to the Spider-Verse" Pt. 2 featured an alternate version of Groot who resides in a pirate reality and is the sentient pirate ship of Web Beard with his head being the figurehead of the pirate ship.
- Groot appears in Avengers Assemble, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- Groot appears in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., with Kevin Michael Richardson reprising the role.
- Groot appears in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Masato Funaki.
- Kevin Michael Richardson reprises his role in the animated series Guardians of the Galaxy. The episode "Origins" revealed that Groot's planet was invaded by Ronan the Accuser and Groot was the last of his kind once Ronan's army was done with the Flora Colossus. In the episode "Can't Fight This Seedling", Star-Lord fell into the green thing within Groot while fighting the parasitic fungus and had a vision that the green thing can be used to recreate the Flora Colossus race. Baby Groot appears in "Mission: Breakout", the title of the third season.
- Groot appears in the Christmas TV special Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight!, voiced again by Kevin Michael Richardson. In order to obtain money to repair their ship, Groot and Rocket Raccoon take up the bounty to apprehend Santa Claus where they have an encounter with Mrs. Claus.
- Groot appears in the Rocket & Groot shorts, voiced again by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- Groot appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat, voiced again by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- Groot appears in Spider-Man with his child form voiced by Connor Andrade. Star-Lord sends him to Earth to carry a message to Spider-Man. As Spider-Man and Miles can't understand his language, they take him to Avengers Tower hoping that Tony Stark's technology can help. They meet with Ironheart and her A.I. Not Tony while protecting Groot from A.I.M. and Baron Mordo. When A.I.M. makes off with Groot to A.I.M. Island as part of Baron Mordo's plan to create Wood Golems, Spider-Man and Ironheart arrive where they run into Amadeus Cho's Hulk form who helps them fight A.I.M. and Baron Mordo. Groot is freed after A.I.M. and Baron Mordo are defeated and the Wood Golems are sent to the Unknown Realms. The message that Doctor Strange decoded stated that the Symbiotes are heading to Earth. In the episode "Vengeance of Venom," Groot is among the heroes that get possessed by the Symbiotes. Max Modell later captures Groot and plans to use a sonic device on Groot so that his pollination abilities mixed with the Symbiote can create the Anti-Venom symbiote. Once that was done and those possessed by the Symbiotes are cured, Doctor Strange took the Anti-Venom-possessed Groot to the Guardians of the Galaxy so that they can be cured as well.
- On December 2020, I Am Groot, a series of animated short films starring Baby Groot, was announced for the Disney+ streaming service.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Groot appears in the 2014 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Guardians of the Galaxy, voiced by Vin Diesel (who performed the voice work for a number of languages the movie was released in and also provided some motion capture elements for the character). Although initially simply described as Rocket's hired muscle, he shows a softer side throughout the film, growing a flower to give to a little girl and saving Drax the Destroyer's life even after Drax's actions brought Ronan the Accuser's forces to them. He agrees with Peter Quill's plan to stand up to Ronan, and later seemingly sacrifices himself to save the rest of the team by enveloping them in a wooden ball grown from himself as Ronan's ship crashes. At the film's conclusion, Rocket has recovered a twig from Groot, which is shown to be regrowing into a miniature Groot. When sacrificing himself, he actually speaks another phrase, "We are Groot", which implies a bond formed among the heroes.
- Vin Diesel again voices and motion-captures Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, released in May 2017. Still a small child in the film, Baby Groot continues to travel with the Guardians, but displays childlike behaviours, such as dancing to music while the rest of the team are trying to defeat a monster. He is briefly captured by the Ravagers, along with Rocket and Yondu, while Quill, Drax and Gamora are visiting Quill's father Ego, but when the Ravagers mockingly decide to make him their mascot, Groot is able to help Rocket and Yondu escape capture and go to assist the other Guardians in the confrontation with Ego. In the final battle, Groot is entrusted with planting a bomb on Ego's core as the only person small enough to fit through the cracks, although he was initially unable to remember which button on the bomb would start the timer and which would set it off immediately. In a mid-credits sequence, Groot has grown to a rebellious adolescent stage.
- Diesel reprised his role again in the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War, with Groot in his adolescent form from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In the film, Groot displays a rebellious and defiant attitude; when Quill tells him to put his portable video game away, his snide "I am Groot" response evokes shocked reactions from the other Guardians. Groot accompanies Rocket and Thor (who is capable of understanding him) to Nidavellir, where Thor asks the dwarf king Eitri to forge a weapon. He assists Eitri in molding the weapon, and severs one of his arms, which forms the handle of Thor's new weapon, Stormbreaker. He later joins the rest of the Avengers and Rocket in the battle of Wakanda. Groot is one of the victims of Thanos after he claims all of the Infinity Stones and wipes out half of all life in the universe, resulting in his second death.
- Diesel reprised the role in the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame, where Groot is revived when Bruce Banner activates the Infinity Stones. He is later shown along with the rest of the revived Guardians taking part in the final battle against Thanos and his forces, and attends Tony Stark's funeral after he sacrifices himself to defeat Thanos. Groot later departs Earth with the other Guardians, with Thor as their newest member.
- Groot will return in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
- Diesel voices Baby Groot in the 2018 Disney Animation film, Ralph Breaks the Internet. On the Oh My Disney! site, he answers questions about the Marvel characters by quoting "I am Groot" until Vanellope Von Schweetz crashes the inquiry and gives the visitors a pop-up ad for Wreck-It Ralph's video.
- Groot appears as a summon skill for Rocket Raccoon called "My Friend Groot", in Marvel Heroes. He also appears in the game as a team-up hero.
- Groot appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Troy Baker.
- Groot was a playable character in the Marvel: Avengers Alliance game on Facebook.
- Groot is a playable character in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes and Disney Infinity 3.0 voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. He is playable in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Marvel Battlegrounds" playsets.
- Groot is a playable character alongside Rocket Raccoon (both "Most Wanted" and "Awesome Mix Volume 2") in Marvel Puzzle Quest.
- Groot is a playable character in Marvel Contest of Champions.
- Groot is a playable character in Marvel: Future Fight.
- Groot appears in Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, voiced by Adam Harrington.
- Groot appears in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite as part of Rocket Raccoon's assist call-based moves during Rocket's gameplay. Kevin Michael Richardson reprises his role.
- Groot is as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, voiced by Stefan Ashton Frank. He has three variations including Small Groot (based on Baby Groot from the second film), Small Groot with a Ravager uniform, and normal-sized Groot.
- Groot is playable in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, with Adam Harrington reprising his role from Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series. He and Rocket are playable as a duo, with Groot attacking enemies with close-range melee attacks while Rocket rides perched on his shoulders, using his firearms for ranged attacks.
- Groot is an outfit and backbling in Fortnite Battle Royale Chapter 2, Season 4, which has been titled "Nexus War".
- A Groot action figure was included with the Guardians of the Galaxy pack in 2011 part of the Marvel Universe toyline.
- A Rocket Raccoon and Groot figure set with a "Dancing Baby Groot" will be released by Hot Toys.
- Funko announced the "Dancing Groot Funko POP" vinyl figure on August 26, 2014 and released it shortly after Christmas 2014.
- Groot has appeared 11 times in the miniature game HeroClix, often alongside Rocket Raccoon.
- Groot appeared in a fake trailer for Season 2 of The Mandalorian as a toy that teenage Yoda had.
- The adult version of Groot is sometimes available at Disney California Adventure as a meet and greet character, in front of the Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout ride.
- Baby Groot appears in the ride Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout at Disney's California Adventure, voiced by Fred Tatasciore. He and the other Guardians are captured by the Collector and have to be rescued by Rocket and the guests. In the Halloween version of the ride titled "Monsters After Dark", the Guardians accidentally left Groot behind during their escape, so Rocket goes back and has the guests distract Surtur's Fire Dragon so they can escape.
Groot was ranked #16 on a listing of Marvel Comics' monster characters in 2015.
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot: The Complete Collection (softcover, April 2013, ISBN 978-0-7851-6713-6) collects: a story from Tales to Astonish #13, the story from Marvel Preview #7, The Incredible Hulk #271, Rocket Raccoon Vol. 1 #1–4, Annihilators #1–4, and Annihilators: Earthfall #1–4.
- Groot (hardcover, February 2016, ISBN 978-0785195528) collects: Groot (2015) #1-6
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot Vol. 0: Bite and Bark (softcover, October 2016, ISBN 978-1302902186) collects: Rocket Raccoon Vol. 2 #1-11, Groot #1-6, and material from Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow's Avengers #1.
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot Vol. 1: Tricks of the Trades! (softcover, August 2016, ISBN 978-0785199731) collects: Rocket Raccoon & Groot #1-6.
- Rocket Raccoon & Groot Vol. 2: (softcover, November 2016, ISBN 978-0785199748) collects: Rocket Raccoon & Groot #7-10, TBD.
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Groot was once an almost forgotten Kirby Kreature of the pre-Marvel Age until fans became hooked on a feeling and fell in love with this space Ent.