Groot, as a character, rose to prominence with his inclusion into the Guardians of the Galaxy movies that became a planetary hit. Today, Groot is commonly associated with an adorable and selfless talking tree that became the symbol of the Guardians. But, little do people know that Groot is actually among the oldest Marvel characters, and his origins are shrouded in mystery and villainy. Groot was, at some point, so evil he posed quite a threat to people, and today, we’re going to analyze that aspect of his character.
Groot is an older character with terrifying origins
This new and adorable version of Groot that we know today is fairly new, but the older version, which had to be revamped for obvious reasons, was introduced back in the 60s’ in ‘Tales to Astonish’ #14. This older version of Groot came at a time when the world was collectively obsessed with science fiction, and stories like that were really successful regarding the general public, so what better than to introduce it as a talking tree from space and have a scientist fight it?
So, as the story goes, Groot was sent from Planet X, which is known as a planet populated by vicious Flora Colossi species. Even though they are the same thing as Groot, Groot is actually the exception when it comes to his kind. Flora Colossi actually despises mammals and similar life forms, and the only value they see in those types of life forms is in terms of research.
So, this first evil version of Groot was sent to Earth to collect information about human beings, and he landed in a forest near a small town in the USA. Scientist Leslie Evans and his wife Alice were traveling from somewhere when they witnessed what appeared to be a UFO falling from the sky, leaving a bright trail among stars. The next day, Leslie went to examine the crash site and found Groot.
Not only was the thing that fell from the sky alive, but it was growing larger by the minute as Groot consumed the nearby trees and wooden objects to balloon to incredible sizes.
Sure of his victory, Groot announced his presence to the small town near which he crashed. He told humans that he planned to use them as test subjects and aimed to bring them home back to his Planet X. Humans resisted, but conventional weapons couldn’t do anything against Groot.
His thick hide was solely made of wood so hard that almost nothing could penetrate him. Groot already had a plan in place. Due to his command of the tree and plant life, he could actually manipulate the branches and roots of the tree.
First, he made trees close all over the small town, and then he made the tree roots uproot the town from the ground so the entire town could be transported to Planet X more easily.
Leslie managed to escape from the town and evade Groot because the wooden behemoth couldn’t match his running speed. Leslie was mocked and ridiculed for running away, but it wasn’t that the scientist was a coward. He merely realized the futility of fighting against Groot using conventional weapons such as torches and bullets because, obviously, neither could harm him.
How was evil Groot defeated?
Soon after escaping Groot, Leslie starts working in the laboratory, looking for a way to defeat the monster. His own wife demeaned him for not joining other men in the fight. In any case, realizing that weapons can’t penetrate Groot’s hide, he turned to biological warfare instead.
Leslie Evans bred a special, engineered species of termites that were especially hungry and aggressive. He returned to the small town and released them, and they started eating away Groot’s hide nearly instantly. After being partially eaten, Groot collapsed to the ground in a state of shock, and everyone assumed that he had died, but in reality, he managed to survive this.
Evil reappeared a few other times, now known as Groot XXCVII
Following his defeat, a sample of Groot’s DNA was taken and kept somewhere at a secure location until the titan Xenmu stole the classified files and constructed replicas of Groot, among other monsters. He pits those monsters against Hulk, and Hulk luckily ends up victorious, the monsters washing away in the chaos of the fights.
Hulk, however, does not kill Groot because he will later be captured by Dum-Dum Dugan and forced to join the Howling Commandos. Groot and Glob were acquired on the same day. At one point, Groot’s career with the commandos ends, but later, he can be seen on the Monster Isle when Shadowcat and Magik visit the place.
How strong was evil Groot?
Based on everything we’ve seen, the Evil older Groot has pretty much the same powers and abilities as the more recent Groot. He is incredibly strong, his strength being virtually unlimited. He was extremely durable and able to tank everything humans threw at him, even surviving the deadly termite attack.
The older version of Groot also managed to communicate effectively despite his kind being notable for having stiff vocal cords and being able to utter only simple words. As far as his special powers and abilities go, Groot was able to manipulate local flora to a much larger extent. He was also much more bloodthirsty and aggressive.
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