First Official Guardians Of the Galaxy Image

The Unusual Suspects line up

Following last year's Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, Marvel's Phase Two continues apace in 2014. The studio's safe bet is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but its wild card is Guardians Of The Galaxy, which has outer space and raccoons and trees. But for those still trying to get their heads round the whole unlikely business, Disney/Marvel have ushered in the New Year with the clearest indication yet of what the film will look like and how it will play out. The first official Guardians still has been released, along with a basic synopsis/set-up.

What are we looking at? Left to right that's Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Groot (Vin Diesel). Which of them provided the most convincing line reading of "Hand me the keys you cocksucker" is unclear at this point.

As for the synopsis, the press release reads thusly:

"An action-packed epic space adventure, Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe.

To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance."

The rest of the cast includes Lee Pace (as the aforementioned Ronan), Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou and Ophelia Lovibond. James Gunn is the director, and Guardians Of The Galaxy is out in the UK on August 1. For more details on Guardians and the Captain America sequel, pick up the brand new, just-out issue of Empire.