main image

KING GROOT

Real Name: Groot

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Flora Colossus) semi-humanoid sentient treeform

Occupation: Monarch of Planet X

Group Membership: Arbor Masters of Planet X

Affiliations: Unrevealed

Enemies: A full-scale hit squad of Killer Clowns from Halfworld, Groot (the King Groot imposter)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Groot XXCVII

Base of Operations: Planet X, capital of the Branch Worlds

First Appearance: Annihilators#1/2 (May, 2011) - see comments

Powers/Abilities: Like all Flora Colossi, King Groot's body is composed of a wood-like substance, possibly the bioreactive dendronic material known as "sentient wood" which is found only on Planet X.

Height: Unrevealed (but well in excess of the 23' height of the Groot who was a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy)

Weight: Unrevealed

Eyes: Two (green)

Bark: Brown

History: Almost nothing is known about the life of the being who is currently the monarch of Planet X.

(Annihilators#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Years ago, this mature Flora Clossus became King Groot, Groot XXCVII, Royal Loftiness of Planet X, Custodian of the Branch Worlds and Ruler of All He Shades.

(Annihilators#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - At some later point, a sapling ran off and began to travel the galaxy while claiming to be Monarch of Planet X.

(Annihilators#1/2-2/2 (fb) - BTS) - After years away, this sapling Groot returned to Planet X where, on arrival, he was arrested and tried for his crimes of deception and impersonating the king. The sapling Groot was found guilty of nineteen serious offences ("tree-son") and exiled to the Isle of Punishment where he began to serve his life sentence of being chained to a training post where he was guarded around the clock by a flock of cyborg Punishment Birds (woodpeckers).

(Annihilators#1/2) - Months later, Rocket Raccoon traveled to Planet X in search of his old friend Groot. After teleporting down to the planet from his friend Ace's spaceship, Rocket found himself in a forest with many trees, some of them huge, all around him. Seeking information about his friend, Rockat began calling out for "King Groot" and was quite surprised when (at least) twelve of the trees around him revealed themselves to be Flora Colossi, each one calling out, "I AM GROOT!" Unable to understand them because of their strong accents, Rocket pulled out a Timely Inc. device and instructed it to do a little translation work. As a Flora Colosus leaned over him, saying "I AM GROOT!", the device reported that he was saying his name was Groot but Rocket dismissed this because his Groot "wasn't a mile-high super redwood" and repeated that he was looking for King Groot. The Flora Colossus replied by saying "I AM GROOT!" again. The device translated this vocalization as a question as to why Rocket had disturbed the Inner Circle of the Arbor Masters and a statement that he was "King Groot, Groot XXCVII, Royal Loftiness of Planet X, Custodian of the Branch Worlds and Ruler of All He Shades." As Rocket reacted with disbelief, the device continued its translation, stating that His Highness believed that the Groot to whom Rocket was referring was one of the Tearaways, the youngsters who live their lives at a faster pace than the slow-growing matures, and that the sapling in question had run off some years back and had traveled the galaxy claiming that he was monarch of Planet X.

   When Rocket asked if Groot had come home again, King Groot said "I AM GROOT!" for a third time which the device translated as a reply that the sapling had returned and, on arrival, he had been arrested and tried for his crimes of deception and impersonating the king. As Rocket again reacted with surprise, the device revealed that the Groot sapling had been found guilty of tree-son and exiled, and that he was currently serving his life sentence, chained to a training post on the Isle of Punishment.

(Annihilators#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Later, after helping Rocket Raccoon and the Undergrowth Resistance of Planet X to extinguish an out-of-control forest fire, the criminal Groot was given a full pardon by the Arbor Masters. King Groot (presumably) supported (or at least did not oppose) the granting of this pardon.

Comments: The "real" Monarch of Planet X, Groot XXCVII, was "created" by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, and Timothy Green II.

   To whom it may concern, "XXCVII" is not a valid Roman numeral since there is more than one smaller number (X) in front of a larger number (C). Given that the imposter Groot had claimed to be King Groot the 23rd, the writer (or the letterer) may have been trying to write "23" in Roman numerals but that would have been "XXIII." As it is, "XXCVII" is nonsense which, if rearranged, could have been meant to be either "CXXVII" (127) or "LXXXVII" (87).

    Despite the language limitations of Groot and his race in most of the 21st century appearances, in Tales to Astonish I#13, Groot was shown to be capable of speaking not just understandably but eloquently during his time on Earth. How and why he could do so then has not been revealed.

    Who is King Groot?

   I wrote this profile in the belief that King Groot first appeared in Annihilators#1/2. After all, since there was a pre-existing profile on the Groot who is a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy and that profile stated that he was the Groot who had first appeared in Tales to Astonish I#13, it follows that this "King Groot" must be a new character.

   However, while working on these very comments, I've come to realize that that may not be what Abnett and Lanning intended. For one thing, the GOTG Groot has been shown to be quite protective of other life forms, unlike the "Monster from Planet X" who came to Earth to abduct a village to be brought back to his world so that their scientists could study and experiment on humans. With that in mind, maybe it really was King Groot who appeared first in Tales to Astonish and then in the Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl one-shot and the Nick Fury's Howling Commandos series. If so, then the other Groot, the runaway who had been impersonating the king, would have first appeared in the Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord miniseries. Of course, this is only speculation on my part since online resources (like Wikipedia, ComicVine, the Marvel Chronology Project and the Marvel Comics Database wiki) all treat the Groot from GOTG as being the character who first appeared in the Tales to Astonish story. I suppose that some sort of "official" determination will eventually have to be made about this situation, one that will probably require that both this profile and the other one be updated. However, until that time, I'm happy with this profile.

    I don't think there’s never been anything in-story that states that TTA I#13 is Groot's (the Guardians one) first appearance. I think this has just been an assumption made by pretty much everyone since they share a name. Annihilators#1 (2nd story) makes it pretty clear that Groot (the Guardians one) wasn't ever a king of anything, and was only passing himself off as one.  It *feels* like the King Groot character should be the one seen in TTA, Monster special, Howling Commandoes, Annihilators#1/2, and that the Guardians Groot should be in Annihilation Conquest: Star-Lord and forward.  
Two cents!
-Daron Jensen

    While I can see where he's coming from, I feel the Groot we've seen all this time was indeed all the same guy. He was impersonating the king back then, he did it later (in fact, if they intended for him to not be the same, I doubt they would have included the stuff about him impersonating KG; it was their way of retconning why he was calling himself that way back when). As far as his persona, do note that he has a major shift in character in Howling Commandos, where he more or less officially becomes a good guy; starting out as his original bombastic self before realizing that's not getting him anywhere and he joins the side of the angels.
--Madison Carter

    Current status quo remains that the Guardians' Groot was the guy from TTA I#13. If some other story changes that, we'll edit the profiles appropriately. At any rate, Donald's suggested "if...then" protocol is included below.
--Snood

Extinct or not

   The idea that the Flora Colossi were extinct was first mentioned in Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord #2 (October, 2007). Two of the Phalanx were discussing a recent biological insertion onto Hala (by Star-Lord's infiltration team) and one of them stated that a standard life form bioscan had revealed that one of the seven was a Flora Colossus. The second Phalanx then mentioned that "that species [was] data-cashed as extinct," but the first Phalanx replied that the data had been updated.

   It was (at least) "six months" later, in Annihilators #1/2 (May, 2011), when Rocket Raccoon went to Planet X, capital of the Branch Worlds, to find his friend and (inadvertantly) met the inner circle of the Arbor Masters. This encounter would seem to provide irrefutable evidence that the Flora Colossi were not extinct.

   Most recently, on the recap page of Guardians Team-Up#8 (September, 2015), Groot (Rocket's friend) was described as someone who "may be the last living member of his race, the Flora Colossi." The story shows Groot and the Silver Surfer involving themselves in an alien war in an attempt to find another of Groot's race. They succeed, in a way, but the Flora Colossus that Groot discovers chained aboard a starship is already dead. So, what happened to the Flora Colossi?

   I later watched the animated "Groot Origins" on YouTube and learned that, in that cartoon continuity, Groot is the last survivor of his species, with all the other Groots having been wiped out by Ronan the Accuser so that he could mine their planet for all of its minerals. So, it looks like the writer of that Guardians Team-Up issue may have gotten the continuities confused. 
--probably...recap pages often contain errors and are not to be considered official continuity--Snood

    On the other hand, maybe it has been decided to retcon the Marvel Comics Universe so that Groot's past will now be consistent with the Marvel Animated Universe? I hope that isn't the case. In my opinion, it's not a good thing when Marvel decides to change their comic book characters so that they more closely resemble TV or movie characters that were based on them in the first place.

I agree, though, I have no problem whatsoever if in-story events make the characters more similar. For example, if WWII Nick Fury was all of a sudden and inexplicably  replaced by "Samuel L. Jackson" Nick Fury in Reality-616, that would be total shite. However, Marvel revealed Fury had a son that looked more like SLJ, and then the senior Fury apparently perished, leaving room for his successor. That's all good.
I can't say it any better than this--Snood:

"A shared universe, like any fictional construct, hinges on suspension of disbelief. When continuity is tossed away, it tatters the construct. Undermines it."

-- Peter David



   If the Groot who appeared in Tales to Astonish I#13 is the actual Monarch of Planet X (a.k.a. King Groot), then all of the "Groot" appearances in any of the Annihilation series and the third Guardians of the Galaxy series should be removed, and something like the following entries should be added to his profile, after his last appearance on Earth and before Rocket met him on Planet X in Annihilators#1/2:

BTS - At some point Groot was allowed to leave S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Howling Commandos team (and Earth) and he returned to Planet X. Or maybe Groot actually escaped Earth and went home.

(Annihilators#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - After returning to Planet X, King Groot learned that a sapling, one of the Tearaways who live their lives at a faster pace than the slow-growing matures, had run off and begun to travel the galaxy while claiming to be the Monarch of Planet X.

Powers:  King Groot has mastered dendrokinesis, the ability to psychokinetically manipulate all wood, both living and dead. King Groot can draw wood from other objects to him and use the materials to re-build his own body or renew his strength. Groot can survive the destruction of his main body provided that a sprig of his form endures and, given time, he can rebuild his entire form from a single sprig.

   King Groot can command trees to come to life, uproot themselves from the ground, and send them "walking" to attack others.

   King Groot possesses superhuman strength and durability, and cannot be harmed by either both bullets or fire. As a Flora Colossi (and an Arbor Master), Groot has a genius-level intellect.

Note: The Flora Colossi have a language which 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."

Limitations: King Groot is vulnerable to termites



   If the Groot who is Rocket Raccoon's friend first appeared in Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord#1, then the following entries should be included in his profile as his past, replacing those stories which feature the real Monarch of Planet X (i.e., Tales to Astonish I#13, Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl#1, Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#2,4-6):

(Guardians of the Galaxy III#14/2) - "Some time ago," a new generation of young Flora Colossi had sprouted on Planet X, capital of the Branch Worlds. Later, after they had grown somewhat, these saplings began their education in the Coppice Schools where their intellectual growth was stimulated. In these schools, sunlight was used to energize the collected consciousness of generations of Arbor Masters so that this "photonic knowledge" could be absorbed by photosynthesis by the saplings basking in the light. The being commonly known as Groot was one of these saplings.

   After receiving his knowledge download from the Arbor Masters, Groot began to wander through the Herbaceous Habitats where he took notice of the Fauna Workers and Maintenance Mammals as they tended the needs of the biome. Later, after having spent some time in a tree singing to himself, Groot came across a group of four of his fellow saplings who were having fun terrorizing one of the Maintenance Mammals. Groot objected to their "fun" and interrupted it by attacking the bullies, damaging the right eye of one of them in the process. Cowed by Groot's attack, the bullies retreated with the damaged sapling promising to make Groot pay. As the Mammal he had saved told others of its kind what Groot had done, some of the other Mammals came to honor him for what he had done and Groot was very happy as he allowed them to climb on and hang from him. Sadly, that was when the bullies returned and attacked Groot's new friends. Seeing the damaged sapling dangling a Mammal he had just brutalized enraged Groot so much that he went berserk and savagely attacked the bullies, severely damaging them and even ripping off the head of one of them. As the terrified survivors fled, Groot knelt, sobbing, in the midst of the carnage and the Mammals came to comfort him. It was then that three adult Flora Colossi (clad in white clothing) came upon the scene. Displeased by the fact that Groot had killed a fellow sapling, they surrounded Groot and took him into their custody.

   The next morning, one of the white-clad adults led Groot to the Planet X spaceport where Groot was put aboard an alien starship that was there and was thus sent into exile for his crime.

(Groot#2 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Groot was arrested for a crime (which has not yet been revealed to the readers) and was placed in a Kree prison. Some sadistic guards found the fact that the only words he could speak were "I am Groot" to be amusing, especially when they would use their weapons to repeatedly shock him while asking him to identify himself over and over again. This abusive behavior would sometime provoke an outburst from Groot that would cause the guards to send him to the Pit, a place of special, solitary punishment.

(Groot#2 (fb)) - After another such outburst, Groot was sent to the Pit again even though it was already occupied by the prison's "other problem child." The guards decided to "let the freaks kill each other" and put Groot in with Rocket Raccoon. Since Rocket also could not understand Groot's speech, he was not happy with the situation but at least he didn't attack Groot.

   Later, after being released from the Pit, Groot began following Rocket around but this irritated Rocket who told Groot that they weren't friends and to stay away.

   Later, when some guards were playing "Who are you again?" with Groot, Rocket came to his defense and intimidated them into leaving Groot alone. Rocket saw how Groot was now looking at him and insisted that they still weren't friends. Despite this, Groot began to smile and starting eating his meals right beside Rocket.

   To show his gratitude, Groot created a lot of plant life on Rocket's side of their cell, something which Rocket appreciated. At that moment, some vengeful guards briefly cut the power to the security cams so that they could teach the duo a lesson without being observed. As they vigorously defended themselves, Rocket was shocked to discover that he could now understand the meaning of Groot's "I am Groot" vocalizations. Overjoyed to finally have found someone who could understand him, Groot hugged Rocket and, although looking somewhat embarrassed, soon told Rocket why he was in prison. Rocket responded with laughter and disbelief.

(Conjecture) - When the Kree selected them to be part of a covert strike force against the Phalanx who had conquered the Kree homeworld of Hala, Groot and Rocket Raccoon were taken to the Kree base on the planet Aladon Prime where they were placed in separate cells while the strike force's leader (Star-Lord) was "recruited." It's possible that the Kree may have done something to Groot (like implanting a universal translator?) at this time which made his speech understandable to everyone. However, whatever may have been done seemingly wore off after Groot twice died and regenerated from surviving twigs or cuttings.

Guardians of the Galaxy III#14/2 (June, 2014)
Groot#2 (September, 2015)



Profile by Donald Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
King Groot is (allegedly) a different character from:

King Groot also has no known connections to:


Arbor Masters

   The Arbor Masters are the elders of the Flora Colossi race. They are the custodians of the Branch Worlds as well as the teachers, protectora and monarchs.

   In their role as teachers, they make their home in the Upper Canopy of Planet X and run the Coppice Schools. Exposure to sunlight allows them to emit the collected consciousness of generations of Arbor Masters as "photonic knowledge" which saplings absorb by phtosynthesis. This method of eduction causes all Flora Colossi to have genius-level intellects.

   In their role as protectors, the Arbor Masters also serve as Planet X's law enforcement and judicial systems. Any Flora Colossi who commit crimes are arrested, put on trial and, if found guilty, punished, often by exile.

   The Monarch of Planet X rules as part of the Inner Circle of the Arbor Masters.

   Years ago, the Arbor Masters dispensed their accumulated knowledge to a new class of saplings. When one of those saplings later violently attacked (and possibly killed) other saplings in defense of some Maintenance Mammals, the sapling was taken into custody by three Arbor Masters clad in white clothing and was quietly banished from Planet X.

   Years later, when this sapling Groot returned to Planet X, he was arrested, tried and convicted of nineteen serious offences, including impersonating the king. The Arbor Masters found him guilty of "tree-son"and exiled him to the Isle of Punishment in the Straits of Dire, there to spend his life sentence chained to a training post. The Arbor Masters authorized the cyborg punishement birds to employ the ultimate sanction, flame, in the event that they were unable to keep the criminal incarcerated.

   Some months later, the Inner Circle of the Arbor Masters of Planet X were disturbed when a small alien life form (Rocket Raccoon) teleported down to their planet, coincidentally arriving in their midst. When the alien revealed that he was looking for King Groot, the monarch presented himself and in their ensuing conversation the alien learned that the "King Groot" who was his friend was the sapling who had been impersonating the real King Groot.

   Later, after the criminal Groot had been freed by his alien friend, and the duo and their allies in the Undergrowth Resistance had saved the forest from a fire started by a clown assassin hit-squad, the grateful Arbor Masters granted Groot a full pardon, and he and Rocket Raccoon left Planet X.

   Note: In all honesty, I actually do not know for sure if the adult Flora Colossi wearing white clothing who are depicted in the image to the right are Arbor Masters. I mean, it seems likely, but the story doesn't state it.
   In any event, this profile's main image is of the Inner Circle of the Arbor Masters, with King Groot in among them (somewhere).

 

 

--Annihilators#1/2 (Guardians of the Galaxy III#14/2, Annihilators#1/2-2/2


images: (without ads)
Annihiliators#1, page 40 (main image - Arbor masters)
      page 41, panel 3 (head shot - King Groot)
Guardians of the Galaxy III#14, page 30, panel 3 (Arbor Masters?)


All Appearances:
Annihilators#1/2-2/2 (May-June, 2011) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Timothy Green II (artist), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy III#14/2 (June, 2014) - Andy Lanning (writer), Phil Jimenez (penciler), Livesay (inker), Devin Lewis (editor)


Last updated: 01/29/06

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to http://www.g-mart.com/ for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters