How was Lylla's story in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 different than her comic book counterpart? Changes explored
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn finally introduced us to Rocket Raccoon's tragic backstory, and a lot of the film was centered around it. In the backstory, we were introduced to Rocket's friends Teefs, Floor, and the biggest of all, Lylla, who were a part of the High Evolutionary's experiments.
Lylla in the comics is one of Rocket's closest side characters, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 put its own twist on the character. Director James Gunn is known for doing this, and it did make for a more emotionally resonant story, but Lylla as a character is a huge part of Rocket's life in the comics.
Exploring Lylla's comic book origins and exploring the changes seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Lylla is usually an affilitate of Rocket Raccoon's and was first introduced in the comic Incredible Hulk #271 in February 1982. She was created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema. Just like Rocket, she was also born on Halfworld and has the form of an otter.
On Halfworld, Lylla is the caretaker of the criminally insane and takes her job extremely seriously. She is also the heir to Halfworld's largest toymaking empire, called Mayhem Mekaniks. However, life gets tough for her when the company's chief toymaker, Judson Jakes, secretly kills her parents and finds an opportunity to take over the entire empire by marrying Lylla.
Jake then retreats underground when a rival company led by Lord Dyvyne, called Dyvynities, Inc., comes into competition and ensues a toy war. This forces Lylla to get into the war as well; however, she receives help when she is introduced to Rocket Raccoon by her uncle Wal Rus. The two then, of course, join forces to protect Halfworld, and this also leads to them becoming romantically involved with each other.
So in the comics, Lylla and Rocket are pretty much soulmates, but in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, their story goes quite differently. Lylla, who is voiced by Linda Cardellini, is introduced as an experiment of the High Evolutionary. Both Lylla and Rocket are kept in confinement for the entirety of their lives and become really good friends.
When Rocket learns that he and his friends are about to be killed, he makes up a device and comes up with an escape plan to get Lylla, Teefs, and Floor out of there. However, the High Evolutionary gets the jump on them and kills off his friends, including Lylla, which sends Rocket into a fit of rage, and he gravely injures the Evolutionary and escapes.
Instead of having the characters be romantically involved with each other, James Gunn went for a more tragic story in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which heavily changed the tales of Lylla and Rocket. It's a staple of the director though, and the end product did indeed make for an emotional watch that has resonated with the fans.
But it was indeed a treat to see Lylla in live-action and her story be portrayed like this. With Rocket still alive at the end of the movie, here's hoping he does mention her in future MCU appearances (if there will be any).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is playing in theaters right now.