Appearing at DragonCon this weekend James Gunn told the crowd that he wants to bring in more female characters in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. One character who won't be appearing: Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. Gunn explained that he wants to keep Peter Quill the lone Earther in his movies, and, according to Collider, he thinks we'll see Danver onscreen before Guardians 2 (does that mean she's still in Avengers: Age of Ultron?).
So who could Gunn bring onto the team in the sequel? There are a lot of possibilities, but if he's sticking with canonical Guardians, here are a few options:
Although she joined the team as "Martyr," Phyla-Vell, clone of Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel, was once Quasar. Quasar is a title rather than a codename, given to the current Protector of the Universe, as chosen by the cosmic being Eon (who looks like a huge mossy rock with a giant eye). Phyla-Vell is an intriguing choice for a couple of reasons; for one, Quasar gets her power from cosmic bands worn on the wrists, and it's a cool visual, but even cooler is the fact that Phyla-Vell is a lesbian. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is very straight right now, and adding a gay woman - even a gay Kree woman - would be progressive. Also, Quasar is a better character and name than "Martyr."
On the surface Moondragon couldn't be on the team as Gunn said he didn't want any other Earthers, and she's Heather Douglas from Los Angeles, California. But she's also Drax's daughter, and since Drax's origins were changed from the comics - in print he's a human guy whose soul is attached to an alien - why not change Moondragon's origins? In the comics Drax thinks his wife and daughter are killed by Thanos, but his daughter is actually rescued by Thanos' dad, Mentor. She's taken to Titan where she learns all kind of space martial arts and developed her latent mental powers, including massive telepathy and minor telekinesis. She returned to Earth using the name "Madam MacEvil" (Seriously) and got into skirmishes with various heroes while trying to figure out how to battle Thanos. She eventually became an Avenger and a Defender, but she also did stuff like use her telepathy to subjugate an entire warring planet and make herself their god of peace. She may have also telepathically forced Thor into having sex with her, which is rape. She's actually a great character for Guardians 2 because of her weird, not-fully heroic nature. She also later become the lover of Phya-Vell
Many of these women have intriguing hair, and Nikki is no exception - she has flames for hair. She's from the original Guardians of the Galaxy, who live in the 30th century (this is also where Yondu first appeared), and she's from the planet Mercury. In the future humans were genetically engineered to live on any planet in the solar system, and Mercurians can withstand incredible heat. She doesn't really have other powers besides being an acrobat and sharp-shooter. In the comics her entire race was wiped out by the Badoon (who were supposed to be in Guardians of the Galaxy but were changed to the Sakaarians), and she joins the team to stop their menace.
Another character who is technically from Earth (Vietnam to be exact) but whose origin could be easily changed. Which would have to happen since her history is so weird - created by Steve Englehart, Mantis has been in Marvel, DC and Image Comics. Raised by Kree priests in Vietnam, she becomes a martial artist and then a prostitute (yeah) before meeting Swordsman, Hawkeye's mentor and an occasional bad guy. She fought superheroes with him and then joined the Avengers with him before discovering she was the Celestial Madonna, a being foretold to bone some guy and produce the Celestial Messiah. Englehart continued this story in Justice League of America, where Mantis - unnamed - shows up pregnant and then in Scorpio Rose, where she had a son. She returned to the Marvel Universe to raise that son, Sequoia, who is now an adolescent. Over time Mantis' skin turned green and she learned telepathy. Basically she's a character who has no real solid history but is cool looking.
Well, if we're talking about Guardians who have crossed between comic companies we have to talk about Angela, the newest member of the team. She was created by Neil Gaiman in the pages of Spawn, and Gaiman sued Todd MacFarlane for the rights to her. He eventually won and Marvel bought her, and introduced the angelic demon-hunter into their universe... where they revealed she's Thor's long-lost sister. I'm still not sold on Angela as a character - she's all full-metal bikini as far as I can tell, but who knows what James Gunn could do with her.
There's one last character who could make the roster - Starhawk. Originally a member of the future Guardians, Starhawk's history is so weird and convoluted that I can't quite sum it up, but suffice it to say that he's relived his life thousands of times and that he at one point shared a body with his adoptive sister who he eventually married and with whom he had kids. He gets his powers from the Hawk God, and he's invulnerable and has energy blasting abilities and, because he's lived his life countless times, he always knows what's about to happen. His powers are so immense that he's basically a god. Anyway, at one point some kind of weird timeline upheavel led to the appearance of a female Starhawk - I don't know if this is the sister, Aleta or what. I didn't read those comics! (Yet) But the canonicity of a female Starhawk remains.
Which of these female Guardians would you want to see in Guardians of the Galaxy 2?