Our spotlight series on the characters featured in the upcoming James Gunn film ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ continues with a piece on the muscle of the group, Drax the Destroyer. Forged by the fire of revenge, the man once known as Arthur Douglas became a champion intended to take down Thanos and now you can learn more about him before he appears on the big screen later this year.

Drax was created in 1973 by Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich and made his first appearance in ‘Iron Man’ #55. In that issue, he teamed with the Armored Avenger to take on the Blood Brothers and Thanos. But that was before the mighty warrior knew who he really was. Thanks to an altercation involving the Cosmic Cube, Drax learned of his life as Arthur Douglas, a regular man who was gunned down by a spaceship piloted by the Mad Titan himself. While his wife perished, his daughter survived and was raised by Thanos’ father, Mentor, to become Moondragon. As for Arthur, Mentor and Titan god Kronos harvested his soul in order to kill Thanos. In order to do so, they placed him in a powerful new alien body with extraordinary abilities like superhuman strength, stamina, speed, and durability. At one point, he even had energy blasts and the ability to fly, but those powers were lost in 2004.

In 2006, Drax played a big part in the ‘Annihilation’ storyline that encompassed several of Marvel’s cosmic characters. After the fallout of that massive crossover and its follow-up ‘Annihilation: Conquest’, he joined up with the new Guardians of the Galaxy in a brand new ongoing title that lasted until April 2010. Aside from appearances in ‘The Thanos Imperative’ and a few issues of ‘Avengers Assemble’ in 2012, Drax and the Guardians were not seen again until Brian Michael Bendis launched another volume of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, which features the lineup that will appear in the upcoming Marvel Studios film.

When that movie finally hits theaters this summer, Drax the Destroyer will be played by former WWE Champion Dave Bautista. The wrestler turned actor beat out the likes of Isaiah Mustafa, Brian Patrick Wade, and Jason Momoa for a spot on the team alongside Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper. Recently, he made his return to the WWE as Batista after a four-year hiatus and will be entering the Royal Rumble match on January 26, 2014 for a shot at main eventing Wrestlemania XXX in April for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. During his current run with the company, many are saying that there’s likely to be some sort of tie-in for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in the form of exclusive clips or extra advertising, so be sure to tune into WWE programming in the months leading up to the film’s release.

In my experience with Drax the Destroyer, he’s always been a team player. When heads need to get smashed in then he’s your man. Just like Batista, he’s a force to be reckoned with, so it’ll definitely be cool to see how the big man tackles his first go at being a superhero.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ starring Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Karen Gillan, Benicio Del Toro, and Michael Rooker blasts off on August 1st, 2014.