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Groot is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960). An extraterrestrial, sentient tree-like creature, the original Groot first appeared as an invader that intended to capture humans for experimentation.
The character was reintroduced as a heroic, noble being in 2006, and appeared in the crossover comic book storyline "Annihilation: Conquest". Groot went on to star in its spin-off series, Guardians of the Galaxy, joining the team of the same name. Groot has been featured in a variety of associated Marvel merchandise, including animated television series, toys and trading cards. Vin Diesel voices Groot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), while Krystian Godlewski played the character via performance capture in the first film. Diesel will return to voice the character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Diesel even voiced a Groot cameo in the 2018 Disney animated film Ralph Breaks the Internet. Since his film premiere and animated series debut, Groot has become a pop culture icon, with his repeated line "I am Groot" becoming an Internet meme.
Groot is a Flora colossus from Planet X, the capital of the branch worlds. The Flora colossi are tree-like beings whose language 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". Other beings try to be friendly but become angry with the Flora colossi for not being able to speak. (Groot was shown to be capable of speaking not just understandably but eloquently throughout Annihilation: Conquest.) The Flora colossi are ruled over by the "Arbor Masters" and teach the children of the species with "Photonic Knowledge", which is the collected knowledge of the Arbor Masters of the generations and is absorbed through photosynthesis; this is a highly advanced education method, making the Flora colossi geniuses. Planet X's biome is managed by "Maintenance Mammals" which are small raccoon-like beings.
The Flora colossus sapling that would come to be known as "Groot" came from an "Ennobled Sap-line" and gifted with a tremendous grasp of quasi-dimensional super-positional engineering. Groot did not get along with fellow saplings but instead preferred the company of the "Maintenance Mammals", which the other saplings treated with prejudice. Groot was exiled by the "Arbor Masters" in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #14 after killing another sapling to defend a maintenance mammal it was brutalizing.
An alternate origin was presented in the Groot ongoing series. In the story, it is revealed that the other Flora colossi had been abducting organisms from other planets, including a young human girl named Hannah. After seeing Hannah, Groot realized what his people were doing was wrong and managed to save the child and send her back to Earth. However, for his disobedience, Groot was exiled from Planet X and forced to wander the universe until he met Rocket Raccoon many decades later where this version of Groot later became a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Yet another alternate origin was presented in "Guardians of Infinity", written by Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez, wherein a woman makes the claim that Groot is a ceiba tree from Ponce, Puerto Rico. According to Puerto Rican folklore, a ceiba tree is believed to possess the spirits of the indigenous Taino population that formerly thrived on the Caribbean island. By her logic, the woman considers Groot to be Puerto Rican.
Groot is an extraterrestrial tree monster who initially came to Earth seeking humans to capture and study. Groot was seemingly destroyed by termites used by Leslie Evans.
Xemnu made a duplicate of Groot by making a human and tree hybrid that was used to fight the Hulk, but it was destroyed in the battle.
Groot was later revealed to have survived, but was a captive of the Collector and held in his zoo in Canada until Groot and the other captive creatures were freed by the Mole Man. Groot and the other creatures rampaged in New York City until they were stopped by a band of superheroes, and were then dumped through a portal to the Negative Zone.
Groot was later tracked down and captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Paranormal Containment Unit, nicknamed the Howling Commandos when his tree scent was detected by Sasquatch and Abominable Snowman. While Groot was being held captive, Gorilla-Man talked to Groot about joining the Howling Commandos. When Merlin and his forces attacked the base, the Howling Commandos let Groot and their other captives free and they stampeded on Merlin's army; Groot was the only one to turn back and offered to join the Howling Commandos. Groot aided the Howling Commandos as they assaulted Merlin's forces.
Groot can absorb wood as food, and has the ability to regenerate. Groot can control trees and plants, using them to attack others, and appears to be resistant to fire. Groot is able to sprout dramatically increasing mass which then severely inhibits movement.
Groot has been seemingly killed on multiple occasions, each time regrowing from a sprig.
Black Bolt's brother Maximus the Mad asserted that whenever Groot is saying the trademark "I am Groot!" he has actually been saying a number of things, and his varying inflections of the sentence are the equivalent of words and sentences. People who have interacted with Groot are gradually able to decipher the meaning of the inflections and can carry on full conversations with Groot as time goes on. The mature form of Groot's species is robust and heavyweight, which causes the organs of acoustic generation to become stiff and inflexible. It is this hardened nature of Groot's larynx that causes people, who are oblivious to the subtle nuances of Flora Colossi speech, to misinterpret Groot as merely repeating his name. It could not be determined whether Maximus's claim was true or merely another manifestation of his madness, though Groot did genuinely seem to be assisting Maximus with highly advanced engineering. Later, in All New X-Men #23, Jean Grey telepathically links with Groot, showing that Groot's thought processes are indeed complex, and the declaration of "I am Groot!" usually represents attempts at highly intelligent communication.
In Avengers: Infinity War, which takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor states that Flora colossi is offered as an elective in Asgardian schools and is his explanation for his ability to understand Groot.
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