When the Guardians of the Galaxy first arrive on Counter-Earth, they land in what looks like a typical modest suburb. The citizens wear soft clothes, in the 80s fashion, drive average cars and water the lawn. They all have oversized animal heads. The Guardians end up in the care of a family of bats who will serve them refreshments and lend them their car.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the suburb of animal people hardly seems unusual, given that the series has already traveled to the Quantum Realm, Mount Olympus, magical pocket dimensions, and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” It’s when the Guardians are in a normal-looking living room, drinking blue liquids and conversing with bat people that the satire of the setting seeps through. The High Evolutionary’s Counter-Earth is a twisted parody of Earth, a place where everything seems normal, but something is…wrong. It’s the same effect one might experience when seeing apes on horseback for the first time in “Planet of the Apes.” This is human society, turned on its head.
Sadly, the animal suburbs section is only a small part of a 150-minute movie, so the true weirdness of the situation doesn’t fully sink in. But at least it’s there to be discovered. “Vol. 3” is not “The Guardians Visit the Animal World”, but a larger story as well.
The High Evolutionary himself is also a strange character who appears to be wearing a mask of human skin and has a long history in Marvel Comics.