2017 is going to be a very, very big year for Marvel Studios. Not only do they have Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok coming out, but they have the highly anticipated sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy slated as well. Production recently wrapped on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and we now have our first official piece of concept art for the movie.

The art was first revealed by Entertainment Weekly, but director James Gunn, being the very involved and active social media user that he is, took to his Twitter and Facebook account to share the art himself. The piece of concept art is very much a "cool guys don't look at explosions" kind of thing, with the whole gang back in action, as well as some unexpected faces. Here is what Gunn had to say about the art on his Facebook page.

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"Well here you go, my friends. First bit of new concept art featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, first revealed by our friends at Entertainment Weekly. Drax, baby Groot, Yondu, Star-Lord, Mantis, Rocket, Nebula, and Gamora. Art by my wonderful pal Andy Park - this image led us a lot as we were developing the film. I can't wait to show you guys more of what we have in store for you... stay tuned for San Diego Comic-Con announcements next week! #GotGVol2"

As we can see in the image, Star Lord, Drax, Rocket and Gamora are looking every bit as awesome as they were in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, but the rest of the characters featured in the image by Andy Park are a bit more interesting. For one, Groot is still a baby, and according to producer Jonathan Schwartz, will be more "rambunctious" and have slightly less wisdom, because he is younger. Also, we get our first look at Mantis, who will be joining the team and is being played by Pom Klementieff. Here is what Schwartz had to say about the newest Guardians member in the EW article.

"She has never really experienced social interaction. Everything she learns about dealing with people, she learns from the Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a very weird group to learn your social intricacies from."

There is no question that seeing Mantis for the most time is probably most significant aspect of this concept art. But outside of that, perhaps the most interesting bit in the image is that Nebula and Yondu, who both were pretty far from members of the team at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, are featured alongside the team. Luckily, Gunn addressed this on his Facebook post when a fan asked if they are now members of the team. Here is what he had to say.

"Yondu for sure. With Nebula, well, you never know what's up with that one."

It is also worth noting that this isn't apparently some glamorous, but ultimately pointless piece of concept art that is being shared. Gunn noted in his post that the image "led" them a lot during the course of production, which means it is at least relatively significant. Granted, aside from the art being very well done and making us want more, it tells nothing more in terms of story that we didn't already know. In fact, it raises a lot more questions than it answers, but that is probably exactly what Marvel wants to do at this point to get fans interested.

As Gunn also mentioned, Marvel Studios is bringing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to San Diego Comic Con next week, so we can be very sure that there is are lot more Guardians goods on the way very soon. Also, the studio will be making up prints of this new concept art exclusively for those attending SDCC next week. The first Guardians of the Galaxy had only been shooting for a couple of weeks when they showed their first footage at SDCC, so it is a very safe bet that Vol. 2 footage is something we could be getting next week. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is set for release on May 5, 2017. Be sure to check out the newly released concept art for yourself below.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Concept Art
Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott