Cosmo the Spacedog is a beloved character in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise’s final movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. It’s not hard to see why Marvel fans all over the world have fallen in love with this psychic good girl. However, what many fans may not know is that Cosmo is actually based on a real-life female Soviet space dog named Laika.
In the comics, Cosmo is a male Soviet dog and member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, frequently referred to as “a good boy.” Fans of the comics were quick to notice the gender change in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) where Cosmo is female.
When director James Gunn confirmed that actress Maria Bakalova would lend her voice to Cosmo on Twitter in 2022, a fan replied pointing out that Cosmo, in the comics, is a male Russian dog. Gunn provided context on the gender change and confirmed that Cosmo is based on Laika and her tragic space journey.
Laika’s story is a tragic one. She was a stray husky-terrier mix found in the streets of Moscow and was involuntarily launched on November 3, 1957, aboard the Sputnik 2 spacecraft. During the suicide mission, Laika’s heartbeat tripled, and her breath rate quadrupled, obviously frightened. Her body was never recovered, and her ship was destroyed when it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere in 1958.
Laika was one of the first animals in space and the first to orbit the Earth. Her gender was crucial for the mission since female dogs are smaller in size and more docile than their male counterparts, which made them easier to handle in the confined space capsule used for the launch.
“I’m just going back to the original source material,” wrote Gunn. This comment implies that his decision to change Cosmo’s gender in the MCU was a tribute to Laika and her gender’s contribution to the mission’s success.
Cosmo is not just female in the MCU; she is also more innocent and friendly, as opposed to her comic version who is more stoic and gets easily angry. Cosmo’s gender change in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 may be a small detail, but it’s a powerful nod to Laika and other animals that have played an important role in space exploration.
Laika’s story may be a sad one, but her sacrifice was not in vain. Her mission paved the way for future space exploration and helped to further our understanding of the universe. Her life inspired many works of art, including a statue erected in her honor in Moscow.
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in Laika’s story, and many have called for her to be officially recognized for her contribution to space exploration. Laika played a pivotal role in the history of space exploration, and her legacy continues to inspire us to push the boundaries of what we think is possible.
Cosmo the Spacedog’s character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a beautiful tribute to Laika and the impact that she had on the world. It’s not often that a comic book character can bring so much history and emotion to the screen, but the decision to change Cosmo’s gender in the MCU was a brilliant move that pays homage to one of the most important figures in space exploration.
While Laika’s story may be heartbreaking, we should remember that her sacrifice has paved the way for future generations to continue exploring the universe. Cosmo the Spacedog is a symbol of hope and the many ways that science fiction can inspire us to reach for the stars.