Cosmo wearing her communication collar in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
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Why James Gunn Made That Big Change To Cosmo In Guardians Of The Galaxy 3
While writer-director James Gunn’s version of Cosmo in “The Guardians of the Galaxy” series is voiced by Maria Bakalova, the psychokinetic pooch is a male dog in the comics.
Gender-flipping Cosmo might seem like an arbitrary change to an established character, but Gunn explained that he chose to do so to pay homage to the first dog in space.
Laika was found on the streets of Moscow in 1957 and was immediately enlisted in the Russian space program, where she was outfitted with electrodes to monitor her vitals.
She was launched into space on Sputnik 2 in 1957, and although the Soviet Union maintained that she was alive for a few days before dying painlessly, this wasn’t the truth.
According to a BBC report, Laika died a few hours into the mission, likely from overheating and sheer panic. Her tragic sacrifice furthered humanity’s knowledge of space travel.
Gunn knew Laika’s story and wanted to honor the cosmonaut, explaining, “Because Cosmo is based on Laika, the Russian dog, who was a female, so I gender-swapped her back.”
Some comic fans declared Gunn violated comic book canon, to which he responded, “I’d rather honor the real dog who died in outer space. Cosmo would not exist without Laika.”