Yondu Udonta was a game hunter of the primitive Zatoan tribe of humanoid beings who were native to Centauri IV, the first planet system to be colonized outside of the Sun's solar system; the colonization took place some time during the 29th century. Intimidated by Earth's superior technology, most Centaurian tribes established peaceful relationships with the settlers. Yondu's tribe, however, migrated from their ancestral forests to the less accessible plains in order to avoid contact with the outworlders. 200 years after the Centaurians first contact with Earth, a ship bearing Vance Astro arrived on Centauri IV, using an antiquated mode of star travel. Finding that Earth had beat him to his destination centuries before, using advanced star-drive engines, Astro set about to perform his reconnaissance misson of the planet, despite the fact that it was now obsolete. While performing his geophysical survey, Astro came across Yondu, who was in the midst of his ritual of manhood ordeal. Although Yondu tried to avoid contact with the outworlder, the planet-wide attack by the extraterrestrial Badoon brought the two men together. The Badoon massacred the entire settlement and began circling the planet, trying to eradicate the scattered tribes of native Centaurians. With the first evidence of hostilities, Astro took Yondu aboard his survey ship and set out for the nearest known planet in the Centauri trinary star system.
Due to the antiquated nature of Astro's ship, however, the two were swiftly overtaken by the Badoon. Intrigued by the ancient vessel, the Badoon did not annihilate it upon sight, but instead captured it and took its passengers captive. The two were taken prisoner under Badoon escort to the Badoon's base of operation on Earth (the Earth having been recently conquered). On Earth, the two were taken before Drang, head of the Badoon militia, but managed to escape. They soon encountered two other fugitives of the Badoon invasion: Charlie-27 of the Jupiter colony, and Martinex of the Pluto colony. Banding together to battle Badoon oppression, the four founded the Guardians of the Galaxy. For the next few years, the four survivors attacked the Badoon's outposts in the solar system, being at one time assisted by the Thing, Captain America and Sharon Carter. With aid from the time-travelling Defenders, they managed to repel all the Badoon from Earth's dominion. Having secured the freedom of their people, the Guardians remained together to safeguard the galaxy.
Yondu possesses no superhuman physical powers, but is a natural mystic, like his entire tribe. Yondu possesses an intuitive "sixth sense" that permits him limited empathic relationships with other lifeforms. The higher the lifeform the more limited is his empathic potential. Additionally, Yondu possesses an intuitive and rather mystical rapport with nature, particularly with his own world, but also with any world that still possesses natural wildlife. with this rapport, he can sense incongruous elements (foreign bodies or substances) or focus on specific elements within the whole (such as the location of a given plant). He is also sensitive to mystical beings and forces and is able to detect their presence and activities without effort. By going into a trance, Yondu is able to replenish his own inner strength by communing with natural forces.
Yondu is an above average physical specimen of his race. He has slightly more endurance than the average human male and is about 1.5 times as strong as a human. Yondu can lift about 375 pounds. An apprentice hunter, Yondu is proficient in the use of bow and arrow. His ability to whistle with a range of four octaves aids his archery (see Weapons, below). The native Centuarian language is a system of grunts, clicks, and whistles, but Yondu has managed to master the English language, although it is painful for him to speak for too long without resting his throat.
Yondu uses a 5-foot single curve bow and a quiver of arrows composed of yaka, a special sound-sensitive metal found only on Centauri IV. A yaka arrow can actually change its direction (but not speed) in response to certain high-octave whistle-sounds some Centaurians can produce. It is not yet known precisely what pitch causes a yaka arrow to move in what way. Yondu is so skillful at controlling his arrows, he can cause an arrow to return to his hand or weave its way through a crowd of people without touching them. Yondu's arrow are 15 inches in length and are very flexible. He carries about 20 of them at one time.