(Editor's Note: Continuing our coverage on the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, up next is Star-Lord!)
The leader of the band: Who is Star-Lord?
Like most of the trendy movies, I will begin this article at its ending and then work backwards:
Peter Quill aka the swashbuckling (aren’t they all?) space hero known as Star-Lord is busy fighting the mad Titan Thanos alongside a cadre of Avengers and his own team, the Guardians of the Galaxy. How he got here, we do not know.
The last time we saw said hero, he and Nova (our Nova, Richard Rider) were literally stepping up to the plate to save the universe from Thanos by collapsing the so-called “Cancerverse” in on itself, seemingly dying. Thanos made it back, and apparently so did Quill. Where Nova is – the true Nova – there is no word -- from space or Marvel ED.
Hows and whys aside – Flark, who except the great Peter David bothers with continuity anymore? – Star-Lord IS back in the Marvel U. alongside the once-disbanded rag-tag heroes he commands. At his side in Avengers Assemble have been Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Drax, Bug and Groot.
How he is here is still a Bendis mystery, but who he is -- well, your M.E. can help you there.
[Dissolve to hazy beginning, around the time I was about to graduate from high school: 1976.]
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:3275:]]The first (and best) Star-Lord is Peter Quill, whose premiere adventure was in Marvel Preview #4 (January 1976) and was created by Stainless (miss those Bullpen monikers) Steve Englehart and Steve Gan.
Quill is born during an unusual astronomical phenomenon when many of the planets align. Seeing no resemblance, the man who believed he was Quill's father accuses his wife Meredith of infidelity and attempts to kill the infant, but dies of a sudden heart attack. Quill is raised by his single mother until she is killed by an alien.
(Peter’s real father is Prince Jason of the alien race Spartoi, who had fled his Empire after wrongly being branded a traitor by his father Eson, later crash-landing on Earth to be cared for and nursed back to health by Meredith.)
Quill is placed in an orphanage but escapes and eventually becomes a trainee NASA astronaut. An alien entity called the Master of the Sun eventually visits the space station that Quill and other astronauts are inhabiting, and offers the mantle of Star-Lord (an interplanetary policeman) to a worthy candidate.
Peter volunteers, but is rejected in favor of a colleague he once treated badly.
Outraged, he is ordered by NASA to return to Earth and is to be discharged for his conduct. Instead, he steals a scoutship, returns to the space station, and takes his colleague's place.
Peter Quill becomes Star-Lord, with the Master of the Sun first creating an illusion in which the character is able to find and kill the aliens that murdered his mother to free him of his past. Equipped with a sentient vessel called “Ship,” Quill commences his role as Star-Lord.
The character later encounters the former Herald of Galactus, the Fallen One, and is almost killed defeating the entity (Star-Lord's vessel “Ship” is destroyed in the conflict). The pair is subsequently imprisoned in the intergalactic prison known as the Kyln. Star-Lord is freed by our man Nova during Annihilation and aids in the war against Annihilus and his hordes. Quill later acts as military adviser to Ronan the Accuser.
When the Kree homeworld of Hala is conquered by the Phalanx, Star-Lord leads a band of rebels against the invaders until the war is over. In an effort to prevent another interstellar war, Star-Lord forms a new version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. These are “proactive” cosmic heroes who try to end emerging galactic threats early.
Following the War of Kings event, Star-Lord as well as Nova appears to die while saving the universe from Thanos and the Cancerverse. But, as said in the beginning, Peter Quill reappears with some of the Guardians on Earth to aid the Avengers against a returning Thanos.
And just in time for a reported new comic written by Brian Michael Bendis and a movie coming out in 2014.
Ain’t Hollywood great?