Star-Lord (Peter Quill). Cover detail, Annihilation Conquest: Star-Lord #1 (Sept. 2007). Art by Nic Klein.
|First appearance||Marvel Preview #4 (January 1976)|
|Created by||Steve Englehart
|Alter ego||Peter Jason Quill|
|Team affiliations||Guardians of the Galaxy
Shi'ar Imperial Guard
|Part of the collection on|
Star-Lord (Peter Quill) is a fictional character, a superhero appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Steve Englehart and Steve Gan, the character first appeared in Marvel Preview #4 (Jan. 1976). The son of a human mother and alien father, Quill assumes the mantle of Star-Lord, an interplanetary policeman.
The character played a role in the crossover comic book events Annihilation (2006) and Annihilation: Conquest (2007), and became the leader of the space-based superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy in the 2008 relaunch of the comic of the same name. He has been featured in a variety of associated Marvel merchandise, including animated television series, toys, and trading cards. Chris Pratt portrays Peter Quill as the lead character in the 2014 live-action film Guardians of the Galaxy.
The character first appeared in the black-and-white magazine publication Marvel Preview #4 (Jan 1976). Creator Steve Englehart had plans for the character that went unrealized. He later reflected on his website:
I conceived something very large. My hero would go from being an unpleasant, introverted jerk to the most cosmic being in the universe, and I would tie it into my then-new interest in astrology. After his earthbound beginning, his mind would be opened step by step, with a fast-action story on Mercury, a love story on Venus, a war story on Mars, and so on out to the edge of the solar system, and then beyond.
But – after his earthbound beginning, where I established him as an unpleasant, introverted jerk, I left Marvel, so no one ever saw what he was to become.
Star-Lord continued to appear in Marvel Preview, with writer Chris Claremont revamping the character and using science fiction adventure stories like the Heinlein juveniles for inspiration. Heinlein's lawyers threatened legal action over the cover to Marvel Preview #11, which featured a blurb that described the content as "a novel-length science fiction spectacular in the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein", leading to the issue being pulled and reprinted. The story in #11 was the first teaming of the celebrated X-Men creative trio of writer Chris Claremont, penciller John Byrne, and inker Terry Austin. Star-Lord made sporadic appearances over the next few years in the titles Marvel Super Special, Marvel Spotlight, and Marvel Premiere. In February 1982, a color reprint of the black-and-white Starlord story from Marvel Preview #11 was published with a new framing sequence by Claremont and artist Michael Golden.
The character returned in Thanos #8–12 (May–Sept. 2004) and Annihilation #1-6 (2006). The following year, he received a four issue eponymous title (Annihilation: Conquest – Star-Lord) leading into the "Annihilation: Conquest" crossover storyline, in which he played a central role. Spinning out of "Annihilation: Conquest", a second volume of Guardians of the Galaxy featured a team of characters from the crossover who were led by Star-Lord for the duration of the title's 25-issue run. Plot lines from that series were concluded in the The Thanos Imperative mini-series.
Fictional character biography
Peter 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 when he is eleven. Quill is placed in an orphanage but escapes and eventually becomes a trainee NASA astronaut. An alien entity called the Master of the Sun later 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. Quill volunteers, but is rejected in favor of a colleague he once treated badly. Quill is outraged, and NASA orders his return to Earth and discharge for his conduct. Instead, he steals a scout ship, returns to the space station, and takes his colleague's place. 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.
Years later, Star-Lord becomes involved in stopping a group of slavers who are destroying worlds. His efforts led him to discover a conspiracy to replace the emperor of the Spartoi Empire with his uncle, Prince Gareth. In order to thwart the takeover, Star-Lord travels to the imperial throneworld Sparta where he encounters and kills the alien who killed his mother. Star-Lord then meets Emperor Jason who reveals that he is Peter's father. Jason explains that he had crashed on Earth decades earlier and been rescued by Meredith Quill. During the year that he had spent repairing his ship, Jason and Meredith fell in love. When it came time to leave, Jason, for Meredith's safety, had placed a mindlock on her memories of him, causing her to remember their year together as only a dream.
This origin was later retconned and the astrological phenomena and murderous not-father were removed. Instead, J'son of Spartax - an alien with a human appearance - crashes on Earth and strikes up a relationship with Meredith. A short time later, he leaves Meredith pregnant with his child and with his gun for safekeeping. Ten years later, Meredith is killed by members of the alien race known as the Badoon. Peter kills both assassins with a single shotgun blast, then finds the alien gun in his mother's closet. Realizing that the alien ship is about to attack, Peter gets out of the house just before it is destroyed. Believing that they have killed their target, the alien ship leaves. After being found by the authorities, who believe the Quill house was destroyed by a gas leak explosion, Peter is taken to a hospital where a nurse brings him the only thing that survived the explosion, his "space toy", which is J'son's gun.
The character encounters the former Herald of Galactus, the Fallen One, and is almost killed defeating the entity, and in addition Star-Lord's vessel "Ship" is destroyed in the conflict. The pair are subsequently imprisoned in the intergalactic prison the Kyln. Star-Lord is freed by the hero Nova during the "Annihilation War" storyline and aids in the war against villain Annihilus. Quill later acts as military adviser to the Kree general 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. They are "proactive" and try to end emerging galactic threats early.
Thanos and the Cancerverse
"They Will Not Be Forgotten" Once again in Project PEGASUS, Nova was faced with a doppelganger Quasar from a twisted reality dubbed the Cancerverse within the Fault who attempted to assist his brethren in invading the "prime reality" through a gateway found in the institution. Nova shut down the gateway and pursued the fake Quasar into space where a massive war was already in progress between the forces of the "prime reality" and that of the Cancerverse. The mad titan Thanos had been previously resurrected and was thought to be the only hope to defeat the Cancerverse, so he and the Guardians of the Galaxy went into the Fault to find a way to defeat the invading reality. Nova soon followed after rescuing a kidnapped Namorita from the Revengers – a distorted version of the Avengers. He assisted Star-Lord in detaining an enraged Thanos from escaping back into the "prime reality" with the intention of destroying everything after Mistress Death again rejected him, even after Thanos eradicated an entire reality for her. Nova remained with Star-Lord until the Cancerverse imploded and the Fault was sealed in the process, seemingly killing them all.
Despite this, he later reappears with a new Guardians line-up on Earth to aid the Avengers against the returned Thanos. After this, Star-Lord and his new team of Guardians engage in conflicts with the Badoon.
Powers and abilities
Star-Lord is a master strategist and problem solver who is an expert in close-quarter combat, various human and alien firearms, and battle techniques. He has extensive knowledge of various alien customs, societies, and cultures, and considerable knowledge about cosmic abstracts, such as Oblivion.
As Star-Lord, Peter Quill wears a suit that grants augmented strength and durability and the ability to travel through space. The character uses an "Element Gun", a special meta-pistol capable of projecting one of the four elements (air, earth, fire and water). Star-Lord shares a psychic link with his sentient space vessel, "Ship".
"Ship" is actually a sentient energy form. She most often exists in the form of a starship, but can alter her structure at will. She can travel through air, space and water. She possesses many of the conventional starship accessories, including shields, energy blasters, advanced sensors, replicators (able to form any kind of food, drink, etc.), and hologram projectors. She has proven capable of creating a human form, which she can then animate and use as a host. Even if completely destroyed, she is capable of restoring herself, since her true form is her consciousness. In addition, she takes on a number of feminine characteristics, such as a mothering instinct for those she is partnered with. She has felt deeper attachments, including love for her partners.
"Ship" can create Widgets—small, mobile droids able to scout out situations, gather information, and then return to her. The full extent of "Ship"'s abilities are unknown.
During Star-Lord's battle with The Fallen One, his Element Gun, suit and "Ship" were destroyed. Due to severe injury he was grafted with cybernetic implants by doctors on the Kyln, where he was sentenced. The eye implant allows him to see all energy spectra and the memory chip in his brain gives him 100% total recall.
On the Kree world of Aladon Prime, Star-Lord's cybernetic implants were removed. Star-Lord was outfitted with a Kree-issued heat-dampening espionage battle-suit, which became the hallmark look for the Guardians of the Galaxy, a battle helmet, and a universal translator, all of which he still uses. His battle helmet can analyze strategy data, improve vision, and regulate oxygen in space.
Star-Lord's chosen weapons are two Kree sub-machine guns with various types of ammunition, including explosives.
Other characters named Star-Lord
A three-issue limited series, titled Starlord, featured a man named Sinjin Quarrel adopting the identity 12 years after the disappearance of the original Star-Lord (Quill). The series, published from December 1996 to February 1997, was written by Timothy Zahn, with art by Dan Lawlis. Where the events depicted in this miniseries fit into Peter Quill's chronology has never been revealed.
Age of Ultron
During the Age of Ultron storyline, Wolverine and Susan Storm accidentally create an alternate timeline after traveling back in time and assassinating Hank Pym before he can create Ultron. In the new reality, Star-Lord is seen as a member of the Defenders, who have replaced the defunct Avengers as the world's premier superhero team.
In other media
- Star-Lord (alongside the other Guardians of the Galaxy) appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Michael Korvac", voiced by Steve Downes.
- Star-Lord appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Guardians of the Galaxy", voiced by Chris Cox. He is seen as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. He and the Guardians of the Galaxy fight Korvac and the Chitauri with the help of Spider-Man and Nova. In "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy," Star-Lord is with the Guardians of the Galaxy when they land on Earth to rebuild their ship at the same time when Titus was leading the Chitauri into targeting Nova's helmet.
- Star-Lord appears in the Avengers Assemble episode "Guardians and Spaceknights", voiced again by Chris Cox. He was seen with the Guardians of the Galaxy when they are in the middle of evacuating the D'Bari from their homeworld before it can be consumed by Galactus.
- Star-Lord appears in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers episode "Guardians of the Galaxy".
- Star-Lord makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the animated direct-to-video film Planet Hulk. He is seen as an audience member in the Sakaar arena.
- Chris Pratt portrays Peter Quill in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy. Peter Quill is an adolescent boy who, unable to accept his mother's death due to cancer, leaves the hospital in tears, and is subsequently abducted by an extraterrestrial starship. As a child, Peter is portrayed by child actor Wyatt Oleff. Twenty-six years later, he is a member of the Ravagers, the mercenary gang who abducted him as a child, and has had many adventures with this crew around the galaxy. While on a scavenging job, Peter finds himself embroiled in a significant power struggle and revenge war between two advanced galactic powers, the Kree warlord Ronan the Accuser and Xandar's Nova Corps, and through cunning observation of his team's skills, and newfound leadership, works to stop Ronan's rampage. Throughout the movie, Peter is shown regularly listening to a cassette tape given to him from his mother, containing various hit songs spanning from 1968 to 1981.
- Pratt will reprise his role as Quill in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy 2, set for release July 28, 2017.
- Star-Lord is available as downloadable content for LittleBigPlanet, as part of "Marvel Costume Kit 5".
- Star-Lord will appear in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes as a playable character.
- Star-Lord is available in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" skin pack for Minecraft.
- Star-Lord is available in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance as the Special Operations 20 unlockable and most suicidal character.
- Star-Lord was featured in the Marvel Universe toy line as a 3 3/4" figure in his Guardian uniform. He was sold in a three pack with Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and a mini Groot accessory.
- Star-Lord appears as a figure in the Groot Build-A-Figure line.
- Star-Lord is featured in the Hot Toys 1:6 scale line for Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy. Head sculpt with authentic and detailed likeness of Chris Pratt as Star-Lord.
- Nerf has released toys based on his mask and element gun for the 2014 film.
- Star-Lord: Guardian of the Galaxy collects Marvel Preview #4, 11, 14-15, 18; Marvel Super Special #10; Marvel Spotlight vol. 2 #6-7; Marvel Premiere #61; and Star-Lord #1-3, 424 pages, July 2014, ISBN 978-0785154495
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