Star-Lord (Peter Quill). Cover detail, Annihilation Conquest: Star-Lord #1 (Sept. 2007). Art by Nic Klein.
|First appearance||Marvel Preview #4 (Jan. 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 magazine publication Marvel Preview #4 (Jan 1976). Creator Steve Englehart had plans for the character that went unrealized, however, later reflecting 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, 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.
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 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. 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 lead 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. He leaves her a short time later, with his gun and pregnant with his child. 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.
During the war with the Cancerverse, Star-Lord supposedly sacrifices his life to stop Thanos. 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, battle techniques and 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 also uses an "Element Gun," a special meta-pistol capable of projecting one of the four elements (air, earth, fire and water). Star-Lord also shares a psychic link with his sentient space vessel, "Ship".
The Ship is actually a sapient 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 Elemental 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, battle helmet and a universal translator, all of which he still uses. His battle helmet analyses strategy data, can improve vision and regulate oxygen when 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 others 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 end up fighting 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.
- Star-Lord makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the animated direct-to-video film Planet Hulk.
- Star-Lord is available as downloadable content for LittleBigPlanet, as part of "Marvel Costume Kit 5".
- Star-Lord will appear in Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition as a playable 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 also appears as a figure in the Groot Build-A-Figure line
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- Brian Michael Bendis (w), Steve McNiven (p), John Dell (i). Guardians of the Galaxy v3, 0.1 (April 2013), Marvel Comics
- Thanos #8 - 12 (May - Sep. 2004)
- Annihilation #1 - 6 (Oct. 2006 - Mar. 2007)
- Annihilation: Conquest - Star-Lord #1 - 4 (Sep. - Dec. 2007)
- Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, #1 (July 2008)
- The Thanos Imperative #6 (December 2011)
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