Now Guardians of the Galaxy is in theaters, I’m sure there are some of you out there who are itchin for more from this group of proclaimed
a-holes space pirates cosmic superheroes are. Well never fear, comiXology unbound is here to shed some light!
If you haven’t seen it already, check out our earlier post which gave you a general introduction into the GotG, but if that little taste wasn’t enough for you we’re giving you some extra credit with a guide the fearless leader of the gang Peter Quill aka Star-Lord!
The first appearance of Star-Lord was in Marvel Preview #4 (Jan 1976) written by Steve Englehart with art by Steve Gan. It shows the story of Peter Quill’s childhood and eventual ascension to the role of Star-Lord (a position he steals in a fit of rage). Star-Lord’s whole character is based on revenge and anger, and frankly he’s kind of a jerk. 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.
After Englehart left Marvel, the character was taken over by legendary Marvel writer Chris Claremont and was changed to have more of a hard sci-fi/action feel. The Claremont issues also introduced Star-Lord’s companion, Ship, and added more backstory to his origins, namely that he was actually the son of a galactic emperor and his mothers death was actually part of a Hameltesque plot for the throne crafted by his evil Uncle. Both the Englehart and the early Claremont stories can be read in Star-Lord: The Hollow Crown and the the continuation of Claremont’s run can be read in Star-Lord: Worlds On The Brink
For a long time after that, Star-Lord didn’t see too much action in the Marvel universe, and it wasn’t until 2004 in Thanos #8 by Keith Giffen and Ron Lim when he made his return, revealed to be a captive in an intergalactic high-security prison called The Klyn. His reintroduction was followed up by Annihilation and then Annihilation Conquest (along with a spin-off miniseries starring Quill) which saw Star-Lord team up with the mightiest galactic heroes to fight the apocalyptic forces of Annihilus, lord of the Negative Zone and the techno-organic Phalanx.
The Annihilation event lead directly into what is considered the quintessential Guardians of the Galaxy book written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. It was in this series that Star-Lord assumed the role as leader of the Guardians.
If all this seems WAY TOO MUCH, then don’t worry. brianmichaelbendis rebooted the series and it’s crazy fun. You can start with issue 0.1 to get a retelling of Peter Quill’s origin and go on from there. You’ll be caught up in no time.
Congrats! You’re now a Star-Lord Scholar, brag to all your friends, and get working on your finger-machine.
So you want to get started with the Guardians of the Galaxy?
The first thing you gotta know is these aren’t your every-day, goody-two-shoes, superheroes. The Guardians are some of the most badass space pirates this side of the Milky Way, and before they make their big screen debut, comiXology is here to make sure you’re the most well-versed person in the theater opening night.
First you gotta meet the team:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #1 ft. Drax the Destroyer
- Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #2 ft. Rocket Raccoon
- Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #3 ft. Gamora
- Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #4 ft. Groot
Jump into the renowned 2008 run by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. This series put together the characters that we have all suddenly become obsessed with. You can pick it up in 25 single issues or 4 collected volumes, or for the frugal minded grab the whole thing with our Guardians of the Galaxy Bundle
Maybe you just want to get reading right now and don’t care about all that backstory. You’re the type of reader with modern sensibilities, eh? Well lucky for you GotG just got a fresh coat of paint early last year, by the man, the legend, the prolific writer and answerer of many a hair-dressing question on tumblr, brianmichaelbendis. Dive into now and you could be caught up by tonight! Pick up Vol. 3 right here.
And for the completists among us, we present to you some Universe-Expanding reads in Annihilation, where bug-like villain Annihilus enters the universe from the Negative Zone with the Annihilation Wave, a massive armada of warships. The Annihilation Wave begins to destroy anything in its path, including huge chunks of galactic civilization. Nova (Richard Rider) assembles a force to fight back. Check it out here.
HAPPY GUARDIANS DAY!
A bunch of the books listed here are free or on sale for a limited time!
Star-Lord and Nova!!!!
Can’t stop thinking about Star-Lord?
Then you need to read Annihilation, which is conveniently on sale right now.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Hawkeye #19
Bro. Hey, bro. It’s been a while, bro. New issue of Hawkguy, bro.
On the heels of winning an Eisner award for best single issue (see Hawkeye #11 with an additional Eisner award congratulations to writer Matt Fraction for Sex Criminals) comes Hawkeye #19, which manages to surpass my love for the pizza dog issue. Writer Matt Fraction (mattfractionblog) and artist David Aja (with an extra shout out to Chris Eliopoulos on co-lettering with Aja) continue to push the boundaries with this shiver-inducing exploration of deafness in comics.
Remember that heart-wrenching cliffhanger in issue #15? It’s time to finally find out what happened to Clint and his brother, Barney. With ear damage after an attack by a hitman, Clint’s world is suddenly much quieter. This isn’t Hawkeye’s first experience with being deaf; he lost his hearing back in a Hawkeye mini-series in 1983, and this issue looks into a stint during his childhood as well. We get a peek at Barney and Clint’s history and how their past parallels their present. Stunningly, we get most of this in a beautiful display of body and sign language.
The way this issue unfolds is entirely unique to the medium; you could not find this story told this way in anything other than a comic. It reads like the moments in movies when the soundtrack falls away into a vacuum of silence that drowns out everything, leaving you absorbed completely in the visual narrative. However, because this is comics, that silence is illustrated through a clever use of lettering and lack thereof along with “unsubtitled” sign language. The reader experiences the world on mute with Clint as he struggles to adapt and overcome his condition and its instigators.
After finishing this issue, I had to reread it because the pacing was so smooth despite the staccato panels of sign language and action that I couldn’t believe it was over. I was devastated, wanted more, and all I could think was, “Aw, comic, no.”
Grab your coffee carafe and some pizza, and go read Hawkeye #19. Ok, bro?
Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and ate enough pizza recently to satisfy even Lucky the pizza dog.
We’re live-tweeting from Comic-Con International 2014 with tons of Con goings-on. Just follow our twitter to see our little corner of SDCC.
New Release List is coming up shortly, but in the meantime feast your eyes on the beauty that is this Claremont/Lee X-Men sale. You can get the whole run collected with our limited-time bundle!