Now that we’ve all seen the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer (one million times), I’m sure there are some of you out there who are curious about just who this group of proclaimed
a-holes space piratescosmic 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 going to break it down for you one character at a time starting with 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.
Bringing this one back for today’s comixology guide!
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.