I have to admit that I find the current version of Star-Lord confusing. I never really followed him when Marvel ret-conned him into the regular universe. I really had only read the reprints of the Steve Englehart and Chris Claremont/John Byrne version of the character. That version of Star-Lord was a Spartan/Human hybrid who had been modified by the Master of the Sun. He could fly. He used the element gun. He was in love with his sentient-intelligent, shape-changing spaceship. Star-Lord was bizarre and interesting.
Now he just seems like a smart aleck with a gun and a special helmet who has spent most of his life in space. That version just never appealed to me, mainly because there were so many versions of that character floating around the Marvel universe. (I’m looking at you, Corsair.)
But Eisner award winner, Chip Zdarsky and Kris Anka have done something that I thought was impossible with Peter Quill. They made him interesting again. The usual formula for a fish out of water story is to take an everyday guy and stick him in a weird world. By inverting it, and sticking the guy who is human, but barely spent any time on his birth planet and forcing him to deal with normal problems.
After a scuffle leaves him, owing New York a large fine and community service hours, Peter Quill finds that he actually has to start a life for himself. As part of his community service, he befriends an elderly man and talks him into a walk. Even then he can’t stop himself from trying to be heroic in trying to foil a bank robbery. After a strange reprimand from Ms. Marvel for him saving her, Everyone comes to the conclusion that he needs a job if only to keep him out of trouble and help raise the money to pay off his fine.
If Zdarsky (Sex Crminals, Jughead, Inhumans vs. X-Men) decided to rename the series Star-Tender and kept telling stories of Quill helping people between slinging drinks, I’d be okay with it. It seems more interesting that his latest stint of space adventures.
I also love how Anka (All-New X-Factor, Captain Marvel) changes the angles from panel to panel in the fight scenes but always makes it clear how the action is flowing. Too often, it seems hard to track how the actual fight goes from beginning to end. It was enjoyable to see someone who has real control of his art.
I just hope that they keep the series grounded for a while before Alpha Flight decides to give Quill a spaceship and send him on his way.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Kris Anka
Color Matthew Wilson