Or – “Haven’t I Already Reviewed The Origin Of Star-Lord?

The return of Peter Quill and the Star-Lord character’s ascension to a place of prominence in the Marvel Universe has been something of a surprise to me, but a welcome surprise nonetheless.  My only real worry is that everyone on the cover has ugly, over-detailed armor.  What’s going on INSIDE the book?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Steve McNiven
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Guardians Of The Galaxy:  In the wake of the Annihilation Wave, a loose agglomeration of heroes brought their forces together under the leadership of Peter Quill, the hero formerly known as Star-Lord.  Defending the galaxy against threats like the Universal Church Of Truth, the Phalanx and more, the Guardians Of The Galaxy grew and shifted before drifting apart in the wake of Star-Lord’s death.  So, what’s brought them all back together now?


With the high profile given to guys like Luke “Power Man” Cage and Carol “Ms. Marvel” Danvers, it’s clear that the heroes that Marvel debuted in the 1970s are getting as much respect as those from the 1960s.  (Yes, I count Captain America among the 60s heroes.)  Given how badly some of them were treated in the past (the end of Power Man & Iron Fist was a damned shame, and the characters took nearly a decade to recover from it, and don’t even get me started on poor Spider-Woman) it’s nice to see those characters getting their due from Marvel editorial.  This issue spotlights another hero of Bronze Age, retelling the origin of Star-Lord with some more recent additions.  The basics are still the same:  Alien crashes to Earth, befriends a young Terran woman, they fall in love, he eventually leaves.  The details, however, have changed considerably.  First and foremost, the new telling has the art of Steve McNiven on its side, delivering a solid action punch in every panel (even those that are about a young man and woman bonding.)  The reasons behind J’Son of Spartax’s exit are slightly different as well, replacing the original tale’s flimsy premise (he wasn’t sure that she could survive in his jury-rigged ship) with the more powerful expectation that he is a wanted man in the middle of an interstellar war.


Cut forward a few years, and we find ten-year-old Peter Quill struggling with his life and his absentee father, while his mother tries to understand him.  The issue shows him obsessed with science fiction (hilariously, the books she berates him for reading is an old issue of Marvel Premiere featuring Seeker 3000) and even getting into a fight with the local bully to protect a young girl, all of which cements his character expertly.  Bendis’ only flaw in this issue is some awkwardness due to an overuse of “Bendis dialogue” when J’Son and Meredith first meet, which is awkward when one of the characters isn’t even from Earth.  The last part of the story details what happens when the alien Badoon arrive to find young Peter Quill (Short story: Not pretty) and ends with the revelation of the new GoTG team:  Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot, Rocket Raccoon and new recruit Iron Man.  We end with the characters setting off for adventure and such, with Star-Lord having effectively informed Iron Man (through the origin monologue) what his team is all about…


Point One issues are always a crapshoot, since “jumping-on point” often means “regurgitation of plots we just read in the book.”  In this case, the book hasn’t actually debuted yet, and Star-Lord’s origin hasn’t been told in a couple of decades, so the overall effect is a good one.  There are some unanswered questions here (How did Star-Lord get out of the cancerverse?  What’s with Iron Man in space?  How did these new Guardians actually get back together after their dispersal in the last volume) but since this is meant to be a gateway to the new ongoing, those can be forgiven.  All in all, it’s an issue that looks phenomenal, and reads well, with the only real downside being some truly hideous and over-designed costumes for the team members.  Guardians of The Galaxy #.1 does what it set out to do, showing us enough to get us interested, filling in a few blanks, and resolving itself to showing us why we should want to read these characters and their adventures, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. 

Rating: ★★★½☆


Reader Rating

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 3.71 out of 5)


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Arcee
    March 10, 2013 at 8:45 am — Reply

    I disagree slightly with your highlighting the original ‘flimsy premise’ for daddy Quill’s departure. Is the new excuse ‘better’? To each his own. But jury-rigging a complex machine like a space ship and not sure if the repairs will hold is pretty good reasoning for not risking a loved one.

    Loved your observation about the highly detailed armor. Made me laugh.

  2. March 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    Without much exposure to GotG past what we’ve seen in the NOW universe, I enjoyed the issue. I know nothing of Star-Lord / Quill – so this was a nice spot to learn something. I like the way the character is introduced and his motivations are explained. Definitely a good start to me.

  3. Navarre
    March 11, 2013 at 7:27 am — Reply

    With the Guardians of the Galaxy scheduled o have their own Marvel film, the inclusion of Iron Man makes some degree of sense to me. I think this is a purposeful link.

  4. Erik Waddell
    March 11, 2013 at 8:27 am — Reply

    Guardians of the Galaxy is 100% new to me, so I picked up this issue with no expectations except that I’d heard there was a raccoon involved somehow.

    I thought Bendis and McNiven did a great job. While I agree that some of the dialogue between J’Sonn and Ms. Quill was pretty clunky, the montage page of them falling for each other was well done.

    I was genuinely shocked by what the Badoon did (I’ll avoid spoilers) and that, coupled with the scene where Peter Quill fights the bully hit just the right note to let readers know that this is going to be a book with a serious side and not just a fun-filled intergalactic romp. Peter and that bully were not just roughhousing. They were two kids genuinely trying to injure each other. I actually winced when Peter knocked the bully’s head into the pole.

    I will definitely pick up the next issue based on the strength of this one.

  5. Rome
    March 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm — Reply

    I found this issue so bland, cardboard, and boring. It could have been the origin of ANY marvel hero. Blah. You could have practically swapped it out for NOVA #1 (also out recently) and no one would have known the difference.

    As a long time Guardians fan, I was totally bored, and displeased that we get no explanation as to how Star Lord is back, but not Nova (Rider). Pretty sure Drax was destroyed in Thanos Imperative too. I would so much prefer those explanations.

    One slice of meatloaf for me, thank you.

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