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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So WHAT’S Star-Lord’s Origin Exactly?

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In 2000, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Marin and Jorge Lucas first established Star-Lord as being part of the Marvel Universe when we see Jason of Spartax as part of the Inhumans mini-series. In the final issue, Jason is exiled and we see his future…

Now clearly, originally Englehart intended for Star-Lord’s adventures to be in the future (well, the future in 1975, at least) and that is the approach Pacheco takes, as well.

However, a couple of years after Inhumans #4, Keith Giffen brought Peter Quill into the Marvel Universe HIMSELF in the pages of Thanos. Giffen’s take essentially abandoned and forsaked Pacheco’s, as Quill not only is around in the present day Marvel Universe but he has been Star-Lord for some time by the time he showed up in Thanos (in prison for some actions he had taken as Star-Lord). Quill is freed from prison right in time to play a key role in Annihilation. When Star-Lord got his own mini-series during Annihilation Conquest (also written by Giffen, with amazing artwork by Tim Green II and Victor Olazaba), Giffen detailed Star-Lord’s Marvel Universe history for the first time…

As you can see, Giffen pretty much keeps Englehart’s origin for Star-Lord, just sets it in the past. Giffen also seems to, if not explicitly abandoning and forsaking it, implicitly abandoning the whole Spartax angle. Giffen’s Peter Quill (and Abnett and Lanning’s Peter Quill after Giffen left the Annihilation books) seems to be pretty squrely “just” an Earthling. The Kree, for instance, talk about him only as an Earthling.

This brings us to Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven and Dexter Vines. Besides a general de-aging of Star-Lord, Bendis essentially abandons and forsakes all of the previous origins and then consolidates Star-Lord’s origin. No more Master of the Sun giving Star-Lord a special gun. No more astrological birth. No more psycho father. No more mind-wiped mother. Just an alien prince crash landing on Earth and falling for an Earther…

Then he leaves Earth to go back to his inter-galactic war with her pregnant (hopefully without him knowing this).

Years later, some Badoon show up to eradicate the Spartax bloodline (I like how Bendis made the aliens Badoon)…

Young Peter manages to kill the Badoon assassins but is seemingly killed when his house explodes. He survives and inherits the special Spartax gun from his father and this drives him to become an interstellar cop…

Honestly, I like Bendis’ streamlined origin. Claremont and Byrne had already streamlined Englehart’s original trippier origin by the time that they took over Star-Lord (they didn’t retcon it, but they basically ignored it in favor of a more straightforward adventurer take on Star-Lord), so I think the further streamlined origin works well.

That’s it for this week! If you have a suggestion for a future Abandoned an’ Forsaked, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

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40 Comments

You’ve got the same page printed twice in the original origin.
Interesting. And yes, not a bad reworking by Bendis. And Englehart didn’t make a big deal of the future aspect that I can see, so losing doesn’t matter much (heck, by current Marvel timeline, his transition to Star-Lord would be about 20 years in the past).

this retcon by Bendis is just plain awful!!!

The thing I find the most unbelievable is that someone could’ve been inspired by the third season of Star Trek. :)

Bendis has messed up the GoG in my opinion. I am a fan of the DnA Star-Lord. He was much funnier and a lot more cunning. They had a better grasp of team concept. They had been likeable characters from Mantis, Drax, Gamora, Phya-Vell, and even a Russian dog.
Bendis is just streaming the GoG for the big screen. He never completes his work, so what he is starting will probably be handed off to someone else to clarify and fix. Look at Luke Cage (one of his favorites), what is the deal with his skrull baby? I have never seen anything come of it. He had a lot of tangents in the Avengers he never completed.
His best work (and I mean amazing work) was on Daredevil and (yes, I am going to say it) Moon Knight. He has a great knack for the individual hero and knows how to make them believable and fresh. Here with the GoG (and mainly Peter), he is failing.

There was one more retcon left out. Can’t remember if it was an issue of Marvel Spotlight or Marvel Premiere, but it was some story where the Master of the Sun turns out to be just a disguise for what is actually one of the Saurian aliens who whacked Quill’s mom (?!?), and he gets arrested by his lizard brethren at the end of the story. It’s been decades since I read the comic, but I do remember owning it.

Ok, something that has been confusing me about the current GotG series.

It seems like at the end of issue 5, Thanos is implying that he is Starlord’s father. Have I misread that?

There was once a second Star-Lord with an interesting concept. I assume he did not survive the Giffen and later retcons.

Star-Lord’s back: Good for him, now: What the #@*% happened to Richard Rider & when do we get an explanation of why Quill & Thanos are back, but not him.

Yeah I was thinking about that Master of the Sun story also. Where did I read that? Didn’t the Master of the Sun give Quill his gun or something?

Joe Harris: You’re misreading that Thanos bit slightly. He’s saying “Your father was right.” Full stop. “That I, THANOS, was right.” Just two guys with similar opinions on how Earth is dumb and should be restrained by the rest of galactic society if not outright destroyed.

Uggh…I hate that Bendis origin. The master of the Sun aspect of Star-Lord was one of the best origins for a character of all time. I keep hoping for the return of Ship and the element gun which is partially what made star lord so cool. Mind you the Giffen version of Star-Lord was fantastic so I didn’t mind it when he had it,

I also liked the original concept of how Star-Lord cheated his way into becoming Star-Lord. That determination was a big part of who he was, it also showed how he accepted the concept of doing things for the greater good, which was a big part of the reason he was in prison at the beginning of the annihilation wave. Instead Bendis basically gives him a Mutant origin, meaning he is who he is because of his birth and not surrounding events. It’s lazy motivation, it’s why I despise mutant books for the most part.

Spider-man got his powers, but isn’t spider man without his motivation, He’s just a super powered kid.

Not a fan of the Bendis origin, sure it’s streamlined, but it’s also dull, obvious and hackneyed. At least the others had a little something different about them. Bendis’ version feels like EVERYTHING ELSE he’s done, with quipy characters who all sound the same, as if he’s really only doing it because the movie is coming and figures it’ll be a nice chunk of royalties when the trades get a momentary spike in sales.

Agree with many comments here. The current GoG series is not even near the quality of DNA’s run on it. Bendis as always simply ignored everything that came before. Lots of inconsistency, continuity errors, and thing we have to accept simply because YES. Like Thanos, Quill, Nova, etc. They were dead or trapped in the cancerverse and then puff they are back with no explanation. No more inhumans in the Kree Throne. Thanos is once again a 1 dimension evil characters (I want to destroyy everythingg). Quill now is blonde, the the new uniforms are horrible. and whatever happened to the Annihilators group? they simply disbanded? and the Kree supreme inteligence is back? and how is the Super Skrull now a leader? during the Secret Invasion he was viewed as an old weapon by other skrulls.

Bendis is a great source of material for this column, isn’t he?

In recounting the original story that Englehart created, you skipped over the fact that Quill was a homicidal asshole who murdered his colleagues for the purpose of getting to be the StarLord. Kinda glad that got retconned out of the way.

dont forget that there was a galactic counsel with broods and Annihilus,and spatax is now a power player in the cosmos ah retcons gotta love them . Hey guys lets invite the roaches of the galaxy that go from planet to planet eradicating and converting everyone to our galactic dinner party to talk smack about earth

Travis Stephens

December 8, 2013 at 9:04 am

I just love the trope that Earth chicks will fall in love with some guy and lay up and have his baby. So much for the dangers of unprotected sex. Can we get a list of how many times this has happened and who has an alien dad?

@darthjoker:

Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four/Future Foundation series explained how the Supreme Intelligence returned.

^ Spock, B’Elanna Torres, Sela, K’Eylahr (sp) from the Trek TV shows, plus a few novel original characters…

@darthjoker,

The return of the Supreme Intelligence and the Inhumans leaving the Kree were explained in Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four. I want to say that the Supreme Intelligence is actually two alternate universe Reed Richards that were merged with something called the Supremor Seed that Ronan held on to. The Seed had some part of the original SI in it.

I’ve no idea what was up with Super Skrull. I don’t know why he was leader for the Skrulls other than the fact that he was the most prolific Skrull left. To me it made sense that he’d fight against the Builders, but not that he’d lead the Skrulls. I guess since the Avengers were leading it they trusted him more than any other Skrull since he sided with Earth during Secret Invasion?

The members of the Annihilators just went in too many different directions in life I guess.

love how even after team after team decide to not make star lords origin wind up becoming so confusing that marvel had their own version of who is donna troy. that they still kept his mother got pregnant by an alien ruler and he is in line for the throne.

I must admit, it’s a shame to drop the idea of Peter stealing his gig from the true Chosen Starlord. Because that’s not something you see very often.

In recounting the original story that Englehart created, you skipped over the fact that Quill was a homicidal asshole who murdered his colleagues for the purpose of getting to be the StarLord. Kinda glad that got retconned out of the way.

Englehart’s original plan for the character was to have him be gradually redeemed by his adventures.

Didn’t read englesharts or killens star lord but had a good time with the 2nd volume of GotG, and I’d say star lord was a key part of that. Along with his character interactions, and decisive leadership during high risk situations. Then the run was canceled – I admit I was excited the new run, then less excited when I heard who was writing. I picked up the first few issues and was disappointed to say the least. For starters Quills new blonde look killed it for me. Second, it seemed like the looming crossovers and upcoming movies were gearing this star lord for a fast attempt at a cash in with the cash cow.

Comic marvel been down the drain since dna left the scene. Bet I’m not the first to say that, I just don’t post on boards as much.

@POWRSURG:
My headcanon is that the Annihilators meet up every few weeks and catch up over lunch.

You know I wish old bendy will show up and respond here. Maybe I will post this thread at jinx world and see if he does.
I know he could care less about the hair color thing, heck that was probably Steve that did that. But he should explain the cancer verse problem faster Han he has. He has to appease marvel though by filling in those that are interested in these characters before the movie, he has to satisfy a reason for purchasing Angela for marvel (not him but marvel and it probably was ok’end by Neil that bendy write her in the mu), and then there is the new series ( look at the crazy #1 issues popping up) hoping to rake in the dough ( the restart of GoG was tops at the order list for most distributors).
So I am invested so far and probably will for a while, but I just hope marvel could eat crow and go get DNA back to clean up his mess.

I do love the recent Peter Quill character but can’t get into the Marvel Presents. Keeping with the GoG theme, I suggest you do an Abandoned and Forsakened on Groot talking. It has varied from straight forward sentences to the more well-known, “I am Groot”. Also, whether “I am Groot” is really conveying some type of meaning seems to vary as well.

I love how the first retcon makes the dad right: Peter#s not his kid :)

also: whoa, a Perry Rhodan reference. never thought I would see that in an american comic book. I wonder how many people even know who that is.

Damian, that occurred to me too. To remember it by the time he becomes Starlord makes Peter a serious SF nerd—though the books were popular enough in the US at the time Englehart wrote it, he may not have obscure it would become.
(Perry Rhodan is a pulp-style space adventurer in a series of German novels–I think–translated into America in the seventies).

I suppose Groot’s decline in verbal ability could relate to having his brain eaten by the termites.

Always funny to see the main character switch from being right handed to left handed, too. perhaps proof that it’s some alternate universe character after all?!?

The easiest way to retcon Bendis’s Star Lord is that the current Thanos is another clone, and the current Star Lord is the cancerverse’s Star Lord. So none have escaped as of yet. (Just because he’s from the Cancerverse doesn’t make him a bad guy, just not the Star Lord we know)

@Sharp: Cage’s baby wasn’t a Skrull.

Bendis’ origin doesn’t negate Peter Quill’s Star-Lord adventures. He just says he joins with NASA and finds his way into space. It doesn’t mean he didn’t still cheat his way into the program. It doesn’t negate anything with the Giffen origin either. All Bendis did was show one moment in time where Peter’s father shows up, knocks up his mom, and leaves and changed the aliens to Badoon. It does trash the Master of the Sun component, at least in terms of getting the element gun. I’m torn on how much that really matters. Either way, the 0.1 issue was my favorite of the Bendis issues, which have continued to go down hill since.

I read somewhere that Bendis retconned Quill’s origin for Earth universe 616 and that Englehart/Claremont/Byrne had essentially told a story from the POV of an alternate universe

The flipside story of the Annihilators mini was the Groot/Rocket Raccoon adventure that explains the difference between silver age Groot and the GoG one.

I read Bendis’ Star-Lord origin before I read the Engleheart/Claremont issues. Normally, I am down with streamlining but the Engleheart story was more interesting to me *because* it was odder/clunkier, with a more distinct mythology it was building. Since the aliens and “future” Earth are so different, I prefer to think of the original origin(s) as an alternate reality rather than a retcon.

It is interesting that Starlord’s origin went from basically being the Silver Age Green Lantern to being basically The Sub-Mariner (or the Silver Age Aquaman). It seems like a lot of talented writers (Englehart, Claremont, Moench) made various efforts to find something distinct about him.

Bendis was right to focus on the “Mom killed by alien’s looking to end bloodline” bit. It is the most unique thing about Star-Lord. I am just not sure how interesting that it is.

Despite the sheer amount of them these aren’t as conflicting as I thought they’d be. I don’t care for the current Guardians series but I loved that Star-Lord mini.

About Sinji Quarell, the second Starlord: it is a pity that he has been so little known. His three-issue series was fantastic. Basically, he was what Kyle Rayner ought to have been if done right.

Vance Astro, starhawk, Nikki, yondu, Martinex anc charlie 27 were awesome, i don’t know why they’re making a movie about throwaways like Quill and his buncha losers. totally beyond me.

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