Talk about a pair of star-crossed lovers – literally.
Things haven’t been easy in Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde’s intergalactic romance. Most recently, the Black Vortex crossover tested their relationship, culminating in Kitty agreeing to marry Peter. But then Secret Wars hit, and as Marvel is quick to point out, now that Secret Wars is underway, Battleworld is all there is.
But it’s not over yet for the couple affectionately nicknamed “StarKat.” Sam Humphries and Alti Firmansyah are launching Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde, a Secret Wars series that explores the relationship between Quill and a very different Kitty Pryde.
Humphries spoke with Newsarama about what to expect in Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde, including the threats they’ll face, where the story begins, and what kind of songs we’d find on this Peter Quill’s mixtape.
Newsarama: Sam, you’ve been pretty cagey about the setting in which Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde takes place. What can you tell us about the part of Battleworld this story inhabits?
Sam Humphries: Because much about Secret Wars is still...well, secret, I gotta be cagey about what I say. But I can reveal that Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde is an action-romantic-comedy set in the rom-com capital of the world, Manhattan. But it's New York City with a Battleworld twist. Charles Soule came up with the brilliant concept of the Quiet Room for his book, Inhumans: Attilan Rising. It's a classy nightclub where people from all over Battleworld can gather, dance, and carouse. Our story starts there.
Nrama: Obviously, after The Black Vortex, Kitty and Peter have a very strong connection. But that’s not the Kitty we’re seeing in this book. What is the relationship like between Quill and this Age of Apocalypse Kitty?
Humphries: For AoA Kitty, it's brand new. She's never met Peter Quill before -- any Peter Quill. For Peter...well, he just lived through #Starkat. When he sees AoA Kitty, he's got a lot of, shall we say, baggage. He's got a lot of history he's projecting onto AoA Kitty, which isn't the coolest way to kick off a relationship with someone. Trouble ensues!
Nrama: We know Star-Lord is drawn to Kitty Pryde, but what brings him together with the Kitty of Age of Apocalypse?
Humphries: They meet, as many people did before OK Cupid, while working.
Nrama: What will we see this pair going up against in this story?
Humphries: Their antagonist is a fairly notorious X-character, with a Secret Wars twist, and a little bit of history with Kitty.
This is a good place to note that this book has the most amount of Marvel easter eggs I've ever written!
Nrama: Is this story something you pitched to Marvel, or did they bring it to you as part of Secret Wars?
Humphries: It was clear we had to do something with Peter during Secret Wars. And then #Starkat blew up online, before and during The Black Vortex. So I pitched this story to Marvel -- with AoA Kitty on the table, it was too good to pass up!
Nrama: What’s it like working with Alti Firmansyah on this?
Humphries: Alti is amazing. She's very dynamic with her action and can do fantastic facial expressions. She's the perfect fit for this book...everyone needs to pay attention, because she's going to be a star.
Nrama: Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde’s relationship really seems to resonate with many readers. What makes StarKat such a popular couple?
Humphries: I think people fall in love with different things in their relationship. Some respond to the fact that the early part of their relationship was essentially "online." Some respond to the way they've been tested by adversity during the The Black Vortex, but it only brought them closer together. Some people like the "power couple" vibe. For me, I love how they have aspects of their personalities that are opposite of each other, but actually compliment each other.
Nrama: You’ve said before that your Peter Quill isn’t quite the same as the Peter Quill in the Guardians of the Galaxy film. What songs would we find on your Peter’s Walkman?
Humphries: Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac, and Death Grips. And, of course, as we have seen in the book, Peter is a huge Aquabats fan, and used to front a ska band.