Best Shots Review: STAR-LORD #1 Shipless, Friendless, & Shirtless In 'Defined & Stylish' Debut

"Star-Lord #1" preview
Credit: Kris Anka/Matthew Wilson/Vincent Van Gogh (Marvel Comics)
Credit: Kris Anka/Matthew Wilson/Vincent Van Gogh (Marvel Comics)

Star-Lord #1
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Art by Kris Anka and Matthew Wilson
Lettering by Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

Credit: Kris Anka/Matthew Wilson (Marvel Comics)

Peter Quill has some First Homeworld Problems in the debut of Star-Lord #1. Capitalizing on Quill’s post-event status quo, Chip Zdarsky takes the cosmic playboy through a wry and surprisingly emotional opening issue that dances just along the fringes of the current 616 universe, joined by precise and hunky pencils from Kris Anka. Peter Quill’s new life might be mundane, but Anka makes it look coolly dynamic with a healthy amount of objectifying Quill’s often shirtless physique. While we are used to seeing Quill traipsing through the stars, Star-Lord #1 finds fun and heart by taking an unexpectedly low-key approach.

Shipless and now friendless, Peter Quill finds himself drifting through a different kind of void: the post-Civil War II Marvel Universe. Though Zdarsky spends a bit too long recapping the event in the opening pages, his plot for Peter Quill quickly cuts through the fog of war. Zdarsky’s Star-Lord is still the assured gunslinger from space, but he’s also a man shrugging his way through a society he barely understands. Quill isn’t exactly in any hurry to put down roots on his mother’s homeworld, but Zdarsky puts him out into the world just enough to see a bit of its beauty, like in a stirring scene were Quill sees Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night for the first time. While it isn't pushed to the extreme in this opening, Star-Lord #1 sets the stage for some much needed development for the son of Spartax.

Credit: Kris Anka/Matthew Wilson (Marvel Comics)

Star-Lord also finds pathos and humor in the foils that surround Peter - and that’s even considering Quill only has a grand total of two contacts on his phone. Zdarsky instantly established ex-S.W.O.R.D. chief Abigail Brand as a kind of sharp, but disinterested handler for Quill. She basically orders him to stop drinking alone and start being social, leading to a profanity-laced cameo from Howard the Duck and a awkward reconnection with former flame Kitty Pryde. While this is still very much Quill’s show, Zdarsky makes great use of the characters caught in Quill’s orbit, including an unexpected scene featuring Old Man Logan. Star-Lord #1 isn’t exactly as exciting as blasting Dire Wraiths on some distant planet, but it shows that Peter Quill can make his own fun no matter what planet he’s stuck on.

Though Chip Zdarsky keeps things pretty grounded, artist Kris Anka and colorist Matthew Wilson make it look like a slickly-produced indie comedy starring one of Marvel’s prime cuts of beefcake. Anka’s defined and stylish pencils give the script a nice spike in energy as each page is neatly and thoughtfully laid out across tight panel layouts. The feeling of neatness also extends to the background as Anka and colorist Matthew Wilson deliver many single-colored or effect-filled backgrounds to highlight the figures or action in the foreground.

Credit: Kris Anka/Matthew Wilson (Marvel Comics)

Anka’s intricate costume design also shines through in this opening issue. From the tightly belted lime green raincoat of Abigail Brand to the simple chambray shirt and bomber jacket combo of Old Man Logan, Anka makes every costume look designed to the hilt allowing the sartorial design to stand out amid the plain settings.

Peter Quill has been known as the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the prince of Spartax, but Star-Lord #1 gives him a new role: a regular joe. The droll, but heartfelt voice that served Chip Zdarsky so well during Howard the Duck finds a new home with the earthly exploits of Peter Quill, another castaway from the stars. Along with the vibrant colors of Matthew Wilson and the sharply handsome pencils of Kris Anka Star-Lord #1 stands as a quirky slice of life in the day to day Marvel Universe starring a guy from the actual universe.

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