Last weekend at Chicago's C2E2, Marvel Entertainment announced a new ongoing series starring the front-man of Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill -- aka Star-Lord. Titled, bragadociously enough, The Legendary Star-Lord, the series is the second solo spin-off for Marvel's premiere cosmic team after the previously announced Rocket Racoon series. But given the character involved and the creative team of Sam Humphries and Paco Medina, it's safe to assume there'll be less comedy and more rakish humor. But still a lot of guns.
And today, Marvel has sent out invites for comics press outlets such as Newsarama to participate in a live conference call about The Legendary Star-Lord, with Humphries and joined also by Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso and Executive Editor Mike Marts. You can check out the preview art Marvel sent over here. Leading off as always with Marvel Comics' Chris D'Lando, the call begins with D'Lando asking Humphries about his feelings on the series.
"Star-Lord is a very fun character to write because he's very bold," Humphries says. "The book is going to be Peter's adventures away from the Guardians. ... I like to call him the original outer-space scoundrel -- he actually pre-dates Han Solo. He likes to fight, he likes to flirt, he flies by the seat of his pants."
While set primarily in outer space, Humphries says The Legendary Star-Lord is very "ground level," taking place in bars, orphanages and the like.
While he says he'll be playing up the 'charming scoundrel' stereotype, Humphries says he's not Lobo nor is he Wolverine. In the opening arc, Humphries says The Legendary Star-Lord will begin with a series of done-and-one stories which will "build on top of each other."
"You'll start to see empires breaking apart and civilizations overlapping, and the wars and skirmishes that will emerge," says the former X-Force writer. "Places in space where people fall through the cracks. Places where omeone like Peter has the opportunity to prove what kind of hero he is."
When asked if Star-Lord's father, J-Son of Spartax, will play a part in this solo series, While Marvel is "built on daddy issues" according to the writer, he couldn't say too much without revealing upcoming events in Guardians of the Galaxy. He says upcoming issues of that series will set the stage for what he and Medina are doing in The Legendary Star-Lord.
"We do have a new bad guy in the form of Mr. Knife; a cosmic gangster who's gunning for Peter for mysterious reasons," Humphries reveals. "He puts a blood bounty on Peter's head. We go from there with the entire galaxy trying to hunt down Peter and get a reward."
In future issues there will also be a new team of "cosmic bad guys" Humphries will introduce.
When asked about sharing the Star-Lord character with Brian Bendis seeing as he writes Guardians of the Galaxy, Humphries confirms he has had extensive talks with the key Marvel writer about the character to coordinate their plans for both of their books. One thing Humphries says he "absolutelty" will be following up on his the surprise kiss shared between Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde in Guardians of the Galaxy previously.
"It's the ultimate long distance relationship," the writer says. "They have a cosmic, outer-space version of Skype to see and interact with each other. Kitty will be amember of the supporting cast in this book. There was definitely some flirtation there, but now we'll see if there's true heat between them here."
Transitioning over to talk about the interior art by Paco Medina, D'Lando heaps praise on the former Nova artist and asks.
"Working with Paco is great," Humphries says. "He's the perfect choice for the book, and you can see it in that first page. We've also seen what Paco's capable of when you throw him out in an environment like outer space with space ships and aliens and such."
Talk then turns about the recent uptick in "cosmic" titles for Marvel after years of dormancy. When asked about familiar faces Humphries is looking at to appear in The Legendary Star-Lord, he says while this is definitely a "Peter Quill solo book" readers will see some of his Guardians teamates and other people from the cosmic "bench."
"Right off the bat in issue #1 some people will show up and big things will happen that will affect the entire Marvel Universe," Humphries adds. He also said that in one of the first handful of issues Star-Lord will return to Earth and face a "big" Marvel team who aren't known for going into outer space.
Marvel then turns to the press in attendance, with a question coming about the potential humor in the book.
"It's not like Deadpool by any means, but Peter is a funny and charming character who gets by on his wit," HUmphries says. "He doesn't mope and listen to the Smiths; that's not who Peter Quill is. He's the guy who will look to poke a hole in anyone who is pompous, even though he might have a dozen gun barrels pointed at him."
When asked about the appearance of Star-Lord, Humphries says that the series will stick to the character's look as seen recently in comics and in the movie trailer.
The next question cornered the writer to discuss the "late bloomer" status of Star-Lord. First introduced in 1976, the character was rarely seen in comics until a few years ago when re-introduced as part of the Guardians. Humphries says that at the time Star-Lord wasn't integrated that much with the Marvel titles, be it the Earth-based or cosmic books at the time.
"When DnA brought Star-Lord into the cosmic titles a few years ago, that was a huge change in the positioning of the character," said Humphries. "I think we're going to build on his part in the Marvel Universe, and this series will have some large-scale repercussions for the Marvel Universe."
Speaking to the tone of the book in comparison to the Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming in August, Humphries admits he hasn't seen the movie or even read the script.
"That said, it's pretty clear from the trailer and from what we've already got going from development of the book is that we're on parellel paths," Humphries says. "I'm kind of gambling here, but I really believe if you're someone who enjoys the movie in August then you'll love the hell out of The Legendary Star-Lord."
Axel Alonso steps in to say that he and Marts are more closely looped into the movie, and it is in fact close in tone to the movie.
A question then comes about Peter Quill's memorable love for 80s music as witnessed in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie trailer. Humphries says he loved the "whole Walkman thing" in the trailer, but that music is something difficult to portray in comic books.
"We will show Peter is a space cowboy, but was raised on Earth in the 1980s. He is the dork with the old-school Walkman and making strange out-of-date references, " Humphries explains. "He is a dorky guy, but got lucky and made it off Earth. There's a side of humility we're going to lead into with Peter."
When asked about the "legendary" adjective in the title, Humphries says it's something we'll be developing in the series over time.
"Someone like Peter thinks they're a legend because they shoot fast, fly space ships fast and can flirt with every girl in the bar, but if Peter is truly legendary -- the way to do it is to unlock what is good in themselves," the writer says. "It's not about winning every hand at blackjack, it's doing the right thing and leaving the world better than you found it. The question for Peter is what kind of legend does he want to be in the Marvel Universe?"
Humphries says the first issue will touch on the recent origin story for Peter in the first issue of Bendis' Guardians of the Galaxy, but the series won't spend a significant time in the past. Speaking of past, Humphries responded to the question of Quill's heretro-unrevealed survival from the Cancer-verse in The Thanos Imperative.
"I can't say too much, but it will be addressed in The Legendary Star-Lord," Humphries said. "It will mean alot, and is a very complicated story. I know it's something people have wanted to know, and we won't be dodging that bullet."
Wrapping up the panel, D'Lando asked a final question to Alonso and Marts about about the increased focus on cosmic titles in the Marvel Universe and how it affects the Marvel comics line as a whole.
"I think it's great," Marts says. "Here we are several months before the Guardians of the Galaxy movie comes out, and we're announcing this -- and people want it. The fact we're doing this, Rocket Raccoon, Captain Marvel and more, and people are welcoming it is fantastic. We're already talking about where we go after the movie hits."
Alonso provided the final thought for the call, pointing out that "public buzz for Marvel's cosmic characters started when people saw Thanos in the Avengers movie."
"For us here in publishing, it started with Brian Michael Bendis establishing confidence with Guardians of the Galaxy and then it continued with the success of Infinity," Alonso continued. "Then we also have Dan Slott and Mike Allred's fantastic Silver Surfer, to mention another. But here, with the growing of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, I think all three books," referring to the main title, Rocket Racccon, and The Legendary Star-Lord," all have unique flavors but are all part of the same universe. And that's the goal."