STAR-LORD 'Year One:' From Space Case To Space Pirate

Marvel January 2016 cover
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Yasmine Putri (Marvel Comics)

Who is Peter Quill? Depends on which of his numerous origin stories you've read. Now, Marvel is telling the definitive "year one" story for the man who would become Star-Lord in a new volume of his series.

November's Star-Lord #1 by Sam Humphries and artist Javier Garron goes right back to Peter Quill's teenage years to find out how he went from a boy who dreamed of outer space to one who lived in outer space. Along the way he'll fall in with some space pirates, including one that looks like Yondu -- but it's not... quite.

Newsarama talked with Humphries about the Yondu situation and also telling the definitive Peter Quill origin.

And check out this first look at Yasmine Putri's variant cover to the first issue at right.

Newsarama: Sam, what led you and Marvel to do this origin story for Peter Quill?

Credit: Marvel Comics

Sam Humphries: Everyone loves a “Year One” story! Peter's got a fascinating origin -- those years before Annihilation are rich with possibilities. We felt this was the time to present a definitive version of Peter Quill's first year in space. 

Nrama: Big picture, how would you frame this story, and when does it start?

Humphries: Star-Lord “Year One” starts with an 18 year old Peter Quill, who is obsessed with being an astronaut but can't get his feet off the ground. So he has to get creative about getting off-planet. This sets him on an adventure in space much different than, say, Buzz Aldrin. He's going to meet some interesting characters along the way and have to figure out what kind of person he is. It's Almost Famous in space.

Nrama: Peter Quill's origin has been told a couple times in comic books -- or at least alluded to -- and the movie made it a powerful opening moment. How are you working with all those other ideas out there for young Peter Quill?

Credit: Marvel Comics

Humphries: Peter's first few appearances are a little disjointed. Not anyone's fault, he passed through eight or so different writers before someone handled him for more than three issues. Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven set us up tremendously with Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 – Star-Lord  “Year One” sits nicely in between that and the Annihilation era.

Nrama: Who else is in this first arc besides Peter?

Humphries: Lots of space pirates, and a 21st century Yondu. That's right, the great great great great great great grandfather of Yondu from the original Guardians of the Galaxy and now Guardians 3000. And while his distant progeny is a peaceful warrior...this Yondu is a real dirtbag.

Nrama: How long could you see yourself sticking to this story set in the past with a younger Peter Quill?

Humphries: This answer is easy: five issues. Issue six brings us back to the present day.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Nrama: So any chance we could see you catch up and deal with Peter as ruler of Spartax as depicted in the Guardians of the Galaxy book?

Humphries: This was a bit of serendipitous synchronicity -- I've been wanting to tell Star-Lord “Year One” for a while, Brian's wanted to do the King Peter story for a Secret Wars was the right time to make them happen. While I dip back to teenage Peter, Brian can tell his story without stepping on my toes. Then it will all come together starting in Star-Lord #6.

Nrama: Working with you on this is Javier Garron, who was one of the standout artists in Secret Wars with Inferno. How did you connect up with him? And what do you think Javier provides for the series and in developing your script into comic books?

Humphries: Javier did some outstanding work on “Black Vortex” and he's twice as good here. He's the perfect partner in crime to tell a story about a jackass 18 year-old who loves to joyride incredible spaceships. He really makes young Peter come alive, and he's got amazing sci-fi design chops. Could not be more psyched to ride shotgun with him.

Nrama: So, last question -- big picture, what are the themes you're playing with in Star-Lord in this new volume?

Humphries: This is a coming of age story, set in space. Both growing up and leaving Earth are terrifying, beautiful, and hilarious experiences filled with action and adventure. And aliens.

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