Marvel Mania is relentless! Already I’ve been hearing it from regular readers who have come to look forward to these harmless, escapist looks at superheroes on weekends. Here’s one for this weekend, a bit later than I usually get them posted.
MARVEL PREVIEW Vol 1 #4 (January 1976)
Title: STAR-LORD – FIRST HOUSE: EARTH
Comment: This tale presented a Peter Quill quite different from the way he would be retconned by the time the character joined Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy decades later. This Peter Quill grew up feeling tormented by his secret half-alien parentage after his mother was killed in an attack by aliens called Ariguans.
Peter trained to become an astronaut and ultimately wound up serving on a space station, where an entity called the Master of the Sun granted Quill his powers, weapons and sentient vessel called Ship to become an intergalactic adventurer called Star-Lord. The figure let Star-Lord avenge himself on his mother’s killers so he could start his duties unencumbered by a personal vendetta.
MARVEL PREVIEW Vol 1 #11 (June 1977)
Title: HOLLOW CROWN
Villains: Kyras Shakati and Dirac
Comment: At last getting a follow-up adventure, Star-Lord traveled to the planets called Windholme, Cinnibar (planet with a hundred moons) and Sparta.
It was there that he met his alien father, Emperor J’Son of Sparta and after some Space Opera intrigues wound up refusing to take his place on the throne of that world, preferring to explore the universe.
MARVEL PREVIEW Vol 1 #15 (June 1978)
Title: A MATTER OF NECESSITY
Villains: The Haalmhad
Comment: Star-Lord and his sentient vessel Ship encounter a nomadic alien race called the Haalmhad, who travel the universe in a 93 mile long spaceship.
They trade their superior technology with more backward worlds, but also callously wipe out entire species which seem like they might one day pose a threat to them.
MARVEL PREVIEW Vol 1 #18 (May 1979)
Title: LESS THAN HUMAN
Comment: In this adventure Star-Lord and his sentient vessel Ship come across the planet called Redstone.
That world is ruled by its conqueror and dictator Quan-Zarr, a vile man who experimented on the planet’s inhabitants, turning nearly all of them into lionlike beast-men. A beautiful sword-wielding woman named Sylvana helps Star-Lord in his struggle to prevent Quan-Zarr from using his new planet-destroying weapon.
MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL Vol 1 #10 (December 1979)
Title: WORLD IN A BOTTLE
Comment: Star-Lord and his sentient vessel Ship encounter another extra-long spaceship. This one is called the Ark, is impossibly an entire light-year in length and is captained by an alien called Noah.
Peter Quill learns from a beautiful alien woman named Aletha that Noah and his army plan to conquer the Earth and repopulate it themselves. Needless to say, Star-Lord and Aletha defeat Noah’s plans. Peter learns that Ship is in love with him, sort of redefining the fan fiction term “shipping.”
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 2 #6 (May 1980)
Title: THE SAGA OF STAR-LORD
Villains: The Ariguans
Comment: Star-Lord, pursued by the alien Ariguan race who want to put him on trial for his revenge slaying of their fellows back in his first adventure, seeks help from the Master of the Sun.
The Master of the Sun offers himself to the Ariguans in Star-Lord’s place, since it was he who gave Peter Quill the weapons and space ship he used to attack the other Ariguans for killing his mother. As he is taken away, the Master of the Sun tells Star-Lord to stay true to his mission.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 2 #7 (July 1980)
Title: TEARS FOR THE WORLD CALLED HEAVEN
Comment: Star-Lord and Ship arrive at a planet called Heaven, which has clouds as solid as Earth soil and in which live a race of winged humanoids. He encounters Thorn, a winged being who lost his wings for trying to help wingless dwellers on the planet’s harsh surface to reach the paradisal cloud-lands.
The beautiful winged huntress named Shreen is hunting down Thorn to kill him for trying to construct a bridge to let the surface people reach the clouds without first “earning” their wings through good deeds. Star-Lord tries to save Thorn from Shreen but winds up killing her. Thorn offers his own life to make up for her death and calls off his project to help the surface beings bypass good deeds as a means of ascension.
MARVEL PREMIERE Vol 1 #61 (August 1981)
Title: PLANET STORY
Villain: An unnamed living planet.
Synopsis: Star-Lord and Ship arrive at an unnamed planet the surface of which is dotted with ruins.
While exploring the world Peter finds no survivors anywhere and soon faces storms, earthquakes and winds that make him suspect the planet itself is alive and is using its weather as a weapon against him. He seeks shelter underground only to have the planet’s root system attack him to feed on his flesh like it did to all the world’s previous inhabitants.
NOTE: This unnamed planet was a bit similar to Ego, the Living Planet which first appeared in Thor #132 (September 1966). The Marvel movies would present the living planet Ego in a different way.
Comment: In the decades after these stories, Marvel Comics would drastically retcon Starlord’s origin and history. They cannibalized elements of the character Starhawk, a member of the 31st Century Guardians of the Galaxy. Starhawk had been taken from Earth and raised by the Ravager crewmember Ogord, like Peter Quill (in this retconned version) was taken and raised by Yondu.
Marvel’s writers also cannibalized elements of Starlord’s new life story from Nikki, a female member of the 31st Century Guardians of the Galaxy. Nikki was the sole survivor of the colony of genetically engineered human beings capable of living on Mercury by the year 3007 A.D. She had passed years listening to old, old Earth music and watching old, old Earth movies from her spaceship home’s archives.
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