Almost every comic book superhero has a convoluted backstory, and the messed up history of Star-Lord is no exception. The life of Peter Quill in the comics is not exactly the fun-loving affair that it is in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Although the two versions of the character share some similarities, there are also some dark differences that will never make it onto the big screen. Gamora and Nebula - it turns out - aren't the only ones who had a rough go of it out among the starways.
Quill's backstory always begins on Earth, but there have been multiple variations and retcons of that origin over the years. However, the components are always the same - a mysterious alien father, a dead mother, and an alien kidnapping. With an origin that grim, it’s no surprise that the list of disturbing Star-Lord moments isn’t a particularly short one.
Star-Lord’s unusual parentage has always been a part of his character history, but in the comics it hasn't been quite as simple as having a living planet for a father. Originally, Star-Lord’s mother was impregnated during a rare planetary alignment, and she gave birth to Peter Quill while under a starry sky. It was like the universe itself was Star-Lord’s father, although it was later revealed that a mysterious alien was the actual culprit, having used his advanced technology to impregnate Meredith Quill from afar.
Eventually, the comics would reveal that Star-Lord’s father was J’son, King of the Planet Spartax and ruler of the Spartoi, a remarkably human-like race. J’son rules the Spartoi Empire with an iron fist, and is a decidedly un-Star-Lord-like character. The comics would later retcon J’son’s dalliance with Peter’s mother as an actual romance, but one that J’son looked back on with great shame due to his opinion that the people of Earth were “backwater apes.” Whenever J’son encounters anyone from his son’s home planet, he can be sure to treat them with ill will and stab them in the back at his first opportunity. In fact, he attempts to doom the entire human race during the events of Infinity.
Like many a comic book superhero, Star-Lord’s story always begins with a dead parent. His mother Meredith tragically dies from cancer in the Guardians of the Galaxy film, but in the comics things are a bit more violent. Seeking to strike back against J’son - Peter’s father and the ruler of the Spartoi Empire - a couple of reptilian aliens known as the Badoon track down Peter and his mom. Meredith is brutally gunned down by the Badoon, but Peter discovers his father’s left-behind element gun and takes his revenge on the lizard-like invaders.
At one point, Star-Lord’s comic book story was considered complete. Never a major character, Star-Lord had risen to moderate fame as a member of a new iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but the storyline known as the Thanos Imperative took him off the board. It saw the Guardians and their longtime enemy Thanos team up to travel inside the “Cancerverse,” an ever-growing dimension where death didn’t exist that was beginning to expand into the Guardians’ universe. Eventually, Star-Lord, Drax, and Nova sacrifice themselves in an attempt to trap Thanos in the Cancerverse, which should have left them stuck there forever. In time, all four characters would return to the Marvel universe.