Horrifying And Weird Aspects Of Star-Lord's Comic Book Backstory
Photo: Marvel Comics

Horrifying And Weird Aspects Of Star-Lord's Comic Book Backstory

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.

  • His Original Origin Was An Immaculate Conception

    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.

  • His Father Is An Intergalactic Warlord

    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.

  • Aliens Murdered His Mom

    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.

  • Star-Lord Was Once Stuck In A “Cancerverse”

    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.

  • Star-Lord Had His Whole Comic Book History Re-Written

    The storyline that brought Star-Lord back into the mainstream of Marvel’s cosmic comics was Annihilation, a wide-sweeping crossover that brought in the majority of the space-themed characters. The Star-Lord seen in this event was a far cry from the young, fun-loving portrayal of Chris Pratt. This Star-Lord was a survivor of countless space wars who had lost many allies, and acted like a guy who had “seen too much.” Annihilation Star-Lord had a bitter and dark sense of humor, and was more grizzled veteran than space cowboy.

  • He’s Way Older Than He Looks

    Star-Lord first debuted in Marvel Preview in 1976, meaning he’s existed for over 40 years. For a time, Peter Quill was even portrayed as a man approaching middle age, somewhere in his late 30s to early 40s. However, that all shifted when Chris Pratt was cast as Star-Lord, which caused the comic book version to be rebooted to a handsome and suave 28 year old. Still, Star-Lord’s Spartoi physiology includes delayed aging and a longer lifespan than the average human, meaning Star-Lord will retain his youthful looks for decades.