With a blockbuster movie role and a rise in profile, Peter Quill gets a new solo series in “The Legendary Star-Lord” from Sam Humphries and Paco Medina. Will this premiere issue live up to its name? Find out in our spoiler-free review!
Written by Sam Humphries
Illustrated by Paco Medina
From the pages of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY! A brand new series from SAM HUMPHRIES and PACO MEDINA! In this exciting first issue, Peter Quill battles the Badoon, fights to save an orphanage, and still finds time for some flirting with Kitty Pryde–but it’s all in a day’s work for the STAR-LORD!
You folks hear of this Star-Lord feller? Word is he’s in that Galactic Guardians film being directed by Edgar Wright what with the Rockin’ Raccoon. He’s being built up to be quite the big deal as seen by his new solo series from Humphries and Medina, a series that removes Peter Quill from the team he’s been riding with for the past few years and shines the spotlight right on the legendary Star-Lord.
Of course, considering how many movie viewers Marvel’s probably looking to court with the new series it’s a unique move on Humphries’ part to essentially forgo retelling Peter Quill’s origin. It’s a pretty simple origin somewhat told through very sparse exposition that doesn’t so much state the practical beginnings of Peter Quill (“Evil Dad. Dead Mom. Guns. Swag.”) so much as the character moments that shaped him into a gunslinger living outside the Han Solo mold.
Star-Lord was raised as an orphan which is a fact “Legendary” won’t let you forget as Quill protects a space orphanage against some Badoon bandits who are apparently coming back from obscurity. Medina’s cartoonish style seems to work really well for the type of cosmic action that you’d expect form a Star-Lord series but instead we’re treated to a lot of quieter scenes that show off Quill’s personality quirks. When Kitty Pryde makes her cameo, the short time Quill goes from knocked out in a jail cell to seductive pose is a hilariously understated example of his lothario personality. In contrast, the action scenes don’t necessarily hold up as well, since most of the fighting occurs off-screen. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; one scene involving Star-Lord’s face and a crowbar (space crowbar?) is a great example of the creative team forgoing on-page violence for a more comedic flair.
That may seem a bit unfair, but the reduction of violence in “Legendary Star-Lord” prevents the titular character from falling into the Han Solo archetype he seems so close to. Yes, he makes a lot of cocky jokes, shoots a bunch of scum and sleeps around the galaxy (all of which are depicted in a wonderfully designed splash page that thankfully shows some discretion with that last bit) but he also does some heroic deeds that he’d rather not anyone know about. Reputation and stuff, y’know? And that theme of reputation spills over into nearly every action that Star-Lord takes from the aforementioned posing with Kitty to the subterfuge that closes out the issue.
If anything that control over his reputation might be the issue’s biggest failing. Because Star-Lord is so in control of his reputation, his “legend” if you will, he’s in control for most of the issue, which kind of kills a lot of the suspense. While there’s still some humorous moments and really great character work with the flashbacks, the story with the Badoon feels largely irrelevant. At the end of the issue, this situation gets upset by a revelation regarding Quill’s past that Star-Lord could never see coming, and while that’s sure to build up a lot of intriguing plot for future issues, it arrives a little late here.
If “Legendary Star-Lord” is going to become as long-lasting as its title suggests, its power won’t be found in the action scenes that are sure to populate the upcoming Guardians film. Not because Medina can’t draw a competent action scene; he can, in fact, and draws some truly breathtaking visuals that stray further away from action and more towards the awe-inspiring. No, “Legendary Star-Lord” will live or die by its character study of Peter Quill, which is something that Humphries and Medina seem slightly focused on at the moment. Though the overall story is hampered by a sub-par Badoon sub-plot (that does pay off nicely with a sweet moment from Quill), it seems like Humprhies and Medina know exactly where they want to take Star-Lord on this galaxy wide adventure.Continued below
Final Verdict: 7.2 – Though this wasn’t the most exciting issue, “Legendary” seems like it really wants to dig deep into the character of Peter Quill, and given some time I think it’ll do just that.