One of the numerous announcements from Marvel at C2E2 this past weekend was a new series from Sam Humphries and Paco Medina, THE LEGENDARY STAR-LORD. As a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming movie coming, the time is right for his own series. From the sound of it and what we've seen, this has the makings of another great new Marvel series.
In a press conference, Chris D'Lando, from Marvel, set the stage as we started to gather some info.
This marks the first time Star-Lord has had his own ongoing series. Considering when he was first introduced, it's a little surprising.
SAM HUMPHRIES: Star-Lord is a really fun character to write. He's very bold. He's very confident. Born and raised on Earth, he feels right at home in space. On Earth, he was just some orphan kid in the system, but in space, he is the Legendary Star-Lord. This book is going to be Peter's adventures untethered from the Guardians, where he gets to play a little more fast and loose than in the cosmic playground. He was the original outer space scoundrel. He actually pre-dates Han Solo. He likes to fight. He likes to flirt. He flies by the seat of his pants. This book is almost more like a space Western than some of the cosmic books that we have or had. It's not that sort of star-gazing Marvel cosmic book of the 70s with the vast space battles. It's more ground level stuff. It's set in bars and orphanages. It's about heists and cons, bounty hunters, revenge, and all that good stuff. These are high-flying heroic adventures of a space cowboy.
CHRIS D'LANDO: Going back to your Han Solo comment, I think it's safe to say Peter Quill would shoot first?
SAM: He would absolutely shoot first. Are you kidding?
What's going on in the first opening arc?
SAM: We've got a series of done-in-one-story that build right on top of each other. These are stories that take place on the fringes of the cosmic worlds of the Marvel Universe. Where you start to see empires breaking apart and civilizations overlapping and the wars and skirmishes and the places in space where people could fall through the cracks. Peter will have the chance to prove what kind of hero he is.
Sam's worked on several team titles so what's his approach to taking on a solo title?
SAM: There's a lot of relief on my end. After doing three team books in a row at Marvel, I'm really enjoying getting my hands dirty and focusing on one character. Peter is bold and charming but he really does have a heart of gold. He's a hero. He's a scoundrel but he always tries to do the right thing. Exploring that inter-friction, that dichotomy within Peter is really what's making the book interesting for me. That dichotomy is what drives the escapades in this book.
He's this guy that had a tough childhood and he made it into space. And space is awesome. Damn if he isn't going to have some fun going out there exploring new worlds, meeting strange aliens, and sometimes occasionally killing them.
Star-Lord got a good villain with his father, Jason of Spartax. Will he play a role in the series? What about other villains?
SAM: Well, Marvel is practically built on daddy issues. Pretty much all the great characters down the line have some father issues in some way or another. I can't say too much about that without spoiling something coming up immediately in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Brian has this really great story coming, that's already, I believe, started in books that are already out there. There will be a turning point for Peter and the whole Spartax Empire that sets up the adventures in THE LEGENDARY STAR-LORD. Jason's legacy and his sort of dark shadow definitely hangs over the book. Peter is half human and half Spartax. He's half the son of this corrupt, interstellar Emperor/despot. And he's half the son of this selfless Colorado woman, who gave her life for Peter. That's a strong legacy on both sides that Peter finds himself caught in between a lot.
We do have a new bad guy in the form of a character called Mr. Knife. He's a cosmic gangster who's gunning for Peter for mysterious reasons. He puts a blood bounty on Peter's head. That kicks us off right at the beginning of issue #1. We go from there with the entire galaxy trying to find Peter to take him in for a great reward.
A little further down from issue #1, we'll have a new team of cosmic bad guys. I think that's pretty much all I can say about that right now.
How closely will he and Brian work together?
SAM: Very closely. We started working closely when I was working on my first Marvel Universe title with THE ULTIMATES. This is kind of like coming home again. It's a natural mesh for us We started working closely before I even took on the book. Then we started talking ideas. This collaboration has resulted in some really big things that will be coming out of this book, down the line.
SAM: Absolutely. Yes. No question about it. This is something I have a lot of feelings about and I'm putting the all in the book. It's kind of like the ultimate long distance relationship in the Marvel Universe. We've got Peter gallivanting off in space and Kitty on Earth with the X-Men. They've got this two-way, holographic phone set up. It's like a cosmic outer space Skype where they can talk and see each other. Kitty is going to be a member of the supporting cast. There's definitely a flirtation there and we'll be able to find out if there's actually any true heat between them.
What's it like working with Paco Medina?
SAM: Working with Paco is great. When I was writing ULTIMATES, he was drawing ULTIMATE X-MEN. I remember looking at his stuff and thinking, 'This guy is so great.' I was having a deep feeling of envy and hoped one day I'd get to work with him. Now here we are. Paco is the perfect choice for this book because he has so much breadth to his style. We've also seen what Paco is capable of when you throw him into an environment in outer space and let him cut loose with spaceships, guns, and aliens. It'll bring a side of Paco out that people haven't really seen.
There are several Marvel books in the cosmic arena. Can we expect to see other familiar faces? Other Guardians?
SAM: It's a little of both. This is definitely Peter Quill's solo book. He appears in other books in a team format and this is leading into what are his solo adventures? We will see some appearances by Peter's Guardian pals. And yeah, Marvel's cosmic line is real strong. We're definitely going to take advantage of that.
We're seeing the different looks for Star-Lord on the covers. Which look will Sam use?
SAM: Really the only plans right now are to use the mask and overcoat that Chris Pratt has in the movie. Basically what you see on the McNiven cover, that's his look for the book.
With Star-Lord first introduced in 1976, what are his thoughts on why the character never caught on until recently?
SAM: That's a good question. He's a character that's not fully integrated into the core of the 70s Marvel space comics. Like what Starlin was doing with Adam Warlock and Thanos. He was this guy off to the side. He wasn't directly involved in the fray of the Marvel Universe. When DnA brought him into the Guardians of the Galaxy, that was a huge change, in terms of the positioning of the character. That's when you started to see Star-Lord, his character change a little. And we saw his connection to the Marvel Universe.
Will there be an ensemble cast aside from Kitty Pryde or will there be other characters?
SAM: We'll see his friends from the Guardians. Peter is a bro. He's a loyal friend so the Guardians are never far from his mind. There's a very deep bench right now of really exciting characters by really exciting creators in the cosmic line at Marvel. We're definitely going to take advantage of that. There's a lot of interesting connections. THE LEGENDARY STAR-LORD is a solo title for Peter. It is a chance for us to get to know him, for him to really get to shine. Even in space, no one lives in a vacuum. There's going to be a lot of cool appearances, some good supporting cast members. Some will be new and some will be familiar.
It was never fully addressed how Peter returned from the dead in the Cancerverse. It was touched upon in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY but not fully explained. Is this something we'll see in this title?
SAM: I'm not sure how much I can say without spoiling how it's going to play out, but it is going to be addressed. It is going to be a factor in THE LEGENDARY STAR-LORD. It's a great story and it has very interesting and very complicated repercussions for Peter. I know that's a story that's going on in everyone's mind. It's not a story we're going to dodge or sweep under the rug.
Will there be any other Earth-bound heroes besides Kitty?
SAM: Yes. Not sure how much I can say right now but there will be a story early on that's going to come up with Peter coming to Earth. Peter will have a run in with very big Marvel Universe characters who you do not normally see in space.
LEGENDARY STAR-LORD is on sale in July with a cover price of $3.99.