REVIEW: Star-Lord #1 – “New Setting, Same Star-Lord”

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Star-Lord #1
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Penciler: Kris Anka
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Inker: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 21, 2016

Star-Lord #1

Plot: Peter Quill was born on Earth, but has spent nearly his entire life in space. Star-Lord #1 brings Pete home and learning to function as a more normal Earthling.

Star-Lord #1

Story: The story in Star-Lord #1 is an interesting premise because it throws the character completely out of his element while still being a location that readers are fully familiar with. At first, the idea of Star-Lord being stuck having to function as a normal person, following Earth’s rules, sounds like it could be completely hit or miss; the character is great, but what usually elevates him to the next level is the craziness of space and the adventures the Guardians would have as a team. The book immediately opens up and has Peter feeling like a Hawkeye replacement because Clint is currently M.I.A.. He’s on the couch, drinking beer, refusing to function and operate on a normal daily human schedule. Considering the fallout of the Guardians and Star-Lord not having many Earth contacts, his emotions and lack of motivation make sense; however, it feels wrong to have this character feel sidelined and not being proactive like usual.

Star-Lord #1

On top of this, as an introductory story it felt a little heavy handed at points only to reassure readers that Peter will find things to do. Zdarsky does a great job with the material and outline before him, and while this scene in particular goes one line too far, the writer makes great allegories to help re-shape the character’s mindset in his less than ideal setting. Right now Star-Lord #1 feels so weird because Pete has no real friends to connect with and play off of, which is always what made him so great in past Guardians situations. Between characters like Richard Rider or Rocket, Star-Lord always had one or multiple people to give him that buddy cop feeling, but on his own it will be interesting to see how the character can adapt for the long-term.

Star-Lord #1

Luckily though, Star-Lord #1 eventually develops some great ideas, mainly the connection between Peter and Old Man Logan. Star-Lord has a unique personality, but the incorporation of Old Man Logan could be one of the character’s greatest partners and immediately seems like he would be the perfect pairing as the story continues forward. Zdarsky highlights the relatability between the two because they have been thrown out of their “home” and are stuck somewhere that is familiar enough but still not where they are from. Logan seems like such a good fit for Star-Lord because he brings a similar personality to the table but with an added age and wisdom.

It would be nice if Logan could stick around more, especially because it opens up a logical reason for Star-Lord to continue crossing paths with Kitty, but more importantly, develops a great dynamic between two unexpected characters.

Star-Lord #1

Art:  The art in Star-Lord #1 doesn’t give Kris Anka or Matthew Wilson much to play around with, but they do a nice job whenever the opportunity pops up. The characters all look great and are drawn well with a unique style. However, the art team on Star-Lord really excels with their action sequence drawings. The issue doesn’t have many, but they are just drawn in a very cool style that feels similar to anime where readers can visually tell when someone is faster and stronger than their opponent. It looks super cool and keeps the penciling relatively simple but has a lot of fine detail to nicely display movement and impact.

Star-Lord #1

Logan specifically looked super cool in Star-Lord #1 and this drawing/ coloring style that Anka and Wilson have brought to the page. The character looks like he is frozen at the beginning of a highlight reel about to happen for a fighting game. The art just looks really cool and the colors are well placed because they keep things appropriate to the character with a sepia tone that has Logan feeling like he belongs in the old west.

Anka and Wilson really create some great scenes in this book and will hopefully have the ability to create more awesome looking action scenes, but what would be nice is if they could do more with the settings. A bar is pretty boring, but showing one in space gives both of these artist more room to play around with that allows them to use more creativity in the style and color.

Verdict:  Star-Lord #1 presents a lot of good ideas that make this book promising going forward. Peter isn’t as fun on Earth so far, but hopefully as he develops some more relationships and explores this new life it will create a really neat story. Zdarsky does a really nice job with the writing and seems to have Pete’s tone down pretty well while Anka and Wilson nailed the artwork and styling for a book like this.

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