COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Star-Lord: First Flight
By The Masked Medic
The perk to reading team novels is that everything feels grander. If a collective group of characters need to take on an enemy then it usually involves some massive level of action. That being said, it’s therefore difficult to sense the subtle nuances of certain individuals. That’s probably why I like to return to solo novels once in a while. Plus they’re probably the best novels to read if you want to learn about new characters. Today, the character in question is the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Star-Lord.
‘First Flight’ starts with young Peter Quill witnessing his mother be murdered by a group of aliens. As expected from most comic book heroes, he decides that he is going to do everything in his power to find his mother’s killers. To do that he’ll have to get to space, and unfortunately, there isn’t much space travel from Earth at the time. We see Peter working at a NASA facility, but unfortunately, his dreams of being an astronaut are just dreams and he works there as a janitor. But when he gets the opportunity one night to stow away in one of the spaceships held at the facility he finds himself in outer space in the middle of nowhere. When he’s found by another ship, Peter believes that salvation has arrived, but much to his dismay, his salvation happens to be a group of pirates hellbent on taking his ship. After a scuffle and a lot of outwitting, Peter comes face to face with their leader, Yondu and convinces the ship captain to let him be part of the crew. For once it seems that things are starting to look up for Peter, but when Yondu announces that he knows the location of the aliens that killed Quill’s mother but to give him the information, he’ll need Peter to help the crew of Ravagers take Asterion One, a large ship that NASA had built. Peter finds himself in between a rock and a hard place. Will he side with his new family and help the pirate crew take the ship? Or will his old allegiances to his own race pull through?
As I said before, the allure of a solo novel is that you get to see an individual character grow, and given that this novel was a literal origin story novel, we see Peter Quill go from a young, volatile but talented teenager to a man that has the initial showings of a hero. I thought that in terms of character development, the novel was fantastic and not just on the part of Quill, but also the inimical villain of the story, Yondu. Their relationship and rivalry are teased quite early on and it’s fairly clear to see where James Gunn may have got some of his inspiration for his Guardians’ films. One aspect that I found particularly interesting was the fact that even as a kid, Peter is aware of who the Avengers are, and clearly, humans are aware of alien races such as the Kree. It asks the question, just where in the timeline this story is set.
In terms of the artwork, I’d say that certain panels were drawn really well whilst others were terrifying. And not in a good way. Aha! The covers were good, but this variant in particular stuck out to me. Overall, ‘First Flight’ is an excellent novel for anyone that is a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy but also for anyone looking to get into some Marvel Comics!
Young Peter Quill had some serious issues it appears!
Star-Lord. He’s another character whose film counterpart does not compare to the comic version at all!
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★★