While the Guardians of the Galaxy that fans know best have made the likes of Groot and Gamora into household names, they were hardly the first to fight under that particular banner. Not only were they never Marvel’s original Guardians, several weren’t even the original versions of themselves. In fact, everyone’s favorite Star-Lord had been a part of the Multiverse for nearly thirty years before ever making his introduction in the Primary Marvel Universe, although the decision to make him into something just shy of a god rewrote both of those stories entirely.
Long before the arrival of the Peter Quill fans know best, 1975’s Marvel Premiere #4 introduced the original Star-Lord with the story “Starlord First House: Earth!” (by Steve Englehart, Steve Gan, and Bob McLeod). Much like his modern day counterpart, this Peter was born from the short-lived love between his human mother and alien father. Unfortunately, both of their fathers would leave them behind on Earth not long before their mothers would each be murdered by alien intruders. These deaths spurred each Peter on to find a position at NASA in the hopes of somehow getting closer to the stars, and the truth, something which only came about with a supreme act of defiance. As similar as their origins may seem, that is the moment in which they diverge wildly, or at least where they did until history was rewritten.
Star-Lord’s Upgrade Rewrote Both of His Origins
For the first Peter Quill, the mantle of Star-Lord was something bestowed upon him by the impossibly powerful alien being known as Ragnar, better known as the Master of the Sun. In the case of the modern Peter Quill, Star-Lord was a title he discovered was owed to him as a birthright thanks to his father being the Emperor of Spartax. That particular revelation from the pages of 2013’s Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven in itself was a retcon which further tied the later incarnation of the character to the original. This didn’t mean that the Master of the Sun was no longer a part of his story, however, but rather an aspect that would only be discovered under the most dire of circumstances.
In a bid to exile the Dark Olympians, the primary Star-Lord seemingly sacrificed himself to a black hole. Instead, he was transported to another dimension where the two origins would converge all over again. 2020’s Guardians of the Galaxy #9 by Al Ewing and Juan Cabal revealed that the primary Star-Lord had both survived his previous battle and encountered Ragnar at some point in his life. In blinding visions, Ragnar gave Peter the title of Master of the Sun for himself. This unlocked astounding new abilities unto the hero, not the least of which was Star-Lord’s newfound sense of cosmic awareness. With these powers, Star-Lord played even more key roles than usual during events such as 2021’s King in Black and “The Last Annihilation.” It also called back to the version of the character who inspired what has become one of the most recognizable names in pop culture, all while further cementing the original’s story as an alternate timeline entirely.
Star-Lord’s New Marvel Origin
With the primary Star-Lord’s ascension to Master of the Sun, his obscure predecessor was given a cathartic nod which effectively folded the final, unshared aspect of his story into the current Marvel Universe’s canon. Though there are still plenty of questions to be asked about Ragnar and what the Master of the Sun really means beyond a new power set for Quill, the answers aren’t likely to be found in the past. In spite of everything he inspired, the first Star-Lord’s story was far from long-lived — while Ragnar’s is even more sparse in every possible way.
The fact that the primary Star-Lord spent so long believing the shining, otherworldly Ragnar was part of a false history or imagined fantasy doesn’t help to clear matters up at all. On the other hand, it does stand poised to bring the mystery back to the forefront of the Marvel Universe in the future. With nothing but possibilities regarding Star-Lord’s new mantle, there is no reason for it to not eventually become the next great Marvel mystery.