The occasional one-shot backstory issue continues this week as Gerry Duggan teams up with Chris Samnee to deliver a Star-Lord-centric story. Set before the first issue, this story is self contained and involves one of Star-Lord’s most cherished things: Music.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Star-Lord has been sailing the radio waves of the galaxy for years, keeping up with the one piece of Earth he could never quite leave behind. Guest artist Chris Samnee joins writer Gerry Duggan to check into Peter Quill’s sonic conquests! Rated T+
Why does this book matter?
Gerry Duggan has made the Guardians all-new, but also familiar with the same sort of “ragtag family with infighting fun” the film has done so well. He’s also managed to integrate one-shot style stories focused on a specific hero to help flesh out the, “How did they get here” element. Oh, and Chris Samnee is the tits and did such a good job on Black Widow you’re guaranteed this is going to be inspired visually.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
An idealic childhood.
And it is inspired visually indeed. Opening with a full page spread of Star-Lord when he was a kid chilling at a lake, Samnee draws an incredibly idyllic American summer moment. It’s a nice calm before the storm moment until the very next page drops you into some Star-Lord type action — AKA thieving things for the greater good of himself and his friends. The person chasing Star-Lord is a Nova Corps member who Samnee draws with a delicious comedic look. He’s rosey cheeked, missing some hair, and hard to take seriously just as the story requires. The art throughout is very good at subtlety–like two aliens who have captured Star-Lord who have quite a unique but expressive look–but what everyone will be talking about is the integration of music onto the page.
Music is very much the center of this story and you’ll see it in different formats. From the radio waves in space Star-Lord is tracking–he needs to find a broadcast from the 80’s to capture a song that was lost on one of his tapes–to his cassette box with a ton of tapes with personalized covers and writing. These tapes are showcased in a double page spread with a ton of subtle detail, fun call outs to real bands–though never directly quoted to avoid lawsuits–with in jokes too. The final two pages do well to capture the lyrics of a specific song and Samnee captures Star-Lord’s relaxed and go with the flow vibe very well.
From the films we know Star-Lord is all about his one tape, but it’s cool to see Duggan flesh out his music encyclopedia here. It makes sense he’d have more tunes and Duggan takes Star-Lord’s love of music even further in an interesting way. He even gives Star-Lord a good reason to collect physical media! It’s a fun issue and lovers of music will really dig it.
And now, this.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Unless I’m missing something, this issue doesn’t further Star-Lord’s perspective in the bigger story very much. It captures his personality well, but it doesn’t do much i fleshing out the person story like the Gamora issue did.
Is It Good?
Lovers of music need to see this just to see what tracks Star-Lord really likes! Samnee and Duggan come together beautifully here and capture the heart of Star-Lord so well it’d be hard for non-fans not to love him now.