Director James Gunn's Guardians Of The Galaxy is a big gamble for Marvel Studios. It's an unknown quantity even to most comic fans. It's a space opera at a time when non-Lucasfilm space operas don't perform well. It's a movie with a talking raccoon at a time when even Disney princess movies don't have talking animals.
Of course, all of Marvel's movies have been gambles. Iron Man wasn't a household name, despite how we think of the character now. Thor was a sci fi fantasy movie -- what could be worse? Captain America seemed an impossible sell for overseas markets. Bringing those franchises together for Avengers? Insanity. Marvel Studios' safest bet was probably Hulk -- a household name and a proven quantity -- and that's been the studio's weakest performer. So it looks like the big gambles are where Marvel excels. If Guardians Of The Galaxy is the studio's biggest gamble to date, it makes a weird kind of sense that it's also one of the studio's most delightful successes.
With the still-can't-believe-they-actually-made-this-one Guardians of the Galaxy opening this weekend, it’s time again to break down the convoluted history of comics in the recurring feature we call Comics, Everybody! Courtesy of cartoonist Chris Haley of Let’s Be Friends Again and colorist Jordan Gibson, the subject of this edition has an uncommonly strong claim to the title of unlikely hero. Or at least, unlikely movie star. That's right, we're talking about Star-Lord, the Marvel Comics space hero created by Steve Englehart and Steve Gan.
Whether you’re new to Guardians and Star-Lord and curious to learn more about his ridiculous history or you’re a hardcore Marvel nerd looking to Um-Actually this feature into oblivion, you’ll be sure to enjoy this special tribute to the galaxy's newly famous nobody.
Nerdcore rapper Adam WarRock, a.k.a. Eugene Ahn, is back doing his thing with a rap tribute to the legendary outlaw Star-Lord -- the soon-to-be-famous leading man of Guardians Of The Galaxy, as played by the internet's boyfriend Chris Pratt. WarRock told ComicsAlliance, "It's weird to me that by the end of the week, everyone will know who Star-Lord is, and actually love him. I mean, it's Star-Lord. But anyway, I'm excited, and hopefully this song gets you even more pumped for the film."
The track is free to download at AdamWarRock.com, and you can find the man himself online on Twitter and Facebook. This isn't WarRock's first Guardians of the Galaxy track; a few months back he recorded "Murdered You," a loving tribute to Rocket Raccoon, which you can also check out right here.
The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it’s disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it’s also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.
Two spin-offs of Guardians of the Galaxy launch in recent weeks: The Legendary Star-Lord and the already-surprise-hit Rocket Raccoon. Marvel Unlimited's got a fairly thorough, if not quite complete, selection of most of the Guardians' previous appearances, especially the ones in the Annihilation/Annihilation: Conquest/Annihilators sequence. But their prehistory is worth digging into, too, and there's some choice proto-Guardians material in the archive.
Despite the fact that he's been floating around the Marvel Universe for the past 38 years, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord has always been a bit of a blank slate. His costume, origin, powers, and personality have seen numerous iterations, depending on where he appeared and which creators were steering the ship at any given moment. He's been portrayed as an emotionally unstable hothead, a space-faring zen master, and a fun-loving scoundrel. He's been guided by such talents as Steve Englehart and Steve Gan, Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Keith Giffen, Carmine Infantino, Doug Monech, Gene Colan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dan Abnett, and Andy Lanning. And despite being a cornerstone of Marvel's cosmic sagas for the past decade, and serving as the leader of the modern iteration of the Guardians Of The Galaxy, he's remained a steadfastly second-string character in the publishing line and broader media.
But now that's about to change. The Guardians Of The Galaxy are moving to the silver screen in just a few short weeks, and this week the first issue of a new ongoing Star-Lord series hits comic shop shelves and digital storefronts courtesy of writer Sam Humphries and artist Paco Medina.
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
Of all the Marvel characters who have made it to the big screen over the past few years, none have seemed less likely than Peter Quill. An obscure sci-fi character who debuted in the '70s and made a handful of appearances in his first three decades of existence, he rose to fame during the Annihilation crossover as the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy, a ragtag band of spacefaring heroes who battled evil across the stars.
Now, with a Guardians of the Galaxy movie set to debut this summer, Peter Quill is getting his first ever ongoing series as The Legendary Star-Lord, thanks to Sam Humphries (Avengers A.I., Sacrifice), artist Paco Medina (Nova, Ultimate Comics X-Men) and colorist David Curiel. To find out more, I spoke to Humphries about the history of Star-Lord, how his obscurity helped to propel him to fame, and why his hair has to stay gloriously uncovered.
Marvel went to C2E2 armed with a plethora of publishing announcements for the Chicago crowd, focusing largely on special projects like miniseries and some pretty cool-sounding Original Sin tie-ins, but with a couple auspicious new series as well. In an inspired bit of comic book casting, Our Love Is Real and Avengers A.I. writer Sam Humphries will write the The Legendary Star-Lord, a new series drawn by Paco Medina starring the Guardians of the Galaxy leader. In similarly agreeable news, fan favorite X-Men leader Stormwill star in a new ongoing series, this one courtesy of Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez.
Marvel has announced the first issue of a new Legendary Star-Lord series, which will also be coming in July, just in time for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The new series will be written by Sam Humphries (Avengers A.I.) and feature art by Paco Medina (Ultimate Comics X-Men).
Marvel Studios has released four new images from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, two of which are official stills and two of which go behind the scenes.
The most interesting of the bunch is a shot of Chris Pratt's Star-Lord running along the terrain of an alien planet, with the wall behind him just a flat wall of blue. It's not all that different from an old Star Trek set. It just goes to show how much post-production work goes into making movie look as polished as the final screenshots presented here look.
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