“World In a Bottle”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Gene Colan & Tom Palmer
Starlord is having a nightmare where people that were once adoring him turn to monsters. He is awakened by a strange red beam of energy that sucks him through a black hole. On the other side is a huge ship that stretches beyond his sight. He shoots at the energy beam and the next thing he knows is he is in a jungle being attacked by griffins. He is rescued by a beautiful woman who warns him that everything isn’t what it seems. Later the inhabitants of the space ship arrive. They are an ark that has preserved the population of a planet destroyed by a meteor shower. A ship one light year long holding 2 billion people. They have been searching for over three million year. When Starlord takes a tour he sees Earth animals and finds out that this is the last remnants of Earth. The black hole he went through propelled him into the future.
Yet later he secretly meets with the woman who saved him named Aletha. She tells him the truth. They are aliens who are using a smoke to give the illusion of being human. Their leader Adam is a military dictator who wants to conquer Earth. He brought Starlord to learn about the planet. Aletha is part of a resistance that wants to overthrow the military dictatorship. With Starlord’s help they do that.
“To Sleep, Perchance To….Die!”
Writer: Marc Dacy
Artist: Ernie Colon
Colonel Jeremy Bolld is on a rocket for some mission for NASA. A system malfunction forces the rocket down on a strange desert world. Stripping down to his Fruit of the Looms he sets out to find food and water. At an Oasis he is captured by a hostile tribe known as the Tosk. He escapes and is rescued by the Alarians. They are the enemy of the Tosk and constantly under attack by them and the Vashag sea serpents from the ocean next to the city. Bolld fight for the city and wins the affections of Larissa the daughter of the leader. This earns the enmity of Corax. Corax make a deal with the Tosk. He will open the floodgates and let in the Vashag while the Tosk attack the city. The Tosk take the city and force the Alarians to destroy it with explosives planted in the walls. Bolld confronts Corax who hits him on the head with his sword. He wakes up on his spaceship with a wound to his head. A dream and he fell against the console or was it real?
“Animation and Science Fiction”
By Maurice Horn
An article on science fiction and animation. The earliest attempts was back in 1902 with “A Trip to the Moon.” The famous one where a rocket hits the eye of the moon. It later goes on about other attempts mostly European with animation. There are some familiar ones like Fleicher’s Superman cartoons. Duck Dodgers and the American TV shows like ‘The Jetsons” and Saturday morning attempts. Most are obscure European and Japanese. I found it kind of interesting. He laments the lack of American animation for science fiction which I think has come a long way since this article.
So this special Starlord was in Marvel Color and looked beautiful. There were two full spreads that I still remember from being a kid. One was Starlord looking at the huge ship that stretched forever. The other was when the hordes were attacking the city of the Alarians. Both were beautiful and epic. I actually think that the backup story was better than the Starlord feature. Yet both were very good.
One odd little tidbit was that the ark was one light year long. A light year is 5.8784991 X 10 to the 12. What it means is that is one long ship. How would you maintain communication from one end of the ship to the other?
“Less Than Human”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Bill Sienkiewicz & Bob McLeod
A ship with beastmen is testing a new weapon that will destroy a planet. Their ship is attacked and all are killed and the weapon is taken but not before they send out a distress call. Now Starlord has arrived on a planet because his ship has detected a massive power source. Starlord lands in a city that is located inside a crater. The city is actually quite primitive except the police who confiscate Starlord’s pistol. Only bladed weapons are allowed. At the local tavern he finds out the planet is home to people that reject technology for a simple life. Quan-Zarr has founded this world.
Suddenly two beastmen come in and kill two soldiers that were acting as couriers for Quan-Zarr. Starlord grabs a sword from a woman and pursues with the woman behind wanting her sword back. The chase leads to a confrontation with the beastmen and the truth. Years ago Quan-Zarr attacked the peaceful civilization on this world. The survivors were used in experiments that created the beastmen. Now the beastmen are planning for revenge and Starlord must make a decision. Abandon his pledge of not killing or let a whole planet of innocents die.
“Into The Shop”
Writer: Ron Goulart
Artists: Steve Bissette & Rick Veitch
On a futuristic world a marshal and his Lawagon enforce the law. The Lawagon is starting to malfunction when it mistakes an innocent man for a wanted criminal. The Lawagon is judge, jury and executioner. After it kills the mechanic sent to fix him mistaking him for a wanted criminal the marshal knows its malfunctioned but doesn’t have time because a former love has been kidnapped. Unfortunately the Lawagon kills both the kidnapper and woman. It also takes out the marshal once again confusing him for a wanted criminal.
“The Destiny of the Dinosaurs”
Writer: Don Thompson
Artist: Lee Elias
A professor and his assistant build a time machine. The professor is obsessed with seeing the dinosaurs. So they travel through time and witness history. They reach the mesozoic ear and find a giant rocket. There are intelligent dinosaurs that are leaving the planet because its getting too cold. The dinosaurs try to kill the travelers when they try to contact them and they flee back to the future. They don’t have too long before rockets land all over the world. The dinosaurs are back to reclaim the planet.
Well this was an exciting issue and the last time Starlord appears in Marvel Preview. Interesting on the contents page it states that Starlord is shedding his “space-sissy image.” This is a Starlord that has to overcome his aversion to kill. Now in past issues he has done this so its probably unfair to call him a sissy. Still he does come to the realization that to save lives he may have to kill. A very enjoyable story.
The Ron Goulart story was also fun. A malfunctioning Lawagon that starts to see everyone as the dangerous criminal Sheldon Kloog. A warning about relying on infallible machines. The marshal was also too busy trying to save his girlfriend and ignoring the problem with his Lawagon. Obvious problems like killing cars should never be ignored.
The final story was the best. I loved the idea of intelligent dinosaurs with rocketships. I could see them looking at humans as vermin that has to be eliminated. All around some very interesting stories for his issue.
“A Matter of Necessity!”
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Carmine Infantino
The planet Carillon is attacked by the Haalmhad. They literally destroy the planet. Now they are headed to the third planet in the system named Cymoril. Cymoril is defenseless and has hours left. The Haalmhad are a nomadic people that travel in a giant starship. They are apparently threatened by a possible alliance this system was about to enter. Starlord’s ship decides to go to the rescue. We learn that the ship was at one time a sun that had two inhabited planets in its orbit. One day a fleet came and shot a missile into the sun causing a supernova. The sun’s consciousness survived and was later rescued by our sun’s master. She then was made into the ship that Starlord would use.
So Starlord agrees to help the ship and he manages to sneak aboard the Haalmhad ship. There he sabotages their systems. The Haalmhad are forced to abandon the ship and start over on an uninhabited world. So Starlord and his ship manage to save Cymoril without killing the Haalmhad.
“Time Travel: The Fantasy of Science Fiction”
By Arthur Curtis
An article on time travel fiction. It points out that time travel has no actual basis in science and should be classified as fantasy. He goes on about the history of time travel in fiction. It includes movies and TV. This was an informative article about time travel. There were a number of books that sounded interesting and I might try sometime.
Writers: Don & Maggie Thompson
Artist: Lee Elias
A man finds himself in front of a statue of Adolf Hilter. It lists him as dying in 1973 and this is the place the Lincoln Memorial should be. Harry Pitzer knows he is not back in his own world. So a twist of the knob on his belt and he is in another world. This one ruled by the Romans. World after world he goes to. Some are like his but have subtle differences. Others are completely different. A world with British and Arab soldiers fighting a battle. The Union Jack flies on the White House. Aliens are invading one world.
Harry is from the future of 1990. This time has discovered the secret of dimension jumping. It is illegal but Harry hit a dimensional patrolman who materialized in front of his car. He took the belt so he could go to a more advanced dimension and grab a money making idea. In this case a new paperclip. Now he is desperate to get back because the dimensional police can track the belt and also know if a person doesn’t belong in a dimension. Unauthorized travel to dimensions is death.
Finally Harry gets back to a world that looks like his. He finds his house and car with the damage to the front. So he sets the belt to travel by itself and plans to make a lot of money on his new found invention. He goes to the bookstore and realizes he has made a mistake. The book he finds is “The Collected Love Poems” of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
So this Starlord story was an exciting one. We get to find out about his ship who has a sentience of its own. It was a sun. The ship was willing to go it alone if Starlord didn’t help which shows the ship is an independent entity. This had an epic feel with the Haalmhad ship and its destructive power. An enjoyable story.
The real fun story was the backup which overshadowed the main story. I loved this idea of a man traveling into parallel worlds. Just a wealth of strange worlds that had dinosaurs, cavemen, aliens and victorious Nazis. There was some real humor in the various newspaper headlines. James Dean Wins an Oscar. Communists Praise Senator Joe McCarthy. President Agnew Wins a Fourth Term. Katherine Hepburn Elected President. Pentagon Warns WWIV Inevitable. Of course the big reveal that he was mistaken about his world was priceless.
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Carmine Infantino
Starlord has arrived at a desolate desert world in response to a call for help. He is attacked by the dreadnoughts of the Lorq a reptilian race. The ship crashes and severely injures Starlord. The ship decides to create a physical persona of itself and forms a beautiful woman. She names herself Caryth Halyan. She pretends to be a survivor from another ship that found him and healed him. So the two go off looking for the intelligence that brought Starlord to this world. They find a cavern deep inside a mountain. After successfully fighting off hordes of small crabs they connect with the Trinity. The Trinity is about to give birth to a tree of life. Starlord and Caryth fight off the Lorq and defeat them but Caryth loses her human body.
“Three Kinds of the Fannish Encounters”
By Don & Maggie Thompson
An article about science fiction fans. There are three kinds. The first that buy, read and collect the various books and memorabilia. The second is communicating with other fans through fanzines then they recommend three popular ones. The third is direct contact at conventions. Interesting but a bit dated for this now internet age. Oh and don’t call it sci-fi. Apparently that’s an insult.
Writer David Kraft
Artist: Bob Wakelin
A craft lands on the forbidden world of Cyndriana and a pilot prods an elderly couple off the ship. He then murders them and takes their valuable. As he hides it in the jungle he is confronted by a naked woman. She seduces him and later he finds himself attacked by the plant life. As he tries to reach his ship the skeletons of the murdered couple come to life and drag him underground.
Writer: Rich Marshall
Artist: Alfredo Alcala
Cathy Bailey is a college student driving home for the holidays. She stops at a diner for coffee and gets some unwanted attention from a biker. She leaves and later finds the man pursuing her. She desperately tries to escape and ends up crashing the car into a tree. The biker comes and breaks open the window and drags her out. Now a flying saucer is over the crash site. It takes the car and motorcycle then zips away. The man was trying to warn the girl and not after her.
So this Starlord story was a mixed bag. On one hand the story itself was in some ways kind of dull. The redeeming part was having the ship create a human body. There seems to be a love that the ship has for Starlord and now it can actually interact with him. Some beautiful artwork but as I said the story was sort of ho-hum.
The second was also OK but nothing special. Sort of your typical evil doer gets his comeuppance.
The third was my favorite. It was a written story with illustrations to go along with it. A very interesting story with suspense and a twist ending.
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bryne
The small colony world of Windholme is raided by slavers. They kill everyone except the young to take off world and sell. Kip a young man rebels against the slavers and escapes into the air ducts. There he meets a young woman named Sandy from another world also raided by the slavers. Their rebellion is aided by the arrival of Starlord. He disables the ship and allows the slaves to rise up and kill their slavers.
Starlord then goes off to search for who is behind this operation. After leaving the freed slaves on the planet Windholme, he heads off along with Kip and Sandy to Cinnibar. Cinnibar is a pleasure world with floating cities. The world is run by Shakati who is behind the slave raids. Starlord and his friends find out that the raids are a greater plot to finance a coup of the emperor by his uncle. So its off to the world of Sparta to warn the emperor.
When they get there Starlord faces the uncle and his ally the leader of the Ariguan Confereracy. This alien is the lizard-man who killed Starlord’s mother. So they fight and Starlord forgets his pledge to not kill. He then manages to take out the uncle. It is discovered that Starlord is the emperor’s son. The emperor’s ship crashed on Earth and he fell in love with his mother. He later left with a promise to return. He unfortunately trusted his uncle who had the aliens come and assassinate his mother. Now he can inherit the galactic empire but decides to remain an explorer. He recommends that Kip be adopted as his son and become the heir.
“Our “Alien Heritage or the Central-Casting Syndrome.
By John Bryne
An article about how actual alien life would look nothing like humans but how it has become popular to humanize aliens in fiction. Ok article but didn’t really have anything new to say.
So Starlord is back in a second story. This time they have decided to portray Peter Quill as much more likable. He is now dedicated to being a guardian of the universe and no longer obsessed with revenge. Indeed he is somewhat of a pacifist who will not kill. But still human and forgets that when actually confronted by the alien that killed his mom. The story also established the character by giving him a ship that is sentient. There is a sort of love interest with the female persona that the ship has. This was a really great story. It had an epic feel with the different worlds that just seemed larger than life. The revelation of Peter’s origin was a surprise. The character was being set up to have his own series but it would be quite some time before he gained some popularity.
“Starlord First House: Earth!”
Writer: Steve Englehart
Artist: Steve Gan
Young Peter Quill is growing up with his mother in the rural Western US. One day aliens land and murder his mother. The local authorities don’t believe his story of aliens and he ends up in an orphanage. There he makes it his goal in life to seek revenge against the aliens. So he joins the space program and exceeds in astronaut training. But his attitude doesn’t win over any friends. So in this future 1990 the US has a working space station in orbit named Eve. While there an apparition appears claiming to be a Starlord. He invites the Earth to send it’s best representative to become a Starlord.
This is the chance Quill has been waiting for. But the authorities have someone else in mind and Quill gets fired when he acts out. Not to be stopped he hijacks a shuttle and shoots his way onto the station. He manages to get to the right place and taken by the alien force. He finds himself taken to the Sun. There in a golden palace he meets an old man on a throne. He is the Master of the Sun. He gives Quill the power of the Starlord. Then he sends him to find the aliens that killed his mother.
“Introduction: The Sword in the Star”
By Bill Mantlo & Edward S. Barkin
An article that introduces the next story. It is based on the old epic classics. It goes on too much and seemed filler that wasn’t really needed.
“The Sword in the Star!”
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: Ed Hannigan, Craig Russell & Rick Bryant
On the world of Ithacons a great battle is being fought. A dying king orders his son to leave with a wizard named Delphos. He reluctantly abandons his father just before the Hammin arrive and destroy the army. Wayfarer the son is taken by Delphos to a secret underground chamber. There he is attached to the learning machine. He learns the history of humanity. How they fled Earth and established many civilizations. Now the advanced Hammin are coming and he must search for the Sword in the Star to save the galaxy. He escapes in the ship Starseed as the Hammin find the cavern and kill Delphos who was ten thousand years old.
So this is the first Starlord story. This Starlord is a lot different from the Chris Pratt character. For one he is way more serious and actually an unlikable character. Obsessed with revenge he finally gets it. Or does he? Was is an illusion by the Master of the Sun. Just to get it out of Peter Quills system. His powers are also mystic in origin or maybe so advanced as to appear mystic. Starlord appeared in a number of the Marvel Previews and some other anthology series. Never catching on although now thanks to the movies its quite popular. I do enjoy this gritty version.
The back up story was also and interesting read and looked like it was to be a possible series. It had an epic feel to it. I don’t know if it continued on in some other form but this is the only appearance I know of for Wayfarer and his quest. It had potential but this story was just Ok.