As the Guardians of the Galaxy only achieved mainstream popularity with their 2014 film, most people know Star-Lord as the goofy character played by Chris Pratt, with his leather jacket and rapier wit. But the character has gone through several iterations throughout his history, each one with his own distinctive look. Here, we use Star-Lord’s costumes as a window into his character, tracking him from his debut to the present day.

The Original Star-Lord: A Cosmic Jerk

When Star-Lord first appeared in MARVEL PREVIEW #4 (1976), he was far from the lovable character we know today. Steve Englehart, the creator of Star-Lord, even described him as “an unpleasant, introverted jerk.” He intended for Peter Quill to grow as a person and develop eventually into “the most comic being in the universe,” but readers never got to see this change, as Englehart left Marvel shortly after the character’s creation.

Star-Lord costume
Image from MARVEL PREVIEW #4 courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Englehart’s intentions are clear in Star-Lord’s original getup. The celestial symbols on his head and belt establish the character’s connection to the cosmos. Although Star-Lord’s form is clearly human, his costume makes him look as otherworldly as possible. His goggles resemble the giant, emotionless eyes of a bug or owl, and we see barely any of his skin. The only exposed part of his face is fixed in a constant frown. He doesn’t exactly look like a guy with a sense of humor.

Star-Lord’s Modern-Day Revival

Star-Lord costume
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

After starring in a few issues during the ‘70s and early ‘80s, Star-Lord disappeared until THANOS #8 in 2004. In his appearances in ANNIHILATION and the reboot of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Star-Lord became a completely different character. If anything, his new mask and his costume’s red coloring made him seem more menacing, but here finally emerged a distinction between the serious character of Star-Lord and Peter Quill, the jokester underneath. Far from aloof, the unmasked Star-Lord loves his dry humor:

Star-Lord costume
Image from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 (2008) courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord

Star-Lord costume
Image from Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (2013) courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

In the series reboot leading up to the release of the 2014 film, Star-Lord became even more relatable and human. Maskless Peter Quill became the default and, with his windswept hair and stubble, began to resemble a Hollywood celebrity. He went through a few costumes during this series, but they all shared a clean, futuristic look. In short, this Star-Lord was made to be pretty and appealing. 

The movie Star-Lord combines Hollywood glamor with a new, more casual costume. Rather than the rigid, almost military appearance of his previous costume, movie Star-Lord’s outfit of choice—a t-shirt, leather jacket, pants, boots, and even a Sony Walkman—is a devil-may-care look that made clear that he plays by his own rules.

Star-Lord costume
Image from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Just as importantly, movie Star-Lord’s outfit is supposed to be relatable to us Terrans. Sure, this outfit isn’t exactly normal, but it’s certainly closer to our apparel than his original bodysuit. Plus, Peter Quill is played by Chris Pratt, whom many people remember not as the handsome, muscular celebrity but as the chubby everyman Andy from PARKS & RECREATION.

Following the first film, the comic Star-Lord assumed the same more casual, earthly outfit in the twelve-issue series LEGENDARY STAR-LORD:

Star-Lord costume
Image from LEGENDARY STAR-LORD #1 courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

READ: Deciding whether to watch GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2? Already seen it? Check out our thoughts on the film!

Star-Lord Today: The Best of Both Worlds


Star-Lord costume
Image from STAR-LORD #2 courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Although movie Star-Lord looks the same in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, his comic book alter ego has found an identity that fuses the film’s influence with his roots as a cosmic figure. This new design, which first appeared in last year’s STAR-LORD #2, puts a new twist on the character. Artist Kris Anka gives the original blue suit the same renegade, relatable look of movie Peter Quill’s jacket and t-shirt. (This jacket does, in fact, open to reveal a black tee underneath.)

READ: A new Guardians series debuted last week, and it’s awesome. Check out our review of ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1!

The Star-Lord of today’s comics is a blend of old and new, inspired – but not defined – by his on-screen counterpart. This Peter Quill is a far cry from the cold, self-centered one who appeared in MARVEL PREVIEW, but, funnily enough, this likable and relatable Star-Lord is probably the character Steve Engelhart envisioned forty years ago.

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