In Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #1, Peter Quill finds himself separated from his fellow remaining Marvel heroes on the life raft (after the events of Secret Wars #4) and as a lounge singer in Manhattan. The sight of Star-Lord (or Steve Rogers as he goes by now) singing songs from The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty is quite hilarious (and a tiny bit emotional in one scene) and will definitely have fans racking their brains for which Disney prince Chris Pratt should play. The main plot continues the Secret Wars-wide theme of certain characters finding “anomalies” that prove that maybe Dr. Doom isn’t a god, and the universe has been around longer than him. The main plot of the comic rests on the fact that Kitty Pryde and Star-Lord had a meaningful or at the very least adorable relationship, but this hasn’t been the fact since their first kiss during the Trial of Jean Grey. Peter Quill and Gambit come off as a little creepy in this issue, and the plot is a little bit of a retread of The Collector sequence in the Guardians of the Galaxy film, but with more cocktail dresses and less drunken alien cockfighting.
Alti Firmansyah’s art and Jessica Kholinne’s colors partially redeem Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #1 in which its female co-star Kitty Pryde ends up being basically a princess for men to fight over. (The claw popping scene was a nice reference to Chris Claremont’s underappreciated X-Men series though.) Firmansyah builds character through fashion, eye position, and body posture. She and Kholinne nail Gambit’s beady, semi-hypnotic peepers which add to the aura of creepiness exuded by him with his champagne glass and trench coat. Kholinne also reveals the “cool” factor of Gambit’s kinetic energy powers with bursts of purple and pink as he wreaks havoc at the lounge. These bright colors work well with Firmansyah’s hyper-expressive art that looks like animation with some extra lines to make the characters look more realistic. The panel layouts might be a little on the conservative side, but the content of the panel from Kitty’s gorgeous, Jessica Rabbit-esque dress (But blue like her X-Men Evolution costume.) and Drax’s outrageous pompadour is easy on the eyes.
The same can’t be said of a lot of Sam Humphries’ writing. The early going is promising with Star-Lord acting like a loveable goofball with a sensitive side as he rebuffs fangirls’ advances to share a quiet drink with Drax, who is a (technical) pacifist and club owner in this part of Battleworld. However, he shows no awareness of his surroundings (after he’s supposed to be keeping a low profile) and immediately attacks Gambit for sitting with Kitty Pryde and then makes out with her. It’s like Humphries can’t decide whether to write Peter Quill as the quieter, yet still silly Star-Lord of Secret Wars or the rolls into planets like a bull in a china shop version in Legendary Star-Lord. And his use of Kitty Pryde doesn’t live up to her co-star billing of the title as she merely reacts to the actions of Gambit and Quill even if she does have Wolverine’s power set to go with her usual phasing. (In some way, it makes sense that Star-Lord croons the song of the most passive princess, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.) She doesn’t have any real agency until the last couple pages of the comic, which add some intrigue and doubts
Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #1 is maybe worth checking out if you’re a huge Star-Lord (not Kitty Pryde) fan and has a couple laughs and a shimmering color palette. But for the most part, it’s a tie-in with a quirky setting that doesn’t add anything new to the “doubt” plotline surrounding god emperor and inconsistently characterizes both its leads with a by the numbers plot.