Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde is a surprisingly charming tale set along the edges of Marvel’s massive Secret Wars event. The collected edition is now available.

Image provided by Amazon/Marvel

At the outset of Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde, Peter Quill is hiding out in one of the more stable corners of Battleworld, working as an unlikely lounge singer. An alt-Drax, with a cheery attitude, natty suit and massive pompadour, works the door. The Age of Apocalypse version of Kitty (complete with Wolverine-esque claws) enters the club to meet an alterna-Gambit, a shifty operator known as “The Collector.” Kitty works for Valeria Doom’s science foundation, tasked with tracking down and debunking “anomalies” that could disprove Doom’s divinity. A series of mishaps propels Peter and Kitty on a caper, where sparks and witty banter fly freely.

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde is at turns a riff on Casablanca and a lost episode of Moonlighting. Writer Sam Humphries has done a lot of nice work recently without getting the fanfare some of his peers reap. Here, he takes what could have been a throwaway placeholder story and makes it an entertaining, at times quite moving, character piece. Peter is still irrepressible and goofy, but the ache he feels over having lost “his” Kitty is well-handled. The AOA Kitty has more depth than you might expect and Humphries uses her as a vehicle to explore questions of faith and doubt. That he packs so much into a rather straight-forward caper story that wraps in three issues is impressive. It’s not “epic” by any means, but it’s entertaining and engaging.

Indonesian artist Alti Firmansyah hasn’t done a lot in the U.S. market, but her work here is rather promising. It’s bright and clean, working in distinct Disney and manga influences that serve the fast-paced, light-hearted story quite well. Firmansyah’s strength is expressive character work. The cast pops off the page with a playful joy that fits what Humphries is doing quite well. Color artist Jessica Kholinne comes across with a warm, soft palette that wraps the whole thing in a fantasy sheen that gives the work an appealing glow.

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde pads out its collected edition with a reprint of the first appearance of the AOA Kitty Pryde, as well as a recent story featuring Peter and Kitty’s engagement. Overall, it’s a charming, enjoyable collection. While not really a “must read,” fans of the characters and their relationship will enjoy this a lot. It’s one of the more creative Secret Wars tie-ins and is worth reading if you come across it.

Originally published at on January 8, 2016.