The dark side of Star-Lord you never hear about

Star-Lord has quickly risen to being one of Marvel's most popular heroes. That's pretty crazy, considering that a few years ago, barely anyone knew who he was. Considering his newfound fame, his newer fans might be surprised to discover that he's kind of a messed up character. Sure, the movie Guardians of the Galaxy made him look like a modern day Han Solo, but he might have more in common with Boba Fett…

Annihilation Conquest was his fault

In the comics, the first Annihilation War basically broke the galaxy. All of the different space empires were in shambles, and the techno organic alien race known as the Phalanx took the opportunity to try and take over the universe. They never would have been able to do it, either, if it wasn't for Star-Lord. He had invited a group of Space Knights (think of them as interstellar super-cops) to come update the Kree homeworld's security systems. It turns out, however, these Space Knights had already been infected and consumed by the Phalanx, who had actually been taken over by Ultron. One thing leads to another, and the entire universe is almost assimilated into the Phalanx consciousness—all because Star-Lord thought the Space Knights were cool. No, they're not cool. They're a dumb relic of the 1980s and everyone else has moved on, Star-Lord. Sure, he helped fight them off, but starting an intergalactic war isn't the sort of thing you can just apologize for and move on.

He brainwashed the Guardians

After the second Annihilation War, Star-Lord decides that a peacekeeping force needs to be formed. They could find threats before they got too big and prevent any more major disasters from happening. This is how the modern incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy team forms. Of course, after they were formed, three more major universe disasters occurred, so maybe the team wasn't really all that helpful. Still, they were out there trying, and Quill deserves credit for bringing them together, right? Well, not really. See, the Guardians consisted of some of the universe's best warriors, but also some of its most notorious loners. Drax and Gamora weren't really known as team players. How did Quill convince everyone to join the team? He had another team member, Mantis, brainwash all of them to think it was a good idea. Even worse, he didn't even try asking first, he just went straight to brainwashing. Forcing people to do something they normally wouldn't do is like the textbook definition of being a villain, so good job Star-Lord. You creep.

His birth caused way too much chaos

Up until recently, Star-Lord, aka Peter Quill, was kind of a forgotten Marvel character. The character first appeared back in 1977, but the current incarnation didn't really appear until right before the first Annihilation series in 2006. His origin has been redone lots of times, so it can be kind of confusing to know which version is currently being used. In all of them, however, the birth of Peter Quill causes nothing but trouble. In the first origin, Peter Quill is born during a strange astronomical alignment. His mother's husband figures out that he's not the boy's father and then dies of a heart attack. Quill's mother ends up getting killed by a group of aliens a few years later, who were looking for her son. In later versions of Quill's origin, his heart-attack-having step-dad is removed from the story entirely, but his mom's murder remains in the story. It's like no matter how many times Marvel redoes it, the one constant is that the birth of Peter Quill has to destroy the lives of everyone around him.

That time he rescued Thanos

Thanos is the big bad guy of the Marvel Universe. He once killed one half of all life, not just on Earth, but literally everywhere, simply because he could. He does this because he literally has a crush on Death, the female embodiment of death (obviously). He's a combination of a serial killer and that guy who keeps asking the same girl out. When the Guardians of the Galaxy finally succeeded in getting rid of Thanos, Star-Lord ends up undoing the whole thing. Star-Lord and Nova had sacrificed themselves to help trap Thanos in the Cancer-verse, an evil version of the Marvel Universe. Star-Lord finds a way out, but it would only work if he brought Thanos with him. Apparently, Star-Lord had forgotten about the whole "sacrificing himself" thing he just pulled, and the two came back. Don't worry, though, because he left Nova behind—because trading the life of a hero for the universe's biggest killer is totally a 'good guy' thing to do, right?

Painted a target on Earth

For whatever reason, one common trope in science fiction is that Earth is way less advanced than everyone else in the galaxy. All the other alien races are zipping around in super advanced technology, and humans are always still like "wait, there are aliens?!" This is true in the Marvel Universe, and it means that Earth is always in danger. Different species are always trying to invade it, and the planet always barely survives. That being the case, it's not a good idea to put the planet in extra danger, which is exactly what Star-Lord does. His father, who was the ruler of the planet Spartax at the time, basically puts a target on the Earth to get back at his son. All Peter has to do is go live in the Spartax Empire as a member of the royal family, and his dad would have left Earth alone. Hey, take one for the team, Star-Lord. Go live a life of luxury and stop putting all of your friends and family in danger.

He ignores his own people

Remember how Star-Lord's dad is the ruler of the Spartax Empire? It's one of the most powerful empires in the galaxy, so it's kind of a big deal. To be fair, Peter Quill's dad isn't exactly the nicest guy. He's also a little too eager to start intergalactic conflicts. Eventually, Star-Lord helps remove his father from the throne. Then he just leaves, thinking he was done with Spartax. It comes as a surprise to him later that the Spartax people elected him to be their next leader. Since he's the heir to the throne and also the hero that disposes of the tyrant, this should have been obvious. Instead of fulfilling his duties, however, Quill tries to just abandon his people. Once again, there are nothing but problems because Quill doesn't want to live a life of luxury. Yeah, that's a real heavy burden.

He nearly went power-hungry with the Black Vortex

During the Guardians of the Galaxy/X-Men crossover event Black Vortex, Quill, the Guardians and Kitty Pryde manage to steal the titular powerful artifact from Quill's father, J'Son (who is serving as a crime lord after his ouster from power in Spartax). The Vortex gives anyone who looks into it a major power boost by tapping into cosmic energy, though it also provides a major temptation for the user to turn to the dark side (like we said, it's a major power upgrade). With his team cornered, Quill urges the Guardians to take advantage of the Vortex's power to get the upper hand on the bad guys and escape. Kitty Pryde opposes the idea, but some of the team succumbs to the power of the Vortex to make the escape—largely because Star-Lord pushed for it. To his credit, Star-Lord looks into the mirror but decides against going through with it, because he foresees that the power would lead him to break up with Kitty Pryde. He came through in the end, but still led some of his own team to juice up on Vortex power.

He was a lounge singer during Secret Wars

When all of reality crashed together and broke apart during Marvel's Secret Wars event, a small contingent of heroes survive the end of the world on a lifeboat build by Reed Richards. When they land on Battleworld, a mish-mash of realities held together by Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange (serving as Doom's top lieutenant) scatters them across the world to save their lives. They all land in different corners of Battleworld, and Star-Lord ends up in a version of Manhattan. But instead of getting back into the hero game, he pretty much just spends his time hiding out and working as a lounge singer (jamming Disney tunes, which no one has heard in this reality). He eventually meets up with an alternate version of Kitty Pryde, and finds his way back to the resistance to help lead the charge against God Doom, but you have to wonder if he'd still be singing if not for a chance encounter with alt-Kitty.

He's a terrible ruler

When the All New, All Different Marvel universe launched in the wake of Secret Wars, Peter finally ascended to the throne as leader of Spartax. It didn't really go all that well. Quill works best as the brash, anti-establishment hero trying to bring down the system; not surprisingly, he didn't enjoy leading it. Star-Lord was fairly inexperienced when it came to politics, and had quite a lot of trouble trying to balance the day-to-day workings of the Spartax empire. Upon becoming ruler, Star-Lord also pushed his old friends, the Guardians of the Galaxy, away. Even worse? His role as leader of the planet led to an attack by a Kree accuser named Hala, who wreaked havoc on the planet due to Peter's role in the destruction of the Kree homeworld. As if that wasn't bad enough, Yotat the Destroyer also attacked Spartax because of Star-Lord's presence there, eventually leading the people of Spartax to oust him. From outlaw to leader to outlaw again.

He had an ugly breakup with Kitty Pryde

Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde were pretty much the "it" couple of the Marvel Comics universe for a spell, but their relationship took a turn for the worse over the past year or so. When Star-Lord decided to step up and become the leader of Spartax, Kitty threw herself back into her own work with the Guardians of the Galaxy. With Quill indisposed, Kitty took up his old mantle as the new Star-Lord, and led the team (alongside Rocket Raccoon). Turns out Peter didn't like the competition of having another Star-Lord kicking around the galaxy, and the two had a fairly messy breakup. Maturity has never been one of Quill's strong suits, and it showed here. He resented her for doing such a good job with the Guardians, and believed she was trying to make him look bad. It took the duo being captured by the Collector and trapped aboard an escape ship together to get them to find some reconciliation—thankfully, they finally managed to patch things up.

He betrayed humanity on his first trip into space

A big part of Star-Lord's origin story was the fact that he spent some time as a space pirate kicking around with Yondu, and you don't earn your stripes with one of those crews without getting into a bit of trouble. But Quill's first trip into space as part of his Legendary Star-Lord solo run found him betray humanity and almost derail Earth's first trip outside the solar system. Quill couldn't make the cut on NASA's Asterion One ship, so he teamed up with Yondu to try and get some vengeance on the alien race the Badoon, who were responsible for his mother's death when he was just a child. He agreed to betray the crew of the Asterion One for Yondu, but after almost derailing the entire mission, finally came to his senses—a half-second away from killing hundreds and derailing humanity's first step into the stars.