Will we get a bisexual Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy game, or more straight-washing?
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is already one of the most anticipated games of the year.
Announced at the Square Enix E3 presentation, it was given pride of place with a deep dive into its gameplay that combines third-person shooting and a narrative full of choice.
In a new post on the PlayStation blog, senior creative director Jean-Francois Dugas explains how the team have reimagined the cast of characters.
“When we first started working on the game and got to speak with Marvel about what was ahead of us, they gave us carte blanche to craft our own take on this band of misfits,” he writes.
“For us, it meant diving into everything that had came before – comics, movies, animated series and more – to understand the essence of these characters, and from there, reimagine them in a fresh and faithful way.”
In this new take on the universe, the galaxy has been ravaged by a war raged by the Chitauri that took place 12 years prior to the game. Seeing an opportunity for adventure and profit, Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, forms the Guardians of the Galaxy.
His design is heavily inspired by 80s rock music, from his hairstyle to his badge-studded jacket. It’s a nod to his nostalgia for Earth, along with the name Star-Lord that here is a reference to a fictional 80s metal band.
One question remains though: will Peter Quill be bisexual?
Star-Lord is bisexual and polyamorous in the comics
It was at the end of 2020 that Peter Quill was confirmed as bisexual and polyamorous in the comics.
There have, of course, been multiple versions of the Star-Lord character since his first appearance in the 1974 comic Marvel Preview #4, created by writer Steve Englehart and artists Steve Gan and Bob McLeod.
This character existed on a different version of Earth to the one we know in the Avengers, was born under a celestial convergence, and was gifted a space suit and Element Gun that fires the four elements: earth, wind, fire and water.
Then, in 2004, writer Keith Giffen and artist Ron Lim created a new version of Peter Quill in Thanos #8. They played around with continuity and implied this version of the character existed alongside the original in some way.
This Peter Quill later featured in the Annihilation storyline in 2006 that eventually went on to influence the Guardians of the Galaxy we know and love from the films.
And where the films streamlined the character, 2013’s volume three of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic merged together the various iterations of Peter Quill. The latest series of the comics, written by Al Ewing, also bridges the gap between characters – even killing off Star-Lord.
This was just an opportunity for a Star-Lord rebirth, which brings us to Guardians of the Galaxy #9. Here Peter Quill wakes up on the planet Morinus where he spends 144 years without aging, due to the different passing of time.
It’s on this planet he meets adventurers Aradia and Mors with whom he eventually has a relationship. He forms a close personal relationship with both characters, which later becomes physical. Although no labels or identities have been used in the comics, the character is now widely considered to be bisexual and polyamorous.
So what about the game?
With the developers behind the game creating their own fresh take on the character, it’s currently unknown whether Star-Lord will also be bisexual in the game or if he’ll be straight-washed.
The trailers and gameplay footage so far don’t give much away. With its third-person action, team structure and narrative choices it feels almost like a more pulpy Mass Effect, but it’s not clear whether relationships will form a part of the plot. It’s not even clear if Star-Lord and teammate Gamora are together as they are in the films.
And where Square Enix’s previous Marvel game Marvel’s Avengers received a backlash for its character designs, this new PlayStation Blog post is perhaps part of a strategy to cover their backs and emphasise this is an original take on these beloved characters.
If only that originality could be a little bit queer.
We’ll have to wait until release on 26 October to find out.
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