Real Name: Meredith Quill
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Reality-791) human
Occupation: Single mother
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Jason of Sparta (co-parent)
Ariguan assassins (especially
Kyras Shakati (deceased) of Cinnibar,
Prince Gareth (deceased) of Sparta;
(people who had negative opinions about her) Sheriff Barnes, townspeople
Known Relatives: Peter Jason Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord, son), Jake (last name unrevealed, husband, deceased)
Base of Operations: A cabin near an unspecified town in the mountains of Colorado, USA, Earth-791
First Appearance: Marvel Preview#4 (January, 1976)
Powers/Abilities: Meredith was a capable mother and caregiver
Height: 5' 10" (estimated)
Weight: 140 lbs. (estimated via above height when she was Jason; perhaps heavier at time of death)
Eyes: Brown (later shown as blue; see comments)
(Marvel Preview#4) - Very little is known about the early life of Meredith Quill. Nothing has been revealed about her parents or any other family she might have had. Similarly, nothing has been revealed about where she was born or where she lived before she was an adult.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb) - BTS) - When Meredith Quill was a girl, her "childhood sweetheart" was a boy named Jake. Where they lived at that time has not been established so it may (or may not) have been near the cabin in Colorado where Meredith later lived.
(Marvel Preview#4/Marvel Preview#11 (fb)) - As a young woman, Meredith Quill lived in the western United States, somewhere in the Colorado mountains. What she did for a living has never been revealed.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb)) <early 1960> - When Meredith was a young woman, she lived alone in a cabin outside of a town whose name has never been revealed. One winter's evening, as Meredith was walking home with some groceries, she became the only human to witness the nearby crashlanding of an alien spaceship. Despite her shock, Meredith didn't let her realization that the craft's occupants must have been from somewhere else prevent her from trying to help any survivors. She entered the burning wreckage and made her way to the flight deck where she found two armored humanoids. Discovering that one had died in the crash, Meredith managed to drag the other one to safety and then she removed his helmet and performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb) - BTS) - Once the survivor was breathing again, Meredith moved him to her cabin where, instead of calling the authorities, she began to nurse him back to health herself. At some point after he regained consciousness, the man revealed that he could speak English and identified himself as "Jason." As her guest recovered, Meredith returned to the crash site, removed the body from the wreckage and discovered that he had been "a cat (who was) shaped like a man," something which strongly suggested that both visitors were not of Earth. Meredith buried the feline alien's body.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb)) - Meredith told Jason that his friend had died in the crash and that she had buried him, then revealed she had seen that his friend was a cat shaped like a man and asked Jason to confirm that he was not human and not from Earth. Feeling that he owed her at least that much, Jason told Meredith the truth. After listening with a very grave face, Meredith smiled because, alien or not, Jason didn't look like any bug-eyed monster and, what the hell, she liked him.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb)) - As soon as he was able, Jason began to repair his scoutship. Meredith watched him work and helped when she could but they mostly just talked. Over time, they fell in love with each other and consummated their relationship.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb) - BTS) - A year after the crash, Jason finally finished repairing his scoutship. At about that time, Jason's bio-comps told him that Meredith was pregnant with their son.
(Conjecture) - Jason told Meredith about her pregnancy, and the two of them decided to name their son "Peter Jason Quill."
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb)) - As Jason prepared to leave, Meredith asked him to take her with him, but he refused because the scoutship's warp drive was jury-rigged and there was no guarantee that he would get home. Also, Jason would have to cut through Ariguan space and the Ariguans would be "not kind" to any aliens whom they took as prisoners. However, Jason told Meredith that he would return for her as soon as he could.
(Conjecture) - Jason (presumably) told Meredith that her knowledge of him would (somehow) be dangerous to her and she (apparently) agreed to allow him to suppress her memories of their year together.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb)) - Meredith watched and waved goodbye as Jason's scoutship lifted off and flew away. Soon afterwards, the mindlock Jason had placed on her memories of him took effect, and she only remembered the year they'd spent together as a dream.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb) - BTS) - Less than a month after Jason had left, Meredith ended up betrothed and married to her childhood sweetheart, Jake.
(Conjecture) - Meredith soon discovered that she was pregnant and, unable to remember Jason, she had no reason to suspect that Jake was not the father.
(Marvel Preview#4 (fb) - BTS) - Unfortunately, Jake was a VERY paranoid man and when he found out about the pregnancy he immediately suspected that the child was not his and that his wife had been playing around behind his back. Jake decided that his judgment on Meredith would be to kill the child but chose to wait until he could "see the little bastard first" before taking action. Accordingly, Jake kept his suspicions to himself and pretended to be a typical expectant father.
(Marvel Preview#4 (fb) - BTS) - When Meredith was due to give birth, Jake, in order to carry out his plan to murder the baby, kept his wife at the cabin and refused to let her go to the hospital.
(Marvel Preview#4) <February 4, 1962> - As Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Mercury, Venus and
the Moon were aligned in the sky above Earth, Meredith gave birth to her son at sunset. After taking one look at the
child, Jake called Meredith a "Bitch!" He then said that the baby didn't even look like him and that the kid was not his.
Confused, Meredith asked if he was crazy because "of course" the baby was theirs but Jake pointed out that neither
of them had the baby's hair or eyes, then snatched the baby from her and stormed out of the cabin.
Terrified by her husband's insanity, Meredith called out, demanding that Jake give her back her baby! Fortunately, Jake soon suffered a fatal heart attack and died before he could use an axe to butcher the baby. Meredith tried to crawl to her baby but she was weak from the circumstances under which she had been forced to give birth so it took her nearly an hour to reach him. During that time, the baby lay alone upon the chill earth and stared at the stars above!
(Marvel Preview#4 (fb) - BTS) - It has never been revealed what Meredith told the authorities had happened that night but some people in town came to think of her as "crazy."
(Marvel Preview#4 (fb) - BTS) - Meredith named her child "Peter Jason Quill" but kept his middle name (and the fact that he even had a middle name) a secret from everyone except her son.
(Conjecture) - Meredith's choice of the name she gave her son was (presumably) due to her suppressed memories of her time with Jason. The reason why she had Peter keep his middle name a secret was probably somehow also due to those suppressed memories.
(Marvel Spotlight II#6 (fb)) - One night, soon after her son's birth, Meredith followed an inexplicable urge to take her baby outside and hold him up to the stars. This event may have been remotely observed by the Master of the Sun.
(Marvel Preview#4 (fb) - BTS) - After the traumatic events of the night of her son's birth, Meredith Quill withdrew from life. both mentally and physically. She grew pale and frail and some of the local townspeople said that it was only her need to care for her son that kept her from losing her grip entirely. Despite her frailty, Meredith was a kind and gentle mother who raised her son well.
(Marvel Preview#4 (fb) - BTS) - Although Peter grew strong and tall, by 1969 it had become clear that his mother's "illness" had set him apart as well because he was a loner with no interest in sports and no friends, someone who preferred to take long walks and watch television programs like the third season of "Star Trek" and the live telecast of the U.S. landing on the Moon.
(Marvel Preview#4) - One afternoon in the spring of 1971, Peter came home all excited about a strange charred circle he had found on a far valley floor. Meredith told him that that, according to folks around 1930 or thereabouts, was "where the spacemen landed." She then explained that it was just a story and stated that she suspected most towns had a story like that but that there were no such thing as flying saucers. When Peter happily stated that there were sometimes flying saucers in his dreams, Meredith told him that dreams weren't real, either. Meredith then thought to herself that her son dreamed too much and that he needed a father because she wasn't enough. Meredith's eyes then drifted gently out of focus, as did her thoughts, and her worries all went away.
(Marvel Preview#4) <August 11, 1973> - Peter rushed home, told Meredith that he had seen a spaceship landing in the woods and insisted that she come with him to see it too. Meredith went with her son to the landing site.
(Marvel Preview#4/Marvel Spotlight II#6 (fb)) - Seeing the aliens triggered some of Meredith's suppressed memories, enough to make her wonder if it was her lover (Jason) coming back. However, the aliens were actually Jason's sworn enemies.
(Marvel Preview#4) - As the aliens exited their craft, Meredith told Peter, "Get back - - They've
(Marvel Spotlight II#6 (fb)) - Meredith told her son, "Get Back!! Get back before --"
(Marvel Preview#4/Marvel Preview#11 (fb)/ Marvel Spotlight II#6 (fb)) - One (or more) of the reptilian aliens opened fire on the humans, and Meredith was struck with one or more energy beams from their weapons. Meredith was only able to grunt "UHN!" before her blasted body fell backwards onto the ground.
(Marvel Preview#4) - For some reason, the aliens ignored the other human witness, boarded their
ship and left Earth.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb)) - The alien, Rruothk'ar, botched the assassination because he killed Meredith but missed her son.
(Marvel Spotlight II#6 (fb)) - Peter had been thrown backwards behind a boulder and into some bushes by a near-miss. Apparently unable to find their other target, the Earthwoman's "halfbreed son," the alien assassins left Earth.
(Marvel Preview#4) - As Meredith's dead body lay on the ground, Peter knelt beside her for nearly an hour before he could make himself leave her side and call the authorities.
(Marvel Preview#4/Marvel Spotlight II#6 (fb)) - Peter told Sheriff Barnes and his deputy everything he had seen but the sheriff stated that his story was "Bull!" and the deputy expressed his opinion that the kid was as crazy as his mother had been. Sheriff Barnes then told "Pete" that he knew the boy couldn't have done something like what had happened to Meredith but that if Pete didn't tell the truth then he wouldn't be able to catch who did do it. However, Peter continued to insist that he was telling the truth when he said it was "spacemen" who had killed Meredith.
(Marvel Preview#4 - BTS) - After "days" had gone by and Peter wouldn't stop claiming that spacemen had killed his mother, Sheriff Barnes couldn't do anything except close the case and send Peter to the State Orphan's Home. When he went to pick Peter up at the cabin, Barnes allowed the boy to pack by himself so that he could have some time there alone one last time.
(Marvel Preview#4/Marvel Spotlight II#6 (fb)) - Alone in the cabin, Peter was overcome by a need for vengeance and he swore that it wasn't the end of it! Peter then stated that "Men from outer space (had) killed (his) mother" and he would "find a way to make them (those spacemen) pay!"
(Marvel Preview#4 - BTS) - Peter Quill's obsession with getting to space so that he could find and kill the aliens who murdered his mother led to him becoming an astronaut with NASA. Eventually, after some setbacks, he joined the crew of Earth Station Eve, a space station orbiting Earth.
(Marvel Preview#4 - BTS) <February 9, 1991> - After some acts of violence (and possibly murder), Peter Quill was transported away from the space station and into the presence of the Master of the Sun who transformed him into the Starlord. The Master of the Sun then sent Quill to gain his long-awaited vengeance by attacking an Ariguan ship and killing its crew, something that may well have been an illusion set up by the Master of the Sun.
(Marvel Preview#11 - BTS) - Years later, while helping to thwart a planned coup against the ruler of a star empire, Star-Lord travelled to the Imperial Homeworld of Sparta where he was shocked to find himself face-to-face with the alien who had murdered his mother, the Ariguan Sith-lord Rruothk'ar. After a fierce sword battle, Star-Lord killed the Ariguan and finally avenged his mother but then found himself battling Rruothk'ar ally and co-conspirator, Prince Gareth, the emperor's uncle. Soon disarmed, Star-Lord was doomed and unable to stop the prince from removing his mask but Gareth was so shocked by what he saw that Star-Lord was able get his sword away from him. A bit of treachery from Gareth led to his own death, and Star-Lord was facing immediate execution when the emperor arrived and put a stop to that. It was now Star-Lord's turn to be shocked when he found himself facing a man whose face looked like an older version of his own. Emperor Jason then spoke to Star-Lord, calling him "Peter Jason Quill" and revealing that he was Peter's father.
A few hours later, after the conspiracy had been smashed, Jason explained how he had crashed on Earth and met Meredith Quill but had been forced to return home without her. Jason also revealed how, twelve Earth-years later, he had asked his trusted uncle Gareth to retrieve Meredith and Peter from Earth and bring them to Sparta. However, Gareth had already been secretly plotting to one day usurp his nephew's throne so he had hired Rruothk'ar to go to Earth and kill both of them. Although the Ariguan had failed to kill Peter, Gareth had told Jason that Meredith and her son had both died in childbirth.
(A Marvel Super Special#10 - BTS) - While Star-Lord was visiting aboard a giant alien ark, the inhabitants caused him to dream about his past life in order to learn about Earth. Meredith's murder was part of Quill's dream.
(Marvel Spotlight II#6 - BTS) - As the Master of the Sun (Ragnar) awaited the arrival of his fellow Ariguans, he spent his last remaining moments in reflection of how his finest creation, his one true moment of glory, the Starlord, had come to be. He recalled how Meredith Quill had been the sole witness to the crash of an alien craft in the Colorado Mountains, how she had saved and fallen in love with the alien pilot, had given birth to Peter Jason Quill after his father had left for his home, and how, over a decade later, his father's enemies had murdered Meredith but failed to kill her son.
(Marvel Spotlight II#7 - BTS) - While on the planet Heaven, Star-Lord was befriended by a native named Thorn and revealed much about his life, including how his parents had met and fallen in love and how, years later, his father's enemies had killed his mother but failed to kill him.
Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Steve Gan and Berni Wrightson.
In Marvel Preview#4, Meredith Quill gave birth to her son in a cabin in "the western United States." Marvel Preview#11 clarified that by stating that Meredith Quill lived somewhere in "the Colorado mountains." Despite this, some online sources claim that Peter Quill's hometown was located in the state of Ohio which is definitely not in the western USA. Where did this idea originate? I have no idea.
Meredith Quill first appeared in a black-and-white story in Marvel Preview#4 during which the Omniscient Narrative mentioned "her clear blue eyes." However, the black-and-white story from Marvel Preview#11 was colorized when it was reprinted in Starlord, The Special Edition#1 and Meredith ended up with eyes that were either brown or grey. I suppose that an in-story explanation could be that hormonal changes caused by her carrying a half-alien baby to term may have somehow acted to decrease the melanin levels in Meredith's irides?
The date on which Meredith Quill met Jason of Sparta has never been revealed but a rough estimate can be calculated using Peter Quill's birthdate. Since Peter was born on February 4, 1962 and there were no obvious abnormalities concerning Meredith's pregnancy, it can be assumed that Meredith conceived him in April or May of the previous year, 1961, shortly before Jason left. Jason's statement that he left Earth "a year after (he'd) arrived" places his arrival date sometime in the first half of 1960. The fact that there was snow on the ground at the time of the crash suggests that the scoutship crashlanded early in the year (i.e., January to April).
In the story in Marvel Preview#4, Meredith is described as having grown pale and frail, both physically and mentally, and the deputy sheriff later referred to her as being "crazy." A manifestation of her "illness" may have been depicted in the scene where Meredith experienced some upsetting thoughts but then both her eyes and her thoughts "drifted gently out of focus...and her worries all went away." Although I have no medical knowledge, this sounds like some form of psychological dissociation. Judging by Wikipedia's article on the subject, Meredith's case would probably be an unconscious defense mechanism that reduced anxiety caused by stress. However, as a result of the retcon, Meredith's reaction should probably now be attributed to the effects of the mindlock influencing her to not think about Peter's father.
The idea that Meredith's memories of her time with Jason and her knowledge
of Peter's true paternity had been suppressed by a mindlock was something that writer Chris Claremont introduced.
The purpose of this retcon was presumably meant to establish that the Meredith who appeared in Marvel Preview#4
was not, as Jake believed, trying to deceive him by pretending that he was the father of her baby. Instead, with her
memories having been suppressed, Meredith truly believed that Jake was her child's father and she was therefore
innocent of any deception, just as she had been in the original story. However, this retcon does feel a bit contrived
and the idea that Jason placed the mindlock on Meredith "for her safety's sake" is hard to justify since it was never
explained exactly HOW it was supposed to protect her. As things turned out, that mindlock actually harmed Meredith
in two ways.
First, given that Meredith was described as a kind and gentle woman, it seems unlikely that she would have married Jake if she had known that she was carrying Jason's child. Without that marriage, the physically and mentally traumatic events she experienced during Peter's birth at the cabin would never have happened, in part because she would have given birth in a hospital, and that in turn could have meant that Meredith would not have withdrawn from life following Peter's birth.
Second, if Meredith had been able to remember that her child's father was an alien, then she might also have been aware of the fact that he had enemies, the Ariguans, other aliens who were dangerous. Having that knowledge would probably have made Meredith more cautious when she accompanied Peter into the woods to look at the alien ship he had seen land. Perhaps that extra caution would have motivated her to be more effective in her attempt to keep Peter and herself from being seen, thus preventing (or delaying) her death.
The fact that Emperor Jason knew that Peter Quill's super-secret middle name was "Jason" is pretty solid evidence that he and Meredith must have chosen it for their son together and that in turn strongly suggests that Jason must have told her that she was pregnant before he left. However, there is no evidence as to whether or not Jason had Meredith's permission to place a mindlock on her memories of him and of the year they had spent together. Given that Jason seems to have been a pretty nice/decent guy, I've chosen to presume that he did ask her before doing so but, as far as I know, this has never been established as being canon. That's why I've included it only as conjecture.
Since Meredith gave birth to her son Peter on February 4th, 1962 and the average length of human gestation is 280 days (or 40 weeks), it seems likely that Meredith may have already been pregnant with Jason's child by April 30th, 1961. And since Jason is known to have been aware of the pregnancy before he left, that in turn suggests that he returned to space in May of 1961. However, one factor that could alter this chronology is the part-alien nature of the fetus. The fact that Meredith's unborn child was a human-alien hybrid could have affected her pregnancy in some ways, like possibly causing the gestation period to be slightly longer than it would have been for a fully-human fetus. Such a delay, even a slight one, could help explain why Meredith did not realize that her new husband was not the father of her unborn baby.
Of course, the idea that an alien species could have DNA that was compatible enough with human DNA that an interaction (mating) could result in a viable offspring is virtually impossible but that does not prevent such offspring from appearing in unrealistic fictional genres (like fantasy or space opera...or comic books). Ideally, some factor should be added that decreases the unlikelihood of the offspring. One possible fix would be the revelation that the identical-to-Caucasian-humans alien race and the Terran humans actually share a common ancestry, often with the "aliens" being (unknowingly) descended from humans who had been transplanted to other planets in dim prehistory. Another possible solution is that the alien parent used his/her/its incredibly-advanced medical technology to alter the embryo's genes in utero enough to make it viable. A third option, unique to the Marvel Universe, is that genetic experimentation performed on the human race of long ago by the alien Celestials has somehow made the descendants of their test subjects far more genetically compatible than science (or common sense) says they should be.
Who was Peter Quill's father originally meant to
Since the whole "Peter Quill's true father was a humanoid alien from outer space" idea is a retcon, what can be said about who his father was originally intended to be? For one thing, without that retcon there's no need for Meredith to have already been pregnant when she married Jake or for the two of them to have been married for less than nine months. So, if one assumes that they were married for at least one year, that would leave only two possible options. Or maybe three.
Option #1: If Meredith wasn't an unfaithful wife, then Peter actually was Jake's son and Jake really was just crazy. Given that Jake turned out to be deranged enough to plan to kill an innocent baby with an axe, this explanation seems very likely to be the truth.
Option #2: If Meredith had been cheating on Jake, then Jake's suspicions might have been correct and Peter might not have been his son. This explanation is possible but, aside from Jake's (VERY subjective) opinion that Peter did not resemble either he or Meredith, there is no evidence of infidelity on her part.
Option #3: If Meredith wasn't an unfaithful wife but Jake wasn't the father of her child, then something else had to have been going on. As writer Steve Englehart revealed in the foreword, he was into astrology when he created the Starlord and planned out Peter Quill's destiny, and the first two pages really emphasize the fact that Meredith's child was born at a time when five planets, the Sun and the Moon were aligned with Earth, and that a similar alignment had occurred "in the year some call 7 BC" when "a babe in Bethlehem" was born, one "whose destiny was to change the world!" Given that that earlier baby is said to have been conceived without the agency of a human father, it's not unreasonable to wonder if maybe Englehart was implying that Peter Quill was also the result of a miraculous birth.
So, what's your choice? Was Jake just crazy or was Meredith secretly cheating on him or was Peter's birth a miraculous one? I personally favor Option #1 but other readers may have reached different conclusions.
What was Jake's last name?
In Marvel Preview#4, the Omniscient Narrative twice refers to Peter Quill's mother as "Meredith Quill." Since she was (apparently) married to a man named Jake, it was reasonable to assume that she had taken her husband's last name. However, in Marvel Preview#11, Jason of Sparta, who only knew Meredith before her marriage, seems to have always known her by that name, suggesting that "Quill" might have been her original family name. Plus, in Marvel Spotlight II#6, the Master of the Sun also referred to Peter's mother only as "Meredith Quill."
All in all, it seems reasonable to conclude that Jake's last name was probably NOT Quill. As for Meredith Quill, I would assume that she either kept her maiden name during her marriage to Jake or she did take Jake's last name when she married him but went back to her maiden name after his death. Considering what he was planning on doing to her son when he died, it's totally understandable why she wouldn't want her son to have ANY connection to Jake.
1. Since Meredith Quill doesn't seem to have had a paying job, how did she manage to get the money she would have needed to support herself and her son? Had she inherited some money from her family? Or did Jake's death provide for her financially?
She could have hunted, trapped, or had a vegetable garden -- or perhaps arts or crafts -- she sold or bartered in town.
2. Since Jason's scoutship apparently crashed near enough to Meredith's cabin that she was able to move him there by herself, how is it that nobody besides her ever came across the crashed ship? Does the fact that the scoutship crashed somewhere "in the Colorado mountains" mean that its crash site was remote enough that nobody was likely to find it unless they were looking for it? Could such a site be located within walking distance from any town?
3. Since Jason apparently spent over a year living in Meredith's cabin, how is it that nobody seems to have seen him? Was Meredith just so much of a loner that it was really unlikely that anybody would ever stop by to visit?
Credit for images
Star-Lord: The Hollow Crown#1 (August, 2013) reprinted the first two Starlord stories from Marvel Preview#4 & 11 (in their original black-and-white) and the six colored pages of the framing sequence from Starlord, The Special Edition #1 (February, 1982). Since I have that Special Edition, I didn't bother to buy this collected edition when it came out and have come to regret it since the only version of the first-ever Starlord story that I could find online was not as pristine as a new reprint would have been. Accordingly, I would like to thank Proto-Man for providing scans from the reprinted story that I was able to use in these profiles.
Profile by Donald Campbell.
Meredith Quill from Earth-791 is an other-dimensional counterpart of:
Additionally, Meredith Quill has no known connections to:
Meredith McCall Alden, Tony Stark's first love (until their fathers forced them to part) who later married Dr. Sloan Alden and worked as a professor at Columbia University until her dead and cryogenically-frozen husband revived as the rampaging menace Frostbite--Iron Man I#28
Jake has no known connections to:
Sheriff Barnes has no known connections to:
A man whose last name has never been revealed, Jake was Meredith Quill's "childhood sweetheart" when he was a boy. Where Jake and Meredith lived when they were children has never been revealed so it may (or may not) have been in or near the town that Meredith lived near when she was an adult. Jake's relationship with Meredith was presumably a platonic one that ended when they grew older.
Very little has been revealed about the nature of Jake and Meredith's relationship after they became adults. The fact that Meredith lived with an alien guest (Jason) in her cabin for over a year without anyone ever learning about him suggests that she lived alone with few (if any) visitors from town so it seems highly unlikely that she and Jake were closely involved during that period.
Jake's relationship with Meredith suddenly resumed in either May or June of 1961, and they were betrothed and married within a month. No details have been revealed about how their relationship was rekindled or why they got married so quickly. Given the unstable behavior that Jake later demonstrated, it's possible that the speed with which they reunited was driven by an obsessive interest on Jake's part.
Early in their marriage, Meredith discovered that she was pregnant. Unable to remember anything about her alien lover Jason, Meredith naturally assumed that her new husband was the father and she shared the good news with him. Jake apparently reacted in the manner in which a new father-to-be was expected to react but for some reason he immediately came to believe that he was not the unborn child's father and that Meredith had been "playing around behind (his) back!" Despite his certainty, Jake kept his beliefs to himself and decided to wait until he could "see the little bastard" before taking any action.
Throughout Meredith's pregnancy Jake pretended to be a typical expectant father while secretly plotting how he would "have his judgment" on both the child and Meredith.
As Meredith's due date approached, Jake refused to let her go to the hospital and instead kept her at the cabin where, on Sunday, February 4th, 1962, Meredith gave birth to her child at sunset. Then, as Meredith lay on her bed with her newborn son in her arms, Jake looked at the child and screamed, "You bitch!" Jake then angrily stated that the baby didn't even look like him and declared "That kid's not mine!" Confused by his outburst, Meredith asked if he was crazy because "of course" the baby was theirs but Jake pointed out that neither of them had the baby's hair or eyes, then snatched the baby from her and stormed out of the cabin. As a terrified Meredith called for him to give her back her baby, Jake crossed the yard to where an axe was embedded in a tree stump, talking aloud to himself about how he had known it all along and that that was why he hadn't let her go to the hospital. Reaching the tree stump, Jake yanked the axe free while stating that he had had to see the little bastard first so that he could have his judgment. As he held the baby in his right arm and the axe in his left hand, Jake stated, "And now I'm going to--AGGHH!" Dropping the axe but continuing to hold the baby, Jake clutched at his chest and muttered, "my--chest! heart--!"
Stricken by a fatal heart attack, Jake collapsed onto the ground before he could butcher the baby. Somehow, the baby ended up safely on the ground where he lay on his back and stared up at the stars for the near-hour that it took his weakened mother to crawl to him. Jake's corpse lay on the ground near him, with the axe fallen against the stump and just out of his reach.
Nothing has been revealed about what Meredith told the authorities happened that night. It has also not been revealed if Meredith ever told Peter what Jake had tried to do to him. In any event, Meredith and her son continued to live in that same cabin for more than eleven years.
Note: Although the story in Marvel Preview#4 clearly depicted Meredith Quill and Jake as living together, there was absolutely no mention of their marital status, leaving readers to assume that they were married. It was not until Marvel Preview#11 that Emperor Jason revealed that, within a month after his departure, Meredith Quill had found herself "married to her childhood sweetheart" whose name was not mentioned.
--Marvel Preview#4 (Marvel Preview#11 (fb) - BTS, Marvel Preview#4
The simple one-story house in which Meredith Quill lived for most of the last 13 years of her life. It was the place where she gave birth to her son and where she was living at the time of her death. This cabin is also presumed to be the place where the alien Jason lived (for a year) while he repaired his scoutship.
Located somewhere in the Colorado mountains, this cabin was close enough to the nearest town that a young woman could walk there and back for groceries in winter while wearing a short skirt, but far enough away that a very pregnant woman would be unable travel that distance. The cabin was also isolated enough that an alien could stay there for about a year without anyone from town noticing.
The cabin itself was fairly small and was slightly rectangular, being longer than it was wide. The roof was steeply pitched with a ridge that ran along the longer axis, and on one side the cabin's roof extended further from the outer wall than on the other, providing cover for a porch that ran the length of that side of the cabin. In the center of one of the narrower ends was a stone chimney and at the other end of the cabin, the side closest to the trees, there was a smaller addition to the cabin, one that was not as wide as the main cabin and had its own pitched roof. The front door opened into the cabin from the porch and there were several large square windows set in the cabin's longer walls.
The cabin had been built on a small rise in a cleared area of the woods so that the ground around it sloped away from it. Its walls and roof were made of wood (but not logs) but the chimney and the support pillars for the porch were made of stone (presumably held together by mortar). Since the cabin was situated on a small hill, the porch was at least 6 inches off the ground and a stairway of four wooden steps led down from the porch to the ground. The floor of the cabin was constructed from wooden boards but the foundation could have been made of either wood or stone. Although the roof was pitched, it has not been revealed if the rooms had ceilings separating them from the underside of the roof or not.
Since no really good views of the interior of the cabin have ever been provided, only assumptions about its internal structure can be made. The cabin must have had at least five rooms, including a living room (where the fireplace and, later, the television, were located), a kitchen (where Meredith also did her ironing), a bathroom and (at least) two bedrooms. The sink's faucet had a pump attached to it, presumably to draw water up from an underground well.
In early 1962, when Meredith gave birth to her son, the cabin appeared to be set some distance back from a wooden fence that presumably marked the edge of the property and there was no sign of a driveway or even a path leading to the cabin. Additionally, the bedroom in which she gave birth was apparently lit by a lantern, suggesting that the cabin did not then have any electricity. However, that seemingly changed by at least 1969 since young Peter was able to watch the third season of "Star Trek" on a television in the cabin and Meredith could use an electric iron in the kitchen in 1971. At some point before Meredith's death in August 1973, a driveway seems to have been added since Sheriff Barnes was later able to drive his patrol car right up to the bottom of the steps that led to the porch. The fact that the porch appears to be even higher than the sheriff's head when he was standing beside his car suggests that part of the hill on which the cabin was situated had been cut away in order to make the driveway.
Notes: The cabin that appears in the flashback in Marvel Spotlight II#6 (see the third image from the top on the right) looks significantly different from the cabin that was depicted in Marvel Preview#4. Specifically, the cabin in the flashback has a chimney at one end but there isn't a small annex on the other end. Although it could be dismissed as art error and ignored, it would be helpful to have an in-universe explanation for the difference. Fortunately, the events of the original story leave one close at hand. Given that Meredith was left in a weakened state after she had been forced to give birth at the cabin, it's reasonable to presume that any doctors who had treated her afterwards would have told her that it was medically inadvisable for her to immediately return to her isolated cabin with her infant son. If she followed this advice, Meredith might have rented a cabin, one that was much closer to the town and to medical assistance, and lived there with her son while she recovered from what Jake had put her through. It would have been while she was living in this other cabin that she had taken Peter outside and held him up to the stars. Then, once she was capable to living on her own again, Meredith took her son and moved back into her own cabin. Of course, this is only speculation but it gets the job done.
Also, although I've treated the place where Meredith nursed Jason back to
health as being the same place where she later lived with first Jake and then Peter, there's no in-story evidence that
proves this idea to be true. On the other hand, none of the stories state that they were different places and the only
thing that even hints that they might have not been the same place is the fact that there was a radio on a cabinet
beside the bed in which Jason lay as Meredith nursed him back to health, suggesting that that dwelling had
electricity, while the cabin in which Peter was born seemed to not have electrical power. Then again, maybe that
radio was battery-powered? In the absence of any evidence or statements of creator intents, there's just no way to
know for sure.
--Or maybe Jake was crazy and wouldn't let her have electricity or any contact with the outside world?
Finally, I was going to make this a sub-profile on the "Quill cabin" but decided against using that name. After all, even though it has been more than FORTY YEARS since Jason of Sparta was added to Star-Lord's back-story by Chris Claremont, there has never been any story or Official Handbook entry that definitively states that Jake's last name was NOT Quill. So, although I prefer the idea that "Quill" was Meredith's maiden name, if it was Jake whose last name was Quill and the cabin was the same one in which Meredith had lived when she nursed Jason back to health, then that would mean that it had only become the "Quill cabin" after Meredith married Jake. Calling it "Meredith's cabin" instead avoids that potential error.
--Marvel Preview#4 (Marvel Preview#11 (fb), Marvel Preview#4, Marvel Spotlight II#6 (fb), Marvel Preview#4
The chief law enforcement officer of the county in Colorado where the Quill cabin was located. Since that county was almost certainly not Denver, the sheriff would have been an elected official.
It has not been revealed how long Sheriff Barnes held that office. If he was sheriff in February of 1962, then Barnes may have investigated the circumstances under which Meredith Quill's husband Jake died.
On August 11th, 1973, Sheriff Barnes received a phone call from young Peter Quill reporting his mother Meredith's murder. Sheriff Barnes and a deputy drove their patrol car out to where Peter guided them, parking only feet away from the body. As the deputy inspected Meredith's corpse, Peter told the two men everything he knew about the "spacemen" he had seen kill his mother but when he'd finished, Barnes responded with a single word: "Bull!" The deputy added his opinion, saying, "Hell, Sheriff, the kid's as crazy as she was!" Peter protested these assessments, shouting, "No! No! It was the spacemen! I saw them!" but Sheriff Barnes replied, "Look, Pete, I know you couldn't have done something like this - - but if you don't tell me the truth, I can't catch who did!" Peter insisted that he was telling the truth but the men were sure that he was lying.
Sheriff Barnes attempted to solve Meredith Quill's murder but Peter wouldn't stop "lying" so there were no credible leads. Eventually, after "days" had passed, there was nothing he could do except close the case.
Once the case was closed, Peter Quill had to be sent to the state Orphan's Home so Sheriff Barnes drove out to the cabin to pick Peter up and transport him there. Once Barnes had arrived, Peter asked the sheriff if he could pack by himself so that he could be alone at the cabin for one last time. Barnes agreed, saying, "Sure, Pete. I understand -- but make it snappy, huh?" Waiting outside, Barnes did not overhear Peter make an impassioned vow to do whatever he had to do to find the men from outer space who had killed his mother and make them pay! Peter then left the cabin and told the sheriff that he was ready, and the two of them drove to the orphanage.
Despite his disbelief of Peter's story and the blunt and emphatic way in which he expressed that disbelief, Sheriff Barnes doesn't seem like too bad of a person. The fact that he addressed Peter as "Pete" could be an indication that they knew each other fairly well and may have been friendly. However, his deputy was definitely a real jerk. Describing the child of a murder victim to his face as being "as crazy as (his mother) was" while he and that child are standing beside the corpse is somewhere between incredibly insensitive and emotionally abusive. Personally, I hope that Peter, after becoming Star-Lord, paid a visit to Earth, sought out that deputy and made sure that he had a "Close Encounter" with Ship while alone with nobody to corroborate his story.
Note: Since we readers know that Meredith Quill actually was killed by aliens, it's easy to regard Sheriff Barnes as a stereotypical "clueless detective" who was an ignorant and/or incompetent rural lawman because he totally dismissed Peter Quill's eyewitness testimony as lying. However, would real world police officers react differently if an obviously-traumatized witness told them that a murder was committed by an alien? I don't think so. Furthermore, as Mark Gruenwald pointed out in his "Universal Scope" article, even in the Marvel Universe "Mr. and Mrs. Average Citizen" probably do not believe in the existence of extraterrestrials unless they've personally had a close encounter (and sometimes not even then). With that in mind, the sheriff's skepticism is understandable. Plus, even if Barnes had believed Peter's story, there was nothing he could have done to apprehend the killers anyway (since they were WAAAY out of his jurisdiction) so there was never any chance that he could have solved the case.
However, having said that, there are three aspects of the sheriff's behavior
that I find puzzling. The first is the fact that he closed the case only days after Meredith Quill's death. Given that
there is no statute of limitations on murder, one would expect that the investigation would only be "closed" when
it had been solved. Sure, the lack of evidence would have eventually led to the crime being classified as a "cold case"
but even then it would have remained "open" until/unless it was solved.
Maybe "closing" was just used inappropriately, and he just stopped actively investigating without any leads. But, yes, days seems like a pretty short time even for that.
The second oddity is that, given that Meredith Quill was killed by an energy
beam fired from an alien weapon, nobody seems to have noticed that her cause of death was unusual enough that a
more sophisticated forensic examination might have been required. The fact that there was a loud "FZAK!" sound
when she was struck by the energy beam and her body was left smouldering after death suggests that the alien
weapon may have electrocuted her. If that was the case, then an autopsy would have shown that her vital organs
had suffered fatal damage from the high temperature induced by the energy beam. However, although Sheriff Barnes
clearly believed that Meredith had been murdered, nothing has been revealed about what he thought might have
been the cause of death.
Perhaps the energy was of a form that wouldn't leave a trace other that stopping her heart/brain. I don't know what that would be, but I'm not an alien space-traveler in a sci-fi/fantasy reality, either.
The final oddity is that, although Peter presumably told them how the alien
ship had landed and later taken off only yards away from where his mother had been killed, neither man seems to have
spent any time searching the area around the crime scene. If either of them had done so, they would have found the
newly-formed blast crater that Peter had observed being created by both the landing and the launch of the alien ship.
One can only assume that finding such evidence should have caused at least one of the men to consider the possibility
that Peter was telling the truth...but they never did.
Perhaps the aliens covered up evidence of their presence on Earth for whatever reason?
--Marvel Preview#4/Marvel Spotlight II#6 (fb)
The residents of the town in Colorado that was nearest to the cabin where Meredith Quill lived with her son Peter. The name of the town has never been revealed and no individual resident (aside from Jake) played a significant role in Meredith's life.
With that in mind, the only things about these townspeople that are known are what they thought of Meredith. Sadly, their opinions were not at all favorable. After observing how Meredith had grown pale and frail after what had happened on the night that her son had been born, some of the townspeople said (presumably behind her back) that it was only the need to care for her son that kept her from "losing her grip entirely." "The town" also rumored that she was not a kind or gentle mother, something that the Omniscient Narrative flatly rejected as false. The most widespread opinion seems to have been that she was "crazy" and that Peter, by having been raised by her, had also been set apart by his mother's "illness." However, since no real evidence to support these opinions have ever been revealed, it remains unclear if there was any basis to them aside from small town pettiness. It's possible that Jake may have shared his belief in his wife's infidelity with some friends and that they may have held her responsible for his death and turned the town against her but, again, there is no evidence of this speculation.
As for the town itself, aside from the fact that there was a school that Peter and the other children living in the area attended and that there was a traffic light on what was presumably its main street, absolutely nothing has been revealed about it. Accordingly, certain things about the town can only be deduced from available evidence. For one thing, the fact that Meredith didn't grow crops or raise livestock indicates that she must have obtained the food that she and Peter ate from a store in town. Similarly, although it's possible that she could have made the clothing that she and Peter wore, it seems much more likely that Meredith purchased their clothes at a store in town. Finally, the fact that Jake didn't let Meredith go to "the" hospital to give birth indicates that there was a hospital located somewhere not too far away from the town.
The most interesting thing about this unidentified town concerns a "strange, charred circle" that Peter found on a far valley floor during a long walk he took in the spring of 1971. When he asked his mother about it, Meredith told him that that was "where the spacemen landed -- or so folks said at the time! 1930, or thereabouts." When Peter then asked if that was what had really happened, his mother replied that is wasn't and that it was only a story, one similar to those that she suspected almost every town had, and that there was no such thing as flying saucers.
Note: Given what was revealed about Meredith Quill's past in Marvel Preview#11, some
people believe that that charred circle was actually where Jason's scoutship had crashed in 1960 and that Meredith
had made up the explanation about the folks in town telling a story about spacemen who had landed in 1930 to keep
Peter from (somehow) suspecting that it had something to do with him. However, this theory seems somewhat
implausible to me. Aside from the fact that Jason's mindlock prevented her from remembering him, the crash site
depicted in Marvel Preview#11 is far larger than the small charred area shown in Marvel Preview#4 and was definitely
non-circular in its shape.
It would be cool if there was another alien landing in 1930...
images: (without ads)
Star-Lord: The Hollow Crown#1, story page 5, panel 1 (main image)
Star-Lord, The Special Edition#1, page 52, panel 3 (head shot)
page 51, panel 1 (witness to the crash)
Marvel Spotlight II#6, page 3, panel 4 (Meredith with the alien)
Star-Lord, The Special Edition#1, page 52, panel 1 (asking to go with Jason)
page 52, panel 2 (waving good-bye to Jason as he left)
Star-Lord: The Hollow Crown#1, story page 2, panel 6 (calling out to Jake for her baby)
Marvel Spotlight II#6, page 4, panel 1 (holding baby Peter up to the stars)
Star-Lord: The Hollow Crown#1, story page 6, panel 2 (Meredith observing the alien ship with Peter)
Star-Lord, The Special Edition#1, page 52, panel 6 (Meredith killed by Rruothk'ar)
Star-Lord: The Hollow Crown#1, story page 7, panel 1 (Peter kneeling beside Meredith's smouldering corpse)
story page 2, panel 5 (Jake showing Meredith his true nature)
story page 3, panel 2 (Jake with "the little bastard")
story page 3, panel 4 (Jake getting what he deserved)
story page 2, panel 2 (the cabin on February 4, 1962)
story page 7, panel 4 (the cabin when Peter was forced to leave it)
story page 7, panel 3 (Sheriff Barnes, his deputy and Peter)
Marvel Spotlight II#6, page 5, panel 6 (Peter and the sheriff)
Star-Lord: The Hollow Crown#1, story page 4, panel 1 (townspeople watching Meredith and her son)
Marvel Preview#4 (January, 1976) - Steve Englehart (writer), Steve Gan & Bob McLeod (artists), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Marvel Preview#11 (Summer, 1977) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), John Warner & Ralph Macchio (editors)
A Marvel Super Special#10 (Winter, 1979) - Doug Moench (story), Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (art), Rick Marschall (editor)
Marvel Spotlight II#6-7 (May & July, 1980) - Doug Moench (writer), Tom Sutton (artist), Jim Salicrup (editor)
First Posted: 07/21/2020
Last updated: 07/21/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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