Is Peter Quill really the greatest hero in the MCU?

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Screengrab via Disney Plus

Now that the Kevin Bacon comeback special… oops, we mean the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has come and gone, fans are left with one burning question: Is MCU’s greatest hero Peter Quill aka Star-Lord?

Despite two ridiculously successful movies that made a lower-tier Marvel superhero group into an elite one, Quill’s reputation has taken a beating over the years — for a few different reasons. It almost feels like the special was created to change that. But did it?

Why has Peter Quill’s star faded a little over the years?

Star-Lord and Spider-Man in Avengers: Infinity War 2018
Image via Marvel Studios

The first reason is probably the most salient: Quill messed up the plan to attack Thanos by being impulsive in Infinity War and was (allegedly) responsible for Thanos’ victory.

While he didn’t exactly help with the plan, it had about a one in 27 million chance of working at that point. And even though they eventually won, this one moment went down in the MCU history as proof that he isn’t a reliable team player — something that didn’t do the character any favors in the PR department.

The second reason doesn’t really have much to do with Quill and everything to do with Chris Pratt. The actor has a habit of appearing in literally every movie with cache’ (he’s playing both Mario and Garfield), so there’s a growing backlash against him simply due to overexposure.

His personal life also took some hits when he seemingly praises his daughter as perfect while he has a disabled son with his ex. That’s not all. In a poll of ‘who’s the worst famous Chris,’ he beat the others by a wide margin.

It certainly didn’t help when a Marvel What If… ? episode made it pretty clear that T’Challa would’ve made a much better StarLord.

So is he the greatest hero in the MCU? At least Kraglin seems to think so.

In the special, everyone seems to be responding to the slow deterioration of Quill’s reputation over the years. Kraglin tells Kevin Bacon that Quill is one of the greatest heroes ever and that he once saved the entire galaxy through dancing — a clear reminder to the audience that they used to love him.

In fact, the whole special is about restoring Quill’s happiness — and reputation — to the point where they actually kidnap Bacon to do so.

As for Peter Quill’s status as the greatest hero in the MCU, this is definitely up for discussion as the answer seems to lie in whether you like the character or not. There are a lot of other MCU characters who are less selfish, not impulsive, and more into sacrificing for the greater good, but again, that’s what makes Quill a hero — he does things his own way and it’s not because he wants to fit into the already stitched yarn of what makes a superhero.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is currently streaming on Disney Plus.