In this dystopian “Old” Marvel Universe we see a star fall, but hope that it will rise again with a little help from the Guardians.
In this volume 1 trade paperback collection we are treated to the first six issues of Old Man Quill, which happens to take place in the Old Man Logan universe where hope is very scarce and tyranny is wild and rampant. Writer Ethan Sacks and artists Robert Gill and Ibraim Roberson take us out of the world of Old Man Logan and into the deep reaches of space to hopefully find a hero. In this possible future tale, we start to learn the fates of Star Lord and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Ethan Sacks starts laying down the groundwork very heavy in issue #1, as we learn the sad story of the planet Spartax and Peter Quill’s family as they are destroyed by the Universal Church of Truth. The Church managed to trick Quill into thinking that a head-on attack by the full army of Spartax would help prevent their planet from facing war, but instead it just left the Spartoi people defenseless and ripe for destruction. This catastrophe leaves Peter in such a depression that he leaves Spartax for the stars so he can orbit and drown in his depression.
When Peter finally awakes, he is with his former allies, the Guardians of the Galaxy, but the reunion is anything but heartfelt. We as readers get to see there is bad blood between Peter and the Guardians as neither were there for each other in their moment of need; you’ll notice with this lineup consisting of Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Mantis, that Groot is missing. Luckily, bitter feelings are pushed aside and the adventure to Earth begins as they will search for the “relic.”
The rest of the issues have the Guardians crash-landing on Earth and beginning the search for the “relic.” This is a great way for Ethan Sacks and his artists to show off more of the “Old” world and what has happened to other Marvel characters here. So if you have wanted to see other “Old” versions, be ready because in this story you will see the Imperial Guard, Doctor Doom, Madame Masque, the Wrecking Crew, Task Master, Fin Fang Foom, Jaime Madrox, the Nova Corps, and some of the current day Champions. We will also see Spider-Woman (Ashley Barton) have a part in this story and see legacies for the Two-Gun Kid and Ghost Rider.
On this quest you will see how broken and depressed Peter Quill is; Ethan Sacks has done a great job of putting the hero in such a spiral that watching him come out of this will help you feel for Star Lord, who is usually portrayed as a whimsical, devil-may-care character. I implore you to pay attention to the art provided by Robert Gill and Ibraim Roberson, as they use body language very well to help cover up the twist that you will learn about in the second half of this story. So pay attention to the Guardians in their panels and also how everyone is talking, which can help you discover just how dire this situation might turn out to be.
While these heroes are on their journey for the “relic,” I love the mystery that is also there about the fallout between Quill and the Guardians. We get treated to some tension between Quill and Gamora, but we can tell that the romance didn’t play out. Why is Groot missing from this group? Rocket seems to have some animosity built up for Quill, but then again, Rocket is always grouchy. In the current 616 version of the Marvel Universe we know Drax has passed, but here he is; I wouldn’t hold my breath for that one to be solved, however, as this is a possible future timeline. Yet as the issues go on I do want to solve this mystery and see what has happened to the team.
In this volume we will eventually learn what the “relic” is and this will help you to understand how Quill can defeat the Universal Church of Truth. They have a new “God” and this character is a very powerful force in the Marvel Universe, so it’s great to see them here and their power used in a very scary way. This trade paperback will leave you on a cliffhanger as we are only getting half of the maxi-series, so you will have to commit to getting the next issues or volume in order to get the full story.
The trade paperback itself used the cover from Old Man Quill #3 as the trade’s main image which works out nicely to show you one of the antagonists in this story and a group shot of the “Old” Guardians. You will get a complete set of issues #1 to #6, and there is a road map for you if you want to read more about the Old Man Logan. There are also some trade paperback extras which include four variant covers of #1, a variant cover of #2, and a page of art each from Robert Gill and Ibraim Roberson showing off their giant-sized characters.
Adding to the story is the fact that the individual issue titles of each issue are songs, and it helps to put your mindset into the adventure, so I suggest have them playing in the background while you read, or play the song then read the issue. Here is the song play list:
- “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” by Blind Willie Johnson (most probably will use the Led Zeppelin version)
- “In The Court Of The Crimson King” by King Crimson
- “Run With The Pack” by Bad Company
- “The Cowboy Who Started The Fight” by Johnny Cash
- “Burn Down The Mission” by Elton John
- “Watcher Of The Skies” by Genesis
If you want a story of lost friendships, redeeming a fallen hero, and good versus evil with high stakes, then this would be a strong recommendation. I enjoyed Ethan Sacks tragic version of Peter Quill and how the camaraderie of the Guardians comes through in order to save the galaxy.