The conclusion to Old Man Quill is collected in trade paperback featuring the last six issues of the maxi-series. The actual trade is very light on the extra features and bonuses, but the story is the main reason why you should be checking this out. I love the idea of origin and ending stories, and sure enough the world of “Old Man” delivers some endings for heroes and the Marvel Universe as well. Star-Lord is one of my favorite Marvel heroes (thanks, Chris Pratt) but I have to say the story that Ethan Sacks has written really hit me.
In volume 1, we learned that Quill has been through a lot: losing his wife, children, and kingdom have guilted him so bad that he is on a mission to save Earth with some very angry Guardians of the Galaxy. The Church of Universal Truth is on a direct path to enslaving Earth into their congregation and they have quite the secret weapon to help them with their end goal. Take those two situations and put them in the dark potential future that is “Old Man” and you will be filled with despair. Luckily, Ethan Sacks capitalizes on that and adds even more drama by revealing that the Guardians (consisting of Rocket, Groot, Gamora, and Drax) are already dead…so the characters we’ve been seeing are just guilt manifestations of Peter Quill.
That is quite the hard pill to swallow and really makes this even more depressing. We at least had hope that Quill could be the hero this timeline needed, but now he is just crazy and depressed. There were hints in the previous issues, however, if you watch the art, which was nicely handled and worked. Speaking of art, Robert Gill (issues #7, #9-12) and Ibraim Roberson (issue #8) did a great job of keeping the look of the book and showcasing a “dirty, hopeless” world. The action sequences were fantastic and they captured the emotions of the characters very nicely.
I have to say, Ethan Sacks’ idea of putting Quill on a path to use the Ultimate Nullifier as a means to save everything was decent, but the execution of this idea was amazing. Every time Quill would get a win, there would be a setback or just more challenges in the way — this was a great idea as it caused elements of the Fantastic Four to cross over with this tale. H.E.R.B.I.E. had some great moments and was a great play off against Quill’s sarcasm. I also liked how Dr. Doom and Madame Masque were used as villains in this story and it was interesting to see how Doom’s role was in this — he was just a puppet being used by Masque. Great reveal and the art does a great job of verifying that was the plan all along. I don’t want to take away your reading of this story, but I would highly recommend you getting both of the trades as this was just a great story of overcoming such hardships, both internal and external, with hope.
Another great element about this set of stories is the use of music — each issue is titled after a song, and something that I found worthwhile was to listen to the song, read the issue, then listen to the song again. It just enhances the story and puts your mind in the mood. Here is the list for you:
- #7 “Way Down In The Hole” by Tom Waits
- #8 “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult
- #9 “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac
- #10 “Time Has Come Today” by The Chambers Brothers
- #11 “Up The Hill Backwards” by David Bowie
- #12 “Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum