WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Old Man Quill, on sale now.
Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's "Old Man Logan" spawned quite an intriguing take on the Marvel universe. This alternate reality saw the grey-haired Wolverine retire after being tricked into killing the X-Men, which helped create a world where the Avengers and many other heroes died at the hands of villains like the Red Skull.
Since then, Old Man Logan traveled the the main Marvel Universe for some time, and the Old Man Hawkeye prequel miniseries expanded on the dark history of that world. Now, writer Ethan Sacks and artist Ibraim Roberson have revisted this dimension through Old Man Quill, although it comes with a galactic twist as one would expect. Now, CBR is taking a look at how the veteran Star Lord has now been thrust into yet another tragic story, not just to save the cosmos, but Earth as well.
WHAT'S OLD MAN QUILL ABOUT?
Old Man Quill focuses on Star Lord coping with the loss of his family. In this reality, he became the ruler of Spartax, leaving the Guardians of the Galaxy and Gamora's love behind to marry L'ssa and father two kids, Jason and Meredith. However, as he tracks the antagonists, the Universal Church of Truth, when they draw him out in a firefight, he leaves his homeworld vulnerable to attack. This leads to the Church destroying everything and everyone he loves.
A broken and drunk Quill is seemingly found by an older version of the Guardians months later in space, with Rocket, Drax, Mantis and Gamora recruiting him to find some relic on Earth that'll take the Church out. These enemies also killed Groot, so with another loved one dead at the Church's hands, Star Lord suits up again to find this "relic" and blow the Church to bits. Interestingly enough, its leader isn't Magus, but someone even more sadistic.
HOW DOES THE EARTH TRIP GO?
As the Guardians find Earth's S.W.O.R.D. station abandoned, they're attacked by the Brood, which signifies Earth's not the same anymore. They crash-land in the Wastelands of the planet afterwards, and there, they encounter the post-apocalyptic future we saw in Old Man Logan. Doctor Doom rules over the desert with Madame Masque as his right-hand. He wants the intruders destroyed as their journey sees them fending off Ghost Riders (a Punisher-influenced biker gang), cannibalistic clones of Jaime Madrox and the Wrecking Crew.
Their most interesting battle, however, comes when Taskmaster imprisons them in his gladiator arena, which results in a team-up with Spider-Woman, Hawkeye's daughter Ashley Barton. They eventually free Fin Fang Foom to raze the arena and head off to find the relic. Meanwhile, Viv Vision tryies to find the heroes as it seems the remnants of the Champions are Earth's last resistance. However, with the true identity of the Church's Dark God finally revealed, Quill will need more than a shattered rebellion.
WHO'S BEHIND THIS CHURCH?
Old Man Quill #6 shows the Church's Matriarch reporting the Guardians' impending doom to her overlord, as Gladiator and his Imperial Guard have hunted them down. Pulsar almost kills the Guardians, but despite him failing, they're badly wounded. His detonation does draw Gladiator's hounds in, though, which will most likely see Quill, the woman he's still in love with in Gamora, and the rest of the squad taken in shackles. Unless Fin Fang Foom comes running, they're certainly going to be overpowered by a brainwashed Gladiator who's only loyal to the Church.
On the final page, this god is revealed to be none other than Galactus. It stands to reason without the Fantastic Four alive he went unchecked, although we don't know how he co-opted this Church and turned it into a cult wiping out planets, and he just fed on New Xandar, where we see Sam Alexander's Nova Corps perish in battle.
With news about Earth being undefended, Galactus decides to visit for one last meal, leaving the Guardians desperate to find what's revealed to be the Ultimate Nullifier at the Baxter Building. Sadly, this battle just got even more difficult for Quill as it's revealed at the end of Old Man Quill #7, the Guardians died at the hands of Gladiator's crew, and he's simply been hallucinating them all this time. With fewer allies than ever before, Quill will have to save the world of Old Man Logan all by himself.