Comics
Published July 3, 2019

Star-Lord's World Just Turned Upside Down

Spoiler alert! In today's 'Old Man Quill' #7, major changes come to the world of the Guardians of the Galaxy...

Warning! This article contains SPOILERS for OLD MAN QUILL #7! read on at your own risk, True Believers!

OLD MAN QUILL #7 is finally here, and if you haven’t picked up a copy yet, you’re missing out on one of the biggest twists to grace a Marvel limited series in recent memory.

Old Man Quill (2019-) #7 (of 12)

We’ll be recapping the issue (as well as the ones that preceded it) below, so be warned that major plot spoilers will abound!

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? After making a major tactical mistake in his fight against the Church of Universal Truth, Peter Quill (AKA Star-Lord) lost his family as well as his home planet of Spartax.

Wallowing in self-pity and self-medication for several decades, a gray-haired Peter was brought out of his stupor by his old Guardians of the Galaxy teammates: Drax, Rocket, Gamora, and Mantis. According to Mantis, Peter’s the only one who can wield some artifact of great power known as the “Ultimate Nullifier.” Picking up a distress signal out in space, they headed to a space station infested with the insectoid Brood. After battling the bothersome bugs, the group traveled to Earth, which was devoid of true heroes and worst of all, ruled by Doctor Doom. It was the time of the Wastelands!

Old Man Quill (2019-) #3 (of 12)

Unfortunately, the aforementioned Church, which was systematically destroying planets and star systems over the last 50 years, was still hot on Peter’s tail. They wanted to find the Ultimate Nullifier before he could, as it’s the only thing that would destroy the Church’s deity, known simply as the “Dark God.” Of course, this malevolent entity was later revealed to be none other than Galactus, who used the entire Church as an army of heralds.

Back on Earth, Peter defeated Wasteland rogues, saved simple townsfolk, and earned himself the moniker of “The Hero of Horse Creek.” However, he and the Guardians ended up getting captured and placed in a colosseum where they were forced to fight against Fin Fang Foom for the Taskmaster’s enjoyment. Peter was able to set the dragon free and in return, the green-skinned beast turned on those who imprisoned him in the first place.

Old Man Quill (2019-) #4 (of 12)

In issue #5, it was shown that not all of Earth’s heroes are gone from the world of the Wastelands... A ragtag Avengers-inspired resistance movement was being headed by Vivian, the daughter of Vision. Back on course to find the Nullifier (supposedly housed at the Baxter Building), Peter and the Guardians contended with rabid copies of Multiple Man and Pulsar. Finally, they reached their destination (somehow dropped on a giant Loki in the Midwest) and plumbed its bowels for the only weapon capable of destroying the Church. Before they could find it in Reed Richards’ old lab, however, Peter and the Guardians are attacked by Moloids. They were only able to escape via Quill’s quick thinking, turning a flightless helicopter into a weapon of mass destruction. The Moloid problem taken care of, the group hightailed it for sunlight only to be stopped by Gladiator and other dangerous members of the Church.

And this is where things get really interesting, folks. Those spoilers we were talking about—here they come.

It turns out that the Guardians were simply a figment of Peter’s imagination THIS ENTIRE TIME. They died some time ago and Quill, so subsumed with grief, had to hallucinate them into being. Today's issue #7 ends with Star-Lord coming to this terrifying realization that he, Moloid blood-soaked axe in hand, is the last Guardian of the Galaxy.

Wow.

What does series mastermind, writer Ethan Sacks have to say about it all?

"The idea of having the other Guardians being dead and just figments of Star-Lord's imagination came to us before we launched the first issue and well after my initial pitch," explains the delightfully sinister scribe. "It was honed over dinner with editor Mark Basso and artist Robert Gill. That we got so excited about the premise made us hope that readers would, too. A team book that turned out to be a solo book!

"To make it work, we took great pains to make sure all the team action scenes revolved around Peter in the resolution, so even when say Rocket shoots his gun at Pulsar, Peter is in the frame with a gun. Gill, a genius despite his Boston sports allegiances, and Basso and assistant editor Martin Biro went to great pains to make it work visually and in the story. We breadcrumbed clues without making it too obvious: All the supporting characters, for example, only acknowledge Peter when they're talking. Anytime he vaguely starts to remember "the message," his anxiety resurfaces.

"However, this isn't about just a shocking reveal. I really wanted to explore how Peter could come back when he lost everyone he ever loved—his family because of his own tactical mistake, and the Guardians because he wasn't there for them when they needed him most. He had a breakdown and, 50 years later, another breakdown is what brings him back. At its core, it's a story about guilt, grief, and redemption."

OLD MAN QUILL #8!
OLD MAN QUILL #8 cover by John Tyler Christopher

Sooo...where do we go from here? Well, we’ll definitely have Peter dealing with the fallout of this shocking revelation. He also has to deal with Gladiator and his Church cronies. Oh, and Doctor Doom, ultimate ruler of the planet, wants a piece of "The Hero of Horse Creek,” too.

Based on the cover art for ish #8, however, it seems like Star-Lord’s imaginary Guardians of the Galaxy pals could wield some kind of influence over the real world. Perhaps they (and their various abilities) have been inside Quill this entire time... Hopefully, the old man can pull a rabbit out of his hat by finding the Ultimate Nullifier, defeating the Church and Doctor Doom, and restoring hope to Earth. But who knows?

The 12-issue limited series is written by Ethan Sacks, drawn by Robert Gill and Ibraim Roberson, colored by Andres Mossa and Rachelle Rosenberg, and lettered by Joe Caramanga. Find out what happens next when OLD MAN QUILL #8 goes on sale August 7.

Read OLD MAN QUILL #7 at your local comic shop today, then witness the fallout by pre-ordering OLD MAN QUILL #8!

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