AUTHOR: ETHAN SACKS | ARTIST: ROBERT GILL | PUBLISHER: MARVEL COMICS | FORMAT: SINGLE ISSUE | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Guardians of the Galaxy are on Earth. The war-ravaged, post-apocalyptic wasteland of Old Man Logan Earth, that is. After crashing down into the Wasteland at the end of Issue #1, Peter Quill and his Guardian pals are trying to figure out how they might save a world which has already been lost. Never mind the impending threat from the Universal Church of Truth though; their mission could well put them on a collision course with Doctor Doom himself.
It’s jarring to see the normally colourful, all-singing, all-dancing Guardians of the Galaxy here on Earth, even if it is but a scorched wasteland version of the planet it once was. At least Rocket Raccoon and Drax the Destroyer seem to enjoy their awful new environment, coming out of their shell during a protracted fight between the Guardians and a gang of villainous raiders which leaves heads rolling (or exploding) and blood spattered all over the scorched sand.
As for Peter Quill himself, his name may be in the title, but this is yet to feel like his book, spending much of his time moping in the background, looking horrified. But who can blame him? Where the previous issue gave readers a look at what the cosmic side of the Old Man universe had been up to while Loan was on his revenge kick, this second issue is back to Earth with a thud. Dull, sandy wastelands and crumbling villages; dusty, muted colours and lashings of (admittedly muted) gore; Old Man Quill is a miserable bore, its post-apocalyptic action cliché and predictable. Even the big fight at the heart of this issue is boring – stretched out to ten pages and filled with far too much dialogue for a fight sequence.
Nor can the book decide what it wants to be, bleeping out the swearing and obfuscating the violence to the point where one wonders why they’d bothered at all. What worked for Logan and Hawkeye fails to gel for the Guardians of the Galaxy, exploding heads and impaling folk like Frank Castle in a room full of drug-pushers. What might be consistent for Rocket and Drax out in the cosmos is just depressing behavior down here on Earth.
All hope is not yet lost for Old Man Quill, though. These are still early days for the book, and the draw of Doctor Doom versus the Guardians of the Galaxy is too good a hook to pass up on. Let’s hope that when Star-Lord does finally emerge from his sad slumber, he might bring with him the personality and charm so far lacking from this book.