WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Wastelanders: Star-Lord #1, available now from Marvel.
The Marvel Universe has been home to some of the most iconic and endearing comic book romances of all time. Unfortunately, it's also seen its fair share of heartbreakingly mismatched love. Peter Quill of Old Man Logan knows that sort of love all too well.
That kind of dormant but not forgotten grief makes Quill especially vulnerable. So when Star-Lord returns to Earth, one of the villains who rules the wastelands is all too ready to turn Quill's love for Kitty Pryde into a knife that cuts particularly deep.
While Peter Quill was losing his home on the planet Spartax to the insatiable hunger of Galactus, the supervillains back on Earth had banded together to eradicate its heroes. Now back on Earth, Quill finds that most of those he cared about have fallen in the fight. Only memories remain. That changes when he drops in on Profesor Xavier's academy in Wastelanders: Star-Lord #1 (by Rich Douek, Brent Peeples, Cris Peter, and VC's Cory Petit). There, amongst the ruins, Star-Lord finds very active and accusatory phantoms of those he couldn't save, including Kitty herself.
When Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde first encountered each other back in 2014's All-New X-Men #123 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen, their attraction was immediate. Despite meeting under dire circumstances, the two still managed to find love. After a relatively brief long-distance romance, they became engaged, with Kitty even leaving Earth to join Quill among the stars. Unfortunately, it was there that things started to fall apart. Peter becoming king of Spartax drove the first wedge between them. However, lying to his allies about the first superhero Civil War was the final straw, pushing Kitty to walk away entirely.
When Peter comes face-to-face with what seems to be Kitty in Xavier's school, the shade leads him to even more ghosts of friends and allies past waiting to torment him. All of the fallen Star-Lord comes across hurl insults and blame for their deaths. Still, it is the words of his former fiancée that hurt the most.
Thankfully, Shadow King overplays his hand. Peter sees the Shadow King's illusions for what they are. As the hero declares, Kitty never saw him as perfect. She loved him, knowing his faults. Therefore, the real Kate Pryde would never tell him he hadn't sacrificed enough.
Kitty Pryde and Peter Quill might not be the most iconic couple in the Marvel Universe. Nonetheless, while it lasted, it was absolutely one of the most heartwarming romances. Even if things didn't end especially well between them, they maintained an untarnished foundation of respect and admiration. If nothing else, this chapter in Old Man Quill's story proves that love can still conquer anything, even in the desolate wasteland that used to be his home.
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