Saturday, May 27, 2017

Old Guard #4 Review


Out With The Old...

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Leandro Fernandez
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 24, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

Greg Rucka’s The Old Guard has struggled to keep me engaged coming into this issue. Though it’s continued to go up for me since the first issue, I can only hope that keeps that trajectory leading into today’s issue. With two of Andy’s team members kidnapped and a new member on the team we look forward to these threads coming together and coming to a head. So let’s get to it after the jump.


Although this book stumbled out of the gate it really has been on an upswing as we get closer to a climax or some kind of conclusion to the arc, and this issue lives up to that pattern. This issue had just about everything I had been wanting from the book since the first issue. It had some character buildup for anyone but Andy, we get more of what is at stake with development of the villain, we even get an emotional reaction from something that had almost been tired by this point in the book in its flashbacks. It really feels like this is the first issue of this series where everything that Greg Rucka had wanted from this book really comes through the pages.


We pick up after the last issue with Nile coming to grips with her new dilemma of possibly leaving her family and loved ones behind. Eventually it leads to another flashback from Andy, this time quite welcome, as it involves more of a sentimental tone as opposed to the previous flashbacks that mostly involved battle and its correlation to sex.  We get a story of just how hurtful outliving your loved ones can be, how you not only have to watch them grow old, but you have the potential of them pushing you away or questions coming about. With a later relevance added to this flashback it does a lot to soften the badass exterior of Andy.

When we get back we see Booker, Nile and Andy going through one of their armories or safe houses. It has a whole room loaded with things the Guard has picked up through their times. There isn’t a ton in this sequence, but we do get some character buildup from Nile with a little bit of set up for the eventual twist of the issue. It’s nice to see some more build up in the character of Nile, but this segment mostly feels like more of a set up to make a bigger impact later rather than a set piece all on its own.


I first called the villain in the story sort of generic or cliché, as the slightly unhinged rich and powerful bad guy has been done a lot lately, but that was taken up quite a few notches in this next sequence. With the two members of the guard finally brought to the villainous Steve Merrick. We get some backstory and motivation for the character that comes from a different angle than previously given which is appreciated as it’s more faceted than someone just wanting to live forever. It’s not long before this scene turns completely south and it comes across pretty well, or about as well as it can for a psychotic villain.


It ends up culminating in a meeting of the powers and it doesn’t disappoint even though it’s mostly lead in for the next issue. All together this issue had been what I was waiting to get from this book. I had been waiting for Rucka to give me a reason to keep reading. While what I was reading before was never really bad, I just never felt a pull to the characters or the narrative and although this issue couldn’t have existed without the set up from the previous issues this issue seems to finally deliver on something worth investing in. Characters, besides Andy, finally have personalities and motivations. We finally have an idea of what this book is, and finally I’m invested. It took a bit long to get here, but I’m in.
Bits and Pieces:

It took 4 issues but this book seems to finally be living up to its potential. With character development in abundance, plot threads coming together, and something to keep me interest I would easily say this is the best issue of series so far.

9/10
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2 comments:

  1. This book has been great I was a little iffy on it for the first 2 issues by 3 I was hooked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first couple issues really confused me. They just didn't seem to have any kind of hook. Last couple issues have really picked up though.

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