Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Old Guard #1 Review

Characters Wanted

Writer: Greg RuckaArtist: Leandro FernandezPublisher: Image ComicsRelease Date: February 22, 2017Cover Price: $3.99Review by: Repairman Jack

I come into Old Guard only having read Rucka’s Wonder Woman before this. Although I’ve liked it quite a bit I feel it has struggled to give any answers or worthwhile conclusions to any conflicts that have arisen. With that being said I come into Old Guard being relatively interested by the synopsis and curious if Rucka can get away from my minor complaints from his other work. So check out after the jump to see just what I thought of Greg Rucka and his story about kickass immortal soldiers.
Right away we meet our first character, Andy, as it cuts between her in battle and the throws of love. This duel reality, we come to find out, seems to be a trend for the character as she seems to only be interested in one or the other and little else. I’d be remiss to not mention the colors in this section. I’m not always the best at describing art and how it can apply to the medium but in this instance I really like the contrast they use between the silhouette of the characters and the use of flat colors for the background. It lends a quality to the duality of the two events and doesn’t come off as lazy or empty as it sometimes can come across with the wrong color choices. I really dug it and I feel the coloring of the book as a whole does a lot for the art.

After some small talk between the two characters we get more small details about the mind set of our lead character as she heads off. We next see her coming up on what we find out to be the rest of the immortal group, or Guard I guess they would be called. I thought this part was actually a little lacking on the development side of the characters. We get some more small tidbits about the lead character but that seems to me like the least we should walk away with in a meeting between characters like this. The three other characters our lead meets up with come off as little more than cronies in this exchange. Some sort of job comes up and they are talking amongst themselves on whether their boss will arrive and if she will want to do the job. They seem to offer little of their own personalities in the way of conversation and offer little in their opinion of it. 
We move on to the meeting for the job from the previous scene and this time we get a little more substance in the conversation but overall I'm still left underwhelmed. By the conversation and the characters we meet up to the this point there just seems to be little done to actually grab the reader. There's hints of an ominous 'Company' and the rendezvous working with somebody private, but overall it's left feeling very bare. Copely, the randevous, fills them in on a job they have for the crew. It involves some group invading a school, killing the teachers, and abducting some children. This seemingly strikes some nerve with Andy and they decide to take the job with the price to negotiated at a later point.

Next we meet Nile, a female marine in Afghanistan with her squad going door to door looking for a target. Nile seems to be the translator of the group and is the one leading the charge when they go into a home of all women. The situation quickly leads to some shooting but all goes well at first when the target is shot. When trying to save the target Nile ends up getting her throat slashed by the man and is left bleeding profusely. While that's left simmering we catch back up with the Guard as they're on a helicopter headed for the suspected location of the children. They get into the site relatively easy and they quickly come to realize they have been set up. They get gunned down by a large group of heavily armed and armored men. With their healing factor or immortality they overcome the disadvantage pretty quickly, but it is then realized the objective of the trap; a camera broadcasting off site. Whoever set them up now has video evidence of their abilities.
Before the book is over though, we find out that Nile is in fact one of the Old Guard and is in fact immortal herself. Overall I'm got to the end really surprised by the lack of hook the book brought. The eventual set up of the crew makes a lot of the first half of the book seem really fleeting, with so much time spent on the conversation leading to this job it makes the supposed twist seem like very low stakes. I assume Nile will be the perspective for the readers and we will learn as we go from here, but it feels like so little is done to make me interested in coming back. I know nothing of the Old Guard other than the main character has passion for battle and sex and that is about it. They're immortal and now someone knows. That's about all I come out of this first book thinking.
Bits and Pieces:
With some poor characterization and little given to hook the reader I'm really left underwhelmed with what felt like a really solid premise. The coloring is great and I feel works really well with the minimalist art style. Overall though, I I thought it was just an OK issue that gave little reason to come back for more.



  1. THIS COMIC IS INFINITELY BETTER THAN WONDER WOMAN. Hard to believe it is the same writer. There is more action in this single issue than in the first 17 issues of Rucka's WW. This comic is like Highlander x 4!

    1. If I compared it to Wonder Woman I'd say this has about the same amount of answers as WW, but a lot less questions getting me interested.