Saturday, June 24, 2017

Old Guard #5 Review

In With The New

Writer: Greg RuckaArtist: Leandro FernandezPublisher: Image ComicsRelease Date: June 21, 2017Cover Price: $3.99

It’s been a rough road overall when it’s come to Greg Rucka’s Old Guard. I felt it started out pretty slow and had a tough time really selling me on the story or characters. As it’s gone on though, I feel it’s really done a lot to bring it around and I’ve come around to enjoying it. The sad news though, is I’m coming around on it just as this first arc is coming to a close and the book goes on a break. So will the end of this arc be the continuation of the trend or will it go out as it came in?

We pick up immediately where we left off in the last issue with Andy, Nile and Booker confronting Copley and Andy is turned on by Booker with a shot to the neck. Andy recovers as she is questioning Copley and Booker on their betrayals. It’s all a reus to gain position as Andy and Nile use the chance to get the jump on Book and the other guards. As the gain the upper hand Copley begs for his life with the promise of getting them out past the many more soldiers on their way. With a bang she spares his life with a gunshot to the window as opposed to his head and she promises it to be her last bit of mercy. With the guards showing up Andy and Nile are forced to take the plunge from the skyscraper along with Book in tow.

The opening is fun and does more to show Andy’s resilience and attitude than anything else. I could say it’s a cheap way out of a tough situation but it all works well with the characterization we’ve had for Andy up to this point. I haven’t really liked the art much from this book throughout the run, though it has been fine in part, but if not for the great coloring and choice of pallet it’d be a tough book to really engage with for me. This is shown even more as they plunge from the skyscraper and are shown in a mess of gore, that even though is lacking in detail gets the point across nicely enough with the choices on coloring.

We catch some glimpse into Merrick as his paid scientist informs him that solving this immortality won’t be as easy as they previously thought. After which we jump to Nicky and Joe in their restraints in some kind of medical lab. We get some chit chat and wondering what’s taking Andy so long before Merrick storms in with the promise of stabbing the two over and over again to get the secret out of them.

After getting some catch up between Andy and Booker on the hows and why of the betraying this issue really goes into action mode. The book moves fast into a series of action scenes that really does a lot to pay off to the build up to this point. The action is great and fun and really comes as good payoff on what felt like a small amount of build up. The book finally ends on a somber and brutal moment that does come from the one great characterization that has come from the book to this point.

Most of my complaints for this issue would more come from the fact that the motives and build up weren't adequately set up beforehand. What we get in this issue is some nice emotional punches strung together by great action. If there was more characterization given to Booker before this issue we’d care more of why he betrayed Andy. If Merrick was more than a one dimensional transparent character with only the most simplest of motivations with the slightest twist we would have felt more of a punch when it comes to an end. If more was possibly given of the doctor or scientist that Merrick was using, or Copley other than just being motivated by money. What we get this issue is great, but it lacks the feeling of actual payoff because almost all we’ve gotten is build up of Andy to this point.

Bits and Pieces:

As a conclusion to an arc it lacks due to insufficient build up and thin characterization, but as an individual issue it’s a fun and bombastic romp that I wish just held more impact.


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