Comic Review: The Old Guard Book One

Greg Rucka writes good comics, and he writes a good tough woman.

His Image series The Old Guard suggests there are soldiers in the world who are mostly immortal, living in secret apart from the rest of the world.  The premier mini-series went by the subtitle Opening Fire.

Led by Andy (originally Andromache of Scythia), the remaining members of this motley group of soldiers for hire go by the names Nick, Joe, Booker, and Nile.  Andy is over three thousand years old, and she’s the most world weary.  Nick and Joe fought on opposite sides during one of the Crusades and since fell in love.  Booker is a Frenchman who rode with Napoleon.  Nile is the newest, an African American woman who was a United States marine until she somehow survived getting her throat slit.  There were others in the past, and those others proved it is possible for these soldiers (and they are all soldiers) to die, but no one seems to be completely aware of how and why they might be killed.  The book suggested they can die in a way that doesn’t deal with violence and warfare, so they could drown or something.  Otherwise, they tend to heal very quickly.  There’s no explanation that anyone can offer, including the soldiers themselves, explaining why they’ve lived so long, but they’ve mastered every form of combat and weapon they can as a result.

Rucka tends to specialize in women, so Andy acts as the lead character/narrator introducing newly inducted Nile into the lifestyle, and then it gets a bit worse as someone kidnaps Joe and Nick to find out what makes them tick.  Between violent retribution, Rucka’s script gets into the ins and outs of immortality and how much it actually sucks for the people cursed with it.  About the only thing I didn’t care for was Leandro Fernandez’s artwork.  He draws…very weird noses.  Otherwise, this was a good action comic with a mystical (probably) twist.  Nine out of ten painful regenerations.

tomk74

Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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