By Levi Remington
Andy reminisces about history, a new immortal is shown the ropes, and Copley is experiencing some technical glitches in this week’s issue of The Old Guard. It wouldn’t be a Greg Rucka Joint without a complex woman protagonist and a heavy military presence, but it’s his experience with these elements that helps transform the familiar into something truly fresh and exciting. Read ahead for my complete thoughts before “Zeus’ scabrous cock” wakes me from an inconvenient dream.
Greg Rucka continues his no-nonsense approach with a story that wastes no time jumping into action. The issue flies by at a lightning pace, words are used sparingly but effectively, the art is a terrific mood-setter, and the story will hook you right from the start. A natural consequence of this quick pace is a lack of broad character development, which I don’t yet see as a problem because of how early we are into the story. Andy is already a character that I’m interested in, while newcomer Niles looks like she will be the emotional impetus of the group. She is the only immortal not yet hardened by time, so her innocence and attachment to a normal life will provide a nice juxtaposition to the distanced and chilling mindset of the aged immortals.
The men – on the other hand – are sparsely developed. If you asked me to describe them I’d be able to tell you three things: They are part of the team, they are immortal, and they are men. Again, I don’t see this as a problem for the series. Rucka isn’t asking you to care about these male characters, so the fact that they are shallow is meaningless. But he is establishing a deeper connection with Andy and Niles, the two current female characters of the book. It’s too early to tell exactly how Rucka will move forward with these characters, but I like the trajectory so far.
Leandro Fernandez’s high-contrast, angular style is deeply satisfying, and his cinematic eye fits the accompanying words like a glove. I’ll admit that the male faces can look a bit odd, but it comes across as a distinct stylistic choice rather than a rush-job, so it’s forgivable. It would be a travesty if I didn’t mention Daniela Miwa on colors, who manages to bring an entirely new dynamic palette to each scene, keeping the book visually fresh for its entirety and providing beautiful and seamless transitions from page to page just with the colors alone. Fernandez and Miwa are an outstanding pair.
Greg Rucka has done it again. Issue #2 of The Old Guard is – by design – less exhilarating than the first, but the lore and core-character expansion found within this briskly paced story keep it just as engaging. Fernandez’s art with Miwa’s colors continues to be an absolute delight, and Rucka has established an enthralling tone for this promising series. I’m thrilled to see where things pick up from here.
The Old Guard #2
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Leandro Fernandez
Colors by Daniela Miwa
Letters by Jodi Wynne
Published by Image Comics