The War continues between an invading United States and a resistant Canada in We Stand On Guard #3, and the stakes couldn’t be higher for our small Canadian resistance. Their leader has been taken captive, and they’re scrambling to either find their old leader and possibly having to replace her. Meanwhile the relentless US forces are closer to finding them than ever before. We Stand On Guard #3 is intense in every sense of the word. There is a bigger flashback in this issue than before, which gives a bigger insight into how severe the war is, how much of Canada has the States taken control of and that it’s only going to get worse. Fast forward to the present where Amber and a small company go looking for their the Chief and LePage, only to find LePage. From there we see where Chief Vic is being held and she finally has a one-on-one with the ruthless Yankee war strategist who really tests what torture will look like in the future.
First read of this issue almost felt like a quick read, it moves very smoothly, the dialogue has that Brian K. Vaughan style giving you exposition in the most conversational manner possible, that it feels like a natural progression. Although there was a lot more shown than told in this issue regarding exposition of the story, showing us a big red invading blob on a US/Canada map, and then how nasty torture gets in for the US in the future. Even though it felt like a fast read, there was so much going on in this issue, the story is truly taking rising tension and going straight forward on to truly showing what underdogs the Canadian side is. And how far is the US willing to go to crush any opposition. This issue managed to keep me at the edge of my seat (or bed) throughout.
Even though the cover is directly tied in to what is happening inside the issue, the twist in it comes completely unexpected and caused a true reaction of disgust from me. I mean, I read Crossed regularly and still thought that was super fucked up. This is probably their best issue in the series. There was so much revealed in this issue in a natural progression.
I know I’ve recommended this title to several people in the LCS I work at, and they’ve told me they would probably wait for the trade paperback to come out. In the case of We Stand On Guard, I truly think it benefits from reading it month to month, allowing the story to simmer in your mind, allowing for re-reads of the same issue that let you find new things in both the story and art, hidden Canadian Easter eggs translating LaPage’s crazy French, or even reading that back and forward between Chief Vic and the worst American ever.
We Stand On Guard #3 Writer: Brian K. Vaughan Artist: Steve Skroce Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 9/2/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital