One thing about The Old Guard #1, it’s Greg Rucka writing a comic and for many people that’s all they need. I’m reading this book as someone who tore through two giant volumes of Lazarus. I really liked Lazarus, a lot. Yet despite that, not every project a creator works on is my cup of tea, same with anyone else. That’s why looking over The Old Guard will be a fun challenge in itself. Will I like it? Will I hate it? That’s the fun part of this one, which makes it exciting as in all honestly, I really didn’t know much about this going in. Sit back and relax as I begin my review of The Old Guard #1. Will this be another successful Greg Rucka creator owned adventure? Let’s find out as the reviewing adventure begins.
On with the show! The Old Guard #1 has already a pedigree from the author alone, yet pedigree can only take you so far.
Before we start, yes this lives up to the strong pedigree of Greg Rucka in so many ways. Put it this way, it’s immortals with a Queen and Country kind of vibe. The Old Guard revolves around a team of immortals who do special missions all over the world. Yet at one one member of the team Andy, is getting tired and bored of it all. She’s a narrator for part of the book and you see a lot of events through her point of view and it works. The whole issue revolves around a mission that they normally don’t do, but they are compelled to. Then as the story goes on there’s a new twist in the tale that leads to exciting developments in the issues to come. The general idea of this book and how this is going to go, I’m game for.
Rucka gives you time to spent with each member of the team through Andy’s narration and into the mission. You get a loose feel for how each member of the team operates and their personality. Even with the new twist, you get a good idea as to what the new twist is about. There’s a lot of strong characterization happening here and I like that. As the last part of the issue is one massive action scene, you need to care about these characters and Rucka succeeds at that. Rucka gets characters first and foremost and I’ve always appreciated that about his work.
In talking about the action in this issue, you have to give it up for the art team, the entire art team from top to bottom. They make The Old Guard sing.
One thing I notice about this book is the art reflects the tone of the series beautifully. Leandro Fernandez has a style that as you read on you realize it is perfect for this story. The way Fernandez draws The Old Guard gives the world a lived in feel. It’s not bright and it’s not colorful; it’s a weary world for these immortals. The art comes to life in a ballet of death and destruction as we see them in battle. Fluid action mixed in with bullets and blades flying everywhere, it’s cool and a lot of fun to see. It’s also in those quiet moments before the battles where you see the weariness of these characters and that’s what makes the action that much brighter.
Even better is the coloring of this book, Daniela Miwa is setting a brilliant atmosphere. Take special note of how the sun splashes on the faces of the characters, giving their weary faces that much more detail. The usage of light in this story is incredible. Lots of dark shades of purple with the street lights against the deep purple, it makes for a cool effect, and that’s just one example of the use of light here. Take note of the lettering too, Jodi Lynne does amazing effects showing the usage of bullets in battle. The background lettering behind the intense action added such a cool element to an already great scene. I loved it.
The Old Guard is without a doubt not just a well written book, but a beautifully illustrated one too.
If you’re somehow sleeping on The Old Guard, you need to have it in your life. It’s worth your time. Once you read it you will be just as excited as I am right now. It’s a brilliant new series and I cannot wait to see what happens next.