There was never any doubt that I was going to be writing about some Brian K. Vaughan comics for this series. That said, I’m a little surprised to discover that the first one I decided to write about isn’t SAGA or Y: THE LAST MAN but instead a brand new series from Image called WE STAND ON GUARD.
Why? Well, it’s new; the first issue just came out last week. And it’s good. And I like the idea that you can go out right now and spend a couple of bucks and be caught up on the series. An admission: I am not sure right now whether this is an ongoing or a limited series or the kind of ongoing (like Warren Ellis’ TREES, another series I’ll get to eventually) that is actually planned as a bunch of miniseries. There are rumors about 6 or 8 issues. I can’t find anything definitive yet. There’s also no “of 8” or anything on the cover, so Image may just be playing their cards close to their vest to see what happens with sales.
As you might be able to tell from the cover, WSoG is a war comic. Specifically, a war comic featuring a war between the US and Canada. In 2124. With giant robots that make no real battlefield sense but GIANT ROBOTS so roll with it. It starts peacefully; a family of four is watching TV and checking feeds about what appears to be a drone attack that has leveled the White House. They have just long enough for talk of the Algerians and for one of them to insist that there’s no way the US will blame Canada for the attack.
Be prepared for this, if you’re of a political bent that requires it; the US is the bad guys (at least so far) in this comic. You’ll be okay, I promise. Read it anyway. The book jumps ahead 12 years after this, to the daughter of the family, Amber, alone in the northern territories. Her brother is lost, captured by the Americans and suffering who knows what sort of fate.
The plot of the first issue is thus: She runs into some freedom fighters. Think a Canadian RED DAWN, only in the northern wastes instead of… well, Colorado. They blow some stuff up. One of them has a bad time. And you get a decent insight into Amber’s character toward the end of the book. The first issue is mostly setup and the characters are all kind of thin, so I won’t say much more, other than to point out that Steve Skroce seems to be at the top of his game and Vaughan, who is one of my favorite comic book writers (and without whom my own writing career probably wouldn’t be a thing) sprinkles in all sorts of little details here and there that make me look forward to future installments in the series. The tech, in particular, is fascinating.
I mean, c’mon. You wanna know more about these people, right?