Old Guard #4
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Leandro Fernandez
Colors: Daniela Miwa
Letters: Jodi Wynne
Review by PeteR
Immortality has been coveted by people since caveman days. Written accounts of the quest for immortality go back as far as the fifth century B.C., with the writing of Herodotus. (“The benefits of a classical education”.) Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon allegedly tore up Florida in the fifteenth century looking for a fountain of youth. I, myself realized a while ago that, at my age, I have less days left than I have already burned through. Immortality, on the surface level, sounds awesome. Immediate pains and stiffness provide immortality with a desirability that will wane.
“Time takes everything”.
The greatest fear in the storylines of any saga involving immortals (or in this case, almost immortals) is their longevity being discovered. The greatest challenge immortals face is their inability to be close to regular people since us folks will age, wither and die while immortals are, you know, immortal.
Issue #4 of Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez’s Old Guard deftly explores both these aspects. The comic starts with Andy, Booker and newly immortalized Nile on the run. Joe and Nicky are being held captive by the ruthless Billionaire, Steve Merrick. Merrick plans to experiment on both Nicky and Joe to discover the secret to their longevity. He is not concerned with how much pain this will cause the two warriors. He actually relishes the opportunity to torture them for his own gains.
In Old Guard, Greg Rucka artfully expresses the desolation the protagonists have experienced. The pain of previous relationships shape the elder characters alienation while acting as a dreaded preview to Nile’s future existence. Desperation sculpts their reliance on one another to feel any emotional connection. The action sequences are brutal and raw. Betrayal is unthinkable and would be devastating.
Combining the best aspects of the art of Frank Miller and Eduardo Risso, Leandro Fernandez’s drawing style is savage. Old Guard rebounds between starkness and complexity. Some panels are exceptionally realistic while others channel impressionistic roots.
Daniela Miwa’s coloring in Old Guard is bold. There is no ambiguity in her use of pigments. The primary color of a page sets a complete tone to the events. The differentiation between color and blackness appear simple at first but on further examination are lush in complexity.
Why you should buy this book? As I have stated in my previous review of issues #1 to 3, Greg Rucka is a captivating writer of the warrior class. Old Guard is one of my favorite top three books currently being published. There are not many comics that compel me to take the drive to my local comic store on a Wednesday afternoon since weekends are more convenient for me to do errands. For Old Guard I make the trip.
Old Guard #4 by Image Comics is scheduled for a May 24, 2017 release.