The Old Guard #1 (Image Comics)
Greg Rucka has made quite the name for himself thanks to books like Lazarus, and now he’s starting up another creator owned series with Image Comics, The Old Guard. Billed as a mixture of “John Wick and Highlander”, The Old Guard is an awesome mash up of immortals, black ops, and super violence, but has the same strong characterizations that you would expect from a book with Greg Rucka’s name on it.
The Old Guard focuses on five immortals that have been battling or centuries. They’ve seen everything, and Andy, our lead character, is constantly searching for the one battle that will finally kill her. When the group is sent on a simple rescue mission, their secret is revealed thanks to a hidden camera, leading to a whole mess of new problems for them.
The idea of Immortals being tired of being immortal isn’t a new one, but Greg Rucka is able to tap into that mindset in a really interesting way. Andy is extremely world-weary, but doesn’t allow this to get in the way of her being a leader. There are definitely shades of Lazarus’ Forever in her, but Andy, while not having any hesitations on attacking her enemies, definitely has a sense of being over the whole idea of fighting for the rest of eternity.
Leandro Fernandez’ art instantly made me think of Sin City era Frank Miller, and it works extremely well for this series. Fernandez’ artwork melds so seamlessly with Rucka’s script that I honestly cannot imagine anyone else drawing this book. Fernandez is able to craft some great haunting images as Andy reflects on her long life of fighting, but he really shines when Andy’s team dives into their rescue mission. The action comes so fast that you’d think you were right in the middle of the battle.
The Old Guard definitely lived up to the hype that I had been hearing, and I’m pretty excited for the next issue to hit. This is definitely one of those ideas that I can’t believe hasn’t been done before, and it appears that Rucka and Fernandez are chomping at the bit to expand on this world. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about with Greg Rucka’s writing, then this is the book to try.