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HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.Tyler’s Recommendation… Black Monday Murders #6
“Johnathan Hickman and Tomm Coker’s stellar book is back this week. This round we discover the occult reasons behind the market crash. Weaving mystery and occult horror with the behind the scenes power structure of financial empires, a new edition to this tale is always a treat.”
Greg Ruck & Leandro Fernandez of Queen & Country are teaming up again for a new series at Image Comics titled The Old Guard. Details at EW
In the Old Guard #1, writer Greg Rucka introduces his newest creator owned series with art from former Queen and Country collaborator Leandro Fernandez and Daniela Miwa handling colors. It’s an intriguing premise with a strong visual aesthetic, but it’s reliance on cliche hobbles the series debut.
The Old Guard is about a group of soldiers that have lived for centuries and while they’re apparently able to die, they haven’t yet. Artist Leandro Fernandez and colorist Daniel Miwa are particularly impressive in the books introduction to the cast the way they show time passing for the books main character, Andy, contrasting her many wars with her many one night stand over her internal dialogue. As the issue progresses, Fernandez proves to be especially adept in drawing from angles and visual story progression while Miwa creates vibrant color contrasts throughout. Fernandez has an interesting and off kilter style, yet it’s highly proficient on a technical level for The Old Guard #1 and it represents some of his best work. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the issues writing from Greg Rucka which ultimately feels by the numbers. Anybody familiar with the writers past work will see similar plot contrivances here from the bad girl protagonist to the military geo-politics and that’s disappointing consider how prolific he’s been the last few years. There is very little here from Rucka that he hasn’t done before with little variance. Now considering this in a wide angle context, that this is a Rucka Image book where he could have considerably wrote about anything he wanted to, the assumption is that it’s all purposeful. It doesn’t seem likely that Rucka decided to do a new Image Comic just to rehash a bunch of the same concepts he’s been using for decades. At the same time, it doesn’t make the single issue feel any less redundant in itself. Being only the first issue, The Old Guard certainly has the potential to transcend it’s flaws, but it starts out lacking in distinction.
By Peter Milligan, Leandro Fernandez & Cris Peter
Peter Milligan’s new Image series opens on a disorienting note which announces its genre blending. Artist Leandro Fernandez lays out the first two pages as a set of thin, rectangular panels, each of which offer a constricted view of the action. Fernandez also sticks with close-ups, providing only details of what is occurring. Cris Peter’s colors highlight the occasional feature, such as the yellow glow of skyscrapers at night or a bright green cat-like iris. Such an approach draws the reader deeper into the page, trying to sort out what exactly is happening. The bodies involved are unconventional (monstrous to use a less polite term), while their behavior appears to be more conventionally sexual in the nature. Next Fernandez pulls back for a full page view of the aftermath. The angle remains skewed, the atmosphere menacing, though the figures are now human. Scattered (and shredded) clothes litter the foreground. Milligan’s intentions to mix sex and horror are immediately clear. For those familiar with Milligan’s sizable body of work this should come as little surprise.