Editor’s Note: “Akira Yoshida Presents” is a feature posted on behalf of guest contributor Akira Yoshida, who writes the blog posts other contributors don’t want to post using their real names….
As we approach the end of the year, it is common for comics blogs to prepare a list of their favorite comics. Such lists provide bloggers with an opportunity to recommend comics that they hope will provide entertainment and perspective to others.
During this holiday season, a time of peace and sharing, Nothing But Comics would like to make some respectful comics recommendations to President Donald Trump, in the hopes that these comics might entertain and enlighten America’s president.
Co-created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Steve Skroce, the Image Comics series We Stand on Guard imagines the U.S. military’s invasion of Canada one hundred years in the future. The premise of the science fiction comic may seem shocking or absurd; Canada and the United States are strong allies and the possibility of the two nations ever going to war seems unlikely. However, there is a history of military conflicts between the two countries, and in the 20th Century both Canada and the United States developed secret plans to invade the other.
In preparation for this week’s debut of We Stand on Guard, Nothing But Comics reviews the history of military conflicts between the United States and Canada.
Brian K Vaughan and Steve Skroce have created a world at war. While We Stand On Guard is different than Saga in almost every way, the familiarity lies in the compelling cast of characters. The key to a good Vaughan story is a group of characters we can get attached to in a very short period of time. Even though this is a comic about the US at war with Canada, it is not so much the war that draws me to the book. It is the people inside the war, such as Amber and Vic that I want to read each month. Brian and Steve have created some interesting characters in a dire situation, and without giving away the farm on the first issue they are able to use every page to their advantage and slowly gain likability for their actors.
This issue is all about the level of torture the United States will have in the near future. Vic has been shot and captured but the Americans need information from her. She is taken to a warehouse with a huge tub of gasoline and told she will be placed in this tub while it is being lit on fire. Vic has no intention of talking, she would sooner die for her country. Cue the twist. Vic is told that she is not actually in a warehouse, this is all taking place in her mind. She is actually hooked up to a machine connected directly into her brain. The pain may feel very, very real but her skin will be perfectly fine. They can keep restoring her skin and sending her through the painful process again until she talks. A very cool torture idea that I’m sure Matrix story boarder Steve Skroce had input on. Since they are wired into Vic’s brain, physical pain is not the only avenue of torture, they can also access emotions, which often are much worse.
This issue is filled with high intensity scenes as Vic tries to hold off the torture efforts of the Americans and the rest of the resistance debate whether or not she will talk. Steve Skroce really comes into his own in this issue, with many fabulous pages. Skroce seems to shine in the high action moments, so the more this story heats up I think the more we are going to see exactly what Skroce can do. We Stand on Guard #3 is picking up steam. One of the best books this week.
Brian K. Vaughan opens the first issue of his latest comic with a family watching the news. The year is 2112, the place Ontario. There is a developing story down south where the White House is in flames after some sort of drone attack. The family is unsettled, trying their best to grasp how this has happened. One by one they run through the usual list of suspects (Algiers, Hanguk, the Cuban/Greek alliance). Half-jokingly, the son suggests that it was their own country, incorrectly citing precedent. Vaughan lends this scene a sense of apprehension which extends beyond events happening in another country; the reader feels uneasy about this family. And for good reason. Soon missiles are raining down en masse on the city, blanketing Ontario in fiery destruction, which quickly claims the parents’ lives. Young Tommy and Amber are left to fend for themselves. Continue reading Review of We Stand on Guard #1→