We Stand on Guard #2: The US Army Strikes Back Hard Against The Knucks [Review]

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From Image Comics, writer Brian K. Vaughan (Saga), artist Steve Skroce and colorist Matt Hollingsworth comes the epic mini series about a future war between Canada and The United States of America. Check out my review of We Stand on Guard issue 2.

WE STAND ON GUARD is an action-packed, military thriller set in the 22nd century. The series follows a heroic band of Canadian civilians-turned-freedom fighters who take up arms against a violent invasion of their country by a technologically superior nation: the United States of America.

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After a fairly self contained story in issue 1 of We Stand on Guard, Brian K. Vaughan has begun expanding not only the scope of his epic tale but introduced a potential villain as well. I say villain in the specific sense because artist Steve Skroce has put a face to this female military operative from the United States. Until now the USA army has seemed fairly mechanized because they seem to be waging their war with robots and drones, so it’s nice to have someone to remember specifically as a menace to my precious Canadian freedom fighters.

Thus far it seems that team Canada are indeed the heroes in this story and issue #2 really tries to make the case for that. We start off with a flashback with some American soldiers searching a Canadian home and putting a beatdown on some seemingly innocent citizens whom they refer to as ‘Knucks’ and not Canucks. I haven’t heard this term before, but I love it. I guess the slang term for Americans would be ‘Yanks’, so I enjoy that the USA soldiers use ‘Knucks’ as a derogative term for their Canadian enemies.  I like that. I accept that.

So while we take our time getting to see more of the politics behind the ongoing war and apparent takeover of Canada by the United States army, we do have to slow down the story a little in order to introduce these much needed elements. With only six issues set for this mini-series, Vaughan has a massive task ahead of him at nailing both the up close and personal aspects of his story with our lead character Amber as well as the larger facets and history behind the conflict which has yet to explored in detail. PS – I love the reference to a Newfoundland Pirate resistance waging their battle on the seas.

The way Skroce illustrates these massive vehicles and robots is incredible too. I wasn’t familiar with his work in the past but his art in We Stand on Guard has made me a fan and I hope he continues to work in comics as opposed to movie storyboards so the public can truly appreciate his style.

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Vaughan is doing a brilliant job unravelling 2015’s most entertaining new series only two issues deep and even though he slows the pace down “ever so slightly”, he still manages to shock the ever loving shit out of us with a powerful ending that came right outta freaking left field. I don’t know what this ‘basement’ is, but those damn Yanks sound creepy as all hell when they send us poor Knucks down to it…

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