We Stand on Guard #3: The USA Unveils Futuristic Torture in The Dreaded Basement [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 3.

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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The mysteries of this Canada vs USA war are slowly getting peeled back — just like this person on the cover’s face… If you’re overly impatient and want to know why and why right now – the agenda behind the USA’s takeover of Canada – you’ll once again be left hanging. But now you have some clues. Some theories. And they are all fantastic. Brian K. Vaughan is starting to unravel the reasoning behind this entire awful conflict and he’s doing it while still maintaining an intense and character driven tale.

We spend the majority of issue 3 dealing with the capture and interrogation of the Canadian female commander who was shot to smithereens last month after she’s put in the United States’ dreaded “basement” — which was hinted at in the previous chapter twice. The basement is bad news folks. Real bad. Kudos to Vaughan for having the interrogator pronounce Regina incorrectly (Ruh-gina) only for our badass Canadian to lash back with one of the most vulgar and nasty comebacks of the series thus far. She probably shouldn’t have done that however – as you’ll find out… Futuristic torture is frightening stuff and I’m not just talking about how my fellow Canadian must endure being burned alive and drowned in a tank of gasoline, I’m referencing what comes AFTER all of that. Nice job Vaughan – you have struck gold with that one… Holy shit..

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I love the flashbacks once again to see Amber and her brother hiding out from the American soldiers. Their encounter with another Canadian on the run in the train was fascinating because this is when we start to understand the reasoning behind the war and how it may have been in the works LONGER back than we all had assumed. I’m still positive that we’ll find Canada partially to blame for this whole thing by the end (who did strike first really?), but so far those Americans are coming across like bloodthirsty and soulless maniacs.

Steve Skroce’s art continues to kick all kinds of epic ass and apparently next issue will feature one of the best action sequences ever drawn for a comic if you can believe what Vaughan is hinting at in this issue’s letter column. I cannot wait.

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