From Image Comics, writer Brian K. Vaughan (Saga) and artist Steve Skroce 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 1.
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.
I’m not an overly patriotic guy but when they announced a new mini series about a band of Canadian freedom fighters battling an evil empire of USA soldiers after they destroyed my country – well….. I started to get a little more Canadian than usual. Brian K. Vaughan is one of my favorite writers on the planet – Saga is simply the best and has been my number one for the past three years.
With the debut issue of We Stand On Guard, Vaughan doesn’t explain why the USA invaded Canada, but he shows the atrocities of missiles dropping onto our cities. It’s hinted that Canada may have bombed the White House and that the USA retaliated but I’m doubting that could be the case and it’s not important this early in our story anyway.
We quickly establish our lead character, Amber, as she watches her family die horribly and then we bounce to the future as she meets a band of freedom fighters. (note: this entire story takes place a hundred years from now). The best part of this issue is when she’s getting patched up by one of the Canadian soldiers and she notices his Superman tattoo and is disgusted by it because Superman is of course an American symbol right? Wrong bitches.
The way that this soldier explains to her how in fact the character was created by a Canadian (true – I knew this like we all should) and that the actual story of Superman is a metaphor for Canadians leaving their country and living in the USA. You see, Canada is like Krypton, a nice peaceful land and when Superman leaves it he enters Metropolis (the USA) where evil rich villains like Lex Luthor rule. Like many other Canadians, when Superman enters Metropolis his powers are heightened and he becomes even more special after leaving his homeland and stands out amongst the crowd. This is true for many Canadians, if you think about it…
It was one of the best monologues I’ve ever read in a comic, period. It made me so damn proud to be a Canadian and it’s just so poignant. Coming from Vaughan who is a citizen of the United States, it’s also very intriguing and I’m curious to see if this war develops into something not so black and white. Is the US army truly evil? I would be puzzled if that’s the case by the end, but we’ll see.
The issue also ends in a shocker that truly baffled me and I’m officially hooked as We Stand on Guard looks like it will be one of the best series of the year. Easily. Artist Steve Skroce has been working on movie storyboards for years but I’m so happy he’s returned to comics full-time because his style kicks ass. It’s so crisp and it fits wonderfully with this book. Issue 1 has been my favorite single issue of any comic this year. It’s beautiful.