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.