We Stand On Guard by Vaughn and Skroce (Image)

we stand on guard
Every so often a book comes out that only hard core comic book lovers take note of and it’s usually not a Marvel or DC book. Its Dark Horse, or Vertigo, or nowadays, its Image.

We Stand on Guard is such a book. Written by Brian K. Vaughan with artwork by Steve Skroce, two individuals whose career in comics has been sidelines somewhat by their great work in the field of film, most notably Lost, Under The Dome, Cloud Atlas and The Matrix Trilogy. The duo have put together an audacious and ambitious storyline.

This first issue begins with the bombing of the White House by unknown terrorists in 2112 which leads to a retaliatory strike by the United States on…Ottawa.   Yes Ottawa, Canada. And not some surgical strike but a full blown attack effectively razing the major cities to the ground and preparing the country for an invasion. Canada has no chance as the United States military, which at this time in the future seems to be something along the lines of a cross between Mech-Warriors and Star Wars At-Ats, moves across the border and takes the country by force.

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It is 2124 and Amber, whose family was killed in the bombing of Ottawa has grown into a young woman and is surviving in the wilderness where she runs into a US battle droid and a group of resistance fighters. At first her meeting with the fighters goes badly but in time they take her in as one of their own.

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This book is a Canadian Red Dawn, only its a Red, White and Blue Dawn. The first issue starts off the story and introduces the main characters. If there is a weak part to the book is that the characters aren’t really given much in the way of a back story with the exemption of Amber. So when one of their crew dies violently it is hard to feel anything for him. Hopefully this will be taken care of as the story progresses. The characters are strong and drawn in a very powerful many as much of Image’s new line are. The story itself is at once familiar and disturbing as well. Though we are not given much in the way as to the why of the invasion, it is hinted at that it is more about natural resources than a retaliatory strike for the bombing of the White House.

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We Stand On Guard is an awesome book that will too easily looked past with all the press being given to what is happening in the DC and Marvel Universes. But like many of the really good comic book storylines out there, it will not go away and the rest of the comic book world will find it. Don’t wait for them. Pick this one up now!

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