We Stand On Guard #1
by Paul Fiander
Co-creator Story: Brian K. Vaughan
Co-creator Art: Steve Skroce
Colours; Matt Hollingsworth
Letters and design; Fonografixs
Published: July 1, 2015
Canada at war with the USA! I’m sure I have seen at least one movie with that as the plot (South Park is the one that springs to mind although I’m sure there was another). Anyhow this is the premise by which Brian K Vaughan and Steve Skroce are launching their new title We Stand on Guard.
Beginning in 2112 we find ourselves with the image of a child looking into a TV screen (see the preview images below), it’s a strong visual as we see images of the White House on fire beneath the child holding her teddy bear. It is an instant drop into the story and through the following 7 pages we are welcomed into the narrative before a time jump takes place to 2124 in the wilderness of the Northwest Territories. There is a lovely transition between to the two time lines that feels very reminiscent of the way you see a character age in a movie. This is probably due to his work as a storyboard artist (his credits include the Matrix Trilogy and iRobot to name a few), however this is an artist who cut his teeth in comics and he does an amazing job in the visual narrative. The sense of scale the imagery is able to convey at points is awe inspiring especially in the double page spreads. With full backgrounds and rich characters this is a comic worth looking over more than once.
The story in the main is a meeting of the girl from the transition (Amber) and a group of “Freedom fighters”. There are moments of tension within the initial meeting that feel tense and give you a sense that is a rather odd situation. Brian K Vaughan is a master at creating complex characters (Saga is probably the best example of this) and although we do not get to see much development it is hinted at through the issue. One scene in particular as an ulterior Superman creation myth which will have you scratching your head at the very least.
All in all this is a strong first issue with a great art style to match the developing story. This issue though has left more questions than answers and I look forward to getting some answers as the series progresses.
On a side note this a great issue to pick up. The paper quality is thick and glossy showing it as a quality printing. It's also 40 pages for a normal price so well worth your time and money.