Brian K. Vaughan is one of the more interesting creators in mainstream comics at the minute and We Stand on Guard is a fascinating premise, well, one more interesting than the frankly appalling copy Image Comics have thrown out.
SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN teams with artistic legend and MATRIX storyboard artist STEVE SKROCE for an action-packed military thriller that will have everyone talking. 100 years from now, a heroic band of Canadian civilians must defend their homeland from invasion…by the United States of America! The hyper-detailed combat between badass freedom fighters and giant f***ing robots begins with a spectacular 40-PAGE FIRST ISSUE for the regular price of just $2.99!
I suppose pitching it as a political satire isn’t going to sell it to mainstream readers but the idea of America invading Canada after an attack on the Whitehouse in 2112 is so mental that it’s only really logical as a part of a satire. And this is, albeit one that firmly plays it straight from the off as something quite bleak.
After this opening and brutal attack the story flicks forward to 2124 and pick up the story of Amber, the young girl in the opening, trying to survive in the Canadian wilderness while avoiding American sentry robots and justify herself to Canadian revolutionaries.
At this point I can’t help but feel that there’s a comic to be done from the point of view of an Iraqi or Afghan trying to fight against what they see as occupying forces and terrorists, but that’s never, ever going to be published by a mainstream American company. Nor is a war comic going to be published these days by a mainstream company that doesn’t essentially try to play the ‘war is a bit cool really’ line but Vaughan tries to add a bit of commentary in the comic including a little bit about Superman. But the Image blurb promises bit robot action and it delivers that.
This is very much like a lot of first issues these days in that it only introduces characters and a few plot points, and that the meat and veg part of the comic are to come, but there’s something substantial in this first issue, plus it quite clearly paints the United States as the ‘bad guys’ here. That in itself is quite subversive in mainstream comics and I look forward to next issue to see where this goes.