There’s something gloriously EC Comics about the cover of the latest issue of We Stand on Guard. A burning face screaming at you is certainly an arresting image and sure and shit gets your attention but the inside of this issue is worth looking at as a series I sort of thought was trying to skim over some big issues is actually taking them on.
Before it gets to that, the story starts in flashback to 2115 where Amber and her brother Tommy are trying to get to the north of Canada to escape the invading Americans, but after a meeting with another escaping refugee they find that most of Canada is under American occupation.
At the end of last issue, the Chief of the gang of Canadian freedom fighters was captured by the Americans, and in the 22nd century as in the 21st, the US military has no problems with torturing people. We also find out the possible cause for the American invasion and it’s a cracker…
It seems the US invaded as they turned their country into a dustbowl after climate change ravaged them so have taken water and other resources from Canada, and in the 21st century they’ve got a more virtual way of torturing people.
Make no mistake, the Americans here aren’t just the bad guys but they’re sheer and utter bastards, and this is a clear analogy for current world events, if if in the letters pages writer Brian Vaughan says he doesn’t declare his politics, it’s clear he is indeed trying to get American comic readers to take a good look at themselves and their country. This isn’t just a story of plucky rebels and big robots, but something else and I think it’s worth seeing out the final three issues of this mini-series to see what it is Vaughan is saying.