Author: Greg Rucka
Artist: Landro Fernandez
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: August 30th, 2017
Warnings: Violence, gore, slavery
The Old Guard has recently been getting a lot of attention, thanks to the Netflix adaptation that recently came out. I’ll confess that is the reason it caught my attention, and why I saw down to read it. Written by Greg Rucka, and illustrated by Landro Fernandez, this is a graphic comic series that focuses on a small group of (mostly) immortal beings.
Andromache of Scythia, aka Andy, is immortal. Well, mostly immortal. She can take a shot and get back up. So far, she hasn’t been able to die. Someday, that will change. But that someday is unknown, and Andy is ancient.
She and a small group of immortals like her have done what they can to leave a mark on the world. They fight against slavers, and generally do their best to avoid appearing in the same place too often, lest they risk being found out. Then Nile, the newest immortal came along, and everything changed.
I went into The Old Guard, Book One already having a good idea of what was going to happen, thanks to my watching the Netflix movie first. I wasn’t sure how many changes were made between the two though, and was looking forward to finding out.
On the whole, I was pleasantly surprised. The Netflix movie did a great job of staying faithful to the plot. If anything, the things that were changed were done for the better. They lightened some of the tone for the series, and gave Nile a more important role (adore her). Things like that.
Now, enough of making comparisons, time to actually review the graphic novel. It’s a harsh read, that much is for sure. It takes a dark look at the idea of immortality, and doesn’t make any attempt to hide from the graphic nature or history of the characters.
Andy’s past is particularly dark and…grisly. She hasn’t always made the best choices, nor was she always altruistic. I can’t help but feel like that was at least partially the point, showing how she has grown and changed over the years. Or maybe I’m just trying to find a positive spin here.
I did end up adoring the artwork. It comes off feeling very raw, but in that way, it really does match the characters and the lives they have been living up until this point. The colors are rich and bold, which I’ve always been drawn to.
If you’re looking for a light graphic novel to read, this is not the book for you. However, if you enjoyed the Netflix movie and want to learn more about this world, or want to give graphic novels a try, this might be just the right place to start.