Writer: Brian K. Vaughan / Artist: Steve Skroce / Image Comics
“And abandon the homeland?!” It’s continually frightening to read a future where America is clearly the antagonist, the evil oppressor keeping the world from peace and progress, in a climate unadulterated by American media or propaganda. We Stand On Guard features the voice of Canadians where the US is clearly, absolutely the evil, Colonialist enemy – which makes you laugh a little bit when a Canadian character says something overly patriotic. That’s our line.
We Stand On Guard #4 is another fast-paced issue with a flashback that gives us a glimpse into Amber and Tommy’s childhoods as refugees, followed by frantic action in the present day. This latest flashback highlights Tommy’s bravery, and for the first time it clearly begs the question what happened to him? At worst, Tommy was captured, tortured, and/or taught to love the Americans’ cause like Winston’s fate in 1984; best case scenario he’s believed to be dead and comes through bucking shots against the Yankees any issue now, returning in a heroic blaze of glory. And how dope would that be? Jadakiss’ Smoking Gun over the panels, lyrics about saving a woman from her traumatic life:
I’m coming with the tech with air holes and a muffler… blaow!
In present day, Amber and the Two Four are dwindling faster than the Detroit Lions. Loss after loss, body after body, the freedom fighters look more bleak with every passing issue, yet their resolve has been strong, all things considered. One thing’s clear, each of them is ready to die. Ain’t no punks here – if Canadians are really this hard we’re lucky they’re a kind-hearted people.
The issue climaxes with our team against the biggest onslaught we’ve ever seen them face. Do they fight? Or do they run? Maybe a little of both? We see another glimpse into the war
It’ll be interesting to see how much Amber takes control over her own future, much like many of the badass women characters we’ve seen from Vaughan in the past, or if she’s saved by her brother, a love interest we’ve yet to meet, or someone else entirely. Either way, expect it to be a well-written and intense moment of climax from a great series. Who knows – maybe it’ll be Amber with all the bars, saving herself and everyone else in the homeland:
If you ever need me, call me, I’m coming through squeezin’… Blaow!
8.2 out of 10
Reading We Stand On Guard? Catch up on previous reviews here.