Writer: Brian K. Vaughan / Artist: Steve Skroce / Image Comics
“Guess it’s up to the girl then.” The opening line sums this series quite nicely, referring to our take-no-prisoners Canadian freedom fighter and new de-facto leader of the Two Four militia, Amber motherfucking Roos. Did you hear it, too? Did you hear 50 Cent’s “Heat” playing over the very first panel of this, the grand finale of Brian K. Vaughan’s not-so-surprise hit?
[blockquote]I seen gangstas get religious when they start bleedin’ / Saying “Lord, Jesus, help me,” ‘cause they ass leakin’[/blockquote]
Except it’s up to Amber as she tries to schedule some Yankee arrangements with the good Lord at the gates of heaven on behalf of Team Canada. And Lord, this ending — true to what you would expect from Vaughan – was a hard-hitting finale to this savage miniseries.
The biggest problem I had with We Stand On Guard was the lack of character development from the rest of the Two Four gang, but given a 6-issues miniseries, that’s admittedly unfair. While everyone would love to see the series longer and delve further into the Dunn, LePage, McFadden, and Qabanni, we take what we can through Amber’s experience and the dystopic future that feels all too uncomfortable in its realness that a Western power could be this horrible. Again, this series isn’t one for the sensitive American patriot – we’re the bad guys here, having embraced colonialism and taking extreme measures to control energy sources after practically scorching the earth by ignoring the damage humanity was causing our planet. It’s uncomfortable because the suspension of disbelief should be much higher than it is.
Steven Skroce’s art was amazing yet again, as it’s been the whole run, capturing the comedy, emotion, landscapes, and notably the creative technology used throughout the series. The futuristic tech was ever-present yet never too heavy handed to distract from the story.
Fans surely want more from We Stand On Guard because the story has so much more to offer, both in terms of character depth and ongoing story potential, and while we’re wrapped up with the Image run maybe we haven’t seen the last of the Two Four. If there’s one lesson we’ve learned in 2015, it’s that through Netflix all things are truly possible – and this really would make an amazing TV series on a premiere outlet.
In the meantime we can enjoy the run we just had, and the impression it leaves as We Stand On Guard ends with its hardest bar yet, a summation of what you get when a person is born out of war, suffering, loss, and survival. No, it’s not Superman. You get Amber.
Reading We Stand On Guard? You can read other reviews of the miniseries right here.