Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Leandro Fernàndez
Colorist: Daniela Miwa
Publisher: Image Comics
Old enemies rise in Old Guard: Force Multiplied #2. And by old, we mean like really ancient. The second installment of Greg Rucka’s comicbook about immortal assassins reveals an adversary in the war on human trafficking. A confrontation then erupts that’s almost as old as the participants themselves.
Rucka uses the space between the flying bullets to work on character development. Andromache is the comic’s emotional fulcrum. 6,000 years old, the Scythian warrior rages at humanity for committing the same sins over and over. And the group’s newest addition is the focus of her weary anger. Nile, confident and naive, is on the verge of a selfish mistake.
Her gaffe is one of many elements that makes this story relatable to a contemporary readership. The Old Guard series addresses the challenges of aging and moral stasis in a way that can feel very modern. Grappling with longer life spans and population growth, western society finds itself facing the same problem that so enrages Andy. No one seems to die, and yet nothing seems to change for the better.
The artwork reflects our seething frustration. Leandro Fernàndez’s style is cartoonish, almost humorous. But on closer examination, we also glimpse a ferocity in the characters. Their faces and postures betray a rage that feeds the stylized violence lying at the center of this action thriller.
Daniela Miwa also adds to the discontent by dipping the story in deep, emotional colors. Old Guard: Force Multiplied #2 is bathed in purple and red hues of pain and rage. She further saturates other panels in disappointed blues. The result is a fun and thought-provoking tale about death, regret, and what it means to be human.
Also, be sure to check out the 2020 film adaptation of the first arc starring Charlize Theron.