Review: We Stand On Guard #3

WeStandOnGuard03_CoverBrian K Vaughan and Steve Skroce have delivered two fantastic issues in this series so far, set one hundred years into the future where the United States of America has rather successfully invaded Canada using giant mechanized robots. With the third issue of We Stand On Guard, we find out what interrogation looks like in the future.

If you have been reading the series so far then by now you’ve probably noticed that there are some interesting, and not always subtle, moments  where Brian K Vaughan is showing us that war isn’t exactly pleasant. The series has also been very cagey of explicitly naming a hero and a villain in this series, and while my sympathies lay primarily with the Canadians thus far, there have been moments in both issue #1 and #2 where I understood the other point of view. Brian K Vaughan has framed this story in such a way that he is able to tell the story without giving us the typical good verses evil nature of typical fictional conflicts. This story is told in shades of grey, and by doing that it allows us as the reader to get a fuller picture of the world in which this war is taking place.

We Stand on Guard #3, however, may cause readers to drop off the fence in many ways; if you’ve read any of the previews, or even the opening paragraph of this review, then you’ll have a good idea of what I’m talking about. The scene in question is uncomfortable, and yet very well done. Steve Skroce captures the emotions involved expertly, and (thankfully) we get to understand just enough of what is going on without explicitly seeing anything – which the begs the question; just how far should we be willing to go to get information?

Brian K Vaughan and Steve Skroce have a story here that isn’t shying away from the horrors of war; and the parallels to more recent conflicts in our history can’t be ignored. By using a comic book to tell the story of a fictional war, and one much closer to home for many of us, the creative team are asking us some hard questions of where each person stands regarding conflict, and the occupation of a nation. We Stand On Guard is a story of two sides defending their nation, and both sides are doing what they think is right; one side bringing justice for an unprovoked attack on their home land, and the other side fighting back from what perceive as an unjust occupation and defending their home.

This issue is not a good jumping on point; if you’re not reading We Stand On Guard by now, then you should start at the beginning. This is a series that you should absolutely read.

Story: Brian K Vaughn  Art: Steve Skroce Colours: Matt Holingsworth
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8
Recommendation:  Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.