You know how South Park has a long running joke about Canada being a bunch of wussies with no army? What if that wasn’t true and maybe, just maybe, they had a resource America needed. As global warming continues and water becomes scarce it’s not so hard to believe a coming to blows would occur between these nations. Superstar writer Brian K. Vaughan is behind this Canada vs. USA comic just in time for the Fourth of July…but is it good?

We Stand On Guard #1 (Image Comics)

Seriously could this book have been timed any better? The issue opens with a family in Ottawa watching the TV as it broadcasts the destruction of the White House. It’s a scene similar to how we all reacted to 9/11 as we couldn’t pull ourselves from our screens. Then things get even worse. I won’t spoil it, but an act by what appears to be America starts a war. The comic quickly cuts to twelve years later where we find a girl, the same girl watching the TV earlier, wandering the frozen landscape of the Northwest Territories.

it must be gruesome if they keep showing it.

What’s important about this book, and what it gets very right, is the characters. Vaughn makes them all living breathing people with personalities, valid differences and more importantly they speak some French! After the rather quick opening and semi mystery of the story is laid out it’s all about discovering what the world has become. Amber is the girl and she’s very pissed off at the great U.S. of A. Before we can get a grasp of what is going on she’s attacked by a US issued dog robot and from there her adventure begins. We are introduced to a motley crew of citizens turned rebels and get to see just how big the machines got that were used in the war.

The crew.

The story is a bit slow as we travel along in the snow with Amber, but that’s okay partially because the looming mystery of what happened to spur the war is lingering. On top of that it’ll be interesting to see how far society fell in the fallout of the battles. That said, I’m still a bit curious what her ultimate goal was as she must have been travelling somewhere. There’s a lot of questions and not a lot of answers, but the rebel group she encounters is interesting enough to keep your interest up.

The art by Steve Skroce is top notch with plenty of detail to make this comic feel even more real. He captures the gore of battle quite well and the robot dog and giant mech are astoundingly interesting to look at. They’ve got a design that’s clunky yet functional, a logical look to weapons such as that in a more realistic future. It’ll be fun to see the more extravagant shots that this series throws at us too. I’m talking about the full and double page spreads this book pops out which are gloriously epic and detailed. More of those please.

Seriously dog learn French.

Is It Good?

An opening issue to a series that lays the groundwork with plenty of well written dialogue and interesting characters.

Is It Good? We Stand On Guard #1 Review
Art is detailed and includes some fantastic splash pagesCharacters are well writtenThe bigger mystery is intriguing
Feels slow in its pacingSeriously what are people doing and what happened?!
7.5Overall Score
Reader Rating 4 Votes