Published on May 25th, 2017 | by Dana Folkard
THE OLD GUARD #4 REVIEW
Summary: An interesting plot development is revealed.
Thought-provoking and intense!
With Joe and Nicky kidnapped by Merrick, it’s up to Andy, Booker and Nile to hunt them down before it’s too late. Tensions are high, as they desperately try and save their friends from an enemy unlike they’ve ever encountered before. Is time finally catching up to these immortal warriors?
This issue begins back in Les Baux-De-Province where Andy is having a philosophical conversation about life, love and how time is a greedy bastard that takes everything away from you. Coming to terms with her immortality and the news that she has to leave her family and friends behind, Nile grieves for the loss of the life she used to have. Unlike the rest of the immortals, Nile comes from an age where she is lucky enough to possess a photo of her family, and soon, that photo will be the only object she’ll have to remind herself of her family. After a sad conversation where Andy reflects on the tragic loss of a lover of hers, Andy softens and gently remarks that she understands what Nile is experiencing. The sense of loss is great and doesn’t diminish over time. However, it’s back to the task at hand, searching for Joe and Nicky. Booker has been doing some research and has found a lead on Copley, in the form of his independent consulting business in Dubai. Looks like it’s time to pay him a quick visit! Once in Dubai, they quickly hunt Copley down, but to their surprise he is already waiting for them.
Every good story needs a bad villain and this is the issue where we get to finally see what Merrick is capable of. Brutal, ruthless and incredibly cruel, Merrick is the kind of vile fella that you love to hate. From the beginning of this story, it’s pretty clear what Merrick is after and why he wants to capture these immortals, but seeing him finally articulate his desires in such a heartless and selfish way truly reflects his cutthroat nature. Humans have always longed for immortality, and for some it can become an obsession to live an eternal life. With such a deep desire, it isn’t a surprise to see the depths that some will stoop to achieve this, throwing all sense of morality and ethics out the window. Merrick falls into this category, unashamedly willing to do anything or sacrifice anyone for a taste of the fountain of youth. I also enjoyed seeing more of Nile and how her arrival heralds change within the group, bringing with her a breath of fresh air. She has stirred up the old dynamic, bringing with her a somewhat innocent youthfulness and a contemporary perspective of the world. I also feel that Nile and Andy have a wonderful dynamic and work really well together with their polarising personalities.
Artist, Leandro Fernandez, provides compelling and beautiful illustrations to look at. His art is unique, complex and filled with passion, which works perfectly in capturing the pathos and emotion of these immortal warriors, especially Andy. You really get the sense Andy is struggling and somewhat suffering from her immortality and Fernandez perfectly conveys her raw emotion. There is also a wonderful sense of fluidity and movement to his art, with the action scenes flowing with a sense of energy. I also find that there is an interesting graphic quality to Fernandez’s art, with each page filled with visually dynamic layouts, using a variety of cutouts, silhouettes and clever layering of images. It all comes together to create a wonderful body of art. The colouring, by Daniela Miwa is both unique and vibrant and really sets off the art. I enjoy how the unusual colour palette creates a wonderful sense of light and reflection. It also heightens the emotional tone of the narrative, reinforcing the overall mood of the story.
The Old Guard #4 is an exciting and thought-provoking read, that will leave you wanting more. With wonderful art, clever writing and interesting characters, this story continues to engage and entertain on a complex level. A lot is explored and revealed in this issue but many things remain shrouded in mystery. Some unexpected plot developments have me asking many questions, and I look forward to discovering the answers to those in the future. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy ASAP!
I’m giving this issue 5 out of 5 stars!
CREATIVE TEAM: Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez, Daniela Miwa and Jodi Wynne.
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PUBLICATION DATE: May, 24, 2017
REVIEWER: Dana Folkard