Published on June 21st, 2017 | by Dana Folkard
THE OLD GUARD #5 REVIEW
Summary: The epic finale to the first story arc arrives in a hail of shrapnel. and bullets.
Intense and powerful!
The Old Guard falls! The epic finale to the first story arc arrives in a hail of shrapnel and bullets. We learn about the burden and pain of immortality, and how this can shape and change a person. We also see Andy experience a powerful moment of self-discovery as she discovers that life means nothing if it isn’t worth living.
Andy has a bullet in her throat, Nile is shot in the chest and their old friend, Booker, is standing over them…the Old Guard has seen better days. This is one tense situation as Booker points a gun at them, ready to shoot again if he needs to. Booker’s betrayal has Andy full of rage, as being deceived by one of her own friends hurts more than any bullet or wound they could inflict upon her. After a few choice words, Andy and Nile escape, with Booker in tow, by jumping from the 34th floor! Once away from the city, Andy and Booker hash it out, as temper and bullets fly. Booker tries to explain to her that he did this for them, to hopefully put an end to their immortality and the never-ending grind of time. Andy surprises us all by rejecting this, claiming that life is worth living if you have people to fight for, and those people are her friends and allies. A tender and revealing moment is shared, and Andy, Booker and Nile decide that they must go back and get their friends, risking everything to save the ones they love.
What an intense, though-provoking and action filled issue. This was an epic way for this story arc to end and I just loved how it panned out. I’ve really enjoyed seeing these characters grow and evolve throughout the story, especially Andy. I find it interesting that someone who is six-thousand-years-old still has the ability to learn and discover new things about herself. Andy’s personal revelation was a powerful moment, reflected in her internal monologue, philosophical outlook and her actions. The dynamic between her and Nile was vital in reigniting her new passion and energy for life. Through Nile, Andy discovered that life is worth living, as she listened to Nile’s wise words, reminding her that every day you waste is one you can’t get back. I thought it was clever of Greg Rucka to frame this lesson of self-discovery like this, as we see Andy learn a valuable lesson from the much younger Nile. I guess this reflects Nile’s thoughtful and rational way at looking at life, and she really does seem wise beyond her years. I feel like I should also mention the fun and light-hearted moments in this issue, as it wasn’t all deep and intense. Rucka has peppered this issue with a variety of witty quips, smartass jokes and hilarious banter. I find that this ragtag group of immortals easily lighten the mood when things are beyond hectic. There was a weirdly funny moment, when Andy and Booker were repetitively shooting one another, whilst shouting taunts and cursing at the same time. It was a brilliantly funny moment and made me laugh-out-loud.
The art, by Leandro Fernandez is intense and filled with a gritty energy. I love seeing these guys in a fight, as Fernandez perfectly captures the passion and fire within these immortals. When they are running through a wave of bullets, leaping out of windows and ruthlessly raiding they are in their element, and you can see it written all over their faces. I particularly enjoy seeing Andy relish in this action, like some kind of unstoppable warrior, and when she lights up a ciggie, it just seems right and completes the picture. I also enjoy how Fernandez frames certain scenes, giving these moments an interesting and unusual perspective. This allows us to view these moments from a different angle and viewpoint, which makes the visual narrative more compelling. The colouring, by Daniela Miwa, reinforces the edgy tone of the story. I find her colouring to be incredibly beautiful and striking, framing everything in vibrant and rich tones.
The Old Guard #5 caps off and intense and exciting story arc. I found it to be a thrilling and gripping ride, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I developed an affection for the characters, especially Andy, and yes, even Booker. The art is striking and edgy and that combined with the beautiful colouring, makes for a compelling visual narrative. I’m looking forward to when The Old Guard returns, and joining Andy and her ragtag group of immortal warriors on their next journey.
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: June 21, 2017
REVIEWER: Dana Folkard