Review: THE OLD GUARD #3

Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Leandro Fernandez and Daniela Miwa
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: April 26, 2017

The Old Guard #3 reveals to us that those that have long life do not want it and those that don’t have would kill to obtain it.  Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez continue their tale of a group of immortals (well, almost immortal) as they try to find out who is hunting them. Mentally our protagonists ponder the question of why do some people get to die while others do not.

Like a flashbang going off in our lap the story continues to blow apart our minds as it drags us along for an intense ride. Rucka weaves a little more backstory into the plot before bringing us into the suspense of the present as we wait to see the outcome of the end of the previous issue. What’s most interesting in this series is the ever present danger of a final death for one or all of them. It keeps both them and the reader on their toes and removes the boredom an immortal lifespan usually is accompanied by. The story is full of a lot of fun action in some nicely choreographed brutal fight scenes. The reader rides along with Nile as she continues to learn about her new life and tries to keep up with the group. Rucka gives the reader an exciting and unique story that has even small moments taking surprising turns. The dialogue is superb. The reader is hit in the gut along with Nile as she learns some of the harsh truths of her unending life. We are even given some really lovely romantic dialogue between two of the characters which conveys the love that grows over centuries of time. If there is balm for immortal life then it would have to be immortal love.

Fernandez’ art continues to be nothing short of amazing. He is able to convey the age of the immortals in the way they carry themselves as opposed to Nile who seems to be spry and innocent in her stances. Fernandez holds the reader’s interest with a variety of different angles on each page and some especially nice low angle shots with the action zooming towards us. Some of the largest panels reveal Fernandez artistic expertise as everything is carefully laid out even using dead bodies to guide our eyes to the main subject. The color palette is done well with mostly mono or duo tone pages as we move from the cold past into the suspense of the present and finally the immediate danger of the action scenes. The thick raw inks give the reader a sense of this life with lots of dangerous sharp edges. Again Nile is portrayed with younger looking smooth and curvy lines while the others are much edgier. In some of the duotone scenes the inks are even used as a secondary color. It’s Fernandez’ artwork that keeps bringing readers back as much as Rucka’s writing.

Overall, this is a can’t miss issue. The series has landed now with both feet and has taken off at breakneck speed. The artwork and it’s gritty rugged portrayal of this world gives our eyes a feast of detail in the backgrounds and action scenes. Rucka is giving us an thrilling experience as we follow the immortal hitmen but keeps them relatable by having them seek the same answers that we do. When is it our time to die and why?

The Verdict: 9.5/10

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