Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Comic Review: We Stand on Guard #2

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
When I read the first issue of We Stand on Guard, I was not over the moon about it. I liked it enough that I wanted to keep reading, but I was curious how well it would work as a continuing series. I loved the fact that it was all about the US at war against Canada (something that the creators liked to encourage), but I was having trouble actually being pulled into the characters and storylines. After reading We Stand on Guard #2, I continue not really knowing what I think about the series, but I see enough promise that I don't want to quit yet.

The general look and feel continues to be great. The best way to describe it is that it feels very Canadian, without going completely into stereotypes. Most of the story still takes place in what essentially a frozen wasteland, but it manages to look good despite the dreary setting. There are more places than just the forest, and we're starting to see more of the world beyond just Amber and the band of freedom fighters. Despite branching out, something about the fighters themselves doesn't feel generic, which I have to give the book all the credit in the world for.

My problem is that, despite how much I try, I just cannot get into the story. I find this disappointing, since Brian K. Vaughan writes my current favorite series (Saga), so I know that he is not only capable of doing work that I love, but does it on a consistent basis. It has been only two issues, but the characters still do not feel distinct enough to really keep them all straight, or to care about them. The only one I know anything about is Amber, and even then, despite being the central character, there's little beyond the beginning, when some of her backstory was established.

Overall, I just don't know what to think about We Stand on Guard. It's not bad, but it's not yet made a strong argument for being great or even good. I'm still giving it a bit more, but it's nearing the end of the slack I've given it so far.

If you'd like to see more, find this article and others like it at Word of the Nerd, and many thanks to them for allowing cross-posting.

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