The Old Guard: Opening Fire, review of the first volume of the Greg Rucka series

The Old Guard: Opening Fire, review of the first volume of the Greg Rucka series
One of the latest proposals on the Netflix calendar is The Old Guard, further production of the streaming channel that relies on the world of comics to find inspiration. After the glories of series like Daredevil and The Umbrella Academy, even the latest film effort starring Charlize Theron comes from an idea by Greg Rucka: The Old Guard, precisely.

On the occasion of the Netflix film, Panini has decided to re-publish the Rucka series, with the first volume Fire opening. A comic book adventure with different tones than the classic superhero context, which has found a perfect editorial position overseas in Image Comics, a publishing house headed by a certain Robert Kirkman. That Robert Kirkman, who became a strong name in the world of comics with his The Walking Dead. In fact, a story like that of The Old Guard could only find proper support in Image Comics, where the exploits of an immortal team could only be well received.

Fight for the 'eternity

At the center of Rucka's idea, as those who have seen the series of the same name well know, we have a team of mercenaries blessed (or cursed, according to the point of view) from eternal life. Over the course of this infinite existence, these exceptional individuals become a sort of family. Strongly atypical, but still a family, led by an exceptional female figure: Andromaca of Scizia, called Andy.

Warrior a thousand years old, She is the oldest of this group of immortals. Strong figure, and from the tone of sharp, who runs this team with an air of authoritarian. The choice is not surprising to those familiar with the work of Rucka. In his curriculum, the author can boast of stories that had as protagonists the figures of women more strong and exciting in the world of comics, from Wonder Woman to Black Widow, not forgetting Lois Lane or Elektra. It is a stretch almost distinctive, therefore, for the Character to put at the head of this team was a woman , but is, above all, his way of defining the character that makes it particularly charismatic.

Andy is not simply a military, but the military for excellence. He has lived and fought for centuries, has known the blades and bullets, becoming a warrior is excellent. But if his skill in battle makes it a deadly threat, the situation is different when it comes to feelings . And it is here that best characterizes the narrative context of The Old Guard .

eternal life is a myth chased by many, as well as told by mythology, literature and, finally, the cinema. Just think of the legendary fountain of Youth, or to the spasmodic search of the Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade . The topos of immortality is often treated as a miraculous gift, but there are also cases in which this longevity infinite turns into a conviction. Suffice it to quote the ultimate vampire, especially Dracula, Netflix, or the romantic yearning of Connor McLoud in the first Highlander .

Rucka decides to put in his The Old Guard each of the possible interpretation of immortality . For Andromache, for example, becomes a pure inertia existential, in a series of endless confrontations and occasional adventures, which you can't hide a truth that whispers tirelessly in the brain

“And I am so darn tired. So darn tired of living. To kill some time”

Yet, to escape this curse of eternal life, Andy does not exist to accept an assignment offered by Copley, ex-operative of CIA and now freelance. He will be the one to offer the team a job extremely risky: save the children held hostage in the Middle East.

During the battle, however, reveals a truth: there was no mission . Copley, in reality, has discovered their secret, and has organized a small demonstration for his new employer, Steve Merrick. Multi-billion dollar unscrupulous, Merrick intends to discover which is the secret of the immortality of these unusual people, architettandone the kidnapping in order to study them and turning their gift into a profitable drug.

As if that wasn't enough, to make it even more complicated in the lives of these extraordinary beings comes the emergence of a new immortal, Nile. After centuries of the absence of a new partner, the team led by Andy is having to teach this ex-soldier what it means to be immortal.

Live forever

With The Old Guard , Rucka shows a different vision of immortality . By exploiting the relationship between the different characters, the author lets you analyze with humanity and gentle touch longevity-made of renunciation and suffering, capable of becoming sustainable if lived with a loved one, as Nick and Joe.

In the case of Andy, however, this gift becomes a real curse. In the Fire opening, in fact, we assist to its many lives, the moments in a millennial existence, but that they represented entire lives for those who have been at his side. Rucka builds with intelligence and sensitivity to the personality of Andy, a real beater of this first volume: presented as a hard woman, and detached, with the reading reveals the wounds from the past which have transformed and Andromache Andy.

all inside of a dynamic adventure and well marked, accompanied by a free language and foul-mouthed, in line with the atmosphere of the bottom of The Old Guard, but that is the expectation also of the familiarity of the protagonists. A definition of The Old Guard that is confirmed by the personal vision of the argentine designer Leandro Fernàndez .

Fernàndez produces tables in which the cage is without limits, free to adapt to the needs of the story. Her manner is decided, especially in portraying the faces of the protagonists, but excels in the definition of the action scenes, in which the physicality and dynamism of the mercenaries finds full realization. Due to the staining of Daniela Miwa , who chooses contrasts and strong colours, with the presence of shadows well managed that enhances the tone of the narration of the Character.

The Old Guard – Fire opening presents as an early chapter perfect . Of course, suffers from the fact to stop the narration before the end of the film, Netflix, risking to spoil the future of the characters of the Character. On the other hand, the Fire opening can enjoy to the fullest the original idea of the Character, thanks to a greater definition of the protagonists and a narrative rhythm that can carve out the right spaces. On the other hand, the time is not a problem, when you are in front of eternity.

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