Read We Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan Steve Skroce Matt Hollingsworth Fonografiks Online

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An alternate cover for this isbn can be found here.SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN teams with artistic legend and Hollywood storyboard artist STEVE SKROCE for a subversive, action-packed military thriller. Set 100 years in our future, WE STAND ON GUARD follows a heroic band of Canadian civilians turned freedom fighters who must defend their homeland from invasion by a technolAn alternate cover for this isbn can be found here.SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN teams with artistic legend and Hollywood storyboard artist STEVE SKROCE for a subversive, action-packed military thriller. Set 100 years in our future, WE STAND ON GUARD follows a heroic band of Canadian civilians turned freedom fighters who must defend their homeland from invasion by a technologically superior opponent...the United States of America. Collecting all six issues of the controversial hit miniseries....

Title : We Stand On Guard
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781632157027
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 168 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

We Stand On Guard Reviews

  • Eisnein
    2018-12-15 13:16

    NOTE: Some spoilers, but the summary doesn't give away much skipping the dramatic twists and turns. Proceed with CAUTION.Yay! More Canlit (sort of) that doesn't double as a sleep-aid! After decades of government grants and dull essays and hand-wringing over the Canadian identity, a comic-book by the Cleveland-born-Canadian-by-marriage B.K. Vaughan and Genuine-Canadian Steve Skroce has finally given us a reason to be proud of our national heritage. Although... it's speculative fiction that takes place 100 years in the future, and may have been dreamt up after Vaughan got stoned and watched 'The Empire Strikes Back' immediately after the 'South Park' movie, in a serendipitous twist of programming. Fuck it. Good enough. At this point, we Canadians will take what we can get. Umm... up to but probably NOT including manifest destiny and the draining of Great Slave Lake. To be brutally honest, we don't seem to be all that good at revolution and overthrowing oppressive despots and whatnot. And our government doesn't seem that good at saying 'no' to the US. We usually eschew guerilla warfare and rail-guns for petitions and novels by Margaret Laurence and Hugh Maclennan that nobody really likes... not even us. For any Canadians getting confused and irate, muttering something like "what the fuck is this guy babbling aboot about?" Yes. YES. My point exactly. You tell 'em!As terrible as BKV seems to be for television - 'Under the Dome' is a crime for which he will never be forgiven - he keeps doing things right in comics: 'Paper Girls', 'Runaways', 'Y: The Last Man', 'Ex Machina', 'Pride of Baghdad', 'Saga', 'The Private Eye', 'The Walking Dead: The Alien', etc. He has his faults and weaknesses as a writer - lame, jokey dialogue being one of them, but those goofier tendencies are fading - but he's very talented. And Vaughan's 'big-idea-generator' is obviously still functioning smoothly; even if 'Saga' and 'We Stand on Guard' aren't as easy to pitch as 'Y: The Last Man', they're his best titles so far. And 'We Stand on Guard' is already my favorite of the two. Crazy, I know. It's a fun little tale about the White House being bombed and the US deciding to obliterate Canada and occupy the smoldering wreckage. 'Saga' is... well, 'Saga'. The big fucking space opera epic that even non-comic readers love. Nevertheless. Being Canadian adds a cool and righteous twist to the proceedings that Canadians rarely get from their fiction... but I always root for the 'freedom fighters', underdogs, and bad guys anyway. But the artwork is what makes this truly spectacular. All that time hanging around Geof Darrow did some very good things to Skroce's style. His art was always well-executed -- especially when compared to the work of other Marvel and Image artists from the 90's -- but the Euro-comic clean-line style he lets loose with here is fucking incredible, made even better by the painted colors of Matt Hollingsworth. Digitally painted, I guess, though he's been known to use a real brush, too... it's a testament to his skills that it's hard to tell at times. He's still one of the very best colorists in comics, showing his usual subtlety, restraint, and tastefully muted palette. But Skroce’s the star of this show, drawing the hell out of every panel, showing his gift for realistic mechanical designs on the many 22nd century vehicles and weapons and Otomo-Shirow-brand Mecha-monstrosities. The bold black outlines, minute detail and economical texturing all suggest the strong Geof Darrow influence, though Skroce has his own stylistic idiosyncrasies. And if you don't think the years spent working as a farmhand with Darrow on the Wachowski Concept and Storyboard Art-Ranch is behind his awesome artistic metamorphosis, here's exhibit 'A' -- from the mid-00's, his last trip to the world of comics before WSOG:Skroce's comic 'Doc Frankenstein', published by Burlyman -- the Wachowski-owned comic-book publisher devoted exclusively to Skroce and Geof Darrow. Doc Frankenstein is definitely in long-time Darrow territory here, in a Shaolin Cowboy-inspired spread:As wacky and implausible as the premise might sound at first, it's tone is a bit darker than I expected, though far from gloomy. The violence gets very brutal, and it's made all the more shocking by the ultra-fine details of Skroce's rendering. Suspending the knee-jerk disbelief isn't all that difficult either, when you consider the historical precedents, and ruminate on how dramatically the fate of friends and nations can change over the course of a century. The story begins in Ottawa, with a family watching news footage of the drone bombing that will soon change everything. After her parents are killed in America's not-so-witty rejoinder to the White House attack, bombing Ottawa flatter than the prairies, we follow young Amber across 12 years and thousands of kilometers, North(ish) into the Yukon Territories. She is now alone and hunting caribou -- her older brother Tommy was apparently captured by the Americans -- when she encounters a patrolling 'Dog of War' sentry and is rescued by an appropriately rag-tag group of spunky resistance fighters calling themselves 'The Two-Four'. A Lucasfilm homage follows when the Two-Four take on a massive AT-AT-type mecha-beast on their snowy sub-Artic battlefield, culminating in some dramatically bloody surprises as they welcome Amber to the fold. She passed her first test, but Amber still gets blindfolded as she's led to the good ol' secret rebel base. When one of the Two-Four is captured, we get to see what the 'humane torture' of the future might look like, since there's always going to be people who can claim something like 'humane torture' exists and actually believe it. Things get stickier for our rebel heroes, as the possibility of discovery threatens their base, knowing that even the strongest person will eventually break under torture; but their reclamation projects involving fallen mecha-monsters makes them unwilling to leave until they know they've been given up. By then, of course, it'll probably be too late. The plot moves quickly, but I found myself deliberately slowing to examine the art -- that's usually the sign of a 5-star comic, and this is no exception. For a 160-page story, the characters are remarkably well-defined, with the quick and broad brush-strokes that writing like this requires. Amber and her brother's story is told in brief flashbacks throughout the 6-issue run; even though something ominous seemed to be building up steam, but never really materialized as the huge, shocking twist I was waiting for, I can't complain about a writer failing to be predictable. The huge Great Slave Lake showdown between the army of drones and robo-puppies, led by the patriotic torturess known (somewhat ironically) as 'The American', and the far-overmatched Two-Four rebels, is a thing of terrible and entertaining beauty. BKV doesn't give the reader anything mind-blowing with 'We Stand on Guard', but it has originality, excitement and clever details a-plenty.Another way that this book excels is as a low-key satire; 'We Stand on Guard' takes US foreign policy to its final, logical absurdity, substituting oil for water and long-demonized nations like Iraq for America's closest friend and ally. The ecological warnings are there too, of course. But if that sort of thing just annoys you, don't worry about it. This isn't obnoxiously preachy or self-righteous, and the satire's light enough that you could say I imagined it. You'd be wrong, but you could say it. Finding authentically and exclusively Canadian touchstones -- not the lame shit about beer and hockey, I'm thinking more along the lines of Farley Mowat or Degrassi Junior High -- isn't that easy for outsiders like BKV... so I particularly appreciated the details, like the brief reference to 'The Littlest Hobo'. The theme song to 'The Littlest Hobo' should replace 'O, Canada' as the national anthem.The Canadian 'Dog of War'! If you don't believe a dog can use a rifle, you're seriously underestimating 'The Littlest Hobo'. He beat former-PM Jean Chretien at 'Scrabble', convinced Quebec to give national unity another shot, AND foiled the kidnappers by saving the wealthy rancher's daughter!Since I've been stuck reading digital copies, I'm looking forward to this deluxe hardcover version, though it's going to be a five month wait. Image always does a great job with their collected editions. Liberté, égalité, fraternité! (No, it's not Canadian, but all our motto's suck.)More Art-book Reviews More Comic-book Reviews More Novel Reviews

  • David Schaafsma
    2018-11-29 15:08

    Read Eisnein's review for the most thorough treatment, as usual. I read it months ago, and immediately started reading the individual issues, but didn't get them all, so yesterday sat down and read this hardcover, which is six issues, complete. It's a great idea from Vaughn, the invasion of Canada by the U.S. for its water, in 2124. Born in Cleveland, now living in Canada, by choice, marriage, Vaughn uses this series to honor his new country, and educate us on Canadian-US history. As he points out, the generally passive Canada has always been in the process of being colonized by the US (various pipelines, and too many similar interactions to name). So it's a kind of warning to Canada of what is coming, and while at first I sort of laughed at the premise, I then knew it was a serious scenario Vaughn is enacting.Beyond this initial very cool and memorable premise not much original happens--it's a war, man--but the art by Skroce is terrific, and thanks to Eisnein for pointing out the topnotch coloring of Hollingsworth. The main character is Amber, but we get a typical Vaughn human interest story about family love, in the backstory, which begins with the bombing of Canada by the US that separates the young Amber from her brother Thomas. Will they ever see each other again? Some of the troupe of insurgents, called the Two-Four, the rebels, are pretty cool characters we come to like and care about. The big build to the finish is almost predictable, but it is based in what we have known about Amber from the beginning: She is not afraid to pull the trigger.But what I appreciate most about We Stand Guard is all the research and typical Vaughn humor imbedded in it, such as the Canadian roots of Superman, all the Canadian cultural references, in the middle of a war. There's a running joke that Les LePage, a former Quebecois actor, is a member of the Two-Four (and this must be a reference to something, too, of course; there's no random references in Vaughn, it's part of his joy, his humor). LePage only speaks French throughout; screw you, Vaughn says, if you don't know French, which is a pro-Quebec point he is making, I guess. As with Alan Moore, there's lots of inside jokes in We Stand Guard, and you better hustle to google all the references so you can be an insider with Vaughn.I liked it a lot, yay for Brian Vaughn as (almost) always. PS: A friend of mine, a graduate student on whose doctoral committee I serve, Patrick, when I am passing around one of Vaughn's comics in class, tells me he was a friend of Vaughn in high school, and proves it by showing me Vaughn's phone number. They were in a play together, etc. They have a lot of history together Patrick talked about. How do you get an A in my class?!

  • Sam Quixote
    2018-11-29 16:01

    In the 22nd century clean water is the most precious resource. The United States, having ignored climate change until it was too late and because of the crime against humanity that is Celine Dion’s music, has invaded Canada and begun taking their water. But a small rebel force, the Canadian Resistance, have begun the fight back against the overwhelming might of the American military in a desperate attempt to reclaim their country. They are the Two-Four and this is We Stand On Guard, eh? Brian K Vaughan’s remarkable run of recent great comics continues with this fine work of dystopian sci-fi. I liked We Stand On Guard being a fan of classic Star Wars because a lot of stuff here reminded me of Empire. The Great White North looks like Hoth, our hero Amber has a white outfit similar to Leia’s, and the Americans are kitted out with weird helmets, kinda like Imperial Stormtroopers. Oh yeah, and there are giant animal-shaped robots like AT-ATs roaming the landscape! It’s a similar dichotomy too with Canada and America being like the Rebel Alliance/Galactic Empire. It’s a very fast-moving, action-packed story which makes for an exciting read. Right away our Canadian heroes attempt to topple a giant walker and from there it’s a bloody (and very graphic) battle against the encroaching US forces. And Vaughan is inventive too, particularly with the American torture methods and the unexpected layout of their concentration camps. Joining Vaughan is Steve Skroce who returns to comics after years spent in Hollywood as the Wachowski’s storyboard artist on movies like The Matrix Trilogy and Speed Racer. Skroce’s style is reminiscent of Geof Darrow’s with a similar high level of detail and epic vision – a perfect match for Vaughan’s blockbuster script! It really is a stunningly drawn book full of breath-taking splash pages showing off the scale of futuristic warfare, as well as gorgeous vistas and brilliant designs. That’s not to say it’s without flaws. Amber is really the only character who’s developed – the others are very one-dimensional – while the story also feels underdeveloped and vague. It has an anti-climactic ending too with a bizarre reveal behind the conflict that wasn’t convincing. I also didn’t like the French-Canadian character for speaking untranslated French, a language I don’t comprends pas too well! Mostly though, We Stand On Guard was right good sci-fi action fun. Beautifully-drawn, engaging, thrilling, and very entertaining, Brian K Vaughan delivers another high quality comic – good work, buddy! I had a blast and was rooting for the Canucks to thrash those damn Yankees - aboot time them hosers showed everyone they’re not some joke country, eh?

  • Trish
    2018-12-15 18:22

    This comic takes place in 2124 with flashbacks to up to 12 years ago and is about the US invading Canada after an attack on the White House. It becomes clear however that there is another reason: fresh water. Apparently, global warming has had an especially devastating effect on the US so they are going after Canada's reserves.It's not entirely clear if Canada or another country/group executed the attack on the White House and, in the end, it also doesn't matter. Bombs are dropped, civilians slaughtered, Canada is occupied and eventually, no surprise there, resistance groups start rising up and fighting back.Enter Amber and her brother who witnessed their parents' deaths when they were little and have been on the run ever since. After being separated, Amber meets a resistance group, the Two-Four, and they embark on a big scheme to get the invasion forces to retreat.I'm not entirely on board with the entire premise unfortunately. First, if global warming had such devastating effects on the US, Canada wouldn't be a green island no matter how many lakes, clean-energy plants or how much snow they have (the snow, for example, would almost all be gone). Secondly, while resistance groups all over the place landed strategic strikes, they simply woulnd't have been able to pull off what they did here, especially not only after one "chosen girl" arrives. Thirdly, (view spoiler)[the scorched earth policy is stupid because the amount of arsenic mentioned would mean that the Canadians, too, would die from thirst AND the US military would probably not retreat but bomb the place into oblivion for good measure and out of revenge (hide spoiler)] so that was too abrupt an end and not very realistic either. Not to mention that both sides were shown as too good vs too evil (too simplistic for my taste).But isn't that always the problem with stories about resistance groups going up against a more technologically advanced government?Anyway, the comics were entertaining, the art was also quite good and they had an adorable coywolf. :D["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Donovan
    2018-12-08 11:21

    Northwest Territories, Canada, 2124. This incites strong feelings in me. I love my country but hate my government, especially now. Which is why I'm more on the side of the "America sucks" theme going on here. The futuristic American military is brutal. Just fiction? Unfortunately this is an historically accurate, tragic, and foreseeable scenario under present leadership. Brian K. Vaughan's writing is strong and unusually grim. Saga and Y both have an underlying current of optimism and humor, but this is bluntly dystopian, with most characters suffering or having suffered tragedy at the hands of Americans. Characterization is a bit lacking but that doesn't surprise me for 6 issues. It didn't feel hurried as much as short. This should've been twelve issues easily, giving more backstory to Amber and Thomas, as well as the Two-Four. So I'm hoping, as the ending is somewhat open-ended, that Vaughan revisits this story in the near future with a second or even third volume. Steve Skroce and Matt Hollingsworth (one of my favorite colorists) do amazing work together. The illustrations have that fine, detailed feel of Frank Quitely or Chris Burnham, but exceeding them with his futuristic mechanical structures. The colors are perfect, rich and bright, giving great depth and variety. Overall a mildly depressing albeit adventurous read, with spectacular artwork. It doesn't feel rushed, it's just short, it needs to be twice as long for a deeper story and sympathetic characters. Fans of dystopian, sci-fi, and can-lit will probably like this.

  • Jason
    2018-12-04 18:07

    Well, that was fun!That was a helluva graphic novel, I must say. Controversial? Sure. Prophetic? Time will tell...Some of the major things that stood out for me, and which made this amazing, were:1. The main protagonist and main antagonist are both women, which was nice to see. This is a story dominated by war, so it would have been easy to put men in those roles.2. There are gay characters! I know, you're probably rolling your eyes, but seeing gay characters in this was a pleasant surprise (one of them is kind of a bad ass, too - a nice change from the stereotypical gay character).3. There were genuine twists. I actually said "whaaat?" once when a surprise was revealed midway through the story.4. The writing/dialogue is very well done. I don't have a lot of graphic novel reading experience, but most of the writing I see out there is so-so. This writing is very well done indeed.5. One of the characters pretty much speaks only in French, so you get a mini language lesson. I had my translator app at the ready and didn't miss a beat!6. The story arch was told in a compelling sequence. Vaughan uses the occasional flashback but it doesn't throw off the action; rather, it builds up the characters, giving us more reason to care for them.7. The amazing artwork. 'Nuff said.This edition combined all 6 of the chapters. Yet, at the end of the 6th chapter, you're sort of left with the feeling that there could be more story to follow. Fingers crossed!I'd say this is a good one to read if you're looking for something to turn you on to graphic novels.You can read this review, and others, on my blog: https://jasonramstad.wixsite.com/mysite

  • Jim
    2018-11-25 13:02

    This is my first foray into the world of the graphic novel. I chose this one to start my introduction to the genre because the subject matter is actually giving voice to a deeply ingrained Canadian insecurity, the invasion of our sovereign space by our neighbour to the south. When you consider that Americans have actually crossed our borders with an armed force more times than I can count on the fingers of one hand, the fear of invasion is really not that far-fetched.The reason for the invasion in this instance is water. The USA has turned the central states into a dust bowl and has depleted water resources, resulting in an attack on their neighbour to the north. Outnumbering Canada 10 to 1 and having futuristic weaponry, all Canadian resistance is eliminated save for a small group of resistance fighters in Canada's northern climes. This is a diverse group, so politically correct as to be laughable. Commanded by women, of course, because women have so much experience in the field of armed resistance...the evil American leader is also a woman, as is the POTUS. The group tries not to leave anyone out: we have a white homosexual male, a black man who seems either to be unilingual francophone or possibly just annoyingly insisting on speaking French to his Anglophone colleagues, a descendant of Syrian immigrants, and naturally a representative of our continent's indigenous people. I found the plot to be interesting and reasonable, even believable. as the USA is running out of H2O and we seem to enjoy a surplus north of the 49th parallel. I found that the Star Wars-type artillery and equipment was a little too futuristic and science-fictiony for my tastes, but that doesn't mean they won't work for someone with a few less miles on their odometer. It entertained me for an hour, but left me wondering at the end: "Have I just read a book?"

  • James DeSantis
    2018-12-14 12:28

    This was a huge letdown. I LOVE Brian K. Vaughan. I think he's top 5 writers of all time for comics. I actually think he's the best because of Y The last Man/Pride/Runaways/Saga. However this was not up to par. Not everything will be a hit. I didn't love Papergirls, just thought it good not great. So now we get We Stand on Guard. A story about America coming up and invading Canada for water supply (among other things) This is in the future and the idea of it is both interesting and realistic in a sense. The story itself, the themes, and even some of the art is great (dat ass is the BEST ass in comics) but the rest? EhhhhNone of the characters stick. Was very disappointed with that. Amber, the main lead, is probably the one to root for. She supposed to be a badass, a revenge story inside her, yet I felt nothing. THe crew she meets are all dull and before you get to know them they all vanish anyway. Nothing hits home. Deaths are meaningless. The storyline is rushed. Everything feels pushed to get it done instead of letting it breath. The art is sometimes great (like I said, that ass) and the fights can be cool but other times the faces are ugly as can be and the movements feel stiff. So 50/50 bag. Overall this is honestly a skip. Brain's weakest work so far IMO. You're better off re-reading Runaways for actual characters and passing on this one.

  • Rituraj Kashyap
    2018-12-04 13:27

    Brian K. Vaughan disappointed me this time. The story was rushed, with a lot happening in the final issue. There was no explanation as to when the character Amber learned to fire guns amidst all the running from the invaders with her brother. Maybe if it had been a few issues longer then there would have been room for character development. The artwork was great though.

  • Jayson
    2018-12-06 15:19

    (C+) 67% | Almost SatisfactoryNotes: It feels fake: a cut-and-paste parable with cardboard heroes, devoid of feelings save for hate and one-note patriotism.

  • Jim
    2018-12-12 16:18

    A short story about a war between the Usa and Canada that takes place in the year 2124We mostly see a group of Canadian soldiers and their fights against the Usa army. The environment its very well created and it seems like a very realistic future world.The bad thing is that you dont have the chance to see a lot faces and places.Ποια ητανε η τελευταια φορα που διαβασες ενα βιβλιο ή ειδες μια ταινια στην οποια οι Η.Π.Α ειναι οι κακοι της υποθεσης? Ε λοιπον να που εγινε και αυτο, ο Brian K. Vaughan μας δινει μια ωραια, αν και πολυ συντομη, ιστορια για εναν πολεμο αναμεσα σε Καναδα και Η.Π.Α στην οποια οι Καναδοι ειναι οι καλοι του θεματος. Το οτι ειναι συντομη η ιστορια ειναι και καλο και κακο. Απο τη μια δεν διαβαζεις τιποτα περιττο αλλα απο την αλλη σου αφηνει ενα αισθημα ανικανοποιησης.

  • Kyle
    2018-11-18 10:19

    While this book was a pleasure to look at, I found the content to be very thin. Unlike most of the BKV material I have read, this story, its characters, and the future that it is set in, didn't developed past its concept. There was very little universe-building present. Everything felt very "surface" to me.Plot-wise, the action clips along very quickly with no real discourse to slow it down or make the reader pause. A quick read with little to give a second thought about.It's illustrated very beautifully though and is worth checking out solely for the artwork.3.5/5

  • Chelsea
    2018-11-26 12:07

    This is not good. It pains me to give a Brian K. Vaughn book less than 4 stars. Pains me! Unfortunately I have to because the only good things about this book are the art and the letters. I actually got kind of excited when I saw Fonografiks on the cover bc I love his work on Casanova. I don't know how to explain what bugs me about this book except to kind of rag on Rogue One for a moment. I enjoyed the hell out of the side characters in that movie but overall, I was not impressed with the film for one simple reason: I did not give a flying fuck about Jyn Erso. The trailers made her look like this great savior of the rebellion who was going to lead the team to greatness. Then I watch the the film and it's not like that at all. Outside of her being the reluctant leader/hero type, I couldn't connect to her as a character either and wasn't super upset when Mads died. No, this didn't turn into a Rogue One review but I say all of this because it's relevant to why this book didn't work for me. The main character is called Amber. She was shuffled around in hiding from the big bad Americans after Canada attacked the White House. She then runs across the Two Four and they let her lead the team after their leader dies for some reason. Literally, I have no fucking clue why they listen to her at all. It made no damn sense and they barely even question it. Even after she's willing to gun down one of their comrades. On top of that, she has no personality. The only trait I can discern is that she hates the Americans. That's it. No sense of humor, or protectiveness or even grief for her brother and parents. Just anger. Barely thought out anger. The other characters are pretty forgettable, which is where it differs from Rogue One. There's Les Lepage, the only one I remember because if you don't speak French (I took it in college for 2 years and it's hella rusty) and you don't care to google translate his dialogue, you don't know what the hell he's saying for 99% of the book. Most of what he says is not really important to the plot so that doesn't help the case for saying he's an important character. Perhaps with more time, these characters would be more important and fleshed out but I think this was always going to be a limited series. Usually a series benefits from less issues but this one suffered. Not that I'm saying I wanted more of this. God no. Although, I'll admit, I was interested in them more than Amber for the few characters moments we got. This is particularly baffling to me because Brian K Vaughn is who I think of when I think of fantastic characters. The Runaways (original run), Saga, Y: the Last Man, even his work on Mystique. He does characters well so this story where none of them seem well fleshed out with goals and real backstory astounds me. What happened? This is like Rogue One in that the lead character is forgettable to me and not exactly likable. The side characters seem slightly more interesting than the main character. And in the end, what does it matter because everyone dies?I saw the American "twist" type thing coming. A lot of the dialogue and events seemed lifted from every war/invasion movie ever. I don't care about Amber's parents or her useless brother. I just don't care about any of this. A note: the back says this book was controversial. Why? Because it bad mouths Americans? Only a super sensitive conservative would bother to get offended by this book. Maybe because it speaks negatively of the pipeline? I don't know. Nothing about this was offensive or controversial. It's just a bad graphic novel. Ugh, this hurts but I can't give it any higher than 2 stars. Why, Vaughn? Why?

  • Mike
    2018-12-03 16:17

    When I first heard about this my Canadian heart sang with joy - finally someone with a personal connection to Canada (his wife or girlfriend?) who will do justice to the Canuck spirit.Oh well. I enjoy BKV books almost to a fault, despite their flaws and questionable character motivations.This one seemed like BKV just shat it out by the numbers to get his partner off his back. You want good poltics or sci-fi? Go read Soule's Letter 44.

  • Peter Derk
    2018-12-04 16:02

    America fights a war with Canada. In most books we have to put aside a preposterous premise, allow certain things, to enjoy it. For example, if you can't accept that an alien could come to Earth and prefer Reese's Pieces over M&M's, E.T. is not going to work for you.I prefer Reese's Pieces, by the way. It's a deeply flawed candy, the shell is greasy and I think might be made of actual eggshell or something, but I still prefer them and you can go fuck yourself with your stupid M&M's. Ever since they got rid of the tan ones, I'm out. #TanM&M'sMatterI guess the premise we have to accept with We Stand On Guard is that Canada and America are fighting a war, and there are some ways in which Canada is remotely successful in this endeavor. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but there you have it.I sort of want to go blow by blow with the plot, but I don't think I actually followed it all that well. There was a bomb, and maybe it was sort of a sham or something, an inside job, and then there was a war, and then the U.S. was stealing all of Canada's water for some reason. This water thing seemed very important, and also totally unimportant. These stories always make me wonder because it seems like a ragtag group of half a dozen fighters does a pretty good job bringing down an entire military, or an entire, giant organization of some sort. Like The Matrix. Like 4 dudes destroy the whole system. Or Terminator. It seems like there are always just enough people alive to fill a production of Our Town, and somehow they manage to completely destroy a regime of machines.I dig it, but what I don't understand is how THOSE people survived, but no one else did. And if someone else did, wouldn't they actually be doing pretty well in the battle? Is that why it never works this way, it's not dramatic enough? And if they were able to fight off a terrible machine army or whatever, when they were running out of resources and people, wouldn't they have been doing a lot better earlier on? That's the part I don't get, and it always seems like these small bunches of fighters become involved in the larger game, and then end up in a room with the single most important oppressor in the narrative somehow. Does this ever happen? Is there ever a story where like, I don't know, a guy is in the tower on 9/11, and then he ends up killing Osama Bin Laden or something? All that said, the art is pretty cool. It looked like maybe a tighter, better-colored Frank Miller kind of style to me. Anyway, does reading this qualify me to go live in Canada? I think I'm well-suited. I fucking love snow. I'm fine on beers. Hockey I don't love, but I do own one piece of sports apparel, and it is a hockey jersey. It's for a fictional team based on a podcast, which is probably the least-sportsy thing ever created in the form of a sportsy thing, but still, I'm counting it. I like donuts. I'm fairly polite. I would be totally worthless in a U.S. uprising against Canada, but that applies to both sides. I don't love maple syrup, but I am pretty fascinated by the process of collecting it in a bucket nailed to a tree. Is that still real? Because I'm into that.Overall, I'm ready, Canada. I'm ready to see what you have to offer. Consider this my application for commencement of wooing. I will put you on the list of possible countries, and we'll see who makes the best offer.

  • Brandon
    2018-11-21 17:28

    Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Y: The Last Man) tells the story of a future conflict between the United States of America and Canada. Following a terrorist raid on the White House in 2112, Canadians find themselves on the receiving end of the United States Military’s mighty muscle as Ottawa is torn to shreds by a menagerie of missiles. Following the attack, the story then shifts twelve years into the future as the new North American landscape is revealed.This was an interesting premise that grabbed my attention right away. A Canadian/American war set approximately three hundred years after the first (and to date only) conflict between the two nations? Yes, please. My expectations then shot sky-high after I found out that Brian K. Vaughan was behind the story.That being said, I was disappointed when I found out that We Stand On Guard was a limited series (the entire story clocks in at a dismal 160 pages); a feeling that only became amplified after I finished the book. There’s so much going on in this world that I felt Vaughn (or even another writer if he chose to hand off the series) could have gotten so much more out of it. For example; the Canadian freedom fighters we’re introduced to are pretty one-dimensional, but interesting enough that I would love to know more about their past. I’d also have loved to have known more about the political climate around the world in reaction to the initial battle of North America. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m currently head over heels regarding The Expanse – a series that deals with the socio-political climate surrounding conflict between planets and cultures.Due to the brevity of the story, I found it hard to really get invested in any of the deaths. Most of these characters are cardboard cutouts and seeing that this is a story about war, casualties are going to be coming fast and furious, many of which just washed over me. I wasn’t all that crazy about the art either although that likely puts me in the minority as Steve Skroce (X-Men, The Matrix) is well-regarded in his field.Despite my grievances, I still enjoyed this. It was cool to see a few Ottawa landmarks like the Byward Market, Parliament Hill and even a Beavertails stand committed to a comic book, so it was fun if even for the novelty. I just wish there was more to it.

  • Scott (GrilledCheeseSamurai)
    2018-12-04 16:04

    I'm a Canadian, annnnd I'm a pretty big fan of Brian K Vaughan.That right there pretty much already guarantees a good review, no?We Stand on Guard is a brutal look at how it would be, if, in the future, the USA invaded Canada for its water resources. The mini-series doesn't take in the whole great picture, it's just a slice of one encounter in the war, with little bits of the past sprinkled on top to help everything gel together nicely. I would love to see this series re-visited adding in either the beginning or to see how things pan out in the actual end of everything. Part of me is kind of happy with how things are, though. Sometimes a story is better when you don't know all the particulars. Perhaps this was the only part that was really worth telling.Vaughan doesn't pull any punches. Heads are exploding, body's are sliced in half, really, nobody is safe. George RR Martin would be proud.I'm not gonna lie - it was pretty exhilarating hearing not only my home Province mentioned in this comic, but my city as well (Winnipeg). Us prairie folk don't get mentioned a whole heck of a lot in the entertainment industry so we get a little over-excited whenever it actually does happen!Anyways, this was a fun little mini. The story was bloody entertaining, and I mean that in every sense of those words.Brian K Vaughan strikes again!

  • Cameron Chaney
    2018-12-11 16:29

    Hmmmm... how to review a super controversial piece such as this...? Well, I guess I won't address the controversy at all. You can tell by reading the synopsis what makes it a highly-discussed graphic novel. Instead, I'll just list the reasons why I liked this:1. Cyber-punk battles.2. Characters you grow to like and then3. get killed off in a second.4. A pet wolf. Not an albino dire wolf but close enough.5. Giant robots.6. All the bloodz.7. An engaging story.8. Suspense.9. Amahzing artwork.10. Brian K. Vaughan.Need I say more? Recommended

  • Callie Rose Tyler
    2018-12-18 18:05

    Canada is at war with the United States after the White House is bombed. There is almost no exposition, especially when it comes to explain the future setting the reader finds themselves in, instead details are revealed naturally leaving some things to the imagination. The use of showing instead of telling is masterful. On the other hand, I was less invested in most of the characters, this could partly be to the fact that the book is a one off and the cast of characters is a little too large to fully connect with everyone.Overall a fantastic dystopian read.

  • Robert
    2018-11-23 11:05

    Aaaaaaargh, why couldn't that have gone on for at least another 6 issues? Vaughn leans on the Canadianity pretty hard here, but I think it might have been a little more plausible set 50 years (or less) from now rather than the 22nd century.Still, amazing art that really helped tell the story, and Amber was one hardcore Canuck. I'd love a sequel someday.

  • Josh
    2018-11-25 14:02

    Decent story with great art!

  • Daniel
    2018-11-24 13:30

    I've been waiting to read this one for a bit and Holy Smokes was it worth it! This is a masterpiece by Brian K. Vaughn! This tells the story of an aggressive America attacking and subjugating Canada because of an attack on the White House. Of course it goes much deeper than this. What we have here is a tale of a group of freedom fighters called the Two Four. Amber Roos discovers this group and joins them. She herself is a survivor of the initial bombing of Canada, where her parents were killed in front of her and herself and her brother escaped and were on the run for years. Basically the U.S. wants Canada's water supply, as our country has become a dustbowl. The ingenuity put out here and the too real characters sold this book to the max with me. The addition of Steve Skroce's pencils was the topper. I have reviewed a lot of graphic novels these past few years and I say often, "the art didn't do it for me". This one is the one. The pencils here remind me of a lighter, less detailed Geoff Darrow. If you don't know him, look up Hard Boiled and Shaolin Cowboy. Anyhow, Skroce is an amazing artist and it pushes this book into the legendary. Huge props to these guys for this book. It is why I read graphic novels, plain and simple. Well done!!!Danny

  • Crystal Starr Light
    2018-11-19 13:07

    Bullet Review:Okay, was gonna give full stars because this book was addictive as crack - but that effing ending! WTF was that??! I'm still like on this high and hanging out there, wondering where my conclusion is.Nonetheless, up to that final issue, I loved this. Vaughan is a favorite and this is another reason why - even with the absurd premise and weird ending.

  • Licha
    2018-12-03 16:31

    Very late on my reviews for books read in 2017. Don't remember too much to go into a detailed review. I can say it started off strong and kind of started to drag towards the middle. Liked it but maybe not wowed by it. Great graphics.

  • Joni
    2018-11-27 14:24

    Primer historia de Brian K que no me gusta tanto. Tiene esa genial forma de narrar, construir personajes, mantener la tensión. Usa ataca a Canadá en respuesta a un ataque no adjudicado a la.casa blanca. El año es el 2124 y la evolución de la maquinaria de guerra evidente. El final es muy flojo.. una pena porque venía resultando una lectura como mínimo entretenidA.

  • Stewart Tame
    2018-11-21 10:01

    I think I would have liked this better if it had been longer. It's a terrific premise: the USA and Canada are at war. The Canadians seem to be on the ropes, being pushed further and further North. A small band of guerrilla fighters may be the key to turning back the invasion ...I liked the future setting. The tech seemed well thought out, nicely extrapolated from the present day. The characters are fun. Upon first hearing of this series, I thought it would be played for laughs, but it's decidedly on the realistic side. There are moments of humor, sure, just as there are in real life. I just really wish that this had been longer. Things happen way too quickly. People die before we get a chance to know them. And it's hard to get a sense of a battle between nations when we only ever see the actions of a small group. This just wanted more of an epic treatment. Interesting, but it wouldn't be the first Brian K. Vaughan book I'd recommend ...

  • Travis Duke
    2018-12-19 14:23

    (3.5)Pretty solid book from Vaughan but not my favorite from him. Set in the future 100 years and Tthe USA and Canada are at war. The book focuses on a canadian brother and sister who's family is caught in the blasts. It fast forwards to when they are 10 years older and mainly focuses on the sister, Amber. The canadian resistance is a main focus but we see the USA perspective too. I didnt get heavily invested into any of the people or the stories I feel like it touches about them just enough to move the story along. The art is good, clean, and well done. I guess just feel like it wasnt anything "new" but it is a well done story.

  • Sabrina
    2018-12-02 11:16

    Enjoyable. A bit more surface-level in terms of character and story than I usually expect from BKV, but I liked it overall. Bloody and violent as hell.

  • Aron
    2018-12-08 18:22

    I enjoyed it, but i think this could've really been great if there was a little more story & depth of character, but still a fun read. Kinda reminds me of a big budget summer blockbuster,...fun but definitely not gonna be nominated for a best picture Oscar.

  • Miriam
    2018-12-13 18:04

    Loved the art but military/ politics is not really my cup of tea :p