REVIEW: ‘The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied

Content Warning: The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied contains scenes of graphic violence and torture.

The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied is published by Image Comics, written by Greg Rucka, art by Leandro Fernandez, colors by Daniela Miwa, and letters by Jodi Wynne. Having cast Booker out, Andy, Nicky, Joe, and Nile continue to fight the good fight. But even as the group does what it can to forge a brighter world, an old darkness chases after them. And a dark night may be closer than they know.

Ever since I saw the Netflix movie The Old Guard, it instantly clicked with me. All my life I have been on the lonely side of any discussion about immortality, particularly how the concept of never dying terrifies me just as much as the alternative to it does. I’d never seen my feelings about it given shape until I saw the movie. Its take on immortality with a conscience was what I always felt like it would be. So when I got the chance to review The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied, I hoped it would deliver the same blend of hard-hitting action and philosophical musing. I wasn’t disappointed.

Firstly, for those considering diving into this comic after only watching the aforementioned movie, you have nothing to worry about. The only major change you should be ready for is that Andy is still in full immortal mode. Beyond that, if there was anything else left in a particularly different place I didn’t notice.

As The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied starts out, our eternal protagonists are in the middle of a string of hits on an international slavery ring. What they don’t know is that the businesses they are hitting belong to one of their own: a shadow of the past with a tangled history with the group.

The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied

The would-be antagonist makes their first move by picking up Booker. With him being cut loose by the rest of the group, and wallowing in his own self-pity, he makes easy prey for them. From there, it is only a matter of time before their hunter catches up with the rest of them. I won’t divulge their opponent’s name or their history with the group, but it pulls open a lot of old wounds that can’t just be bandaged up.

As the internal struggles begin to rise in the cast, Rucka’s writing really shines. The weight of deeds, good and bad, are felt through these ageless characters and is put in stark contrast with newly minted immortal Nile. As someone who is still in her first natural lifetime, she cannot accept some of the decisions chosen by those who are far older than her. The dichotomy between old and new is riveting in these moments and one cannot help but wonder if Nile can remain as she is, or if she is doomed to become what she argues against.

The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied also sports an art style to match the heavy emotions and hard action of its story. Fernandez’s art captures both ends of its tale with brutal determination. Having been a long time X-Men reader, I thought I’d seen everything an artist could put a character through and survive. However, there is one moment of a battle that is portrayed with such potency I’m confident even Old Man Logan would flinch. And that’s to say nothing of how the art captures the less gruesome but more drawn out moments of torture some of the characters endure.

Along with Fernandez’s lines come Miwa’s colors. Miwa does a good job picking colors to keep with the tone of the scene being portrayed. The colors stay on the muted end of the spectrum as well. This avoids the sensationalism such violence is often given and allows the reader to focus on the characters. This by no means lessens the impact of the moments, just keeps them about the people who are doing the actions rather than the actions themselves.

Lastly, we have the lettering. Wynne does a solid job providing an easy to follow delivery for the reader to digest. The text is always clear, and I had no trouble following along with the story.

When all is said and done, The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied proved to be an excellent read. While I could never call the story within its pages fun, it is thought-provoking with hard action and even harder consequences. Basically, everything I want it to be.

The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied is available on August 12th wherever comics are sold.

The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, The Old Guard Book Two: Force Multiplied proved to be an excellent read. While I could never call the story within its pages fun, it is thought-provoking with hard action and even harder consequences. Basically, everything I want it to be.