The Old Guard: Tales Through Time #1
Given the concept of the The Old Guard — an immortal group of warriors who bond while operating as mercenaries — an anthology telling more stories about the characters through time is an excellent choice.
The Old Guard: Tales Through Time #1 contains two stories. The first, “My Mother’s Axe”, is by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández, the creators of the original miniseries. Andy is training Nile on fighting and tells her about the weapon she’s using. It’s a twist on the philosophical question of when something becomes something else, as parts are replaced. I had no particular involvement in it.
The second, “Zanzibar and Other Harbors”, by Andrew Wheeler and Jacopo Camagni, is a must-read. Joe and Nicky are in a nightclub in 1932 Berlin. A Nazi soldier insults and demeans them as they remember other moments of harassment and rescue.
There’s a beautiful exchange of dialogue. Joe suggests they leave, saying “I want to commit a crime.” Cut to them embracing in a park, as he says, “We are under the eyes of God, my love. Anyone might see us. I dare say this is the loveliest crime we have ever committed.” It’s a gorgeous, poetic take that makes it clear how their love was a crime in that place and time, ridiculous as that was. It’s all the more poignant if you know a bit of history, of how accepting Germany was before the rise of fascism.
Of course, there’s an action scene and a violet showdown. It’s the two of them together that I will remember, though, and the club hostess, a clever twist on the sassy 30s femme. I wanted to applaud and laugh and cry and shudder, all in 12 pages. Anyone who likes The Old Guard will want to read this. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)