OLD GUARD: FORCE MULTIPLIED #3
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Leandro Fernandez
Colorist: Daniela Miwa
Letterer: Jodi Wynne
This issue is exactly why I liked this series so much when it first appeared a couple of years ago. The first part of the issue is Andy recalling her history with Noriko but at the same time providing a bit more context and fleshing her out as a character and also at the same time providing insight on what it could be like to be an immortal. This kind of storytelling isn't easy and it's handled so well only because Greg Rucka is such a talented writer.
We then transition to present day where Noriko reveals herself to the whole crew and everyone, except for Nile, is shocked to see her alive after hundreds of years had passed thinking she had died. While I am looking forward to seeing how Rucka handles Noriko's return, the way the plot plays out here is a bit cliché. She thinks Andy and the crew abandoned her while Andy tries to convince her that they looked for her all while they battle it out; we've definitely seen this many, many times before but given how solid the rest of the issue is we'll just roll with it.
Then we transition over to the FBI agent that was introduced in the previous issue who is investigating the aftermath of Andy and Noriko battling it out. Then we get the reveal that Copley is pretending to be an agent who is partnered up with King to investigate the scene. It's a bit convenient to include yet another character from the previous run but we'll see how his addition to the plot plays out with the rest of the crew. The scenes following the big fight between Andy and Noriko are fairly short but manage to move the plot along, introduce more elements, have downtime for our characters all within a few pages. Again, amazing storytelling by Greg Rucka.
The art may not have had as many standout panels as the previous issue but given how well the fight scene was thought out and stylized, the art this issue was absolutely stellar. The panel where Nicky shoots Noriko through Andy and the bullet trails through the borders of the panel stood out in particular, was a very good stylistic touch. Fernandez' figure work and expressive characters really work but the colors elevate the art to another level, great work all around.
This was a fantastic issue that somehow managed to move the plot along substantially and also introduce enough interesting wrinkles that I can't wait to see where the story goes. With only a couple of issues left, I'm curious to see how Rucka will wrap this up.