Image Comics 2015
Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrated by Steve Skroce
Coloured by Matt Hollingsworth
Alright well this certainly was something I was expecting to see and honestly the thought of Canada and the United States being at war with one another is one of those far fetched ideas that makes this story remarkably unique and interesting. We start off in the year 2112 with a family in Ottawa watching the White House up in flames seeming the result of a drone strike. As the family discusses the events and the young son makes an offhand comment that it could’ve been them and as they discuss what could really have happened the city itself is bombed by the USAF and pretty much completely destroyed. The boy and his sister survived the attack having watched their parents die in front of their eyes.
Twelve years later and the girl, Amber, is seventeen years old wandering the Northwest Territories. While hunting for food she comes across an unmanned machine in the shape of dog patrolling the area and tries to kill her once she shoots it. It’s then she meets a group of freedom fighters one of whom has a very wild looking dog. We learn Tommy’s been captured by the Americans so we know why she’s out there alone.
So while the one known as Booth examines her arm his character is fleshed out a nice bit. He’s got a Superman symbol tattooed on his arm and he’s adamant that Superman’s more Canadian than American it’s really very cute. Before we get too far into the characterization by dialogue however another attack occurs and we see these freedom fighters the Two-Four in action and that tells us a lot more about them than words. Seeing them act as a unit to take down this huge all-terrain vehicle says much about them, how they work and trust each other and what they really capable of it’s pretty dynamic stuff.
The vehicle is supposed to be unmanned but that’s not the case however and the team suffers a casualty here right off the bat. Amber however is put to the test asked to shoot the American as a way of proving herself as a true Canadian citizen and not a sympathiser or collaborator which while they argue she does. Amber watched her family get murdered and her brother captured her actions here demonstrate she’s willing to do whatever she must against the people who ruined her life and took her family from her. It also earns her a spot on the Two-Four.
Steve and Matt do some gorgeous work in the interiors here. There’s enough future technology to make it seem advanced without going overboard just a natural progression of what we already have today being logically taken to the next step. The individuality of the characters is wonderful and Amber herself a strikingly beautiful young woman. Plus the winter landscape they fight in belies the deadly nature of what’s happening around them all of which work wonders in fleshing out this world they live in.
This does a magnificent job in opening up a new series leaving the reader entranced and wanting more. So many questions as to why this has happened and the real reason have to be hit upon but it has all the appeal of a war-time action adventure/thriller with a bit of true mystery fueling it.
Brian looks like he has another hit on his hands it’s a five star start.