Advanced Review: The Guards

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Review by David Ferguson

Art and Design by Kevin Keane
Written by Shane Ormond
Letters and Design by Alice Coleman
Edited by Colin O’ Mahoney

As with my usual advance reviews, I’m going to stay away from spoilers. The Guards tells the story of Detective Kate O’Sullivan whose life is a nose dive as she attempts to bring gangsters to justice but there are worse things than gangsters…

I really liked the design of the book. The cover gives us the principal players along with the logo which means more to you once you’ve read the book but it gave me the hint that there is more to it than a simple detective story. The story starts by letting us know who the gardaí are (including a literal translation for non Irish speakers) which I thought was a nice touch from a design point of view. It then gives us a quick summary of the blurred disaster that is the life of Detective O’Sullivan. I enjoyed how the story got straight to the point and gave us a good detective story. The muted colours on the art helps set the appropriate tone. It feels right and I was happy enough with that but as the cover says “there are far worse things than gangsters” but I’m giving you nothing on that as I want the story to unfold for you the way it did for me. What I will say is that Kevin Keane’s art is excellent. The story naturally entailed a lot of dialogue but it never feels too talky and he really captures the savage brutality of the world of gangsters. Shane Ormond has come up with a grounded story with something interesting for the reader. I liked how he set up the detectives world before moving in the direction he did. Plus with 40 plus pages, you get a lot of story. Letterers often get overlooked and I have to say that Alice Coleman’s letters help the book feel polished. A great outing for the entire team.

The Guards goes on sale at Dublin Comic Con (August 6th and 7th).